Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So you want to end abortion

Ahh abortion: the screaming-point that has kept middle-aged Christian supremacists and misogynists relevant for over 40 years.

Right wingers like to do a lot of fancy talking about protecting the unborn and extending rights to all humans (except Muslims, women, Native American women, illegal immigrants, LGBT individuals, hungry school children, the middle class, poor people, etc.), but what they refuse to do is be honest about their intentions.

Say you wanted to end cancer. Would you start by cutting off all chemotherapy treatments? After all, if no one is getting treated for cancer, cancer must no longer exist, right? Hmm. Probably not. Sure, it removes the problem of people getting sick, losing their hair, and possibly dying anyway, but it does nothing to address the underlying cause.

You don’t end the need for abortions by taking abortions away.

We reduce the need for abortions by reducing the incidences of unwanted pregnancies.

We start by educating people about safe sex. Abstinence-only education doesn’t work – communities with abstinence-only programs have disproportionately higher rates of teen pregnancies than other communities of similar socioeconomic standing that teach actual sex education.

Then we make sure people can access effective forms of birth control and use them properly. We make sure lower-income women in poor, rural communities have access to birth control at free clinics, so they can control the size of their family or delay child birth until they’re financially able to have children. You don’t let their lives be subject to the oppressive whims of religious organizations that would condemn them to hell for an abortion, but abandon them to poverty if they were to have the child.

Then we change the social culture to be supportive and inclusive of all people. We make sure women can access adequate health care resources for their children. We incentivize education for boys and girls, and make sure families have access to the resources they need to keep their children in school through high school. We create a society that is truly inclusive of individuals with disabilities, because currently over 80 percent of women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Downs Syndrome choose to terminate.

The path to reducing abortion rates is clear: better sex education, better access to contraception, and better social support for those who do choose to keep an unwanted pregnancy.

So why can’t Republican pro-lifers figure this out?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: because that’s not their goal at all.

This is not rocket science; We have the resources, we have the money, we have the knowledge and the skills to drastically reduce abortion rates in this country, but that’s not what the religious zealots – the ones controlling the pro-life crusade – really want.

They want control.
They want widespread recognition that women are less competent, less worthy than men, and therefore should be subservient to man, as their God intended. They ultimately want women out of the workforce and back in the home, acting out a perverse vision of a dystopian bible scene.

They want to bend government to the whims of the Church. They want their beliefs recognized as superior to set the stage for establishing a national religion and a return to a theocratic state.

Don’t believe me? Look at Todd Akin, who publicly announced that most women are liars and sluts, or the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, who thinks giving women the right to vote was the greatest mistake man ever made. Look at David Kennedy, a major muse for Akin, who believed women invite rape and who wanted to “reclaim America for Christ.” These men didn’t come up with these ideas on their own – believe me, they’re not smart enough.

They’re being fed this Machiavellian enmity piece by piece, and spreading their virulence on to their followers. And they’re succeeding in reaching the mainstream.

There are many millions of people out there who don’t recognize the ulterior motives of the religious right, and who truly believe they’re fighting the sacred fight for the wee bitty babies. They won’t recognize the truth until it’s their turn to be persecuted.

Freedom of religion is also freedom from religious tyranny. Let’s get these anti-American, anti-progressive, hate-filled bigots out of our uteruses and out of our government. 


  1. Well stated and I couldn't agree with you more. Seems Republicans want to drag us all back, kicking and screaming, into the Dark Ages again where their brand of religion rules all law. Anyone who knows history knows how poorly women faired then and there's no rational reason to believe it would be any better this century. I have a wife, daugher and granddaughter and I am very concnered this county's future should people like Todd Akin take power.

    1. Thanks - it's a scary time we live in, and it's depressing to have to refight these battles that we thought we'd already won. It's always encouraging to know there are other rational, concerned individuals out there!