Republicans Stop Giving A Sh*t About Babies Once They're Actually Born

by Alexia LaFata

Republicans are generally pro-life, and most conservatives believe that life begins at the moment of conception.

They see a fetus not as part of a woman's body, but as a human being who doesn't deserve to die through abortion.

In last week's Republican debate, nominees shared the viral and controversial video of a Planned Parenthood official allegedly discussing the sale of fetal organs.

Republicans used the video as a springboard to discuss limiting -- and, in some cases, completely prohibiting -- a woman's access to an abortion.

In fact, Republicans are so committed to protecting the lives of the unborn that there is an entire page on the party's website dedicated to the importance of upholding its reputation as the "pro-life party." It says:

The Republican Party must continue to uphold the principle that every human being, born and unborn, young and old, healthy and disabled, has a fundamental, individual right to life. Like Abraham Lincoln, we rely on the Declaration of Independence for our authority to assert that every individual human being has a Creator-endowed right to life, and that it is the duty of government to protect that right.


Besides the obvious "my body, my choice" liberal perspective on this, which says that what a woman decides to do with what's in her body is up to her, there's a massive problem with the Republicans' pro-life platform.

Republicans are so dedicated to making sure that every single goddamn baby is born into beautiful America and its spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties above the fruited plains.

But why don't they give a single sh*t about that baby once it's actually born?

Republicans are against federally-funded maternity leave, a program that would allow a woman to actually take care of her baby.

In an interview on CNN this past Sunday, Republican nominee Carly Fiorina said she doesn't oppose paid maternity leave in and of itself, but she opposes the federal government mandating paid maternity leave for private businesses.

Other Republicans hold a similar viewpoint, claiming that the decision to mandate maternity leave should be left to the private sector and not the federal government.

Businesses know what they're doing, Republicans argue, and will make maternity leave decisions as they see fit.

Well, that isn't what actually happens. Having federally-mandated, paid maternity leave is in fact vital. As Jennifer Senior writes in The New York Times, unless the government actually mandates paid maternity leave, businesses simply don't feel obligated to offer it:

Without government assistance — or nudging — most businesses will never feel the obligation to pay for family leave on their own. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 percent of private-sector workers got paid family leave in 2012. As Mr. Obama noted this summer, “many women can’t even get a paid day off to give birth.”

How the hell can Republicans force a woman to give birth to a child while also refusing to give her the time and resources to take care of that child?

The Guttmacher Institute reports that 75 percent of women who have had abortions had them because a baby would have interfered with their work.

With access to federally-mandated, paid maternity leave, those women might not have had abortions in the first place. They could have been confident that having a child wouldn't negatively impact their jobs.

But Republicans don't want to promise working women that they'll be able to take care of their children after they're born. They just want to get those babies out of those vaginas.

Republicans are against federally-funded programs for low-income families, and almost half of all abortions are performed on low-income women.

The Guttmacher Institute report notes that 75 percent of women who have had abortions did so because having a baby would have been too much of a financial burden.

Forty-two percent of women who get abortions have incomes "below 100 percent" of the federal poverty level (which is $10,830 a year for a single woman with no children), and 27 percent have incomes "between 100–199%" of the federal poverty level.

And yet Republicans still want to cut crucial federal programs that give crucial aid to low-income families.

In May, the New York Times reported that House Republicans proposed deep cuts in the federal budget for food stamps and welfare -- as well as a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

If these programs remained in place, low-income women wouldn't need abortions. They would be confident in their financial ability to raise a child.

But Republicans still can't make that promise. All babies must be born, regardless of whether or not their mothers can provide them with food, shelter and health care.

It's hypocritical of Republicans to be pro-life and not provide women with the basic tools they need to take care of their children.

Women aren't having abortions because they're "irresponsible." They're having abortions to be responsible. 

For one, a woman's body is hers. She should be able to do what she wants with it. If she wants to get an abortion, she should be able to get an abortion.

But some women simply don't have the resources to take care of a baby.

They're at the hand of Republican-backed policies that literally prevent women from obtaining the resources necessary to live and provide. So can Republicans really say they care all that much about fetuses?

No. Absolutely not.