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

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Eugene,
You need serious help.

You and Steven Q. should join a support group.

SMH

February 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Lauryn Hill starts off one of her songs with the line “Adam lives in theory/trying to turn stone to bread/masquerading like he’s got it figured out…” It is a privilege to be able to sit and postulate about what is theoretically the right thing to do for someone else to with their lives. It is only until, however, that you have held the hand of a woman who knows her father will kill her for her pregnancy, until you have been the woman who has been told that she has a fetal anomaly so severe that the pregnancy must end now, or until you have struggled with the same choice yourself for reasons that are all your own that you understand the gravity of it. And there is the critical issue; it is a choice. No one is telling us we can’t smoke in our own homes when there are children present, even though we know the risks are significant. There are choices that we make where no outcome will be good, but we are still left to choose.

And it is not hypocritical to note someone’s concern with life pre-birth but not post. Why are we against abortion but pro-war? Its ok to kill non-americans (even innocent civilians), and ok for americans to die in that mission, but abortion is singularly always wrong? If you support life, then support LIFE. Support social programs that lead to a healthy society, even if it doesn’t immediately seem to benefit you (gasp!). Support diplomacy instead of war. Support politicians that don’t use violent language and imagery to rally their base. Support global de-militarization. Support gun control. Support life. Otherwise all you are supporting is underdeveloped simplistic, glib, theory. God help you when real life steps in and shows you where minocular theory cannot be practically applied.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

February 11th, 2011
4:39 pm

Apes don’t kill their babies…..

Seriously?

February 11th, 2011
4:40 pm

For all of you “human life begins at conception” anti-abortion folks, where is the outrage over birth control pills? After all, they prevent fertilized eggs from implanting post conception. Doesn’t this fit your definition of “abortion?”

Also, please stop pretending that a zygote and a fully-developed infant are the same. They’re not, and insisting that they are is preposterous. Abortion stops a group of cells from developing into a person under the right circumstances; that is NOT the same as killing a person. At some point, the fetus is developed enough that it should not be able to be aborted, but pretending that point is reached upon conception, or even in the weeks that immediately follow, is just willfully ignorant.

Eugene Gillespie

February 11th, 2011
4:41 pm

Too bad Jesus was not aborted.

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:41 pm

David S,
That is a very broad stroke you make with your assertion.

There are plenty of us who oppose violence of ALL kinds, against our own unborn children as well as against complete strangers in other parts of the world.

While I certainly don’t support neo-cons, there is a new conservative movement, rooted in a more libertarian way of thinking led by Ron Paul, that is moving into the mainstream.

We believe in personal responsibility and peaceful resolution.

Cynthia is a dumb racist negro

February 11th, 2011
4:41 pm

Why do blacks have the highest rate of infanticide in this country?

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:43 pm

Seriously?,
But you do agree we have to draw the line somewhere, right? You don’t believe full-term fetuses should be killed, while I believe that fetuses after a couple of weeks shouldn’t be killed. We are only disagreeing on a relatively small time frame here.

Eugene Gillespie

February 11th, 2011
4:43 pm

They are delusional theists. They really believe that there is a god and it cares about a non-viable grouping of cells that does not experience pain. I say all christians should be forced to have abortions.

Libertarian

February 11th, 2011
4:43 pm

“After all, they prevent fertilized eggs from implanting post conception”

Not exactly. They prevent ovulation…therefore there is no egg to be fertilized. What you are talking about is the “morning after” pill.

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:45 pm

“Why do blacks have the highest rate of infanticide in this country?”
__________________________
Because, unfortunately, we are too often not taught that we have value. The same reason blacks are disproportionately in jail. We have fallen into a vicious cycle of children growing up without responsible parents who then abandon their own families.

Don’t just write this off as a black problem. This is an American problem. We are Americans too.

Pray for our country and everyone in it.

joe

February 11th, 2011
4:46 pm

The sub line was: “Do pro-lifers really care about babies?”

It should have read: “Why dont pro-choicers care about babies?”

RambleOn84

February 11th, 2011
4:48 pm

Eugene,
You have a lot of hate built up inside you.

I’d be willing to bet your parents either weren’t around or were themselves irresponsible wastes. It is not your fault, Eugene…your parents let you down.

But there is good news. It is never too late to make something of yourself and shun all manners of hate.

Rafe Hollister

February 11th, 2011
4:53 pm

It is my body and I can do what I want with it, say the Pro Abortion Democrat loving woman.

It is my body and I don’t want health insurance, says a freedom loving individual. You are required to have health insurance says the Dems.

Speaking of hypocristy Sin-thee, it cuts both ways.

Rafe Hollister

February 11th, 2011
4:55 pm

hypocrisy vice hypocristy, although I have known some hippo Christys.

???

February 11th, 2011
4:56 pm

Enter your comments here

SMH

February 11th, 2011
4:57 pm

All this theoretical talk is killing me (no pun intended). I charge the most sanctimonious of you, the “just have it and put it up for adoption” folk, to take a foster child or two in yourselves. That’s where the rubber meets the road. “Of course I care about unwanted babies!” Then show them. Lets reduce the rolls of unwanted non-white children and teens languishing in foster care now. Foster care and adoption agencies should not be treated like the garbage dumps of society either. We should not encourage women to feel like they can just abandon their babies to a system that is already overwrought like that is some sort of morally acceptable solution. Abandonment is shameful, and encouragement of it is worse. Stop trying to impose your own moral code on the rest of the world.

RGB

February 11th, 2011
4:57 pm

I love all these columns variously titled as “Do Conservatives Really Care About…..Clean Air, Babies, Apple Pie, The Unemployed, Clean Underwear, Deficits, The Economy”, etc.

While these columns are designed to be provocative and to put right-thinking people on the defense, they really do neither.

Instead, I marvel at the fact that these columns never ask whether Democrats/Liberals care about any of these topics.

With a trail of 30 million+ dead babies on its collective conscience, the Democrat party owns the liability of this issue.

And nobody ever asks “Do Democrats Really Care About Babies?” That simple fact tells you everything you need to know about Democrats.

Seriously?

February 11th, 2011
4:58 pm

Ramble, it may be relatively small, but it’s crucial. I mean, if it’s truly that small, why do you disagree with my belief that abortion is acceptable up until a certain point?

Libertarian, you’re right. I mixed the two up for a moment. Apologies.

DC

February 11th, 2011
5:00 pm

Tucker’s belief that pro-lifers don’t care about babies is an oft-repeated but ABSOLUTELY groundless claim. There are thousands of crisis pregnancy centers in the US run by pro-lifers (inspired usually by their Christian faith) that help with with pre-natal care and assistance both during and after the pregnancy. NO ONE EVER MENTIONS THIS. Planned Parenthood sells a load of BS to vulnerable women and kills their child for a few hundred dollars. And a large percentage of aborted children in the US are black. Doesn’t that bother you, Ms. Tucker? By the way, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, wanted it that way. She was a eugenicist who believed that blacks should not be allowed to reproduce.

RGB

February 11th, 2011
5:03 pm

Eugene,

You seem intent on achieving eternal separation from Almighty God.

I strongly urge you to reconsider. If your bet on the non-existence of God is wrong, the price you pay will be more than you can bear.

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’”

todd tomorrow

February 11th, 2011
5:05 pm

Too bad men can not get pregnant. Then birth control would be inexpensive, if not free. And abortions, well, I imagine it would become less of an issue in politics, or else Rep Boehner would never stop crying – for the rights of the pregnant men.

Cindy

February 11th, 2011
5:05 pm

@Seriously?
Thank you! I couldn’t agree more.

And furthermore, why must everything boil down to “pro-life”, “anti-abortion”, or even “pro-abortion”? Isn’t the basic right that of a woman’s right to choose? I doubt many of you who launch rocks with your words have ever been in such a terrifying situation. Sure, you can say things like “if you can’t afford the baby, don’t put yourself in that position” and stuff, but accidents can happen. Those $1 condoms some talk about aren’t ALWAYS fool-proof. And abstinence education? That’s only been proven to not work. (Though I wish it did, honestly.) But simply put, we were designed to procreate. I mean, come on–there’s a reason that it’s so much fun!! So to say that people “shouldn’t do it” isn’t going to help anything. And I agree with others who bring up arguments about the death penalty, birth control, and other ideas that seem to conflict with the black and white thoughts of many on here. There’s no easy decision, but I feel that it should still be the woman’s right to decide what happens to her body. Until men understand what it is like to face that fear (and they can’t run away from it!), carry a child to term (and experience all of the aches, pains, nausea, and general toll it takes on the body), deliver the baby (as Bill Cosby said, pull your bottom lip over the top of your head, and you MIGHT have a slight idea of the pain that women go through during childbirth), then RAISE the child–well–who are you to say what I can and cannot do with my own body?

TallaDawg

February 11th, 2011
5:05 pm

Allowing abortions does not force anyone to have an abortion, but outlawing abortion forces people not to have an abortion. How is interferring with reproduction not big government interference? (Rather than abortion “on demand,” I am much more in favor of strong promotion of birth control in schools, etc.)

???

February 11th, 2011
5:06 pm

Cynthia

Please ban the racist that commented @ 4:41! Well… There are a TON of racist & full blown uneducated idiots commenting.

What a woman chooses to do with her body is her business AS LONG AS she is NOT using abortions as birth control. TOO many children out here(black,white, hispanic etc) that are not cared for properly because they weren’t wanted. Why should these children be brought into this world with no love just to grow to repeat the cycle? Most of you pro life ppl need to stfu & mind your business cause what someone chooses to do with their life is their business!
Mistakes DO happen!

TallaDawg

February 11th, 2011
5:07 pm

Thanks, Cindy.

Red

February 11th, 2011
5:12 pm

CT – I would love to invite you to a number of evangelical churches who would love to prove you wrong. Just because a conservative does not support certain programs does not mean they do not support a woman and her child. There are numerous churches and religious organizations who have stepped up to actually do more than hand over a check. If you would get out of your liberal attack bubble, you’d notice these groups. A number of evangelical churches and groups have led the charge on foster care and adoption as well.

As one of these activists you label a hypocrite, I would love to sit down with you and show you government is not the solution for all of the ills in society. If you checked, you would see more fraud in many aspects in government programs in this arena. People are fed up with fraud. People are also fed up with handing money over to a problem instead of solving it. A check is great but that is as far as that goes. What of the other aspects beyond a check?

As for the contraception issue, you do realize that here in the US contraception is easily obtainable right? Comparing us to Western Europe on that front is plain ignorance. The people who have abortions have easy access whether cheap or free. It’s not a difference between countries. Pouring more money would not make a difference. The inner city, an area where more money goes into contraception than any other location has the highest rates of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

CT – I invite you to get out into the real world some time. It will do you good. You may learn something. Perhaps sitting at the keyboard taking swipes at others all day, you’ve isolated yourself from reality. Your beliefs may hold on the AJC and HuffPo but not where the rest of the country sits.

Brother Lowell

February 11th, 2011
5:14 pm

Your heart is evil Cynthia, you must repent and become born again or you’re going straight to the pits of hell.

dmcsga

February 11th, 2011
5:15 pm

Sorry I can’t listen to the Republicans. They totally do not make sense.

If you are so admant in preserving life than you should also be just adamant to make sure that all these needs of a so called abortion is met as well. Don’t say you want the car but are not willing to make the payments and keep up maintenance.

If a woman decides that it would be better to abort due to rape or any other major implication but they want to force her to keep it than it should become the responsibility of those anti-abortionists.

I don’t agree in making an abortion a birth control, however there it should be an option after counseling.

Roll Tide!

February 11th, 2011
5:16 pm

Hypocritical Republicans, oh wait that’s an oxymoron, talking about karma!

Too funny. That made my day.

Have a great weekend all you “pea” brains.

Hastie

February 11th, 2011
5:16 pm

You’re right Chintheia, Obungle is no Reagan, he couldn’t hold his friggin jock, you’re such a dumb, arrogant wench, stupid hate filled black person is all you are. All your kind ever see is skin color, go away, the ajc should fire your sorry black rear.

Ramguy

February 11th, 2011
5:17 pm

Repubicraps strategy is the same as it was the 8 yrs Bush was in office…WMD…..weapons of mass distractions.

Phil Henry

February 11th, 2011
5:18 pm

We will never eliminate abortions by making them illegal. Look at the war on drugs for proof. We will never eliminate abortions by picketing abortion clinics or even bombing them. We can only eliminate abortions by attacking the root cause – unplanned pregnancies – through education. If abortion opponents REALLY cared about reducing the number of abortions, they would make sure that everyone who might have unprotected sex received the education they need to either decide not to have sex or use a contraceptive. Unfortunately, abortion opponents don’t really care about “the innocent unborn.” They really only care about forcing their “morals” (a term I use loosely) on other people. If you are truly anti-abortion, ask yourself what you have done to actually prevent someone else’s unplanned pregnancy. I bet it is nothing. Both sides of the argument are disingenuous. The pro-abortion crowd like Ms. Tucker claim that it is better to terminate a fetus rather than let it suffer hunger as a child. Honestly though, how many children in the U.S. really suffer from malnutrition, and further, would prefer to never have been born instead of feeling hungry? On the other hand, abortion foes want to control the behavior of other people, but not help them change the behavior that got them there in the first place. As always, education will be the only solution.

atlmom

February 11th, 2011
5:22 pm

Read freakonomics for an interesting perspective on this topic.

The question isn’t when life begins (everyone has a different answer) it’s whether you want abortions that take place to be legal or illegal.

But I do agree that there should be no federal funding for abortion, given the controversy this issue holds.

What about me?

February 11th, 2011
5:22 pm

Um…what a woman does with her body huh? Too many kids not wanted huh? Sorry kid. We don’t want you….bring me the forceps and scalpel and just slice the unwanted child up. Wow. What a civilization. We have no regard for humanity. We have no regard for human life. We don’t want you. Pull the plug. Cut them up.

The woman’s body? Her choice? I guess that poor unwanted child has no say about his or her body? His or her choice? Convenient. You make the mistake and someone else pays for it.

When humanity has no regard or concern for itself, humanity ceases to exist. We then become no different than some beast in the jungle that eats its young.

Brother Lowell

February 11th, 2011
5:23 pm

the only solution is repentance, it’s evil to ever murder an unborn child at any stage, God hates hands that shed innocent blood. Evil, Cynthia and all who think like her are evil, they have hearts of hate, and will all burn in hell unless they repent and believe on Jesus Christ.

Brother Lowell

February 11th, 2011
5:27 pm

One more thing, children are not a curse not something to shun. Birth control causes abortions. Just Google it on the internet and you’ll see.

Only a liberal

February 11th, 2011
5:29 pm

Only a liberal could make an argument for feeding babies while defending the right to kill babies!!!

Moderate Line

February 11th, 2011
5:31 pm

Cynthia this is a good article. If society wants to tell individuals that they can not abort children then society has a responsibility to ensure basic needs are meet. After all these children did not decide to be born. Also, if society is going to say that it is up to the individual whether they can have child then I have wonder why it is societies responsibility to ensure the child basic needs are meet.

Azazel

February 11th, 2011
5:32 pm

I’m going to buy stock in knitting needles and coat hangers.

Freedom Fighter

February 11th, 2011
5:33 pm

Lord, you really know how to court your audience when you pick your topics CT ; )

These crazies would debate you over your choice of cereal and you write about their most hated subject?!? You are correct however about the crazies not caring for the children once they’re born. The root of all of this to me is one party wanting the power to control another party; whether it’s drugs, sex, or abortion. How about all of you crazy people limit your influence to the people who you list as dependants on your tax returns and keep your laws off other people’s bodies!

Grandma

February 11th, 2011
5:34 pm

What about those women who are raped, or those who used birth control and it failed them, or those whose own life would be in danger if they got pregnant? There are exceptions to every rule.

Moderate Line

February 11th, 2011
5:34 pm

Only a liberal

Phil Henry

February 11th, 2011
5:18 pm
We will never eliminate abortions by making them illegal. Look at the war on drugs for proof.
+++
We don eliminate anything by making it illegal. That goes for murder, stealing, etc.

Brother Lowell

February 11th, 2011
5:34 pm

@ModerateLine,

You are wrong, people should be responsible for their own behavior and if they decided to have sex and a women gets preganant they raise the kid, i have never seen a needy kid denied Peachcare, have you?

Robert

February 11th, 2011
5:38 pm

It’s MURDER!!!!! Germany paid dearly for that Holocaust. The United States will too.

Rafe Hollister

February 11th, 2011
5:40 pm

I am ambivalent on the subject of abortion, since I am not a female. But what I can not justify in my mind is late term abortion. What is the difference in abortion and retroactive abortion. Why can you kill a viable 8.5 month gestating “fetus” legally, like Dr Tiller or the nutjob in Philadelphia, but you can’t kill a 2 week old child? How any of you on the left can justify late term infanticide is beyond me. What is the excuse, “I just found out I had been pregnant for 8 months”. If you did not want a child after carrying it for 8 months, chances are you didn’t want the child after carrying it for 2 months.

I do think people have a right to do as they please with their bodies, so don’t prosecute me for not having health insurance Mr Obama.

retired early

February 11th, 2011
5:42 pm

Eugene

Go get ‘um. I am so sick of “christians”….they believe a book of stories 2000 years old over modern science. Enough said…

SmittyATL

February 11th, 2011
5:44 pm

CT suggests that many opposed to abortion are hypocrites since some pro-lifers also oppose federal funding for WIC programs. I, for one, find abortion to be morally reprehensible. I also donate to charities that provide health and welfare services for needy children.

The federal government has clearly over-reached in many areas, as evidenced by its ineptitude in managing the budget. The feds simply cannot afford to provide the slew of services that many would like it to provide. That doesn’t mean that we citizens can’t or shouldn’t help those in need; we can all make charitable donations rather than sending more tax dollars to Washington and expecting the government to handle everything.

atlmom

February 11th, 2011
5:45 pm

Different religions view when ‘life’ begins differently. Be careful of putting your ideas on other people.

Irony

February 11th, 2011
5:48 pm

Freedom Fighter – I hate to break it to you but those “crazies” do quite a bit to help care for children that are unwanted. The ones who adopt and foster? Those crazies. The ones helping food banks and delivering food to poor single moms? Crazies.

It seems the selfish are the ones who just say kill the undesirable child. Then when the woman has medical issues due to abortion, sterilization, etc. those same people who “care” about that woman’s choice are the ones who do nothing.

And Cynthia – since you are such a caring loving soul, how many children have you adopted? How many do you foster? How many do you invite into your home and feed? You judge me based on a label that I do nothing? You do not know me. But yet you call me a hypocrite. I am not a betting person but I am willing to say I do far more than you to help these people you wave around to posture and make your point. You will exploit poor people and children to make a point to attack. But yet what do you do? Or do you just like exploiting the poor for your own personal cause?