Monday, October 02, 2006

Where the Rubber Meets Roe

William Saletan argues that the abortion debate is morphing: Either you're for reducing the numbers or not:

The issue that never changes is finally changing.

If you're one of the millions of Americans who don't like abortion but also don't like the idea of banning it, good news is on the way. In the last three weeks, two bills have been filed in the House of Representatives. Without banning a single procedure, they aim to significantly lower the rate of abortions performed in this country. Voluntary reduction, not criminalization or moral silence, is the new approach.

How do you stop abortions without restricting them? One way is to persuade women to complete their pregnancies instead of terminating them. The other is to prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place. And there's the rub—or, in this case, the rubber. The two House bills used to be one proposal, backed by an alliance of pro-life lawmakers and organizations. The alliance split because one faction wanted to fund contraception and the other didn't. Read on.


Emilie Clemmens said...

Thanks for posting this, Linda. I had read it earlier with great interest. I have long been (naively so, I believe) baffled by the inability of pro-choice and pro-life factions to find common ground in preventing unintended pregnancies. (Mind you, there have been a few who have attempted this, I know, but have any succeeded in working together?)

At any rate, I am left, sadly, with nothing else to believe than the fact pro-life extremists truly must not care about the lives of the unborn (much less women's health). It not only defies logic for them to continue to denounce birth control, but in my view, seems profoundly cruel, given the myriad social consequences.

bob koepp said...

I'm definitely "in favor" of abortion, in the sense that I want this option to be available to all women -- and I definitely oppose any legal obstacles to women obtaining abortions. But "You're either for reducing the number, or you're not," while obviously true (since it's a tautology), is a gross oversimplification of the issues. Although I am not an adherent of natural law ethics, many people are. And they have objections to contraception which Saletan seems not to understand.