Abortion proponents on social media are criticizing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his response to an anti-pro-life messaging bill out of Alabama, but the whole pro-abortion side of this story is missing the point about the rights of the unborn.
This story started last week, when Alabama state Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D) introduced a bill to force men in the Yellowhammer State to have a vasectomy at their own expense.
"Under existing law, there are no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men," the bill's synopsis reads. "This bill would require a man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first."
The bill seems to be more about making a statement about abortion policy than it is about creating a new law. In fact, Hollis told AL.com that the legislation was put forward in response to the state's ban on abortions, which was signed into law last year.
"The vasectomy bill is to help with the reproductive system, and yes, it is to neutralize the abortion ban bill ... it always takes two to tango," Hollis told the outlet about her proposal. "We can't put all the responsibility on women. Men need to be responsible also."
In a tweet over the weekend, Cruz responded to the bill, tweeting, "Yikes. A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything...literally!"
Abortion proponents on Twitter pounced on the opportunity to call out the senator and imply that his pro-life views are really just stem from a one-sided desire to use the force of government to take control of women's reproductive systems.
"Ted thinks the government becomes [too] big when it tries to seize control *HIS* body," wrote NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. "Never mind that he's been a politician voting to do that to women for...checks notes...EVER."
"I never thought I'd say this, but I agree w Sen Cruz that the idea of governments attempting to control our most intimate body parts and reproductive rights is abhor...wait," archeologist Sarah Parcak wrote.
"Oh so tell me more about your positions on government making reproductive decision... For women," Democratic House candidate Shannon Freshour tweeted.
"That awkward moment Ted Cruz realizes the government has no business legislating reproductive health care between a patient and a doctor," Democratic House candidate Brianna Wu wrote.
"After years of advocating for government control of citizens' reproductive choices, the senator is suddenly shocked by the idea," Washington Post book critic Ron Charles sneered. "What could have inspired such a stark reversal?"
But while mocking responses such as these may get some retweets and fill abortion advocates with a certain sense of satisfaction that comes from having their worldview validated, they — as well as the bill that precipitated this discussion — failed to address the crux of the pro-life argument: That abortion unjustly takes the life of an unborn child.
Pro-lifers hold that, from the point of conception, every unborn child — regardless of the terms of conception or the child's stage of development — is a unique, living member of the human race with the inherent right to life. The central pro-life argument against abortion is that the willful taking of that life via chemical or surgical means is a grave violation of that right. It has nothing to do with an alleged desire to merely control the functions people's reproductive organs or arbitrarily limit their choices in that regard.
This writer's perspective
In a case like this one, abortion boosters can allege sex-based hypocrisy all they wish. But at the end of the day, a vasectomy may prevent an unborn life from being created but it doesn't take them away once they're created.
In contrast, an abortion does that every single time by its very nature.
If "pro-choice" advocates ever want to change any pro-life minds on the subject — or even argue about the points that their opponents are actually making — that's the reality that has to be addressed.