November 9, 2012 by Drew
Doesn’t the Republican party already do this, you say?
They talk that way. But then they undermine themselves with their actions, and their other positions.
But at least they talk that way. Democrats coined the phrase, “Safe, legal, and rare,” but they rarely get beyond legal.
Despite all of my liberal leanings, I still identify as “pro-life.” I don’t vote pro-life most of the time, but I really am FOR life. I learned this from my republican, pro-life parents.
The other thing that I learned from my republican parents is that laws and regulations often do not have the desired effect. Sometimes, they often have the opposite effect. The “war on poverty” just created more poverty. Criminalize guns and only criminals will have guns. If the pro-life movement is about saving the lives of unborn children, shouldn’t we examine the effectiveness of our efforts and do the very best thing for those children–even if it is counter-intuitive?
Politicians are no strangers to counter-intuitive measures. Right? We hear it all the time: “More guns will reduce gun violence”, “Tax breaks for rich people is the best way to help poor people,” “Lowering taxes is the best way to increase revenue,” and so on. They can even site evidence to back it up.
But what if the evidence shows that criminalizing abortion does nothing to prevent it? What if there is an evidence-based approach to reduce abortions?
“But we don’t want to reduce abortion, cry the the traditional pro-lifers. We want to ELIMINATE it.
All well and good. Show me a way to eliminate it, and then we’ll talk.
What the evidence shows is that outlawing abortion does little to change the abortion rate. In fact, abortion is most prevalent in countries where it is illegal. Nobody has been able to eliminate abortion, via laws or any other method. Just as other evils like poverty and war stubbornly stick around, so also does abortion. I’d love to eliminate all three, but talk about eliminating poverty or war and you are a hopeless idealist. Yet somehow an expectation that we eliminate abortion (and a related conviction that we accept no half-measures) is reasonable.
What the evidence shows is that access to contraception seriously reduces abortion. More than anything else. “Sometimes it fails!” Yes, sometimes. But you know what fails more often? Everything else–including an expectation of or education for abstinence.
Roman Catholics have a moral objection to contraception. It’s not that “Every sperm is sacred.” It’s that the reproductive act of sex is not to be separated from the other parts. If you want to have sex, you should be open to life.
I actually respect this idea. But most Catholics don’t. And even if you did–it doesn’t follow that this law should be applied to others–especially doing so would put the lives of children at risk. And that is the consequence of less contraception: more abortions. Life is more important than philosophical/theological consistency.
I will vote for the party that embraces contraception as a pro-life measure. I know that the Democrats are already pro-contraception, and the Republicans are already pro-life. The evidence is out there to allow the GOP to save face, give people what they want, AND truly make a difference, saving the lives of thousands of unborn children.