Jesse Ventura: Being Pro-Life Should Mean More than Being Pro-Birth
As long as anti-abortion activists oppose social welfare programs, which provide a safety net for children after they are born, the former governor will no longer refer to them as pro-life.
Jesse Ventura is an American former professional wrestler, actor, political commentator, author, naval veteran, and politician who served as the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. He was the first and only member of the Reform Party to win a major government position, but later joined the Independence Party of Minnesota.
Ventura was a U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team member during the time of the Vietnam War. After leaving the military, he embarked on a professional wrestling career from 1975 to 1986, taking the ring name Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He had a long tenure in the World Wrestling Federation as a performer and color commentator, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. Near the end of his wrestling career, Ventura started acting, appearing in films such as Predator and The Running Man.
Ventura first entered politics as Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, from 1991 to 1995. Four years after his mayoral term ended, Ventura was the Reform Party candidate in the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1998, running a low-budget campaign centered on grassroots events and unusual ads that urged citizens not to "vote for politics as usual". Ventura's campaign was unexpectedly successful, with him narrowly defeating both the Democratic and Republican candidates. The highest elected official to ever win an election on a Reform Party ticket, Ventura left the Reform Party a year after taking office amid internal fights for control over the party.
As governor, Ventura oversaw reforms of Minnesota's property tax as well as the state's first sales tax rebate. Other initiatives taken under Ventura included construction of the METRO Blue Line light rail in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, and cuts in income taxes. Ventura left office in 2003, deciding not to run for re-election. After leaving office, Ventura became a visiting fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2004. He has since also hosted a number of television shows and has written several political books. Ventura remains politically active and currently hosts a show on Ora TV and on RT called Off the Grid.
Ventura is the author of several books including American Conspiracies, which was recently released in its second edition.
Jesse Ventura: What angers me about the pro – and I don’t call them pro-lifers anymore. I call them pro birthers because here’s why. Here’s what angers me. They all want to outlaw abortion and then all these kids come into the world and you have the same people take away welfare and they take away the very safety net that many of these unwanted children are going to need to survive. So if they give birth and then they say well you’re on your own now. Well what’s the odds of these unwanted children becoming successful? I’d say slim to none. So if you’re anti-abortion then you should be pro welfare because somebody’s going to have to take care in many cases not every child is born into your perfect Leave It to Beaver family, you know. People get pregnant and but my belief unequivocally is it’s a women’s right to choose because that woman has to give birth to that child and that woman has to raise that child. Now men play a role too but women play a larger one and it’s certainly their choice to make. And banning Planned Parenthood or stopping money for that is ridiculous because if you’re anti-abortion you should be pro contraception. But yet they’re not, are they. And you should be. If you’re anti-abortion than you should be very strongly pro-contraception. That’s why I don’t call them pro-life anymore. I call them pro birth because they don’t care about them after the birth. There ain’t no safety net from that point.
Being pro-life is about more than supporting the act of birth, or at least it should be, says Jesse Ventura. The former Minnesota governor sees a serious intellectual inconsistency in conservative circles when it comes to one of their supposedly bedrock principles: the sanctity of life. If you are going to defend the pro-life position, he says, you must also defend government programs that protect the life of the child after he or she is born. If you don't, you're not really pro-life; you're merely pro-birth.
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