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Abortion, Contraception, & Politics

In the Fatherless thread below, someone suggested that if contraception were more widely available, there would be less childbearing outside of wedlock. You would think so, but that’s not the way it’s played out, Ross Douthat writes [1]. Excerpt:

When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions [2] in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers [3] found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.

In fact, says Ross, the data show that the reason blue states have lower teen childbearing rates than red states is because they also have higher abortion rates. Says Ross:

What’s intuitive isn’t always true, and if social conservatives haven’t figured out how to make all good things go together in post-sexual-revolution America, neither have social liberals.

At the very least, American conservatives are hardly crazy to reject a model for sex, marriage and family that seems to depend heavily on higher-than-average abortion rates. They’ve seen that future in places like liberal, cosmopolitan New York, where two in five pregnancies end in abortion. And it isn’t a pretty sight.

Read the whole thing.  [1]

103 Comments (Open | Close)

103 Comments To "Abortion, Contraception, & Politics"

#1 Comment By JonF On February 21, 2012 @ 6:00 am


You have still not provided any data to back up your claims.

#2 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On February 22, 2012 @ 12:08 am

sdb, Loudon, Savia… you are all awfully facile in telling me that I don’t understand what RFRA is all about, and that what you want to find in the law is indeed its true meaning. Recognizing that none of us are going to definitively resolve this in a series of comboxes (and it would unfairly monopolize the site to indulge in the lengthy polemics necessary to begin such a task)…

I responded to the specific section of RFRA that sdb offered, and the language of that section. Throw out another section, perhaps we can discuss it. If you are going to lecture all and sundry on what “the law means,” you should start with what it says.

Claims have been made that ANY law that infringes in ANY way on the preferences of a religious body automatically mean that RFRA invalidates the law as applied to the religious body or believer pressing a claim. This broad, sweeping interpretation has never been upheld by federal appellate courts, nor the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court responded to the Boerne case by invalidating a large portion of RFRA’s jurisdiction, and therefore never fully reached that substantive issue, the opinions take a dim view of such an expansive reach.

Further, RFRA was a statute, which congress may freely amend, or limit the reach of, in any way it chooses. Originally, it was intended to limit institutional discretionary decisions by federal agencies subordinate to congress, to restrict state and local government actions, and to modify a Supreme Court decision as to the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court, in over-ruling application of the law to states and localities, pointed out that congress had been granted power to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, not to determine its meaning. You are on very shaky ground posing RFRA in opposition to the health care reform act.

As I’ve said before, any attempt to require a church, as such, to dispense contraceptives, employ a gay organist, or any number of other things offensive to the church’s faith and doctrine, would be invalid. RFRA is not even necessary to establish that — over a century of jurisprudence does so. RFRA does not protect any employer who has religious scruples from fulfilling legal obligations established by statute to employees.

Finally savia, once again, I must ask you for specifics. What did Obama say, preferably an exact quote, when did he say it, and to whom?

#3 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On February 23, 2012 @ 12:01 am

Looking way back up the thread, this pithy line seems to have been lost in the sauce:

“It need to be ethics based on personalism, such as how to treat a human being, instead of just a list of do’s and dont’s.” Mary Russell’s contribution, if I remember correctly. (It’s miles back from here).

“I might get pregnant” is no longer the effective foundation for saying “No,” that it once was assumed to be (although a plethora of tragedies and comedies suggest it was never a very effective turn-down).

In 2010, while working a few months as a census clerk, I recall a young co-worker who described a man who had solicited her for casual sex, and when she declined, informed her indignantly that she had an “intimacy problem.” His philosophy was that a man and a woman are meant to have sexual relations anytime one of them feels like it, and it has all the significance of a good meal. She said, no, if I’m going to get that close to a man, it’s going to be someone worthy of me.” A darn good answer, and one that young ladies should be informed of before they are propositioned.

The lady is not there for the convenience of the man. She is her own self, and when there is a lasting mutual commitment, such that she would want a man really getting inside her, he might be embraced, preferably in a life-long commitment.

One might even talk about, she is one-half the image of God, and if you don’t know what you are reunifying, you have no business attempting it.