Today is the 47th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the US Supreme Court decision affirming pregnant Americans’ right to choose an abortion—a right that is more precarious now than it’s ever been since then.
Let’s remember that this 1973 case was decided only eight years after married men and women gained the right to use ordinary birth control (Griswold v Connecticut). And it was only in 1972 that the Court affirmed this right for unmarried people (Eisenstadt v Baird).
Exactly how far back before 1973 do anti-choice activists want to take us?
Today I’m calling out those who would take away anyone’s choice to get an abortion. While they say they only care about moms and “unborn babies,” I say they’re hypocrites, infatuated with raw political power and obsessed with an anti-sex agenda. They pursue their “morality” based anti-choice program in a distinctly immoral way.
~ How could America reduce the number of abortions? Reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Sincere anti-choice activists would promote more contraception, and more emergency contraception (the “morning after pill”). Neither of these destroys a fetus (a fertilized egg implanted in the uterus)—that’s a fact, not an opinion—so neither causes abortions. Anyone who says they do is deliberately lying.
Promoting contraception doesn’t promote sex, any more than promoting seat-belt use promotes dangerous driving. And the morning-after pill doesn’t promote careless sex any more than emergency rooms promote careless parenting. Both contraception and the morning-after pill promote the highly moral outcome of fewer unplanned pregnancies.
~ How could America reduce the number of abortions? Help young people postpone their first intercourse, and encourage them to use contraception when they do start.
There’s only one method proven to do that: Comprehensive sexuality education. It works in every developed country. To reduce abortions, fund and expand these programs.
Instead, anti-choice activists support abstinence-only programs (or actively oppose all sex education, even abstinence-based). This may feel righteous to anti-choice activists, but abstinence-based programs simply don’t work to reduce teen pregnancy. The science of this was established under the Clinton and Bush years, when the government shoveled over one billion dollars into abstinence-only programs. When scientifically evaluated, they were shown to be worthless.
~ If morality and rights of the fetus are your best anti-choice arguments, be honest about that. It’s immoral to fabricate horrible effects of abortion just to scare your customers.
Following legal abortion there is no increase in maternal cancer or infertility; there is no post-abortion depression syndrome; first- and second-trimester fetuses don’t feel pain while being aborted; and there is no documented damage common in families in which abortion takes place.
Here in the US, the documented, real-world health risks of giving birth are actually higher than the documented, real-world health risks of have a legal abortion.
~ Be honest about your movement’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers: call them anti-abortion counseling centers.
You believe in your case against abortion? Require these counseling centers to dispense only accurate information, rather than made-up horror stories about post-abortion infertility and madness.
And follow up with contraception so that women don’t find themselves unintentionally pregnant again. You know, teaching someone to fish instead of just handing them a fish. It’s the only moral thing to do.
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Hey, anti-choice activists: If you want to take away 60 million American women’s right to choose an abortion, have the moral strength to be honest, be consistent, and call your campaign one of morality, not of public health. And pursue your supposed morality-based agenda in a moral way–or are you just another bunch of politicians trying to hang onto government funds and political power?