Constantly hearing stories about Republicans doing everything they can to make sure babies are born and then exerting an equal effort to cut services for poor families gets depressing. So I love when I hear about something, anything that suggests that conservatives actually care about babies once they’re born.
If you’re like me, you’ll love nurse coaching, which has some Republican backing — though not nearly as much Republican backing as making sure the only sex education kids get is an adult instructing them how to say “no” in various accents.
Here’s some background on nurse coaching, from Topher Spiro and Lanhee J. Chen:
…trained nurses coaching low-income, first-time mothers, is among the most effective interventions ever studied. Researchers have accumulated decades of evidence from randomized controlled trials — the gold standard in social science research — following participants for up to 15 years. They have consistently found that nurse coaches reduce pregnancy complications, pre-term births, infant deaths, child abuse and injury, violent crimes and substance abuse. What’s more, nurse coaches improve language development, and over the long term, cognitive and educational outcomes.
It requires a huge investment in training that then pays off for lifetimes and potentially in billions of dollars. Paul Ryan backs it the House and South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley is expanding it in her state.
“Great,” I thought when I read about this today thanks to the great Jonathan Cohn’s Twitter feed. “That’s some actual ‘pro-life’ shit.”
And of course, then I was quickly thinking about all what a genius frame it is to call the “anti-abortion rights” movement “pro-life.” It’s so powerful and does such powerful things to our brain that we can’t help dispute it, which only makes the frame more powerful. Despite that, the GOP platform’s official stand on reproductive rights — illegal in all cases — is incredibly unpopular. Even less popular than Donald Trump.
So let’s go with this.
If you want to call yourself “pro-life,” fine. You just have to meet at least five (5) of the following requirements:
[ ] I support publicly funded nurse coaching.
[ ] I support universal health care.
[ ] I support paid parental leave.
[ ] I oppose the death penalty.
[ ] I support comprehensive sex education.
[ ] I oppose abortion in nearly all circumstances (if you must).
[ ] I believe abortion should be safe and legal, which makes the procedure less common.
[ ] I oppose wars of choice.
[ ] I believe that pregnancy should be qualifying event for health insurance, because that’s the least we can fucking do if we want a child to be born healthy.
Support any five — even the one I don’t support — and you can have your pro-life card.
So c’mon: There’s at least four — nurse coaching, universal health care, parental leave, pregnancy as a qualifying event — that should be beyond politics, if you’re invested in every child possible coming out of that woom.
So before you start ranting, show me your pro-life card.
Image credit: Greyerbaby, via Pixabay