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Political theater in Columbia this week has revived the Greek name for actors: hypocrites.
The South Carolina legislature is advancing a pair of bills, one in each chamber, to remove annoying delays in capital punishment. Currently, lethal injection is the primary mode of execution. This new legislation would circumvent nationwide shortages in the supply chain for lethal injection drugs by updating the default mode for execution to electric chair. Effectively making it easier to execute sentenced prisoners.
Let us be clear: if you were Pro Life last week during the six-week abortion ban deliberations and the passage of that legislation and you are supporting these bills, you are a hypocrite.
You cannot be for life for some and not for life for others. If you are Pro Life, then you are for life for all individuals, regardless of age, race, socio-economics, gender identity, or criminal history.
As a Pro Life person, you cannot intentionally make it easier for the state to execute people.
As a Pro Life person, you cannot choose whose life you will protect and whose life you will end.
If you have a consistent ideology that claims abortion is bad and capital punishment is good, and that squares with your morality, then you are Anti-Abortion. You are Pro-Death Penalty. You are not Pro Life.
You believe babies are worth saving and criminals are not.
You think the State on behalf of its citizens should be empowered to protect and preserve or punish and end an individual’s life based on majority opinion as to the value of that individual’s life.
You believe the State should decide such things.
Both versions of this capital punishment fast lane bill acknowledge the individual’s right to choose lethal injection. But should supply chain shortages delay the scheduled execution, these bills allow the State to execute using its new default mode of electrocution.
There are some in the Statehouse struggling with the hypocrisy. A few quoted Democrats in this article from The State suggest the proximity of this bill to the abortion ban makes it hard to understand just where, ideologically, lawmakers stand. It’s also confusing that these measures have the backing of our esteemed Governor whose own pleas in favor of the sanctity of life rung through the Chamber during his State of the State speech.
Apparently, he meant life for unborn humans, not all humans.
The Anti-Abortion lawmakers who lined up last week to applaud Governor McMaster’s Political Theater will this week line up to argue in favor of expediency in executions and say this isn’t about the legality of the death penalty. They’ll say it’s about the process. They’ll say it’s about the effective and efficient operation of government. Don’t believe them.
South Carolina’s legislature believes it has the right to make life and death choices for two populations in our state: pregnant women and incarcerated felons. Who’s next? The elderly? The terminally ill? The mentally ill? Immigrants? Political opponents?
What else should we surrender to the State? Nothing is as critical as the right to life.
These laws are about the State deciding which death must be prevented and which death should happen faster. Sooner.
This isn’t about justice. It’s about death.
Which, this week, apparently, the S.C. Statehouse is for.
Learn more about where the Libertarian Party stands on abortion and the death penalty here.
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