Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Contraception, Abortion and the "War on Women"

Those of you who know me, have read my blog or listened to me speak on CRF Radio, know that I'm a fiscal and constitutional conservative, but that I'm more of a moderate on the social issues. So it should come as no surprise that I've never written about prophylactic-contraception or abortion.

Frankly, until President Obama made it an issue by putting a mandate in the "Affordable Care Act" (aka Obamacare) that requires hospitals and schools run by religious institutions - as well as private companies run by people of faith - to provide coverage for contraception and the "morning after" pill in their healthcare coverage, it wasn't something I felt a need to address in any great detail.

I believe that Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly because it's a Tenth Amendment, State's rights issue. The Supreme Court should have ruled to let each state make their own laws and then Congress should have passed a law protecting a woman that goes to a state that permits abortion from being prosecuted when/if she returned to her home state. If you don't like the laws in your state, you're free to move to another state. As the census showed us, in the last 10 years millions of Americans have left states like New York and California and moved to states like Texas and Florida. So evidently, whatever their reasons, people do and have voted with their feet.

I want to try to examine both contraception and abortion  in terms of the so-called "moral high ground", which somehow Democrats seem to have seized (at least in the media).

I should note that I have no objection to people using contraception. That is a personal choice. And frankly it's also the personal responsibility of both the man and the woman if they choose to have sex and don't want to have a child. What I do have a problem with is people expecting taxpayers and people of faith that disagree to pay for what happens in their bedrooms.

I also should make it clear where I personally stand on abortion. I neither want to outlaw all abortions, nor do I think it should be legal to terminate a pregnancy once the fetus is viable outside the womb. Both positions are extreme to me.

Once the baby can survive outside the mother it is, in my opinion, no longer simply a matter of the woman's choice. There is clearly another person who has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness involved at that point. And six months is more than enough time to decide to have an abortion if you truly don't want to have a baby.

Hopefully having clarified my own positions, I want to address the way that progressives like Barack Obama, Sandra Fluke and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz talk about these issues and the "moral high ground" they claim to stand on.

Whether it's contraception or abortion, progressives claim that the issue is a "woman's access to healthcare". This is an intentionally false and deceptive argument.

After all, what disease does contraception cure? Being fertile is the natural condition for most women. In fact, according to the CDC, approximately 200,000 women a year utilize fertility drugs because they can't get pregnant, even though they would like to conceive.

Again in the case of abortion, becoming pregnant is natural -- it is the means by which we procreate and perpetuate our species. So to claim it's simply a women's health issue is disingenuous at best.

So why do progressives frame the debate this way? Simple. If they said they wanted to give women the right to kill their unborn child they'd sound like monsters. It's much easier to demonize people of faith and good conscience than to try to debate civilly about an issue that so divides people.

More recently progressives have doubled-down on their arguments claiming that Republicans are waging a "war on women" due to their moral objection to abortion.

When Barack Obama said he didn't want his daughters to "be punished with a baby" I believe the left lost any claim to the moral high ground on the issue of abortion.

I will say that if the circumstance is either rape or incest I can completely understand why a woman might not want carry a baby to term. I don't want the government telling a woman that's been the victim of either of these violent assaults what they have to do about a pregnancy that results from it. It's a personal decision that the woman must make.

At the same time it's also disturbing to see a "pro-choice" ad featuring a mother essentially saying that she wants her daughter to have the "right" to terminate her unborn grandchild. Again, unless it's the result  of rape or incest, shouldn't the woman have insisted on the use of contraception if she's going to have sex?

It is also despicable when women that do choose life for their child, i.e. Sarah Palin or Tim Tebow's mother, Pamela, are attacked and ridiculed for that decision. I would think that the maternal instinct would be to choose life, not abortion. I know, what a concept!

Another disturbing thing is that most who describe themselves as pro-choice and support Planned Parenthood are completely ignorant of the origins of this organization and it's founder Margaret Sanger. Sanger was a eugenicist and a racist. She felt that people of color were "unfit" and that the "procreation of this group should be stopped".

No wonder so many Planned Parenthood clinics are located in African-American neighborhoods. It's really pretty shocking that some of the biggest defenders of Planned Parenthood are black politicians. Of course this is one of the reasons that the left has so dominated our public education system and curtailed the history that our children are taught. An ignorant population can be led to the slaughter much more easily than an informed one. But I digress.

One other thing that rarely gets talked about when discussing abortion is the man. What about the rights of the man in all of this? As things currently stand the woman gets to decide whether or not to keep the baby. The man has absolutely no say in most cases. However, if the woman decides to have the child the man is usually expected and often required to foot all or some of the costs of raising that child. So much for the "war on women".

The issues of prophylactic-contraception and abortion are not going to be solved here, or likely anytime soon in our political debates. But it would be nice if the debate were on the actual issues involved, rather than on disingenuous attacks on people of faith and good conscience.