The GOP’s “pro-life, pro-family” hypocrisy destroys lives and ravages families

Ilyse Hogue
Jun 18, 2018 · 4 min read

My parents lived in the shadows of a different generation, where children were stolen from their parents and put in camps in Germany. I was raised to believe that my privilege and my responsibility was to speak out, and say never again. Never again can we allow such atrocities to happen to families, and never again can we let such hate win.

We are now in another moment that my parents warned me was coming. As families cross the border seeking asylum, this administration is ripping children out of loving parents’ arms, setting the precedent that they will take kids away from their parents at the border. Thousands of children have been separated from their families, and today the Department of Health and Human Services admitted it has no plans for reuniting them. It is inhumane, it is evil, and we must call it for what it is — torture.

Despite Trump’s lies to the contrary, these children are being separated from their families and placed in cages as a direct result of policies put in place by his administration. Trump, the GOP Congress that refuses to stand up to him, and their followers’ weak attempts to claim the “pro-life” and “pro-family” mantle dissolve in the face of this latest dictate (and countless preceding it). Not only do they believe the lives of immigrant and brown children don’t matter, they campaign on racism and use these children as pawns.

Last year, NARAL spoke out and fought against this same administration for holding young undocumented women against their will because they wanted to terminate their pregnancies from the unimaginable situations they were fleeing. Administration officials tried to deny them access to abortion care, despite the fact that they had secured funds and sponsors and travel to and from the clinic. Scott Lloyd, who leads the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, personally intervened, calling and flying across country to berate these women. And in one particularly egregious moment even dragged one woman to a fake women’s health center in lieu of getting her medical care.

Their morally abject hypocrisy was already on display then with their practice of detaining pregnant immigrants, forcing them to sleep on floors of internment camps and denying them access to essential healthcare. We’ve always known this is about control, not family. And their admission that they are now using children as a tool in their war against immigrants demolishes any last shred of moral credibility not only of Trump and his administration but of anyone who claims to be pro-life and has not denounced these actions.

NARAL members and millions of others across the country are speaking out, and joining groups like Families Belong Together and mobilizing to end these atrocities so we can start the long work of digging out of this mess and building toward the freedom, justice, and equality that is the promise of democracy.

If you ever asked yourself what you would do when this moment came, it is here. And it is on all of us. We must step up. It is about all of us taking actions, large and small, whatever we can do every single day. Because evil only wins when they outlast us. They will not outlast us.

This time my family and I, like so many of NARAL’s members, are not the ones in the direct crosshairs. That privilege comes with great responsibility. We must be a megaphone for those whose voices are being silenced and whose hearts are broken.

It breaks my heart to hear my children cry, and I can’t imagine the pain of mothers and fathers who heard their children crying in the next room, or can no longer hear them any more. So every day, wake up and ask yourself what you’re going to do today to outlast them, and make the promise of never again a lasting reality.

Psalm 146:9 reminds us that the LORD protects the sojourners; He sustains the fatherless and the widow, but the ways of the wicked He frustrates. Exodus 23:9 states clearlyDo not oppress a foreign resident, since you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners; for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.” A consistent theme in religion and literature is that we will all be strangers in a strange land and we will be judged by our treatment of the sojourner.

This is the beginning of the end of them. Because our love and endurance in the face of cruelty is more powerful than their evil. This is not the first time our country has separated children from parents, but through our collective voices and actions, let it be the last — in detention centers, in camps, in prisons, and on reservations.

NARAL members across the country will be participating on June 30 in the #FamiliesBelongTogether nationwide rallies. Pledge to join in and take action here.

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