Why You Can't Reason With A Pro-Lifer
Of course, helpful metafilterers give her the requisite advice; talk about the actual rarity of so-called "partial birth" abortion (if you listen to the pro-lifers, everyone who even walks into a Planned Parenthood is having a viable fetus wrenched from their womb to get it's skull crushed), the rate of adoption for non-white infants (and the fact that adoption is a alternative to parenting, not to pregnancy, as one comment aptly put it.)
And then, finally, another comment gets to the crux of the situation. The sticking point where the battle between pro-choice advocates and pro-lifers has stalemated for many a year:
I always try to ask pro-lifers why they don't work harder to secure better, cheaper, safer birth control; help women learn about and use birth control; and support measures to educate women about their fertility and family planning; and support more sex education for adolescents. Progress in any of these areas would reduce the number of abortions, where displaying misleading pictures of dead fetuses really doesn't. It always seemed to me that if you want to see fewer abortions in this country, you should help women avoid getting pregnant when they don't want to or can't have a child.On first look, this seems ideal. Common ground! No one wants abortion to be commonplace; everyone can agree that the ideal situation would be if women didn't have unwanted pregnancies in the first place, right?
Wrong. The problem arises in methodology. Pro-choice activists say the best way to ensure that women don't have unwanted pregnancies, and by extension, keep the abortion rate low is to ensure that every woman, everywhere has affordable access to contraceptives, family planning, and sex education. A method that has a proven track record of actually working, as evidenced by most European countries' low rate of both teen pregnancies and abortions. The pro-lifers on the other hand, tend to be either devout Catholics or born-again Christians. They say the only way to ensure unwanted pregnancy is not to have sex, and not to talk about it either. A method with a proven track record of absolute failure. (You just can't fight nature.) Think about it. The average pro-lifer would be the first one to scream bloody murder if you tried to give their kid a condom in school, they're the very same people who think pharmacists should be able to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives, as well as the same people who fight tooth and nail for abstinence-only sex ed, even though it's been proven time and time again that most kids ignore it and the ones that don't stick to it for all of three days.
Is it any wonder that the abortion debate has gone on so long with no end or reconciliation in sight? Pro-lifers and fundamentalist Christians live in a world of moral absolutes, where everything is black and white, and no compromise is allowed. Sadly, they condemn themselves to perpetuate the very evils they so voraciously attack.
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