The religious right has roiled the emotional waters on the issue of abortion to such an extent that meaningful dialog is all but impossible. To many people, a fetus is a baby and anyone standing in the way of live birth is a “baby killer” who is less than human. Armed with righteous indignation, the religious right has sought to leverage the government to penalize abortion providers and the injure very women who they expect will raise the child they’re trying to save.
From the left, the “Pro-Life” movement looks like a band of thugs intent on wielding government power in difficult and personal life decisions—decisions that directly interfere with the intimate relationship between a woman and her doctor. The right seems intent on forcing women to bear unwanted children. Where there may have been one poor person, now there are two. I wonder how many in the religious right have been a single mother of a newborn? A little empathy, please.
If you hate the idea of abortion, here are ten constructive (and welcome) things you and the religious right can do to improve the situation.
- Make sure that all young adults are given proper sex education, including an understanding of the various contraceptive methods and their effectiveness. It astounds me that this is controversial, but the religious right has hobbled sexual education in a lot of communities. Abstinence-only education policies are a proven failure. This misinformation has to stop. People have bodies and they need to understand how they work. Let’s help people take responsibility.
- Wherever possible, reduce and eliminate impediments to contraceptive use. Make them available in schools. Make them a mandatory part of health plans. Prevent irresponsible religious nuts from interfering with contraceptive use. Stop politicizing and slut-shaming people who use contraceptives.
- Celebrate and encourage family planning. Family planning allows people to raise strong and healthy children. It’s good for those families. It’s good for society. It’s good for the world. Overpopulation is the root cause of a huge variety of moral problems.
- Learn to have a little respect for the person most impacted by a pregnancy and the responsibilities of child rearing. They are a better judge of their capabilities than you are. Child birth is still more dangerous to the woman than abortion. If you don’t have skin in the game, please stay off the court.
- Keep your laws and protests out of the doctor-patient relationship. Politicians and ideologues are not qualified. Until you are part of that relationship, what happens there does not concern you.
- Learn that laws that restrict abortions don’t stop abortions. They make abortion more dangerous. Anybody who tries to restrict abortion is just being a mean-spirited jerk who is more concerned about dispensing medieval justice than the people they’re trying to “help.”
- Stop manipulating women when they are needing to make a difficult decision. Crisis pregnancy centers are there to manipulate women and they have zero liability or responsibility for the outcome of that manipulation. Sadly, these fraudulent organizations are often government funded. This has to stop. Deception and manipulation has no part to play in public policy and it only shows the fraudulent nature of the backers of these organizations.
- Provide health care (and especially pregnancy-related care and neonatal care) to all. Reducing the risk of pregnancy and child birth is a great way to mitigate some of the valid concerns surrounding the uncertainty of child birth.
- Stop with the abortion torture porn. We get you’re uncomfortable with abortion procedures. Would you also prevent colon or brain surgeries because you’re squeamish? Should we de-fund the lancing of boils because of the ick factor? If you are uncomfortable about the pain a fetus might feel, consider that if it’s a dead human as you say, the Christian god will be torturing that fetus for all eternity for the “sin” of not believing in Jesus. If you’re really into torture porn, isn’t that the thing to really get bent out of shape about?
- If you still feel that you are called to intervene in the “sanctity of life” of a fetus, consider being responsible. Put the money necessary to raise and educate the child through college in a trust and give it willingly and without strings to a women who might otherwise have an abortion. Sign a legal contract to provide the money for twenty plus years and then stay out of that child’s life after signing. It’s possible you could save a life this way as many women seek abortions because they lack the resources to raise a child. If your church has an opinion on the sanctity of life, you can measure your church’s effectiveness by counting how many lives they have saved this way. If instead, your church is spending money on property and buildings, entertainment equipment, ministers, or missions, your tithe is contributing to the murder of innocent children. Matt 19:21: “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” Churches are anything but poor. Put your money where your morals are.
So, if you’d really like to reduce the abortion rate the above suggestions would have a real effect and we can abandon the failed Christian-based abortion policies in favor of ones that are similar to many European countries and possibly drop the abortion rate dramatically. Even better, we can achieve these goals without being jerks, supporting religious fraud, and treating women like cattle.