When ‘Pro-Life’ Means Stigmatizing Abortion and Immigration at the Same Time

| Reproaction

By: Jessica Ensley

Recently, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), waded into the hypocrisy of his anti-immigration, allegedly ‘pro-life’ stance. He was being interviewed on EWTN’s Pro-Life Weekly when he was asked about the case of Jane Doe.

Jane Doe, an undocumented 17 year-old woman, made history and headlines while trying to obtain an abortion. She was detained in Texas while pregnant. Due to an unjust law, a person in Texas under the age of 18 must have parental consent to obtain an abortion. Jane Doe did not want her family involved in the process due to fear of abuse.

She went to a Texas judge and was given consent to have the abortion. But the detainment center wouldn’t let her leave. Instead, she was taken to an anti-abortion fake clinic, where she said she was forced to look at a sonogram. Her legal battle continued to the federal courts, where she was first denied but then given the ability to have the abortion she wanted.

In comes Rep. Steve King. He’s long been against abortion and rights for immigrants. He is currently the sponsor of the six-week abortion ban, which is a time frame before many people know they are pregnant. While being interviewed by Catherine Szeltner on EWTN on his bill, he was asked if his goal was to ban all abortions since many women don’t know they’re pregnant at six weeks. His reply was instructive. “It should be the goal for pro-life people to put an end to abortion,” he said, admitting that he would like abortion to no longer be available.

Then, he was asked about Jane Doe. While asking this question, Szeltner referred to a racist tweet King wrote that stated, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

“Well, the Heartbeat Protection Act (the six-week abortion ban) is consistent with the statement that I tweeted out,” King said, reaffirming his racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Rep. Steve King, continuing to talk about Jane Doe, stated: “If this little baby had been born, it would have been an anchor baby, it would have been an American citizen, and that you think would have been a good benefit for that child.”

This is a representative who is against both undocumented and documented immigrants in the United States. He would rather Jane Doe be forced to continue a pregnancy to term and shove motherhood upon her, while also desiring that she be thrown out of the U.S. His racism and xenophobia are coexisting with his desire to control women’s bodies, resulting in a murky conclusion. Tougher immigration laws that King advocates for mean more parents will be separated from their children, who are citizens of the U.S. It appears King has no concern for the suffering of first-generation children fearing their parents will be taken away from them, as they show more issues with mental health compared to parents who don’t face deportation.

King continued: “If I have to choose between automatic citizenship for babies born to illegal parents in America or abortion, I would let them go ahead and have the automatic citizenship. But we can fix this thing two ways.”

Jane Doe’s case is the perfect example of pro-life hypocrisy. Jane Doe is a young woman capable of making decisions for herself, including the decision to have an abortion, and yet for all her youth, pro-life people don’t seem to include her in with the young people they claim to care so much about. All that supposed pro-life advocates like Rep. Steve King cared about was her unborn fetus. Pro-life people have no tolerance for abortion, and intensify their shaming when they happen later in a pregnancy, and pro-life platforms shamed Jane Doe for having an abortion at 16 weeks. While no one should be judged for when or how they have their abortion, Doe would have had hers sooner if she didn’t need to go through the court system to access healthcare that is constitutionally protected in the U.S.

Even Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United Life, made a statement about this case: “Everyone in the country of course has some baseline rights … but not necessarily the full scope of affirmative liberty rights.” Pro-life leaders actively admit they do not want undocumented immigrants to have the same rights as American citizens, while also trying to take away their rights as if they had privileges of citizenship.

Pro-lifers claim to care about all life, yet their actions show the exact opposite. They care about who they can control and because they could not control Jane Doe, they shamed her and claimed she was seeking mental health treatment after the abortion without any citation or proof. Instead of distancing themselves from openly anti-immigrant politicians like Rep. Steve King, they celebrate him as one of their own, because he is.

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