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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dafoe

"Concern for the Sanctity of Life"

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Concern for the Sanctity of Life?

At the recent vice-presidential debate, Mike Pence sanctimoniously, and with conspicuous fly on his head, said, “we have concern for the sanctity of life!” Pence followed his hypocritical statement with another repetition of the theme: “I couldn’t be more proud [sic] to serve as vice president to a president who stands without apology for the sanctity of life.” Pence’s absurd mantra is one mouthed over and over by Republican Party operatives and would stick in their throats if only they had an ounce of conscience or honesty.

Although Vice Presidential candidate and Senator Kamala Harris spoke well, articulating plans for addressing monumental, national concerns in the one and only Vice-Presidential debate, we wanted her to directly address the hypocrisy Pence’s “sanctity of life” statements.

Just where is the sanctity of life anywhere in the Trump administration? “With pro-life majorities in the Congress, with President Donald Trump in this White House, and with God's help, we will restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law," Pence had previously said as exiting Indiana Governor who “banned abortions sought on the basis of a disability diagnosis or because of a fetus' race or gender, as well as requiring the remains of aborted or miscarried fetuses to be interred or cremated” by the woman who carried the fetus, regardless of circumstances. Republican operatives have made it their policy goal to deny abortion to women even to women who are raped, even to save her life, which simply means that their concern for the “sanctity of life” only applies to the fetus, not the woman whose life is in jeopardy.

Sanctity of life? Going further than lack of concern for the life of the woman who carries a fetus, Trump, in his campaign leading up to the 2016 election, suggested that women who are faced with the extremely difficult choice of abortion should face criminal charges, or as he said, "some sort of punishment."

Sanctity of life? "We should cherish the worth, the dignity, the value of every human life," Vice President Pence said. Where was the leader of the coronavirus task force ’s concern for the sanctity of life in the recent COVID-19 super-spreader held in the Rose Garden without masks or social distancing in a known pandemic? How many were infected at that one event for the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett? Thirty-seven victims are known but remains an estimate because this administration did their best to hide the outbreak caused by their indifference to masks and social distancing. They did not use the best tool readily available to them in CDC contact tracing.

Sanctity of life? Where was GOP concern for the sanctity of life when Trump suggested “old people” don’t count at a rally in Ohio: “But it [the coronavirus] affects virtually nobody…It affects elderly people. Elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it. You know, in some states, thousands of people, nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody.”

The 217,000 Americans [at this writing] who have died from deadly COVID-19 were most definitely worth saving. Early in the pandemic, when so much could have been done to slow or even stop the spread, Trump insisted that we pack the churches by Easter. He insisted on returning to his rallies even when he was still capable of infecting others after contracting the virus himself. "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself," Trump tweeted. The problem being loss of life, it is not pretty straightforward what this Republican administration really thinks about the sanctity of life.

Lori Peek, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who studies disasters, wrote, “Is our national empathy—our care and love and concern for one another—at such a low level that we are not truly feeling, in our bones, in our hearts, and in our souls, the magnitude of the loss?”

Even if we unbelievably and inhumanely decide to discount the worth of aging people, the coronavirus is scientifically known to effect people of all ages. “We are seeing young people who are dying from this virus,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging disease research.

Sanctity of life? In an editorial titled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum,” a prestigious peer-reviewed medical journal condemned President Donald Trump’s administration for its callous indifference to life: “American leaders have failed,” editors of the New England Journal of Medicine wrote in a recently published editorial. “They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy…Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions.”

Sanctity of life? As Trump and his administration officials and Republican pundits have repeated: “Open your schools; everybody, open your schools.” The lives of children and all of their family and friends remain at risk. Of course, Trump's son Barron was not attending school in person, his private school having gone virtual. Barron later contracted the virus from his own family after the super-spreader in the Rose Garden.

Sanctity of life? It is worth noting here that the antibody cocktail that helped “cure” Trump of COVID-19, the one that Trump said everybody should have, was developed from tissues taken from aborted fetuses.

Sanctity of life? For Republicans, that concept does not apply to children under the Trump/Steven Miller ICE plan: “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away.” On May 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

a “zero tolerance” policy, dictating that migrants crossing the border, including those seeking asylum, should be referred to the DOJ for prosecution. Children have been handed over and shipped miles away, typically not to ever see their family members ever again.

Sanctity of life? “Of the thousands of children held in horrible conditions by our government, hundreds of cases of sexual abuse while in confinement began to surface, as reported by the New York Times.

“We need to take away children,” previous Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went further in a second call for child separation, according to The Washington Post report, “telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.”

Sanctity of life? When Melania Trump was recorded by her assistant regarding the child separation policy, she yelled, “Give me a f***ing break!”

Sanctity of life? Forced sterilization under the Trump regime has been documented by women detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who were forced to undergo the procedures at County Detention Centre in Georgia. Forced sterilization? Pulling children, even babies, away from their mothers forever? Sounds like "sanctity of life?"

Sanctity of life? This administration and the Republican Party policy have sought to deny health care to families in every effort to take away the only health care millions of people have through the Affordable Care Act. Relentless attacks on the act commonly known as Obamacare from Republicans is accompanied by no plan to replace it, even after years of threats and promises to do so. Republican attacks on healthcare have made their way repeatedly to the Supreme Court, and will again after their nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice.

Sanctity of life? This administration under Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have sought to defund and destroy public education, making a good education increasingly difficult for the millions of children born into poverty. Apparently concern for the sanctity of life only applies to the fetus and not to the child once it is born into this brutal and uncaring world. Republicans only demand respect for a fetus, not a living child or his or her mother.

Sanctity of life? The Republican Party has made it a talking point—if no longer a platform dictate because they currently have no actual platform—to support the death penalty as national policy. Yes, the demand for the death penalty and sanctity of life spilling out of the same foul mouths.

After the 2020 Vice Presidential-debate, that coronavirus-infected man in the Oval Office said of the highly qualified Senator and first black woman running on a major ticket for the Vice Presidency: “This monster that was on stage with Mike Pence, who destroyed her last night by the way, but this monster, she says, no there won’t be frackin.”

Sanctity of life? The Trump administration response to protestors over the killing of George Floyd was to gas them.

“What suckers,” a Trump phrase, is for once an apt phrase. Except the suckers are those Americans who have fallen for the orange-faced conman, the hypocrites in this White House, the hypocritical Mitch McConnell-led Republican Senators, the Kevin McCarthy-led Republican members of the House of Representatives. The hypocritical "AG" Bill Barr.

Ah, yes, the sanctity of life champions.

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