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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The US attempts to ban abortions yet funds war

How can we have a society in debate over the preciousness of life before it even has a heartbeat, and simultaneously support the mass genocide of innocent children in Gaza?


In the past six months, more than 13,000 Palestinian children have been killed in Israel’s war on Gaza. Children are no longer able to engage in activities critical to their development and they are starving to death, while many have been orphaned or separated from their families. 


The devastation to human life in Palestine has largely been funded by the U.S. government, something taxpayers don’t seem to have any choice in despite 67 percent of American voters supporting a ceasefire. 


Meanwhile, 24 U.S. states have restricted or banned abortion on the basis of being “pro-life” since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. While the political parties have become increasingly divided on when an embryo is equivalent to a living, breathing human being– governments put more resources into wars that cost millions of lives and create perpetual trauma.


For instance, U.S. military spending reached $877 billion in 2022, the highest of any nation, in contrast to $76.4 billion spent on public education. Biden proposed a bill for $14 billion in aid to Israel’s military, despite rising concerns about the growing number of civilian lives lost and destruction to civilian property including the majority of Palestinian hospitals and schools. 


The term ‘pro-life’ loses its meaning when significantly more government money is spent on funding wars than on providing access to necessities to sustain living beings. Furthermore, restricting access to reproductive rights is linked to low minimum wages, as a form of disempowerment. 


“People are subject to their own opinions regarding the topic of abortion, and I can see and understand, to some degree, the side of those who are pro-life. However, these beliefs should not affect legislation that limits a woman’s right to bodily autonomy,” Francena Murphy, a third-year communications major said. “I find it ironic that our country has done extensive work to rid women’s access to abortion but so willingly funds a war that is killing thousands of innocent lives with the taxpayer’s dollar.”


If these policies truly valued the preciousness of life, there would be more done to ensure that children grow up feeling wanted and safe. Yet, more than nine million children are living below the poverty line in America. With limited access to resources, it is incredibly difficult to escape the cycle of poverty later in life. Furthermore, malnutrition in children can have long-term consequences on cognitive development


What we are witnessing is a large-scale moral hypocrisy. So how do we make sense of these contradictions? Who is benefitting from these counterintuitive policies?


Economics professor Puspa Amri said “I do think that if we try to look at the bigger picture from all sides, there are obviously certain companies that benefit from the U.S. sending military aid. If you look at the stocks of several manufacturing companies that are based in the U.S. like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, even Honeywell… the stocks of these companies have gone up quite substantially.”


Amri said Americans who invest in these stocks will benefit financially, in addition to the potential creation of jobs to meet the demands for increased weapons manufacturing. 


When it comes to the politics of restricting access to abortion, this also seems to be linked to economic interests. According to the CDC, there has been a steady decline in birth rates since 2007. Demographer Diana Elliot explained in an article on the Population Reference Bureau, “We are entering a prolonged phase where there are fewer young Americans to replace those retiring.” 


Increasing birth rates then would seem like a priority for politicians and corporations, despite the negative impacts on women when forced to carry a pregnancy to term before they are ready, and the children being brought into this world without access to necessary resources or nurturing. Restricting reproductive rights also ignores life-threatening medical conditions that sometimes accompany pregnancies, cases of rape, and other situations that are far beyond what is often unfairly minimized to irresponsibility.


In a capitalist system, it seems the primary interest is to protect the profit, no matter the cost to living beings. 


If our government wishes to uphold the idea that all forms of life are valuable, going as far as allowing the criminalization of abortion in some states, this argument should also remain true in terms of war,” Murphy said.

Despite our distance from the atrocities happening in other U.S. states and around the world, it is imperative that we be concerned about our relationship to others’ suffering. What do we hope to stand for? Is it more important that we maintain a reputation as one of the most wealthy and powerful nations on the planet while oppressing others, or do we actually value life and liberty as our constitution suggests? As Martin Luther King Jr. famously stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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About the Contributor
Tess Wilkinson
Tess Wilkinson, Staff Writer
Tess Wilkinson is a fourth year Communication major at Sonoma State.
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