New essay! 'Which Lives Matter? Pro-Life Politics during a Pandemic,' Medical Anthropology Quarterly Critical Issues Blog Series
Sophie Bjork-James (Vanderbilt) and I co-authored the essay 'Which Lives Matter? Pro-Life Politics during a Pandemic' for the Medical Anthropology Quarterly Critical Care blog series, which focuses on the upcoming general election. Our first draft of this essay, submitted on Sept 11, reported 176,000 COVID deaths in America. Three weeks later, we had to update the number to over 200,000. All under the leadership of America's most 'pro-life' President.
As anthropologists of reproductive politics and white evangelical Christians in the United States, we are aware of the power of "saving" rhetoric among the pro-life advocates. We live in Southern and Midwest states, respectively, where COVID rates are surging, our universities deem in-person teaching a "duty," and our elected officials are extremely hostile to reproductive rights and justice. This essay examines what pro-life has come to mean during this pandemic.
For those who watched the first presidential debate tonight, the future of abortion rights, systemic racism, and ‘law and order’ rhetoric were all major topics of discussion. They also figure centrally in explaining what ‘pro-life’ means in American politics these days. Check out our take here. Thank you to the series editor Amber Benezra for inviting us to contribute!