Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Pro-life" policies lead to abortion

Making a similar (but clearer) point to the one I made Monday, Christina Page writes at Huffington Post:
It's pro-choice policies that result in dramatic declines in the need for abortion. That's a truth both pro-choice and pro-life voters would be interested to know.

The pro-choice movement, and pro-choice politicians, alone champion wider access to birth control, and birth control is the only proven way to reduce unintended pregnancy and abortion. Obama shouldn't get sucked into the silly debate about whether the pill is an abortifacient since even the anti-abortion movement's most respected physicians agree there's no scientific evidence that it is. He should ask why McCain hasn't championed campaigns to reduce unwanted pregnancies. The electorate should be reminded that it's the pro-choice movement and pro-choice elected officials that have fought for health insurance coverage for contraception as well as to bring new and more effective contraceptives to market. (Emergency contraception, for instance.) Also, let's not forget that the birth control pill itself is available to Americans entirely because of the efforts of the pro-choice movement.


Obama could remind the voter that only 11% of sexually active women don't use contraception and from this 11% comes 50% of the nation's abortions. Ninety-three percent of the American public strongly favors contraception because of this very reason. Very few voters are aware, however, that not one pro-life organization in the United States supports contraception. Or that instead, pro-life groups have been spearheading campaigns to prevent Americans from accessing birth control. No less than 80% of self-described pro-life voters strongly support contraception. Few know that McCain has a long legislative resume devoted to voting against access to contraception and prevention.

McCain and the right to life movement may have sanctimony on their side but, so far, sanctimony has proven ineffective at preventing abortion. Study after study suggests the right to life approach, which McCain has helped execute for decades, is actually the root of the problem: leading to more abortions and later ones too.

Obama should pose this question to McCain: Do you support couples having access to safe and effective birth control options, including emergency contraception? When questioned about his position last year McCain told a reporter: "I have to find out what my position was. Brian (a campaign staffer), would you find out what my position is on contraception...I'm sure I support the president's policies on it." (No president has led more attacks on the right to use contraception than Bush has.), a group that alerts the public to attacks on the right to contraception, offers more questions Obama could ask McCain -- many would be devastating bombs to lob during, say, a televised debate.
You must read the whole thing.


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