NOVEMBER 9, 2009
The Next Consistent Step for Congressional "Pro-Lifers":
A Federal Ban on Wars of Choice
by Myriam Miedzian
The concern with the "sanctity of life" is apparently so great among some members of Congress that the health care bill passed by the House includes the Stupak Amendment which prohibits funding for abortions. The prohibition applies not only to the public option, but also to private insurance companies that receive public funding. (While most "pro-lifers" are Republicans, Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak is a Democrat.) If the Senate passes a similar amendment, and it becomes part of a Healthcare bill signed into law by President Obama, the prohibition on funding abortions will be extended from poor women (Medicaid does not pay for abortions) to middle class women. On Sunday, the president congratulated the House on its "courageous" passage of the bill; and despite numerous requests, so far there has been no White House comment on the Stupak Amendment.
I strongly recommend that Bart Stupak and other members of Congress deeply committed to the "sanctity of life" take their deep concern a step further by applying it not only to unborn fetuses but to actual human beings. They can do this by passing a federal ban on all wars that are not in response to a clear and imminent military attack on the United States of America.
Had we had such a ban fifty years ago, our government would not have been responsible for the deaths of close to 60,000 of our soldiers unnecessarily slaughtered in Vietnam, tens of thousands physically maimed, or the suffering of so many veterans from severe PTSD even now, more than thirty five years after that war ended. Nor would they be responsible for the deaths of millions of Vietnamese in the course of that war.
Had we had such a federal ban on unnecessary wars, our government would not now be responsible for the close to 4,500 U.S. soldiers unnecessarily slaughtered in Iraq since 2003, for the tens of thousands physically maimed and/or suffering from PTSP, or for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, and the two million Iraqis who fled their country and live in exile.
Such a ban would prohibit President Obama leading us into yet another slaughter of human beings in Afghanistan.
Since the moral concerns and ensuing legislative actions of so many of members of Congress are focused almost exclusively on the survival of fetuses, let me point out that tens of thousands of pregnant women have been killed in these wars. Surely this should move the diehard "pro-lifers" to act.
Isn't it time to stop allowing this vociferous concern with the sanctity of life to be limited to fetuses? If Congress is going to pass laws intended to protect the sanctity of life in utero, then consistency requires that they also pass laws protecting the sanctity of life after birth. And what could be more contrary to such protection than the killing, maiming, and mental damage inflicted again and again on innocent human beings in unnecessary wars.
Myriam Miedzian is Author of He Walked Through Walls: A Twentieth-Century Tale of Survival