Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Politics As Usual

Ever notice how little of the politics of the "pro-life" crowd has to do with actually reducing the number of abortions?

If you want to keep the number of abortions down (as I do), the obvious way is to make sure that women who don't want to get pregnant don't. To do this, you can hold your breathe until everyone stops having sex (the obvious reason Orrin Hatch is so discolored) or you can try to get people to use sensible precautions when they do so. This includes both birth control pills and condoms, either of which is a really good, though not perfect, way to keep babies out of where they're not wanted. And both of which serve to reduce the number of abortions by the millions every year. Any way you want to look at it, the pill and Trojans have stopped more abortions in a single year than all the protesters have since Roe v Wade.

Do the "pro-life" crowd embrace condoms and birth control pills as a sensible way to prevent abortions without intruding in women's lives? Of course not. They do everything they can to reduce the access and information that women, especially young ones, are given to brith control, thereby increasing the number of abortions every year. That's right, there will be more abortions this year worldwide than there would've been had George Bush not taken office. Take it to the bank. There will be even more because the Republicans took control of Congress a few years back and immediately started slashing family planning funds both at home and abroad.

Instead of sensible family planning leading to fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions, we get remarkably ineffective Just Say No programs wasting millions of taxpayer dollars. The Nation ran a series last Spring about these programs, and how they've become pork-barrels for right-wing politicos. I guess making sure that The "Christian" Coalition is well fed takes precendence over doing anything about teen pregnancy and abortion rates.

Want to know how well "abstinence education" works? Just ask Pat Robertson, who was married a few months before his first child was born, or even George Bush, who was born a few months after his parents were married. Maybe that's why they hate birth control so much?

To the Editors of The New Yorker

The plural of the word you is spelled ya'll and pronounced yawl. It is neither pronounced nor spelled you all.

There can be no peace between our peoples until this matter is laid to rest.