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Opinion | Stopping abortions is now more precious than women’s lives

Actions speak louder than words. The actions of conservatives have told us that they value stopping abortions more than saving women’s lives.

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In normal times, it would seem like a rather simple question. 

“Should you take all measures, including an abortion, to save the life of a patient in a medical emergency?”

I mean, the answer is yes. Clearly. Without pause. 

You save that woman’s life. You perform whatever medical procedures necessary, including an abortion, to save the life on the table. It’s basic doctorin’. 

But even more basically, it’s basic human decency. It’s basic common sense. 

And yet … and yet … and yet. There was the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, so divided over this issue that the justices left no clear indication which way they might rule on just that simple question: “whether doctors practicing in states with strict abortion bans, who might need to terminate a pregnancy during a health emergency, would be protected from prosecution by federal laws.” 

What are we even doing anymore? 

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This is a question because in Idaho – and there are examples of similar incidents in Alabama, too – doctors are shipping patients in these situations off to neighboring states, hoping they can make it long enough to be saved by an abortion where they are still legal. Because Idaho’s strict abortion ban could lead to those doctors being prosecuted for performing the abortion, even if it’s part of a legitimate effort to save the woman’s life. 

And y’all thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” was fiction. It was a rare pre-documentary. 

In this post-Roe America, stopping abortions is now more precious than women’s lives. And that is not hyperbole. 

I’m seriously lost on where we’re headed with women’s health care in this country, and how anyone – much less women – could possibly believe that we’re on a sustainable pathway. 

Last year, as reported by the Alabama Reflector, an Alabama woman was denied an abortion at UAB despite the fact that extensive testing showed her fetus had fatal abnormalities and could have posed a threat to the woman. Certainly, the near certain miscarriage that would occur had she continued with the pregnancy could have endangered her chances of ever conceiving again. 

Because make no mistake about it, she wanted the baby. She wanted to be a mom. She wanted a family. 

Alabama laws put that all in jeopardy. Stood between her and her doctors. Stood between her and her health. 

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In what America is this OK? 

Or do the laws and foundation of this country even matter anymore to the religious zealots who are trying so desperately to control it? 

You know, maybe that’s unfair. Because to be honest with you, I’m having a hard time understanding which religion is responsible for all of this, or if any religion actually is. 

On the one hand, the folks who scream half-witted nonsense about “killin’ babies” lean heavily on the Bible and Christianity to justify their less-than-scientific beliefs, but on the other hand … this whole Supreme Court argument over abortions on Wednesday was part of a larger question about whether publicly funded hospitals have a requirement to save the lives of patients who can’t pay. 

And I gotta say, I think Jesus would have a tough time with that one. Maybe there’s a missing chapter where he let Lazarus die again because his debit card was declined, but I have my doubts. 

He’d probably also have a tough time with Alabama officials – who have leaned heavily into the anti-abortion, pro-christianity stance – opting out of feeding hungry kids over the summer through the federal EBT program. 

But those same officials opted in on giving the rich parents of private school kids an extra $7,000. (The summer EBT program would have been a tiny fraction of that cost.) 

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Up until now I would have said that some basic tenets of the Christian faith were feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and protecting the children. But maybe Jesus Christ has lost touch with what it means to be a Christian in a post-Trump America, where literally anything can be justified by the whims of wealthy white men. 

And I guess the only question now is when is everyone else going to get tired of this?

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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