Ruqiya Barreh
Contributor

Exploring one pro-life organization’s selective outrage

In his opinion piece, “Why We Stand for the Victims,” Michael Lockwood — the founder of Comets for the Preborn — said that he believes “all innocent human lives… are worthy of protection.” Throughout their time here on campus, CftP has constantly represented themselves as the defenders of the innocent and those who will stand for vulnerable communities that can’t protect themselves. In spite of the lofty claims CftP and Created Equal — CftP’s parent organization — make about the morality of their endeavors, they have both been painfully silent in regard to the recent investigations into the miscarriages and child abuse among undocumented immigrants. When faced with the human rights atrocities being committed at our borders by our government, instead of rising against this barbaric attack on human rights, CftP and Created Equal have chosen to concentrate their efforts on vilifying those seeking a medical procedure and taking agency over their own bodies instead of rising to the defense to the incredibly vulnerable population who need advocates. This paradox goes to show that when push comes to shove, the main concern of anti-abortion organizations like CftP isn’t actually protecting the sanctity of life.

If CftP are the defenders of the unborn that they claim to be, then it makes no sense that they remain uncharacteristically silent as reports of women miscarrying within ICE detention centers have nearly doubled under the Trump administration due to severe emotional and physical stress, inhumane conditions, and inadequate medical care — if any at all. A point that they return to time and time again is how “unborn lives” (i.e. fetuses) are just as deserving of protection and rights as everyone else; this mission is how they justify their attempts at shaming abortion, a valid medical procedure, through highly graphic imagery, accusatory rhetoric and misinformation. A complaint written in September 2017 by different advocacy organizations, such as the ACLU and the Women’s Refugee Commission, surfaced with pregnant women reporting cases of extreme abuse and neglect at the hands of ICE detention workers, ranging including suffering from exhaustion and dehydration from being transferred between detention facilities more than six times in three months, or bleeding for over an hour while waiting for medical attention before eventually miscarrying. Another report by the Women’s Refugee Commission found that ICE’s treatment of pregnant women is so abhorrent that more women are electing to give up their asylum cases and be deported in fear of losing their child. By all accounts, these types of cases entail everything that CftP stands against; these vulnerable women are being systematically attacked by government institutions and prevented from having children that they actively want. However, there are no attempts to raise awareness or calls to action against this human rights atrocity anywhere on CftP’s social media and the leaders of the organization appear to be just as silent as well. This inactivity begs the question on what CftP is truly fighting for if not for a woman’s right to have children in a safe and healthy manner.

Additionally, one of CftP’s main issues with abortion is how it’s punishing innocent children who’ve committed no crimes other than “merely existing.” Once again, even though CftP uses this as justification for their events on campus, they have done nothing to raise awareness about the real threats against undocumented children within ICE detention centers. ***The New York Times*** reported that the Office of Refugee Resettlement received about 859 complaints from children with ICE facilities concerning sexual abuse between March 2018 and July 2018 — the largest amount during any five-month span in the past four years. One case in particular in Yuma, Arizona, reported young girls being sexually abused and mocked by ICE officers with no repercussions being made against any officials. What makes these innocent children any different than the “unborn children” that CftP constantly defend? Why does CftP remain silent yet again in the face of these tragedies?

As much as CftP would like to claim that it’s an organization based around family values, a quick examination of the facts at hand show otherwise. Their apparent disdain for the lives of people of color demonstrates their hypocrisy and showcases that when push comes to shove, CftP isn’t truly concerned with advocating for the people who truly need support and preserving the sanctity of life. By actively choosing to protect unborn children and turning a blind eye to the undocumented children that are already here and in need of assistance, CftP is essentially declaring that these minorities’ lives are worth inherently less than unborn ones and are less deserving of their time and effort.

***Ruqiya Barreh is a sophomore from Austin who is majoring in psychology and minoring in public health.***