Pro-Coal And Pro-Life Are Incompatible Positions

An interesting situation exists in the US. The pro-life and pro-coal factions are both part of the GOP. I understand that we only have two parties at the national level in the US so you have to pick the one that you most align with, but the GOP should drop its pro-coal stance if it wants to keep its pro-life stance.
For the purposes of this article, I am defining the pro-life position as:
  • People have a right to life so we should not harm them for money and/or convenience.
  • Fetuses are people, so we should not harm them for money and/or convenience.
  • The government should interfere to protect fetuses.
Why are they incompatible? We know that coal pollution kills people. We know that it lowers quality of life before death. We know that it harms children. For a tiny sampling of the health effects:
  • Coal pollution is a major source of mercury and mercury exposure causes lowered IQs in massive numbers of people. (source 1, source 2)
  • Coal pollution kills thousands in the US every year. Just six plants in Maryland alone likely killed ~700 people per year in the early 2000's. The numbers are even worse if you include the rest of the world. (source 1, source 2, source 3, source 4, source 5, source 6)
  • Coal pollution causes and/or exacerbates many diseases, including asthma and heart disease. (source 1, source 2, source 3)
The research is clear and this is not a secret to anyone. This is also a tiny subset of the available research. This should be enough to show that pro-life and pro-coal are incompatible positions, but we can go further. What if we restrict it so that pro-life only means that we must protect fetuses. About that...

Coal pollution kills fetuses. It leads to premature deliveries and low birth weights. For some examples:
  • Closing a coal plant led to higher birth weights and a reduction in premature births in downwind areas. (source)
  • Miscarriage rates increase as levels of particulate air pollution increase. (source)
  • Mercury exposure causes miscarriages. (source)
  • Burning coal causes miscarriages (source)
  • Closing a coal plant led to healthier fetuses as measured by telomere length and proteins associated with neuronal growth (source)
Exposure to air pollution and mercury, caused by coal use, harms fetuses and causes miscarriages. Even worse...when a woman has an abortion, she is choosing to end her pregnancy. When a miscarriage is forced on a woman because of coal pollution, others are choosing to end her pregnancy without her consent.

How can we reconcile this? An argument you might make is that coal is a cheap source of energy. Even if we assume that's true, that is incompatible with the pro-life position. You are arguing that it's okay to kill fetuses to save money. Another argument you might make is that the government shouldn't interfere in this. Again, that is incompatible with the pro-life position. If the government should interfere to stop abortions, it should interfere to stop forced miscarriages due to pollution.

I'm stumped. I can't reconcile these positions so I'm left with the title of this article. If you want to identify as pro-life, work to prevent pollution-caused fetal deaths.

Reference for image...By Tennessee Valley Authority - Tennessee Valley Authority website, Public Domain, Link

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