Anti-Abortion Means Anti-Birth Control

Nobody could have predicted this (italics mine):

As the White House readies its plan for finding "common ground" on reproductive health issues and reducing the need for abortion, a major debate has emerged over how to package the plan's two major components: preventing unwanted pregnancies and reducing the need for abortion.

Many abortion rights advocates and some Democrats who want to dial down the culture wars want the White House to package the two parts of the plan together, as a single piece of legislation. The plan would seek to reduce unwanted pregnancies by funding comprehensive sex education and contraception and to reduce the need for abortion by bolstering federal support for pregnant women. Supporters of the approach say it would force senators and members of Congress on both sides of the abortion battle to compromise their traditional positions, creating true common ground that mirrors what President Obama has called for.

But more conservative religious groups working with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships say they would be forced to oppose such a plan--even though they support the abortion reduction part--because they oppose federal dollars for contraception and comprehensive sex education. This camp, which includes such formidable organizations as the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention, is pressuring the White House to decouple the two parts of the plan into separate bills. One bill would focus entirely on preventing unwanted pregnancy, while the other would focus on supporting pregnant women.

I know there are many people who personally are opposed to abortion--that is, they want to government to stay out of it--but who also favor birth control. But those who advocate for criminalizing abortion are not those people. For them, it's tied up in a whole set of beliefs about sex and sexuality. They want to stop abortions--they really don't give a damn about reducing pregnancy. If they did, they wouldn't oppose contraception. Besides, I'm sure the sluts deserved it. This is nothing more than pregnancy as punishment.

The sooner Obama et alia understand this, the better off we'll all be.

Update: Amanda nails it:

In reality, anti-choicers are experiencing this as a compromise, even if you remove the contraception and sex education parts. If you correctly assume that the anti-choice movement is motivated primarily by a misogynist need to punish women who have unapproved sex, then you can see how offering social support to mothers is already, from their point of view, a compromise of their basic beliefs...

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While they were discredited a long time ago, I guess I can say it might as well be *official* now. You nail it, dead on. They don't care about the women. They don't give a damn about that baby.

They only want to enforce their views on others. That's all there is to it. No more. No less.

By TheEngima32 (not verified) on 01 Jul 2009 #permalink

"Supporters of the approach say it would force senators and members of Congress on both sides of the abortion battle to compromise their traditional positions,"

Like that'll happen. The big drawback to the plan is that it might actually produce results, which makes it scary for congressmen to vote on. I mean, if it actually worked--significantly reduced the number of abortions, increased prenatal care for wanted children, etc.--then an entire political infrastructure (for both sides) would begin to fall apart. I mean, it's pretty clear that better education and access to contraception means fewer abortions, but my cynical side says that those fighting over abortion rights don't actually want to see that happen.

Moopheus @ # 2: I mean, it's pretty clear that better education and access to contraception means fewer abortions, but my cynical side says that those fighting over abortion rights don't actually want to see that happen.

Does your cynical side also tell you that dentists don't really want their patients to floss, and cardiologists want the public to eat more fatty fried foods, and ambulance drivers would rather see more people run red lights?

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 01 Jul 2009 #permalink

If Dentists denied to certify dental hygiene products, opposed fluoride in the water, and cardiologists actively endorsed the Big Mac as "Health food" then yes, I'd be suspicious of them too.

The problem is that the majority of anti-abortion activists also oppose availability and education regarding safer-sex options in favor of "Abstinence Only" education. Repeated studies have shown that Abstinance only education results in MORE unplanned pregnancies. Also, we know from plenty of experience that banning abortion merely drives the practice underground or abroad. So if they truly cared about the women and children affected by unwanted pregnancy, why haven't they been pushing comprehensive sex education (Abstinance advocacy + safe sex as well)as the rational compromise?

The most charitable you can get is to lump them in with creationists: they have an ideology that trumps real-world evidence, with potentially disastrous consequences (I.e. more unwanted pregnancies and potentially lethal abortions). But since their policies are aimed primarily at women (I.e. they don't publicly support withholding treatment of STDs, a "Natural consequence" of sex that affects men, but they seem quite against Gardrasil for girls), even the charitable reading marks abstinance-only anti-abortionists as callous to the lives of women affected by an unwanted pregancy.

By Left_Wing_Fox (not verified) on 02 Jul 2009 #permalink

Come on guys, letâs stop this child-like vilification of people. The primary reason that sexual morality has been lumped together with the abortion debate is because the pro-life movement has traditionally been led by Catholics/Evangelicals. We may not agree with their attitudes on contraception, but it is really immature and asinine to suggest that their only motivation is to punish and enslave women and âenforce their views on othersâ. Also, using the term âanti-choiceâ is as ridiculous as pro-lifers using the term âpro-deathâ to describe supporters of abortion rights.

"Come on guys, letâs stop this child-like vilification of people."

Why not? Their views certainly warrant it. They give every sign of *not* wanting to solve the "problem" (unwanted pregnancy) except by the most dogmatic means - controlling when and how people have sex. The fact that this is impossible doesn't faze them. They ARE "anti-choice": against women having choices during pregnancy, against people having informed choices for controlling their fertility. "Punish and enslave women" may be an extreme way of putting it, but it's the logical endpoint of their position and they are not so stupid that they can't figure that out themselves.

I totally agree with July.

"They don't care about the women. They don't give a damn about that baby." <- That is so true.