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want to reduce abortions?

Family planning reduces abortion rates.

It's been all over the news for days. Societies which do not allow legal abortions nonetheless have exactly the same rates of abortion as those societies which do allow legal abortion. Making abortion legal does not increase the number of abortions. Making abortion illegal will not reduce it... it will only kill more women who are forced to do it less safely.

Those of us in the reality-based community are also very well aware of the corollary. If a society wishes to reduce rates of abortion, family planning--i.e. birth control--is necessary. Birth control is the only thing that will effect the rates of unwanted pregnancies, and are thus capable of reducing the numbers of pregnancies likely to considered for termination. Thus, the natural conclusion is that if you are pro-life and rational, you should prefer pregnancy prevention to pregnancy termination, and should be supporting the widespread use of birth control especially by those you would most like to see not get pregnant (i.e. teenagers!).

This seems strikingly obvious to those of us that care about what actually happens in the real world. Better pregnancy prevention = fewer abortions. No woman lightly chooses abortion, but there will always be occasions when a woman simply can't handle another child. And so which of the three options do you prefer: infanticide? abortion? birth control?

Religion willfully chooses not to live in the real world. We'd all love to live in some kind of perfect world where every pregnancy was wanted and people took perfect responsibility for themselves and never made mistakes.... the difference is that I recognize that that is a fantasy. It's nice to strive for, but it will never be perfectly achieved and accomodations must be made for it. Religious people, on the other hand, believe that it can be achieved through authoritarian means. Even if the world won't conform to their idea of perfection, the people can be made to act as though it's true by means of threatening them... first with eternal damnation, and if that doesn't work, by establishing their religious principles into law and closing their eyes to the truth.

Folks, if you really want to come as close to possible to eliminate abortions, you will advocate the proper use of existing birth control methods before kids become sexually active. And you will poor money into researching better and safer methods of achieving pregnancy prevention. This is the only way to achieve the goal of abortions being rare. Going about it your way will turn us into a third world country where women die every day from botched abortions because they want to take back control of their lives. Continuing in the vein you have only reveals the truth of your motives... that women should be under your control and not free and responsible individuals.

Stop pretending the problem is about life. It's not about life at all. (Dare I say death penalty?) It's about control. And I, for one, will never be controlled.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 21st, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
birth control in children
I just read a very interesting commentary. When I first heard about this I didn't think it was such a bad idea, but after reading this commentary I started doing some research. the author is a self proclaimed conservative, but he really didn't make it a righ left issue. If you want to check it out here is the link. I don't know if it will change your mind, but it may as it did me, make you think
http://joeleonardi.wordpress.com/2007/10/21/birth-control-for-children/
inafoxhole
Oct. 21st, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Re: birth control in children
No one is suggesting that we shouldn't encourage children to wait and be responsible. By all means, encourage them to wait until they are emotionally capable of handling that level of intensity in their relationahips.

But teenagers' bodies are being flooded with hormones, and they aren't always going to make the best decisions no matter what adults tell them. They will think they CAN handle it, and arbitrary age restrictions or marital restrictions on sex simply don't work.

Birth control is hardly a panacea. Some forms of birth control do help prevent disease in addition to pregnancy but no method is perfect. Again, that is reality, not some ideal world I'm living in. Expecting that teenagers won't have sex--no matter how you scare the shit out of them--is FANTASY, nothing more. And encouraging abstinence at the expense of quality sex ed that includes REAL information, is only going to make sex more dangerous whether it takes place inside of marriage or not.

A proper sex ed deals not only with pregnancy control but also safer sex practices. Pregnancy is just one part of the story and thus it was the only one I was addressing. Disease risk, like pregnancy risk, can never be completely eliminated and no one is suggesting that it can. But the religious concservatives of this world would have us control it through fear rather than through information, and that I reject wholeheartedly.

Nothing in your link changes my mind in the slightest. The article is full of fallacies and strawmen. And it wasn't worth my time.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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