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Thursday, February 09, 2012

GOP Incoherent on Abortion, Contraception

House Republicans
I'm pro-choice, without apology or qualification. If you're expecting some emotionally wrenching story about how I came to be pro-choice -- some tragedy involving a woman I cared for, maybe -- you're going to be disappointed. I don't have one. My position is based on a rational understanding of history and human nature -- when abortion isn't legal, women die. It's pretty straightforward. Laws restricting abortion risk creating public health crises. Want to end abortion? Fine with me. Figure out a way to make it unnecessary and women won't seek them. Outlawing abortion doesn't end it, it just makes it more dangerous. As long as the term "crisis pregnancy" exists, abortion will be necessary and no legislative action can possibly end it.

The most perplexing part of this whole debate is that so many of the people who oppose abortion seem to go out of their way to make it more necessary. They want to slash funding for anti-poverty programs and make it harder for people to collect unemployment benefits -- both measures that increase the demand for abortion services. But perhaps least rational of all, many oppose contraception and sex education. I'm constantly amazed at how people can house two obviously contradictory ideas in the same skull. Amazed, but a lot less than impressed.

I'm not sure what the exact opposite of reasoning is, but it's what these people do. And it's what these people are doing now.


Associated Press:

Republicans vowed Wednesday to reverse President Barack Obama's new policy on birth control, lambasting the rule that religious schools and hospitals must provide contraceptive coverage for their employees as an "unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country."

The White House pushed back in the face of a political firestorm, arguing that Obama was sensitive to the objections and looking for a way to allay the concerns. Democratic women lawmakers put up a united front in defending the administration.

"Women's health care should not depend on who the boss is," said Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

Apparently, "religious freedom" mean the freedom to force employees who don't follow your religion abide by its rules. What's next, the "freedom" to fire nurses who don't attend Mass?

But beyond the ridiculous argument that you can be forced to follow the edicts of your employer's religion (never mind dragging that into further absurdity by calling it "religious freedom") lies an even less rational position -- being against abortion and expanded birth control coverage.

One position clearly contradicts the other. I quite honestly don't understand how you can take those two positions without expecting that people will think you sound like a moron. It's like saying, "Yeah, I hate house fires with every fiber of my being -- but fire hydrants are such an eyesore... Let's get rid of those." Just because you want both doesn't mean you can have both. The light is on or off, the window is either opened or closed. Make up your damned mind.

Not all Republicans are so incoherent. "I think this week’s outrage over the Komen decision should be a warning to the Republican party about how quickly there was a mass outrage over further and further attacks on general women’s health," says Kellie Ferguson, executive director of Republican Majority for Choice. "You could see the same backlash on attacks on contraception."

Man, you hope so. You really do. Someone has to be sane here and, as usual, it's up to the pro-woman people to do the heavy lifting.


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