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The Final Debate: A Breakthrough for Abortion Reduction

I offer thoughts on the debate in my column today, but I want to call attention here to one of the moments in the encounter that isn't making headlines. It came when Barack Obama expressed plainly and clearly what many Americans, pro-choice and pro-life, believe: We should try much harder than we have to reduce the number of abortions in our country.

Here is what Obama said:

The last point I want to make [is] on the issue of abortion. This is an issue that -- look, it divides us. And in some ways, it may be difficult to -- to reconcile the two views.

But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, "We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby."

Those are all things that we put in the Democratic platform for the first time this year, and I think that's where we can find some common ground, because nobody's pro-abortion. I think it's always a tragic situation.

I confess that abortion reduction has been a cause of mine for a long time. In an earlier column on the subject, I concluded: “Taking substantial steps to reduce the abortion rate will not settle the larger ethical argument over the practice. But it could show that politicians are capable of living up to their highest calling, which is to seek practical forms of moral seriousness.”

I think most Americans, pro-life and pro-choice, know that abortion is unlikely ever to be banned in our country. Many pro-lifers are aware of the difficulties for women such a ban could cause. Many pro-choicers are concerned that too many abortions are performed and understand why so many on the other side of the issue see abortion as a grave moral problem. Reducing the number of abortions would be a good thing in itself, and all the steps on the road toward achieving that end -- from preventing unintended pregnancies to helping and supporting women who want to bring their children into the world -- would be desirable in any event.

Personally, I wish Obama had spoken more about this when he visited Rick Warren’s church this summer. But I'm glad he discussed it before one of the largest audiences he will reach during this campaign. In a polarized environment, abortion reduction might be one cause that could bring people together across our political, cultural and religious divides.

By E.J. Dionne  | October 16, 2008; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

Notice Obama also talked about the need for educating teenagers as to the sacred nature of sex relations and the need for more and better sex education ... hard for John McCain to chiime in there when his running mate and her daughter both became pregnant before marriage. A heck of a year when it's the Democrat making a moral, principled call for restraint and reverance!

Posted by: Omyobama | October 16, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Based on Obama's record and his commitments, he will push for a radical change in the status quo in the pro-abortion direction. To the extent he succeeds, it will drastically increase the number of abortions performed in the U.S.

During his entire political career, in the Illinois Senate and in the U.S. Senate, he has opposed every piece of pro-life legislation that has come before him -- even on bills which many "pro-abortion-rights" lawmakers supported, like the proposals to ban partial-birth abortion and to protect all infants born alive during abortions. I cannot think of any major component of the abortion industry's legislative agenda that he has not endorsed in some way, or voted for.

Obama wants to block renewal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortion. Both sides agree that the Hyde Amendment has saved many lives -- by the most conservative estimate, there are more than a million Americans alive today because of the Hyde Amendment. So here you have a big-time, proven "abortion reduction" policy -- which he opposes. Also, he wants abortion to be part of his national health insurance legislation.

Obama is a cosponsor of the "Freedom of Choice Act," which would make partial-birth abortion legal again, and invalidate literally hundreds of state laws that have been upheld even under Roe v. Wade. This bill, by its plain language and the explicit statements of its chief backers, would invalidate all parental notification laws, require states to fund abortion on demand, and invalidate waiting periods and informed consent laws -- just for starters. It is the most radical pro-abortion proposal ever introduced in Congress. Yet, Obama stood before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the nation's largest abortion provider, and pledged, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."

Douglas Johnson
National Right to Life Committee
www.nrlc.org

Posted by: legfederal | October 16, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, just out of curiosity, who believes that we shouldn't try to reduce abortions? That's a real principled stance Senator Obama took, there.

Next he'll be trying to convince us that we should all be breathing oxygen..........

Posted by: koelekanth | October 16, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I've never known anyone who is pro-abortion. Nor do I consider the majority of "pro-life" people to be nuts.

What I believe is that its a passionate, painful situtation for all partys concerned.

When it comes to whether or not to have an abortion, I think that all options should be on the table.

In my opinion, abortion should be the very last choice...having given (extremely) careful consideration to all other alternatives.

Posted by: kban495 | October 16, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr Johnson,
My question to you is will you adopt the unwanted babies that result from prohibition of abortions?

I ask if not you, who will?

How many of those babies end up in foster homes and are never adopted. (American tax payer pay for foster childrens' needs.)

How many of those unwanted babies end up on welfare because the mother is too poor, & uneducated? (again, American tax payers foot the bill)

If the government of the last 8 years had endorsed real sex education (condoms work!) other than abstinence only sex education American's wouldn't have so many aborted babies!

Posted by: Tinkabell_Hussein | October 16, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your question, Tinkabell_Hussein. The National Council for Adoption has estimated that somewhere on the order of two million American couples would like to adopt, but only roughly 25,000 infants are available for adoption each year. That is one reason why there so much interest in overseas adoption.

Since you asked, it happens that three of my four children are adopted.
http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/cjohnsonop-ed.html

Even if one of them was to end up "on welfare," I would not be persuaded by your implicit argument that it would have been cheaper for the government to pay the cost of killing such children before birth. Which is what will happen if Barack Obama succeeds in blocking renewal of the Hyde Amendment and/or enacting the "Freedom of Choice Act."

Douglas Johnson
National Right to Life

Posted by: legfederal | October 16, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I think most Americans, pro-life and pro-choice, know that abortion is unlikely ever to be banned in our country.
*********

so why liberal scare tactics over judicial minimalists?

Posted by: dummypants | October 16, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Thirty-eight years ago, before the days of home pregnancy tests, when my gynecologist told me I was going to have a baby, I instantly fell in love with the child within me. But I was most fortunate because I did not have to choose between giving birth and abortion. Sadly, thousands of girls and women do.

It is most unfortunate that those who believe in “pro-life” do not remotely begin to understand that those of us who are “pro-choice” are also in favor of life over death.

For 13 years, I taught at an inner-city high school, and was often put in the position of being a surrogate parent to countless young teenage girls who became pregnant. I saw, first-hand, what happened to the majority of those babies whose mothers were completely unprepared both financially and emotionally to raise a child. Many were forced to drop out, others left their children to be raised by their own mothers, and still others became prostitutes to insure some income.

According to statistics compiled in September, 2006, by the Guttmacher Institute, the leading think tank on sexual and reproductive health issues in the United States and worldwide:

•Three-quarters of a million [750,000] teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year.
•Teen mothers account for 11% of all births in the U.S.
•Nearly a third of pregnant teenagers choose abortion.
•Teens who become pregnant are less likely to attend college.
•Black teens have the highest teen pregnancy rate.
•US teen pregnancy rates are higher than those of other developed countries.

The solutions to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies are very simple.

•Free contraception through the schools and other social services
•Realistic sex-education in the schools
•Brochures provided through the schools which include the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to available social services
•Parents providing contraceptives to their sexually active children

Pro-choice women, like myself, HATE abortion. We know that most women who have abortions out of complete desperation never emotionally recover from this traumatic experience. But, until the Disneylanders face reality, only then can our society begin to prevent abortions.

Posted by: pinapina | October 16, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that abortion exists. It always has, even in countries where it is totally prohibited. Then it goes underground, is performed by people who don't know what they are doing which ultimately kills the mother too.

In those countries today, women who are desperate for help (for whatever reason - maybe they were raped by an uncle or something) either have to travel to countries where they can get proper medical assistance or risk losing their lives.

This article is correct, that reducing unwanted pregnancies is by far the best way to avoid problems. That involves education and protection.

People who think that by handing government the power to decree that it is illegal and a government who will make decisions on behalf of women they don't know, have no idea what damage that kind of system has on society.

Posted by: francinelast | October 16, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

we forget that bill clinton put it simply and accurately
"i want abortions to be legal, availabel, and infrequent"

Posted by: mediator27 | October 16, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

whoops typo ! it's AVAILABLE

Posted by: mediator27 | October 16, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr Johnson

You mention nothing about use of effective family planning methods. Consistent, effective use will ensure fewer unwanted pregnancies. Case closed.

by the way, with all the tremendous problems this nation is now facing, abortion is not one of them. It's a private matter, pure and simple. but hey, try contraception.

Posted by: heaton | October 16, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton: "Safe, legal, and few."

Posted by: DonRitchie | October 16, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Perception: Teenagers comprise the largest group of those seeking abortions.

Reality Check: Women ages 20-24 comprise the largest group, followed by women ages 25-29. Teenagers ages 15-19 comprise the third largest group.

Source: Abortionfacts.com, 1995 data, 42 states reporting.

Preventing pregnancy is essential. But with all the knowledge available today it would seem the 20-somethings should know better.

Posted by: ltm353 | October 16, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Francine is right: abortion exists, has always existed, whether "legal" or not.

The goal should be to make abortion solely a medical, not a legal issue. And to reduce unwanted/unexpected pregnancy to the absolute minimum.

And BTW, the most reprehensible "anti-abortion" advocates are those who also turn out to be against contraception, against sex education, and apparently believe that pregnancy should be the "punishment" for "breaking the rules". I respect those who find abortion repellent, as do I, altho I disagree with with their proposed legal "remedy". I have no respect for those who oppose efforts to work within the real world to reduce unwelcome pregnancy, and insist on imposing their views -- religious or otherwise -- on everyone (ie. opposing Plan B on religious grounds, forcing those views on others with contrary beliefs). Abortion should be a personal medical and moral matter. And we should not have legislation driven by religious views.

Don't like abortion? Support sex education, honest discussion about sexuality, and contraception.

Posted by: icyone | October 16, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

John McCain mocked the health of the mother in a condideration for abortion. He made little quote gestures when he was being sarcastic about "the health of the mother" as though women stretch the truth in this matter. I have said all the time that I don't think he likes women very much and it is evident in how he treats Cindy in public -- always walking way ahead of her. Also he called pro-choice people, "pro abortion" people. Who is pro abortion? Many people just want it to be safe if a woman chooses to have one becasue believe me, if it were to be made illegal, woman will still have them and maybe at their own hands.

Posted by: creatia52 | October 16, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

to francinelast, you are 100% correct in what you said. I do not support abortion when it falls under the heading of "To scared to tell your parents" or " I really don't want a baby right now." there is an old saying "When play you pay." Nobody is ever going to with the abortion battle. But, if there were less pregnancies there would be fewer abortions. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.SOOOO...lets start with education. Make the young men and women in this country understand that they come first as individuals, let them find out who they are before they try to raise a family. I'm talking from experience, I was a young mother that choose to keep my child and it was a long hard road. not one time did i ever wish she was aborted or adopted. But, more than one time I wished I would have had the common sense to say "hey lets wait". Education on this matter is extremely necessary. I believe that is not only to be taught in the schools but, also in the home. Parents should not be afraid to talk to their kids about anything.

Posted by: fairydust53050 | October 16, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

From an entirely different perspective, abortion is currently an elective procedure. Taking that choice away sets precedent for restrictions on other elective medical procedures.

We need very urgently to think about abortion as a medical procedure. Because with the rising cost of health care, who really knows what procedures are on the chopping block. Perhaps the decision-makers consider abortion a case of low-hanging fruit.

Posted by: ltm353 | October 16, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, just out of curiosity, who believes that we shouldn't try to reduce abortions? That's a real principled stance Senator Obama took, there.

Next he'll be trying to convince us that we should all be breathing oxygen..........

Posted by: koelekanth | October 16, 2008 2:11 PM
******************

Is the right pathologically incapable of basic reading comprehension? Obama said, "--look, it divides us. And in some ways, it may be difficult to -- to reconcile the two views. But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together...."

He's trying to build legitimat bridges. Only the ideological--on both sides--avoid this because it has become their sacred oxen.

We have to come to an accord--an agreement to co-exist--on this issue. Otherwise, it will continue to be used by the craven to divide us as Americans.

Bravo, Obama.

Posted by: abqcleve | October 16, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Johnson,,,

What about the OTHER 250,000 children who are available for adoption, but are NOT infants?? Why do you not give the true facts about adoptions? If there were a million couples wanting children, not just infants, then there would be no problem. You are not being completely truthful, but I don't find that surprising.

Posted by: pb6246 | October 16, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

pinapina writes:

The solutions to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies are very simple.

•Free contraception through the schools and other social services
•Realistic sex-education in the schools
•Brochures provided through the schools which include the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to available social services
•Parents providing contraceptives to their sexually active children

_______________

Amazingly, I don't see the simplest solution on this list....DON'T HAVE SEX!!!!

And where is the parental involvement in these solutions???? Good, responsible parenting would probably prevent 80% of these pregnancies!

Sex education should start at home, not in the schools....our schools spend so much time on this kind of crap, its no wonder our kids are so under-educated....

Posted by: boosterprez | October 16, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Why do I get the distinct feeling the pro-life people aren't at all interested in reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies?

Go Here for some new scary video on Sarah Palin and her Witch doctor: http://tinyurl.com/spookee

Posted by: LisaJM | October 16, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't say that nobody is pro-abortion.

I am.

I'm also pro-haircutting, and pro- wart removal; I am not so much pro-liposuction, but I favor a fat person's right to choose.

This venue isn't the place to define bright-line tests for viability and consciousness. But chopping up and disposing of a human blastula has no more moral weight than removing other cells, and less moral weight then killing a higher mammal for food.

I refuse to concede any argument to those who wish to impose their religiously motivated repression of sexual expression.

Posted by: amschiff | October 17, 2008 2:52 AM | Report abuse

"But chopping up and disposing of a human blastula has no more moral weight than removing other cells"

How sad to hold that attitude. And how it ultimately trivializes human "sexual expression."

pb6246, I don't think it's fair to lay the burden of adopting the many older children in the foster-care system on childless couples who simply share with fertile couples the desire to love and raise a healthy baby. Adopting older children is an entirely distinct endeavor and should not be laid at the door of infertile couples.

Posted by: herzliebster | October 17, 2008 6:53 AM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no reason to fight over trying to reduce the number of abortions. If that message is attacked the attacker deserves not to be part of the discussion. Unwanted births affect the rights of more than the new born spirit. We must....must come together to educate and work towards unwanted pregnancies...

Can anyone argue with this?

Attacking just to attack and in some distorted way valid our own views is small and counterproductive. This discussion is for the mature responsible.

Posted by: vtcxc | October 17, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

In the abortion debate, many (most?) prolifers seem to have unending concern for the unborn, but seem oblivious to the concerns of the "born."

Posted by: Sherrill2 | October 17, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Johnson,

If abortion is banned, would you support convicting women and doctors who are caught having the procedure? It would, according to your views, be a first degree murder charge and punishable with the death penalty in some states.

Posted by: mattdevir | October 17, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The pro-life movement has been ill served by politicians who are happy to take votes while secure that Roe V Wade will not be overturned in the immediate future. The pro-life movement, to move this debate forward, should develop a clear vision of what the post R v W America would look like and communicate it to the rest of us. Who goes to prison; women, girls, doctors, pharmacists? Who regulates RU486? Can a court order prevent a woman from crossing a state line for the purpose of obtaining an abortion? If two doctors disagree on the "health" of the woman, does a nonmedically trained judge decide? At what point would a doctor have to submit his opinion to a judge for permission? The pro-life folks, so focused on Roe v Wade, must realize that a civil liberties legal nightmare will be unleashed by overturning that ruling, and will only be the beginning, not the end, of their crusade. Meanwhile, our own infant mortality rate is a disgrace.

Posted by: dnickels1 | October 17, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Over 35 years ago, Canadian provinces established sex education in the school system. Advertisements of condoms and the reason for their use is no longer an embarassment, but are reasonable and tasteful (or humourous) marketing campaigns aimed at adult audiences.

The result is that the teenage pregnancy rate has now dropped to 1/4 of its 1960 rate. The US rate is rising, as are the spread of STD's. In this day and age, it is an embarassment for a progressive, western nation not to provide sex ed to their children. (Texas, are you listening?) Where is America's practical approach - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
In Canada, abortion is not only allowed by law, it is covered by the public health care system if referred by a doctor (which is pretty much automatic). The best thing -the rate of abortions per capita are a fraction of the US rate, and are dropping. A cheer to politicians who actually looked at the health and welfare of their people and established a practical, long term approach to a difficult problem. Canada is living proof that Obama is right on !

Posted by: kjnorth13 | October 17, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Talk is cheap. Obama has yet to propose any concrete abortion reduction measures. And he has not supported the Pregnant Women Support Act, inspired by Democrats for Life who have an abortion reduction strategy not a criminalization strategy. So, frankly, I do not believe him. His record is one of being 100% pro-abortion, opposing any and all limits on abortion, and never supporting any effort to make life a more meaningful choice for pregnant women in difficult circumstances.

John Mitchell, Nixon's Attorney General, said, "Watch what we do, not what we say." Always good advice.

Posted by: BillSamuel | October 17, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

_______________

Amazingly, I don't see the simplest solution on this list....DON'T HAVE SEX!!!!

Posted by: boosterprez | October 16, 2008 9:44 PM
*************************************

Okay, so you're 45, on high blood pressure meds and have two kids. I guess you look at your spouse and say, "let's take up shuffleboard Martha. We're done having kids, so no need for sex. "" and that's it? Sex is part of life, how you express yourself to your partner and show love. And if you are taking a medication or have a condition that could cause difficulties during a pregnancy, I say you have the RIGHT to make a decision for yourself about whether to have the baby or not. We answer to God, not to McCain or Palin.

Posted by: catweasel3 | October 17, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Face it, abortion will alwys be the repubs' bogeyman. They don't want it banned no matter how much they rant. In the 35 years since Roe, repubs have held the WH for 23. All of them were pro-life and campaigned against Roe. For six of his eight years in office, bush had both houses of Congress in repub hands. Any bills outlawing abortion pass? No, siree. It's the main plank they can throw out every four years to keep the ignorant party faithful in the fold. Always in some state's bill is the punishment for abortion providers, but none for the women who have abortion. Are they not as liable, if not more so? I would like to see lawmakers, Dems, preferably, introduce into such bills equal punishment for the women and the abortionists. Then watch the pro-lifers fall all over themselves trying to explain why women aren't smart enough or emotional enough to know what they are doing. That's the hypocracy of the pro-life crowd: they don't care about the women, they don't respect the women, they don't believe a woman is intelligent enough to make a choice different from their own. To all you pro-lifers waiting for republicans to ban abortions, don't hold your breath. Ain't happenin'.

Posted by: mikel7 | October 17, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

This is simple. You don't want anabortion?
Don't have one.
You want an abortion? Get one.
The religious freaks who hide their Nazi-like Facism behind a "Pro Life" banner should simply not do what they do not want to do and let the rest of us live our lives. You race-baiting Right Wing Nazis think absolutely nothing about murdering thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis as you prosecute your illicit, immoral wars, yet to gnash your teeth over a fetus.
Cram it, Nazis. The Court has ruled properly and will uphold the ruling.

Posted by: hartman_john | October 18, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately I am so old that I worked in hospitals in the 50s and 60s, before Roe Vs Wade. I am a prolife Catholic, but I can assure you that you can not legislate, overturn Roe, and that will end abortion. There where lots of abortions when it was illegal. Because abortion is done in privacy against an invisible victim, it is impossible to police, investigate or prosecute. The cases That I saw were never prosecuted, although some resulted in the death of the mother as well as the child. So don't fool yourself by believing that overturning Roe will end abortion and don't be fooled by those who promise to overturn Roe and thus end abortion!

Posted by: ritapolicarpotexas | October 18, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree. I really appreciated the language used in the debate about "nobody is pro-abortion" (true: it's pro-choice, meaning that you can choose not to have abortions yourself as part of pro-choice, without curtailing others' options), also that abortion is always a "tragic situation". I loved most of all him saying that sexuality is sacred and people shouldn't be cavalier. That's a message we need firmly reinforced in a sex-crazed Hollywood fantasy culture.

I like this Op-Ed in the La Times: Pro-Life Catholic for Obama
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-kmiec17-2008oct17,0,163397.story

What i like about this piece is what it mentions about Obama's straddling vocabulary and bridging-divide communication skills, particularly as evidenced in the last debate. I think that's one of my favorite things about him: How he communicates in a way that shows empathy, and if not that, certainly understanding for both sides. Moderation. Balance. Respect.

I commend this thinker for recognizing that it is in fact the more pragmatic vision to have a pro-choice candidate who increases accommodations for pro-life options while never infringing on the access and liberties afforded to women thru Roe v. Wade.

In my view, curtailing Roe v. Wade or considering it would be as ineffective as Prohibition, just more physically gruesome and disastrous. Prohibition didn't stop people from drinking. They sought drinking in underground ways. Before abortion was legalized, women would get abortions in back alleys and mutilate their bodies thru unhygienic and brutal practices. Legalizing it allowed in part for safer procedures. Abortions are always going to take place, regardless of law. Clinics are just pragmatically far more humane venues than random back alleys.

Anyway, this guy makes some good points to his side.

Posted by: caramel2 | October 18, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

JOE THE PLUMBER WANTS YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD.
OBAMA IS A MARXIST SOCIALIST.
AMERICAN SOLDIERS FOUGHT AND DIED AND SHED BLOOD FIGHTING MARXIST. WE WILL NOT ALLOW IT HERE. OBAMA GAVE ACORN OVER A MILLION DOLLARS TO STEAL YOUR VOTES. WITH THE STOLEN VOTES HE THEN CAN HAVE A SUPER MAJORITY IN THE SENATE AND HOUSE ( VETO PROOF) HUSSAIN OBAMA'S PLAN IS TO STRIP YOU OF YOUR FREEDOM , RELIGON AND YOUR BELONGINGS! THEN HE WILL GIVE IT TO HIS MARXIST SOCIALIST FOLLOWERS. HE THEN BECOME YOUR MARXIST EMPEROR ! THIS IS WITH OUT A SHOT BEING FIRED.

Posted by: 4elise | October 18, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

After more than a decade and $1 billion dollars of tax money, there is no study that shows abstinence-only programs are effective in reducing teen pregnancy. In the last decade the teen birthrate in California dropped by more than 46 percent because they refused to accept federal “abstinence-only” education funds. Using state and private funds, their teen pregnancy prevention programs included comprehensive sex education.

Alaska leads the nation in reported forcible rapes per capita, according to the FBI, with a rate two and a half times the national average – a ranking it has held for many years. Children are no safer: Public safety experts believe that the prevalence of rape and sexual assault of minors in Alaska makes the state's record one of the worst in the U.S.

The Bush administration's Health & Human Services Department has submitted new regulations that will redefine birth control items as causing abortions so even clerks in stores could refuse to sell them. We're all affected when birth control items are very expensive or unavailable: increased cases of sexually transmitted diseases, more expensive prisons and programs for the abused and unwanted as they become adults, more welfare and other social costs, etc.

Some Colorado citizens are now circulating petitions to define a fertilized egg as a human being, even though the U.S. Constitution only recognizes someone "born" as a citizen.

On April 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court banned certain abortions which do not allow an exception when a woman's life is in danger after more than thirty years of Supreme Court rulings that required such an exception. One doctor said: "Many of my patients face serious health complications either caused or exacerbated by pregnancy, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and abnormal placentas. These women need immediate treatment, but politicians are now standing in my office, between me and my patient, telling me how to practice medicine....It is unacceptable that women facing serious health complications may be denied the safest and most effective treatment."

According to a report published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 82 percent of the public favor comprehensive sex education programs in schools. However, the majority no longer rule in America and the separation of church and state is being seriously threatened by religious extremists determined to impose their religious views on everyone else.

Posted by: BettyW1 | October 18, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody noticed that the Anti-Abortion position is anti-constitutional? No one should have the right to interfere with someone else's life.

Posted by: Arioso | October 18, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Please, how much crock can you shovel in one article. All you liberals bask in the glory of the abortion-on-demand culture. Not one of you has the courage to question a woman's right to murder her child for any reason imaginable!!! And obama is the worst one out there. He is not satisfied in-the-womb killing; he supports the torture and murder of infants born of abortion!!!

Posted by: MYSTICMOUSE44 | October 18, 2008 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Please, how much crock can you shovel in one article. All you liberals bask in the glory of the abortion-on-demand culture. Not one of you has the courage to question a woman's right to murder her child for any reason imaginable!!! And obama is the worst one out there. He is not satisfied in-the-womb killing; he supports the torture and murder of infants born of abortion!!!

Posted by: MYSTICMOUSE44 | October 18, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the same conservatives who are vehemently pro-Life (no abortion or morning-after pills, even if you were raped by your grandfather, even if it is only a clump of cells not even a fetus) support wars for economic reasons (oil) knowing that innocent people die in all wars.

What this tells me is that they value a clump of cells in an embryo or zygote more than they value the lives of the people (actually & verifiably human-no one can argue) we invade. It also tells me that they put Exxon and Chevron's interests ahead of women's interests.

Posted by: rangerone314 | October 21, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

4elise:
1) typing in all caps is considered "shouting" online and is generally thought of as rude (also harder to read)... just a tip because some people are new to posting online.
2) While I am not a "Kool-Aid drinking Obama" supporter and fanatic (and I won't vote since we are basically a proxy-Plutocracy to begin with), I seriously doubt that as educated and intelligent as Obama is, that he will lead us towards Marxism. Even Red China have started embracing Capitalism.
3) Obama Emperor? Was that a joke or actually being serious? Do you actually think soldiers are going to come and take your property? If you respect our American soldiers as much as you indicate, then why would soldiers endorse seizing your property?
4) Read about the Washington Consensus formulated by John Williamson... it is a formulation of the need for de-regulation, private property, etc. Even he recently said that the policies were not truly adopted by the US, instead opting for "market fundamentalism" with almost NO regulation or oversight.

Posted by: rangerone314 | October 21, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Most rightwingers are not "pro-life," they are "pro" the election slogan. If they were pro-life, they wouldn't so easily support war, the death penalty, and work so hard to bankrupt the country, so there's no money for social programs,(social security, medicare, etc.,) which is there stated goal. Just ask Rush Limbaugh about the latter.

Posted by: shag11 | October 21, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

4elise,

FEAR!! SCARY!! FEAR!!

Dredging up ancient bogeymen and tried'n'true hot buttons like "socialism" and "Marxist!" won't work anymore. Get with the program. Live in the now.

The government controls the banks, you expect Social Security when you retire, and the USDA subsidizes crops even when there are good planting years. Really, the silly specter of SOCIALISM is just old hat and puerile at this point.

Find a new scary topic. How about: FASCISM? Show me how Palin isn't fascist, or at best Stalinist in some of her assertions, and then I'll be impressed.

Posted by: undercover_hon | October 21, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Question for the pro-lifers I've never heard answered. If you really, really believe that life begins at conception and abortion is murder then why don't you have funerals when you have a miscarriage? Seems hypocritical to me.

Posted by: BayshoreBandit | October 22, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I have an even simpler solution that hits the many men weighing in on this matter and trying to make decisions for women.

Should a woman get pregnant and decide on an abortion - well she did not get pregnant herself.
I say if you make the woman carry a baby for 9 months, then the man in the situation should have his tubes tied for 9 months as well so he cannot father any children.

After all, what is fair is fair.

Posted by: kare1 | October 22, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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