Sunday, November 4, 2012

The one-issue voter

First things first, though. To respond to Vickie's climate question, North Carolina summers can be BRUTAL. I remember visiting one year in August and I could barely breathe the air was so thick. So yes, the humidity will be a problem. To you and to MadAnne, the community garden suggestion is one I'd thought of as well. I'll have to train myself to actually go to it and work in it, kind of like a gym. On the other hand, it could be years before we get there and I might not be able to work in a garden. People do slow down as they age – I certainly have!

Now, on to the subject of this post. Here in southern West Virginia I hear of a lot of Democrats who will vote against President Obama because of King Coal. There is a small subset, however, whose major issue is abortion. To them, if you're pro-choice, you're pro-abortion, period. Nothing could be further from the truth.

NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION.

I was in the audience when Candidate Obama campaigned in Beckley, West Virginia, in 2008, and he bravely tackled the topic. He called for a meeting of the minds back then, when he was a bit more starry-eyed (so was I!) and hopey-changey. He felt there was a place where we could meet in the middle. He spoke about adoption, education and contraception.

Ah, contraception. Somehow being against abortion has morphed into also being against contraception. How did that happen? I blame the Tea Party takeover, a bunch of ultra-conservative white men who claim to be Christians and who have led their followers down a most destructive path. (You're not surprised I feel this way, are you?)

I grew up in a time when abortion was legal in only a few states. It was expensive to get there and expensive to have one, but they were available. If you couldn't afford to travel, you could find someone who would attempt to take care of you, or you could have the baby and give it up for adoption or you could marry the guy. (If you hadn't been raped.) Birth control pills became available in the U.S. when I was in junior high school. Unplanned pregnancies were, I presume, a bit more common prior to the early '60s.

We have, thankfully, progressed to a period of time where abortion is a safe, legal medical procedure. Should you want one, that is your decision to make. The risks associated with legal abortion are minimal. Thank the Supreme Court for that.

Reducing the availability of free or low-cost contraception (by defunding Planned Parenthood, as conservatives have vowed to do) would most certainly increase the number of unplanned pregnancies. That's just simple logic. An increase in the number of unplanned pregnancies would result in either an increase in the number of abortions performed (assuming abortions are still legal) OR an increase in the number of children to be cared for.

At the same time conservatives want to defund Planned Parenthood, they want to turn Medicaid over to already-strapped states. They want to reduce aid to dependent children. They want to reduce educational spending. Smaller government is better government!, they shout and rail and yell.

Unless you happen to be poor. And pregnant. And unable to care for a child who didn't ask to be born. A fertilized egg is not a child. It is, as the young folks says, what it is: a fertilized egg.

My personal opinion on the abortion issue doesn't matter. You can correctly deduce that I'm pro-choice. But I most definitely am also pro-life.

I am PRO the life of the mother. I am PRO health care for all. I am PRO education. I am PRO the availability of healthful food and enough of it.

Don't tell me you're pro-life if you also believe in gutting Medicaid and Planned Parenthood. In doing so you prove to me that you're really only pro-birth.

3 comments:

  1. This was very helpful to read.

    I consider myself pro life.

    But I recognize (in saying that) that if abortion is illegal, women will go back to back alleys.

    And no one wants that. I do not want that.

    I agree education is THE key issue.

    If birth control was widely used, that would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies HUGELY.

    (It would be interesting to see that actual number.)

    Especially in areas where abortion has become a form of birth control in itself (young women on their 5-8 abortion). And no, honestly, I don't want those girls raising those 5-8 kids either because the cycle will just continue. I would like for them not to be pregnant in the first place.

    I think I remember that if the supreme court reverses Roe, then the decision simply goes back to the state level (it is no longer a national decision).

    I understand that makes it expensive and inconvenient, but that is different than becoming nationally ILLegal.

    I am not sure, at this point in time, it should be reversed.

    Because then the $ focus becomes about that instead of reducing unwanted pregnancies. And that is the real issue.

    If there weren't any unwanted pregnancies or if adoption was THE choice for those that come along, then abortion would go away (mostly).

    I am looking to reduce the number of people who WANT/NEED to get an abortion.

    I have an analogy in my mind. I am not sure it is a good one. But I think of it often.

    Homeless people.

    Especially homeless children.

    Being homeless should not become illegal.

    But as a society, we should work to get to a level where there simply is no homelessness.

    So, I guess I am saying that my prolife position is that as a society we should work to get to the point where no one needs to get an abortion.

    I realize that 'no one' is pretty ambitious. But I think societies can do great things.

    Again, might be a poor analogy, but I think of it. We have gotten to the point where polio is almost non-existent in this country.

    (I am not talking about permanently sterilizing people. Although I have known moms with very seriously mentally damaged girls who tried very hard to get hysterectomies so they did not accidentally end up pregnant (rape because even though they try very hard to be careful with them, it still happens - the cases I have known it was janitors and school bus drivers.) and also did not have to deal with a period for the rest of their lives. Judges would not permit.)

    I was at a discussion group the other day where this subject came up and one of the women thought that if you are pro life, then you are pro guns, pro war and pro putting down puppies in dog shelters. What the heck?

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  2. And I don't want anyone to look at that and think - honey, you are pro-choice. Because I am not. But I would work shoulder to shoulder with someone who was pro-choice to educate with the common goal of reducing abortions nationally.

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  3. I sent a copy of your post to both my girls (who also consider themselves pro life) and asked them to read it and to read my comments. I said that I thought it would help them understand people from different viewpoints since we all live in the reality of this society).

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