First, I am pro-life. Second, I do not believe that laws will ever give anyone the satisfactory answer to this. As a good Democrat, I believe that education and economics will lead to decreased abortions. Further, evidence bares that out. Also, the term ‘abortion’ has been so politicized, it is difficult to actually speak about anything that looks like the cessation of the life of the fetus. The idea that the removing of a mound of flesh which is only human at the DNA level is still considered a late-term abortion is nothing but a political move. Being pro-life doesn’t end at birth, however. I don’t believe in the death penalty; I support governmental programs which enable a quality of life. I also support the life of the mother.
I do not support the President’s actions in mandating that religious institutions go against their beliefs and offer birth control. I understand that President’s reasoning, however:
I think about honor killings, female genital mutilation, Sabbath rest, kosher foods, and polygamy, somethings which are inherent in several world religions. For many, there are not political protections and for others, we find out right legal prevention. We have asked them to go against their religious beliefs to live in a pluralistic society. However, many of those things are allowed within the confines of the religious institution. Sabbath Rest, kosher food, even snake handling, and other religious beliefs are freely exercised by religious institutions with little or no hindrance from the Government. If this was a life saving measure, then yes, I would agree that the Government, as it defends its citizens, must step in. As a matter of fact, as I read the words of Catholic Church, birth control of some form is allowed in some cases, including the health of the person. Another factor I’ve considered in this, in my response to this, is that for the most part, we live in a country where employment is not controlled. In other words, I could find a job and not be pushed into one by an outside force. For instance, I don’t agree with strip clubs. I’m not going to work there. Second, I’ve considered the idea that on the whole, clinics offer birth control for women at free or reduced rates. To push this on religious institutions which are serving the common good is to begin to push the religious institutions to consider whether or not to be effective in society, they must cease to be who they are.
Be sure to check out this post on fact checking some of this. I may need to reconsider some statements.
Yesterday, the story broke that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a cancer research and awareness organization, would cease from supporting Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is, of course, the evil abortion provider which has become the favorite whipping post of the Conservative Right. Now, with a new Vice-President, Komen will no longer donate to Planned Parenthood monies which went to support poor women in fighting breast and other cancers by early detection. The issue with Planned Parenthood is that for many, they see it as an abortion providing service; in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Abortions, and I have to use that term because I don’t know what they really are, amount to only 3% of the total procedures done by Planned Parenthood. I caution you to consider that not every abortion involves the cessation of life. Komen bowed to political pressure which will have the unintended consequences of hurting more women than helping.
This is from the Planned Parenthood website:
Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 76 percent of our clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood services help prevent more than 584,000 unintended pregnancies each year.
Planned Parenthood provides nearly 770,000 Pap tests and nearly750,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer.
Planned Parenthood provides more than four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to more than1.1 million young people and adults each year.
Whether or not you support abortion for any reason, and by abortion, I mean the unnatural cessation of life, the fact that Planned Parenthood, in 97% of their health services, offers family planning, free cancer screenings for women, and treatments for STD’s should be enough to consider that the notion that all they do, or even the majority that they do, is provide abortion is a false one used to engender support for Conservative Right causes.
I detest abortion, and the more so when I look at my three children, the more so when I consider the great minds who would have been lost had they been aborted, the more so when I consider the great minds, hearts, and spirits which have been lost because of elective abortion. The cure, though, is a long process of many treatments. We must first treat the fact the idea that a law will someone prevent abortions and not force women to mutilate themselves. Second, a treatment must be made to de-politicize the debate. Third, we must treat the notion that being pro-life excludes abortion for all reasons and ends at birth. Fourth, we must not let people suffer because of the fear of being branded poorly. Five, the Church must step up to the plate in being a community which heals.
Now, I know this may anger some of you, but I ask you to consider, slowly, what I’m saying here.