Tuesday, August 11, 2015

PRRI's American Values Atlas on Abortion, Marriage Equality, and Immigrants: What Does "Pro-Life" Really Mean?

Take the American Values Atlas map at the Public Religion Research Institute website, ask it to generate a national map showing state-by-state responses to the question of whether abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and then compare this map with the map generated when you ask the AVA who opposes same-sex marriage.

The overlap between the two maps will be striking — in particular, the cluster of states of the former Confederacy (heavily dominated by right-wing evangelicals) that both oppose making abortion illegal and permitting same-sex couples to marry. 

Then generate a map asking whether immigrants are a burden to the nation, and see what happens: again. significant overlap. 

In what real sense are most Americans who oppose abortion "pro-life"? And what business do "pro-life" Catholics have colluding with people who do not respect the humanity of LGBT people, immigrants, and poor folks? What does "pro-life" really mean, when all is said and done?

The headscratcher illustration is from The Evening Ledger (Philadelphia, May 4, 1916), and was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Johnny Automatic of Open Clip Art Library.

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