Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

It’s pretty obvious if you follow politics that “pro-life” is a convenient frame for Republicans (and some Democrats) to use to get support from anti-abortion activists. However, although they oppose abortion, they don’t vote for bills that would support maternal health care and make for healthier babies and families.

For example, a bill in Nebraska that cut funding for undocumented mothers to receive prenatal care has resulted in at least five deaths:

The elimination one year ago of Medicaid funding for prenatal care for about 1,600 low-income women has had dramatic effects, doctors and health clinic administrators reported Wednesday. At least five babies have died. Women are traveling 155 miles to get prenatal care. Babies have been delivered at clinics, in ambulances and hospital emergency rooms.

… Four infants died in utero at the Columbus health center, she said. In the previous seven years, the clinic had never had an in utero death.

And the House GOP is also proposing cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that would reduce funding for immunizations that save babies’ lives:

In the past year, California has experienced the worst whooping cough outbreak in more than 50 years, an epidemic that has killed 10 infants and resulted in 6,400 reported cases. But even as the state’s public health officials have struggled to curb the disease, Republicans in Congress have proposed slashing millions in federal funding for immunization programs. Public health advocates warn that these cuts threaten efforts across the country to prevent and contain infectious and sometimes fatal diseases. And they add that lower vaccination rates could eventually result in more outbreaks that endanger public health at a major cost to taxpayers.

Clearly, what people who claim to be “pro-life” really mean is they are anti-abortion. No one who truly values life would make cuts that threaten the most vulnerable and marginalized people in society. So the next time someone tells you he is “pro-life,” ask what he’s doing to make sure wanted babies have every chance of getting a healthy start at life.

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