Friday, June 22, 2007

Pro-choice is the real pro-life position

By Libby

What strikes me the most about the so called pro-life movement is how they spin their anti-choice mania as a benefit to unborn children. Their argument completely ignore the thousands of women who died before Roe v. Wade from botched illegal abortions.

Take for instance, Melinda Henneberger who posts an incomprehensible op-ed today. I see she also wrote a book called "What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear." Based on her op-ed I think somebody should tell her that having tea with Phyllis Schafly doesn't qualify her to speak for women voters. She sure as hell isn't telling the Democrats what I, or the majority of women, want to say. Forget the conventional wisdom she's convinced is wrong, try checking the polling. In 2004, 55% of Americans thought it should remain legal.

But here's the real irony in their position. If the anti-choicers get their way, and criminalize a woman's choice, it would simply create a black market for illegal abortions. I was a teenager when Roe was decided. Growing up just outside of New York, I remember regularly reading accounts of the latest death of some young desperate woman in the back alleys of Manhattan, who for whatever reason felt she couldn't go through with the pregnancy. If Roe is overturned, we'll be reading those stories again. No thanks.

Nobody is pro-abortion and I don't know a single pro-choicer who wants to keep it legal because they think it's such a great thing. We're pro-choice because we want to protect the mother, most of whom go on to have other children, if they don't already have them. For the so called pro-lifers, apparently the only fitting punishment for a woman making a bad choice to have unprotected sexual intercourse, is to risk infection and probably death. How is that not compounding the problem? Either way the baby still dies.

Meanwhile, Shamanic at Newshoggers points out a better way to stop abortions in the first place.
And here's the larger point: The numbers of abortions in America have been declining for nearly three decades, and declined dramatically under Bill Clinton's economic stewardship (graph). In other words, Democratic economic policies, which keep more wealth in more hands, reduces the incidence of abortion.

The Democratic Party must support safe and legal abortion, period. But that doesn't mean it can't support a reduction in abortion rates and work to build a society where abortion is less necessary for women. Where there is economic security, unplanned pregnancies are less frightening. Where there is job security, unplanned pregnancies can be brought to term. These are the policies Democrats implement in office, and this how Democrats should communicate their support for safe and legal abortion that is necessary less often.

Exactly right. If anti-choicers want to prevent unwanted pregnancies they should drop their abstinence-only sex ed folly and teach kids how to use condoms. And if they want to eliminate abortions, they should be out there agitating for economic equality instead of trying to slap their nanny laws on our bodies.

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Anonymous rockync said...

When I want to shut down the pro-life drones, I look them in the eye and ask them, "How many of these unwanted babies are you willing to adopt?" You have the babies who are born addicted to whatever the mother has been on or irrepairably damaged by alcohol or poor/nonexistent health care and then there are the babies born to die from AIDS. Some of them never leave the hospital. Kind of takes all the warm fuzziness out of it...

7:57:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

How brave of you to even talk to them Rocky.

8:34:00 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

I echo Libby, rocky. I've found that anybody who takes a strong anti choice position and broadcasts it is someone I really, really wouldn't want to sit next to on a bus.

On a related note, isn't it interesting and somewhat creepy that they named that abortifacient RU-486? Seeing as getting 86'd from a tavern is getting kicked out, read it are-you-for-eviction.

I resonated with you the first time I read you, Libby. I grew up on the Island.

3:32:00 AM  
Blogger Pete Abel said...

From a Republican ...

Bravo, Libby. Well said.

9:41:00 AM  
Blogger Pete Abel said...

"Democratic economic policies, which keep more wealth in more hands, reduces the incidence of abortion."

Although I think that statement, from Shamaniac, is a stretch. I don't think it's the economic policies, so much, as the focus on prevention and education, i.e., real-world solutions.

That, plus Bill Clinton was a better Republican than the one we have in the White House right now.

9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

the issue of deaths from back alley abortions was a huge factor in abortion being legalized and would be again if it was criminalized. I support roe v wade, i believe it's up to the woman not the courts. at the same time, it's not consitutional. If the red states want to outlaw abortion it should be their choice, so to speak.

10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous rockync said...

Thank you Libby and Nolo, but it's not about bravery, it's about giving serious thought to an issue and seeing it from all sides before choosing your position. So many of these people join the cause du jour because of their church group or social group and regurgitate all the so called "facts" until I just want to smack 'em. I explain to them why their position is counterproductive since they end up driving women into the shadows instead of offer them intelligent choices. My suggestion to these people is to work within their communities and get involved in programs to help high risk girls before they become a pregnancy statistic. I also inform them that many city hospitals welcome volunteers to hold and rock these abandoned babies. I believe women should have a choice because the alternative is unacceptable and I'm not apologizing for my stand.

3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's what I'm afraid of Rocky. That I'll lose my cool and really let them have it...

3:31:00 PM  

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