Do ‘pro-lifers’ really care about babies?

WASHINGTON — Jobs are Job No. 1, right?

Independent voters swung to the GOP in last November’s elections because they were disappointed — or angry — with Democrats over a stubbornly-high unemployment rate, polls show. So you’d think that the new House Republican majority would devote its first few months to legislation aimed at creating jobs.

But since staging futile votes to repeal health care reform, Republicans have been most animated about firing new shots in the culture war. They’ve taken aim at reproductive rights, introducing bills to further curb women’s access to safe and legal abortions. Last month, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that a ban on federal funding for abortions is “one of our highest legislative priorities.”

I’m surprised at Boehner, who had seemed to heed the lessons of the stormy tenure of one of his GOP predecessors, Newt Gingrich. The House Speaker from Georgia reveled in exploiting wedge issues and lobbing rhetorical grenades — to the detriment of his party. Boehner seemed to understand that he needed to avoid Gingrich’s mistakes.

Besides, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — the dream presidential candidate of many centrist Republicans — has urged the GOP to “call a truce on the so-called social issues” and concentrate on righting the economy.  And, if that weren’t enough reason to discourage a GOP foray into the abortion wars, there’s this: a federal regulation — the Hyde amendment — already bans taxpayer funding of abortions except for a few exceptions, including rape and incest.

But Boehner’s base still demands fidelity to a host of hot-button social issues. Tea partiers, in fact, don’t represent a political force driven by new concerns but, rather, a coalition of ultra-conservatives tearing pages from a very old playbook. Last week’s huge gathering here for ultra-conservatives — the annual CPAC meeting — devoted a panel to “The Pro-life Movement: Plans and Goals.”

If those same activists were concerned about the welfare of children once they emerged from the womb, I’d be more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. There are, certainly, some among anti-abortion activists who campaign dutifully on behalf of poor children — notably the clergy of the Catholic Church.

But, generally speaking, there’s a glaring contradiction in the ideology of anti-abortion proponents: They are passionate about the fetus but indifferent — if not hostile — to actual babies who need a generous social safety net. The same voters who protest Roe vs. Wade usually oppose traditional welfare for poor women, government-funded health care benefits for impoverished children and housing subsidies for poor families. Indeed, among the programs in the crosshairs of GOP budget-cutters is Women, Infants and Children (commonly known as WIC), which provides nutritional supplements to pregnant women and their babies.

That’s not the end of the illogic embedded in anti-abortion activism. Here’s where it gets really frustrating: Conservatives refuse to endorse the widespread use of contraceptives, which would lower the abortion rate. Republican budget-cutters have also targeted family planning programs, and conservatives continue to paint Planned Parenthood, which delivers a host of reproductive health services to women, as the devil’s handmaiden.

That simply makes no sense. Nearly half the pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and about four in ten of those unintended pregnancies result in abortions, according to the highly respected Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit dedicated to reproductive health and improved family planning. It stands to reason, then, that helping women to gain access to reliable contraceptives and to use them appropriately would reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions.

It’s no mystery why abortion rates are much lower in Western Europe. Those countries have adopted public policies that make birth control pills and other contraceptives cheap and widely available. If we did the same, abortion rates would drop sharply here, as well.

That’s one of those common sense solutions that social conservatives should embrace. So far, though, they’d rather keep fighting the same old battles.

339 comments Add your comment

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

February 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

Eugene, just because your to dumb to understand cosmology doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist, it just means you have no concept of understand logic…Don’t feel bad, my dog doesn’t get it either. Nimrod.

TGT

February 11th, 2011
3:53 pm

Another myth from the left: Pro-lifers don’t care about poor children (that are born). Of course nothing could be further from the truth, but the left needs some kind of retort for being called “baby killer.” The fact is (as I have noted before), conservative Christians are MUCH more generous/charitable with their OWN resources (material, time, etc.) than liberals are. What most of us oppose is billions in taxes (that we can’t really afford) that go for “social” programs that don’t really have the effect that they should, and which the Dems use to purchase votes.

Reality Check

February 11th, 2011
3:54 pm

Pro-Choice is MURDER!!!!! Baby murder as a form of birth control? You people are immoral. History will regard you the same as we do Nazis!!!!

MC

February 11th, 2011
3:55 pm

Cynthia: I’m NOT a right wing Christian Republican, but I am a few generations younger than you. Though my generation is thankful for the women’s lib movement of your generation, technology has opened our eyes to the reality of a fetus. When you can see a heartbeat on an ultrasound as early as 5 weeks, it’s hard for our generation of women to believe that abortion is acceptable. It’s getting more difficult for women to tell themselves that it’s not really a baby in there. SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY are challenging the abortion debate for my generation of women more than the GOP and religion. Studies have shown that more liberal (non-religious) women of this generation are having a hard time justifying abortion as being acceptable.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:55 pm

Mike K.

My problem is in killing a baby after it becomes “self aware”.

There are tests that can determine that since all babies mature at different rates.

But as long as the teachings of the reverse eugenics champion Margaret Sanger are followed that is not going to happen. She championed abortions to hold down the minority population and wow, has it really worked. We kill so many more Brown and Black babies than we do White babies.

The racist democrats will never change.

John

February 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

Easy solution…several states now have child safe haven laws. Let all women who would otherwise choose to have an abortion (for whatever reason) surrender the child over to the authorities which would then become the government’s responsibility to raise and financially support those kids until they become adults. Of course, that would mean raising taxes to care for them.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

repeat after me; the GOP is not “pro life”. The GOP is “anti-abortion”. Planned Parenthood, et al are not “pro choice”. Planned Parenthood, et al are “pro abortion”. I hate to counter the arrogance on both sides (”we care about unborn babies…” “we care about a woman’s right to choose”), but this issue is no different than the Second Amendment, the Death Penalty, or immigration. namely; LIFE itself has no value beyond a vote of yeah or nay.

Idiot Republicans

February 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

You “Republicans” are just as worse or maybe more now than the democrats. You all cry about all these things that needs to be done and how they would be once you get into office. Now that some of you are in there, you are having grade school fights and picking the DUMBEST battles possible to fight.You like to point out things about the liberals, but when so MANY of your kind have their secrets come to light you get quiet like you forgot how to speak or something. I think both sides are stupid and I can’t identify with either until you all start acting like adults.

LJ

February 11th, 2011
3:57 pm

Safe, legal and RARE. Clinton said it best. Republicans and democrats need to focus on the economy, jobs and the deficit both at the federal and state level. Access to birh control and education in the proper use of birth control is essential to lowering the abortion rate. Certainly, shrill retoric on both sides of this issue does not help.

This is just politics as usual

No name used

February 11th, 2011
3:58 pm

@CT “generally speaking, there’s a glaring contradiction in the ideology of anti-abortion proponents: They are passionate about the fetus but indifferent — if not hostile — to actual babies who need a generous social safety net. The same voters who protest Roe vs. Wade usually oppose traditional welfare for poor women, government-funded health care benefits for impoverished children and housing subsidies for poor families. Indeed, among the programs in the crosshairs of GOP budget-cutters is Women, Infants and Children (commonly known as WIC), which provides nutritional supplements to pregnant women and their babies.

You really don’t get it do you. It is about 3 words:PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and MORALITY. I personally have no problem with WIC, and I have no problem providing for a child. The problem is not the kids-they are the innocents, but they are being used in many cases (not all) as a meal ticket by their sorry parents. Not all people in the projects, or on assistance are sorry people. I am addressing the ones that are, and use the fact that they have a child as an excuse to not go get a check and food stamps rather than work for it. Then they turn around and have more because then their checks increase. That is what conservatives have a problem with.

If you can’t feed it, don’t breed it. If you are not married, keep your legs together. If you do get pregnant and it is not a wanted child, carry it to term and put that baby up for adoption, don’t kill it because you can’t be bothered to carry it and have the responsibility for 9 months. The mother could take her big girl panties off to make that baby, she can durn well put them on to take care of that baby, either by getting and keeping a job and raising that child or giving the child up for adoption.
And th father…oh, don’t get me started. Be a man and stand by your family. Don’t be a little boy who runs from responsibility.

As for the social safety nets, I don’t think anyone has a problem giving someone that has fallen on hard times a hand up, but when it becomes a hand out and the recipient refuses to get back up and try to make a better life for themselves, then it is a problem. In case you think I don’t know of which I speak, I have been there and done that. I was a stupid 17 yr old who said “but I love him” and got pregnant, then got married and had my child. We didn’t go on welfare. He worked and I took care of the home, and we got help from our parents. When he left, I got a job and worked and went to school to take care of myself and my child. I needed help temporarily, and it was there, for which I am grateful, and glad to pay it forward. Fast forward 20 yrs, I work, pay taxes, and have 4 children, and am not on welfare. That is the way a HAND UP is supposed to work. Too many people use welfare as a total income scheme and that is just wrong.

Bottom line is the child should not have to pay for the mistakes of the parent with either death in the womb or a craptastic existence in the projects and the parents should act like parents and step up. It used to be that a couple that got in trouble was ashamed and tried to make up for that, but now, they act like it is cool to have illegitimate children.

Real American

February 11th, 2011
4:00 pm

Everyone knows the GOP only uses abortion to conveniently rile up their base but have no intentions to overthrow Roe v Wade.

agree and disagree

February 11th, 2011
4:01 pm

I personally do not believe in abortion except for cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother. That being said, I also do not like the attitudes, behavior and actions of several pro-life people I know. Your belief does not give you the right to blow up clinics or kill medical personnel, and instead of standing outside clinics yelling harshly at these pregnant women, how about walking up them, embracing them, and taking them in and helping them out? All the money that the pro-life movements spends trying to make abortion illegal would accomplish a whole lot more spent on outreach to troubled youth, homes for unwed mothers, and education. I do have a pet peeve about Planned Parenthood, though. I know a young girl who eventually came to me for help and she said her first visit was to PP and they never mentioned the long list of organizations who DO help unwed mothers who want to deliver the child. The only thing she was told was to abort it and how easy it was and there was no explanation of the possible consequences to her health or her emotional well being. And regardless of how screwed up and wrong the parents are for having kids they are not able to raise properly, that’s NOT the kids fault. And don’t tell me Republicans aren’t trying to close WIC and other programs. They don’t want any of their tax money going to help people. They got theirs and they don’t care a whit about anybody else. TRUE pro-life people cherish all lives, even black ones and brown ones and poor ones. You aren’t allowed to decide which lives count–that’s up to God.

John

February 11th, 2011
4:01 pm

@Nothing Is Free

I’m not equating the 2…I’m just saying murder is murder. People bring up God and the Bible when discussing abortion…doesn’t the Bible talking about turning the other cheek, etc.

Real American

February 11th, 2011
4:02 pm

Wingnuts, here is a fact. Abortion is not going anywhere. If a woman does not want to carry a baby to term, she won’t. The end. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop her, nothing.

Todd

February 11th, 2011
4:02 pm

Tucker you are deranged and you need help. If you really think that conservative anti-abortion people are not really pro-life because they expect parents – and not the rest of the taxpayers – to support their children financially then you are crazy or you are running out of things to argue about. We will fight abortion every where we can because everyone has a right to life and we will require parents to pay for their upbringing. This is what any sane person would deem just. Thank god we are taking our country back from you loonies.

Ted

February 11th, 2011
4:04 pm

Do people not know what makes babies? If you can’t afford the condom then you can’t afford a child and should not be having sex because guess what, it can lead to a child. Those condoms are a lot cheaper then an abortion or a baby. People need to think about the consequences of their actions before having sex rather then after. Abortion should in no way be a form of birth control.

Harry Callahan

February 11th, 2011
4:07 pm

“But since staging futile votes to repeal health care reform”

We’ll find out how futile thoes efforts were when the Democrat senators who voted “no” on the repeal bill get voted out in 2012 and the Republicans take over the Senate.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
4:07 pm

Real American that apparently survived Roe V Wade

You are absolutely right.

We killed over a million US citizens last year.

Doesn’t that make you proud?

curt

February 11th, 2011
4:08 pm

I’m glad to see someone pointing out the selfishness of many anti abortionists who beat their chest about saving the unborn, then leave the responsibility of rising, feeding , educating and caring for them to others.

Ralexa

February 11th, 2011
4:09 pm

As if the anti-abortion crowd can stop any Ob-Gyn from performing a D&C in their office. You can’t. You can’t stop abortion because the same procedure is used for more than just terminating a pregnancy, and any Ob-gyn will still do one no matter how much you try to stop it. So while idiots are running around gunning for planned parenthood, those nice Gynecologists up in Buckhead and Alpharetta performing abortions right this second on Tiffany and Amber.

Harry Callahan

February 11th, 2011
4:10 pm

“It’s no mystery why abortion rates are much lower in Western Europe”

Because Western Europe doesn’t have miserably failing public schools like we do?

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
4:10 pm

curt

others . . . like . . . parents?

Ralexa

February 11th, 2011
4:12 pm

Nothing Is Free, it makes me proud to know that a woman can decide for herself what she wants to do with regards to a pregnancy.

Sandy K

February 11th, 2011
4:14 pm

Good column, Cynthia. You’re correct on all counts. And predictably, out come the wingnuts who think it’s fine to shoot doctors to death through their kitchen windows.
Hey folks…it’s the economy!! Remember? And the right-wing has NO solution either.

buck@gon

February 11th, 2011
4:15 pm

To difuse this already splattered bomb of illogic and crackpot analysis would be a waste of time. The argument that only people who care about poor kids can oppose abortion is disastrous enough to give anyone an example of how pig-headed you are.

CC, you have revealed the truth of PT Barnum. There is a sucker born every minute. You’d better hope they have advertising dollars to spend on your rag. Prediction 1: CC will end debate in a few minutes because she does not want this load of crap sitting out there with more reasonable yet disparaging comments piling on over the weekend.

Prediction 2: CC will have her peon programmers tighten security at her website so that only CC will be able to be anything resembling “mean” with her decidedly monstrous comments.

kimmer

February 11th, 2011
4:19 pm

I do not know one person that is against abortion on demand that does not also care deeply about the health and welfare of children. Many I know donate their time and money to help those who need it. There is a very good reason why so many are for reducing traditional government welfare as it creates a vicious cycle that actually traps more children then their children in a culture of poverty.

In any case, comparing the murder of an innocent human with providing care is a dangerous concept. Its essentially making the decision for them that they are better off dead than growing up poor. What’s next? Mandatory euthanasia for old people when they can not longer take care of themselves?

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:19 pm

Where does personal responsibility ever come in?

Don’t get knocked up if you’re not ready to take care of a child.

Is this so mean of me to say?

T-Town

February 11th, 2011
4:20 pm

Ms. Tucker; Having been raised Catholic (and now a non practicing Catholic) I can tell you that the majority of Catholics are Democrats and are against abortion. The fight might not just with the GOP Pro-Lifers, but many of your own party members may also be fighting Pro Choice.

Libertarian

February 11th, 2011
4:21 pm

“call a truce on the so-called social issues”

I know most of the lefties on the blog, including CT, can’t stand him…but Boortz was talking about this today. Essentially saying the Republican party is going to shoot themselves in the foot if they don’t cool it with the extreme social crap. And I definitely agree.

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:23 pm

Excellent point, kimmer

AmVet

February 11th, 2011
4:23 pm

One drive by comment, then I’ll leave blog return back to the self-righteous sophists.

Anybody who asserts that abortion is murder knows absolutely zero about the legal definition of murder. And cheapens it horribly with their Republispeak and psychobabble.

Secondly all of you Oliver Wendell Holmes should immediately notify every court in the land from the United States Supreme Court on down that they have earth-shattering news that will change decades of established law!!

Good luck and good night…

Libertarian

February 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

“traditional welfare for poor women, government-funded health care benefits for impoverished children and housing subsidies for poor families”

No, what some people don’t understand is why these “poor women” get pregnant if they can’t afford a child. Its called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY Cynthia…I don’t want to pay for other peoples lack of it.

Bushie

February 11th, 2011
4:24 pm

Enter your comments here

Bushie

February 11th, 2011
4:25 pm

Tucker calling someone a hypocrite is really rich.

Get It Right

February 11th, 2011
4:25 pm

Well, even though it was an illogical, hysterical rant based total on emotions and devoid of any factual basis, CT actually wrote an entire blog without cutting and pasting someone else’s work. Someone has been paying attention, haven’t we CT?

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:27 pm

Abortion was never about “women’s rights.” It was about convincing “undesirables” to kill their unborn babies so that minorities would be held down.

Welfare had the same initial goal.

Yet now toadies like Cynthia claim that both are beacons of hope for the nation’s poor.

The ability to kill your babies and a handout are NOT helping anyone…look at the statistics.

Better yet, look at your neighborhood.

saywhat?

February 11th, 2011
4:28 pm

This has nothing to do with wedge issues or the social wars, and everything to do with jobs.

Republicans are trying to increase the number of jobs in the daycare and childcare sectors. Just think of all the new carseats that will have to be sold, along with formula and baby food, diapers etc. They are pure geniuses, those Republicans!

Tommy

February 11th, 2011
4:29 pm

Cynthia,
Have you ever thought of the idea of teaching abstinence instead of the use of birth control? You talk about high birth rates but you fail to mention the values of a good home life and the values of not being sexual active before you are ready to establish a home. Is this what you teach your children? Are these the values you spread in your community? That it is alright to have sex as long as you are using a condom or on the pill? Is this the real message that you want to spread?
Has society become so liberal that we now say sex is okay as long as the government provides condoms and pills? Is that the message we are now to teach our little boy “You carry this condom and have sex with any girl” and to our little girl “you lay down with any guy as long as you take this pill”? Is this the message that you want to send? You are sending this message just because of funding.
I know you are liberal but instead of complaining about funding why don’t you preach about the real problem. The real problem is the kids are having SEX. The parents don’t care because they done the same thing at the same age. How many single black moms are there out there today? How many single white moms are there out there today? All because we as parents are not doing our jobs as parents and teaching these kids to say NO … NO ….. NO …. You say it the Governments fault. Well it is not. It is the sorry parents fault. I did not have a kid out of wed lock and neither did my kids. Grow up and tell these sorry moms and dads to do the same thing.

Libertarian

February 11th, 2011
4:30 pm

I do, for the most part, agree with CT’s premise. Republicans (not all, but most) talk out of both sides of their mouths. They are “pro-life” but don’t want to help the poor children once they get here and that is hypocritical. They are against teaching same sex and giving out condoms in schools but, again, don’t want to pay for welfare and WIC. As I said above, I do not want to pay for welfare and WIC either…that is why I’m pro-choice. I also think birth control and/or condoms should be accessible and cheap/free to high school kids. Even taking it a step further than the issue of WIC and welfare….once these unwanted and un-cared-for children grow up they will probably result to crime because their parents are unable to support them. Its a vicious cycle.

DD

February 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

The key words here are FEDERAL FUNDING or free very late birth cntrol. The ho’s can abort all they want I just dodn’t want to pay for it. C.T. why dodn’t you and your ilk focus on black on black and black on white crime.

Cynthia is a hater

February 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

“Tea partiers, in fact, don’t represent a political force driven by new concerns but, rather, a coalition of ultra-conservatives tearing pages from a very old playbook.”

That is 100% BULL!!!! I am a Tea Partier, and I know a lot of others. And none of them give a damn about “conservative” social issues, including not a single one being pro-life. And then there’s the CPAC conference where a big party was thrown for GOProud (that’d be gay conservatives).

When you write stuff like this, it’s obvious you’re too dense to understand anything other than stark black and white issues, nor are you capable of actually understanding someone else’s opinions. It’s far easier for you to make up what you think other people think, and write about that, rather than find out what other people actually think.

As far as economics, you are right, the Tea Party is playing out of an old playbook. It’s what used to be called “liberal economics” before the Democrats changed the term liberal from supporting freedom to supporting control over everything from a central authority.

From a pro-lifers standpoint, abortion is murder. And last I checked, murder is worse than not giving out free money to people who are irresponsible and unable to take care of themselves, as well as the children they never should have had because they aren’t responsible enough to have sex, and probably wouldn’t if the “liberal” Hollywood wasn’t making so much money by pushing sex as a meaningless, unimportant thing.

Eugene Gillespie

February 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

I love dead babies! Every time a baby dies, an angel gets its wings.

SouthGaDawg

February 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

Notice how CT has run off and hid again…

Steven Q. Stanley

February 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Abortion is great, every welfare baby that gets aborted is one less my tax dollars and money borrowed form China has to pay for. Would love to see our abortion rate go up.

Rickster

February 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Libertarian

February 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Tommy

You might be in denial.You can teach children those things but there will still be some who experiment and have sex either way. Don’t get me wrong…I think in a perfect world that would work and kids wouldn’t have sex until they were old enough to support a child…but I’m a realist and I know that’s not the case.

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:36 pm

Tommy,
You’re onto something but you’re not striking the heart of the issue. Mothers and fathers need to be real moms and dads.

I am sorry to say that black men are abandoning their families at rates never before seen in the history of this planet.

Little boys who grow up without their dads don’t understand the importance of being good dads themselves, and the beat goes on…

I was fortunate to have a dad who taught me what it is to be a real man.

My girlfriend became pregnant and I was man enough to become a dad.

Should we have not been having premarital sex in the first place? Yes. But we’re human, we make mistakes.

What makes a real man is owning up to your mistakes and taking responsibility for them.

I pray for my people, and our country in general. I pray that no more little boys and girls have to grow up without a real family life.

And I curse toadies and stooges like Cynthia who want to pass the blame to others.

Without RESPONSIBILITY, we are no better than apes.

Eugene Gillespie

February 11th, 2011
4:36 pm

Yes, please abort more “babies!” It makes the evangelical rednecks cry. I love it.

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Don’t get me wrong, white “men” are also dropping the ball, but I am especially embarrassed at how my own people are throwing their children’s futures down the drain.

David S

February 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

They only care about babies in the womb of american women. They have no problem supporting the killing of tens of thousands of Iraqi children with illegal and immoral sanctions, the killing of thousands of Iraqi children and pregnant woman courtesy of shock and awe or 8 years of brutal occupation, the killing of thousands of Afghani children and pregnant women from the same, or hundreds of Pakistani children and pregnant women from Predator drone strikes.

You only matter to the anti-abortion crown if you are american. Otherwise, you are just “collateral damage”.