What Does Pro-Life Really Mean?: The Intersection between States with Anti-Abortion & Death Penalty Statutes

by Dax-Devlon Ross

Fresh on the heels of the tragic conclusion of the Troy Davis saga, I was motivated to do a little research into our society’s culture of death. This year has also marked the must successful and comprehensive attack on abortion rights by state legislatures this nation has seen in nearly 40 years. A whopping 35 states threatened to or successfully passed legislation restricting the reproductive rights of women.

Writes the  ACLU, from which  this graphic was adapted, on this  year’s assault,

From denying women comprehensive health care coverage that includes abortion care, to forcing a woman to listen to scripts and speeches intended to shame her out of her decision, to debating complete bans on any abortion, the state legislatures saw it all this year.

What makes this all so ironic and troubling is the overlap between these allegedly pro-life states and their death penalty stances.

Statistically speaking, 76% of the states with death penalty statutes either passed or attempted to pass  anti-abortion legislation this  year. A stunning 53% of those states, including the top five killers, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri Alabama,  actually passed anti-abortion laws in 2011.

So, what do exactly do these states mean by pro-life?