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

susan

February 12th, 2011
3:31 am

My cousin once said to me that you make your choice when you choose to have sex.

THAT is free choice to do with your body what you want to. You can choose to have sex knowing that the result may be pregnancy..and a child (not a fetus…which is a term used to be diassociative and muddy the waters)

Abortion is legal – so let’s be honest about what it is and what is taking place…it is the willing destruction of a child. If people would ADMIT that that is what they are doing…and stop being in denial about what they are doing when they have an abortion…the argument would be different…but the pro-abortion groups try to obfuscate what is really going on by calling the child a “cluster of cells”…a “fetus”..even when there is already a heartbeat.

In a country that does not allow the school nurse to dispense an aspirin without a doctors note, children are allowed to get abortions…in the name of the right to do what you want with your body..what a bunch of BS.

And the argument that you have the right to do what you want with your body is a bunch of bs..that only applies with the abortion argument…you cannot get a tattoo without parental consent..cannot get piercings without parental consent, cannot get cigarrettes or alcohol without parental consent, cannot get married or enlist in the military without parental consent…but you can get an abortion – a surgery that is life altering- without parental consent..what is wrong with this picture?

Zzz

February 12th, 2011
4:46 am

Wheres Granny on this subject ??? She makes anywhere between 20-50 comments a day agreeing with tucker !! Me thinks shes Pro-life and wont go against her fellow Liberals !!

SUCKitProLifers

February 12th, 2011
5:51 am

I cant believe the reps are worried about abortions opposed to jobs, this recession (the one we have climbed out of-yeah right), bringing more troops home, etc…
Anywhooo, if u guys are so worried about “children” being aborted, or women aborting the next MLK, then DO SOMETHING besides run your mouths! First, lets encourage/make it a law for the father to STAY in the picture. A lot of women have abortions (even while using protection/contraceptives-things happen such as a condom breaking) because they cant afford to raise a child, and a lot of the reasons they cant afford to raise the child is because the father gets scared and runs out! A lot of fathers also ENCOURAGE their women to have abortions because they dont want children themselves, so why women are only being attacked, i have no idea. Second, lets NOT get rid/attempt to get rid of the programs which many parents need to help raise their children. I know a lot of people abuse the system, but there are a lot of people using these programs while working/going to school to better themselves and their children’s lives. You cant be against abortions but in favor of cutting much need programs…

and someone said, ‘people who are in favor of these programs, are also in favor of abortions which is ironic.’ Yes, I am in favor of both these programs and abortions because a) these programs help a lot of people and b) i work in child care, and the stuff i see daily is real sickening from the lack of stability in children’s, to the abuse of all kind, to the lifestyles the parents lead as if they have no children at all! its hard enough working with the countless kids in these enviroments already, I dont want to have to deal with more, besides, child cares/day cares are being funded less each year, to the point where state govts want to shut them down, elementary/middle/high schools are also over crowded with LESS funding each year (we just may have to start paying for a public education-lol), and babies are having babies (meaning 10 yr olds are having babies), so where will these children that “parents need to take responsibility for and have instead of abort,” learn?

AND i HATE to say it but id rather see NO GOOD men/women get abortions that bear children into BAD enviroments where the CYCLE OF INCEST, RAPE, AND POVERTY CONTINUES-sometimes, for generations. LETS FACE IT PPL, some people DO NOT NEED TO HAVE CHILDREN! PERIOD! There is always going to be those children who grow up to be like their parents (no good), then they have kids, who grow up to be like them (no good), and the cycle continues.

I dont think abortion should be illegal, however, I do believe it should be monitored or controlled, so that young teens cant just walk into planned parenthood or some other clinic to get an abortion…no bueno

Herman Cain

February 12th, 2011
7:18 am

Here is a fresh idea, why don’t the little tramps just keep their legs closed. Then they wouldn’t have to choose to murder a child or if they went onto birth, we wouldn’t have to raise them.

Michelle

February 12th, 2011
7:50 am

The line between murder and “Reproductive rights” seems to fall on whether or not a person wants the child. Truly, a teenage mother who does not want the baby inside her womb can murder it because she has “Reproductive rights”; but, the legal system charges the murderer of a pregnant mother with double murder. Why? The latter mother wanted her child. Was the life inside one womb of greater value simply because one mother “Planned” her pregnancy?

Second, as a Christian, I am firm on my belief to love and serve God. That means serving God’s people. All of his people. On top of what our government deems appropriate to tax us, we are more than generous with our money provided. I don’t believe you can legislate charity or good works. Welfare does not work. If it did, we would have less people on welfare than we did when it was introduced. Instead, it created a cycle of poverty. People help people. Governments don’t and are not equipped to legislate charity.

Let the people take the portion of their taxes that would go to frivolous failing programs and direct them to programs that actually help people. Alpha Omega house is a great example. They take in homeless pregnant teen moms. Offer shelter, medical care, schooling, until they are self-supportive. They have an incredible success rate of ending the cycle of poverty. That’s just one example I have. See, people help people. Governments cannot legislate good will toward men. I am a conservative Christian who does care about life before birth and after birth. Please don’t pigeon hole what you don’t know.

valerie

February 12th, 2011
8:29 am

babies are gross

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 12th, 2011
8:45 am

Only a liberal is unable to make the connection that they too were once “babies.”

So dense, so little time…

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 12th, 2011
8:52 am

Good morning everyone.

Let’s don’t forget the UGA student about 2 weeks ago who was arrested by the Campus Police for killing some mice. Yep – Google it !

But it’s o.k. to kill unborn babies ?

Even if you are of the “fetus” ilk, a mouse vs. a fetus? Come on !

It’s a sick society that can protect its mice but not its unborn children whatever you want to call them.

Hey, what if we called them mice !

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
8:58 am

Herman Cain

Tramps keep their legs closed. Now just a doggone minute!!!

People like you ruin everything!!!

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 12th, 2011
8:58 am

Congress investigates defunding Planned Parenthood :

“A string of undercover videos that shows employees of the nation’s largest abortion provider aiding and abetting underage sex-trafficking has prompted powerful players on Capitol Hill to call for the cash-strapped federal government to stop funding Planned Parenthood.

In the videos, members of the pro-life activist organization Live Action posed as the “managers” of 14- and 15-year-old prostitutes, even girls illegally brought into the country, and taped Planned Parenthood employees offering services, proposing ways to skirt mandatory reporting laws and helping the pimps find ways to get abortions for the girls.

Now Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – which in turn oversees federal grants to Planned Parenthood – is demanding action.

“We’re going to bring Health and Human Services Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius, put her under oath in the spring and ask her to explain what is she doing about these videos,” Stearns said at a press conference yesterday. “And if she lies, then we’re going to ask the attorney general to investigate her.”

“Taxpayers are demanding to know how their money is being spent,” Stearns continued in a statement, “and these videos answer how Planned Parenthood uses public dollars.”

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
9:02 am

0311/0317 -1811/1801

Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger. She was s horrible racist and believed that by using abortions, minority populations would be reduced. And of course that is exactly what has happened. Blacks are aborted in multiples of Whites.

But cTucker blindly stumbles along supporting the organization founded by the woman who believed in reverse eugenics.

But of course she also supports the party of George Wallace.

atlmom

February 12th, 2011
9:24 am

@rafe: completely agree. What he did was murder. However, I still believe that abortion in the first trimester should be legal.

atlmom

February 12th, 2011
9:28 am

@jesus freak: completely and totally different. a fetus is completely dependent on a particular person, and that is that – there is no way for someone else to ‘take care’ of the fetus. As for a toddler, anyone who is capable can take care of it.
but that’s not the point. you can go around and around. do you want legal or illegal abortions in this country when they happen?
do you want rich people to be able to go elsewhere to get abortions, while poor people have to deal with illegal abortions?

Vinny

February 12th, 2011
10:05 am

Cynthia,

Why should taxpayers foot the bill for abortions for the beeeyothch’s that can’t keep their legs together?

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
10:12 am

atlmom

I am close to you on the first trimester, but I believe it is a mater of the infant’s self awareness. There have been tests for that for years. Some babies are self aware earlier than the end of the first trimester and some take longer. Overall, it would work out about the same, but some babies do mature much faster than others (just like post birth)

But the argument about the fetus being dependent is nonsense. Only a qualified nurse can administer a lot of the treatments that keep primies alive so would it be Ok to kill those?

And these people who claim that by changing the name of the baby to something more PC excuses the act are completely clueless. It’s right or it’s wrong and changing the name of the victim means nothing.

Vinny

February 12th, 2011
10:15 am

Cynthia – guns are legal too. So why aren’t taxpayer dollars used to purchase guns for the people that want them but can’t afford them?

It is because all of you anti-gun nut liberals out there!!!

Gator Joe

February 12th, 2011
10:16 am

The Pro-life group is yet another population manipulated by conservative, right wing politicians. These same politicians claim to care about the baby in the womb, while voting and supporting and enabling degradation of the environment which adversely affects mother and baby. Additionally, once the child is born the conservatives could care less about its care, nutrition and education.

valerie

February 12th, 2011
10:22 am

every sperm is sacred

Eric

February 12th, 2011
10:27 am

It’s like everything else these morons insist upon. This is about control. Freedom is only for a select few. Walk in lock step with the right and enjoy your freedom. Everybody else, go straight to Hell.

valerie

February 12th, 2011
10:33 am

I’m all for social engineering. Crank up the death panels for old farts and abortions for drooling babies.

HadIt

February 12th, 2011
10:33 am

Nothing Is Free

In 1968 when Nixon took office the negotiations in Paris for a peace ageement were blocked by North Vietnam’s insistence that their troops remain in place after a cease fire. The U.S. and South Vietnam refused and so the war continued under Nixon who didn’t want to go down in history as the first American president to lose a war. Twenty-six thousand Amercian dead later, just before the 72 election, Nixon announced a peace agreement allowing the North to keep their troops in place. Nixon could have exacted the same peace terms in 68, avoiding the deaths of twenty-six thousand, American boys, but he chose to wait four years so he could go into the 72 election as the president who got us out of Vietnam with honor. Of course we all know what happened after that.

Nixon was personally responsible for the deaths of twenty-six thousand American soldiers. They were no more than pawns in his grand election strategy, which included criminal break-ins to spy on his election opponents.

I almost wish there was a hell so I could have the satisfaction of knowing that Nixon is rotting there.

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 12th, 2011
10:34 am

Nothing is Free:

It’s all about the money ! These clinics, so called nurses and doctors (who violate their oath) are making big time money. They don’t want to give that up !

Joe

February 12th, 2011
10:37 am

Hey Tucker since PolitFact is considered by you a legitimate news source why don’t you write about how they proved Obama lies about Obamacare in his O’Reilly interview…..

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 12th, 2011
10:37 am

Hadlt:

You couldn’t be more wrong.

I was there ……. India Company, Third Battalion, 4th Marines.

Yes, that was a great loss of life but it kept the North Vietnamese from invading the South.

Then we left and for three years they held it on their own.

Then the North Vietnamese launched a massive invasion across the DMZ and out of the Central Highlands and Congress refused to providefunds for supplies and air support as had been promised.

The rest is history.

And who is responsible ? The United States Congress !

Oh, perfidious nation.

valerie

February 12th, 2011
10:39 am

preggers and babies should be seen not heard

Joe

February 12th, 2011
10:40 am

Talk about pants on fire… LOL… Don’t forget about the lie about not raising taxes too….

Fetal Attraction

February 12th, 2011
10:40 am

Murder will out itself every time, sir. Murder must be gay, eh? The only thing that I personally deplore is when the butchers murder those teeny tiny widdle baby bunnies at Rabbit Farms. This has GOT to stop.

If not, we’re finished.

Next issue: Chicken Farms and the teeny tiny widddle baby chickies.

valerie

February 12th, 2011
10:45 am

studies have shown 92% of fetuses hate their mother’s

Buster Collins

February 12th, 2011
10:52 am

Ms.Tucker, the lynch-pin of your argument is based on studies by the “highly respected” Guttmacher Institute? This Institute is a division of Planned Parenthood. Just because you proclaim something as respected doesn’t make it so. In fact, it does the opposite. It took about three minutes to dismantle your whole argument. Where’s my Pultizer.

meinpvb

February 12th, 2011
11:01 am

I am a Republican and I agree with most everything in this article. I think that reproductive rights are no one’s business except the woman, her God and anyone else she chooses to confide in. But I did have to laugh when you say Boehner is acting like Newt. Excuse me, but didn’t he just take over from one of the most partisan, lying, “exploiting wedge issues and lobbing rhetorical grenades” house speaker in recent history and I ain’t talking Newt. Look at Pelosi and her antics before you throw stones!!!!

james

February 12th, 2011
11:05 am

“Until it can survive on it’s own it is a symbiont”

From the keyboard of a moronic leftist. I suppose cancer patients, folks in comas, etc are just f#cked.

valerie

February 12th, 2011
11:05 am

eating animal meat is murder, human abortion is necessary population control

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
11:48 am

HadIt or Walt or whatever name you are hiding behind today

I’ve told you the facts that you blather on about how much you hate.

Have at it, hater.

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
11:51 am

valerie

What a hater.

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
11:53 am

meinpvb

How about the baby? Do the rights of the child enter into this at all?

valerie

February 12th, 2011
11:55 am

You folks have to pardon me. I haven’t gotten laid in about 20 years because I refuse to take a bath.

i think that others should just hold their nose, but since they don’t, I’m really bitter about it.

i hate babies and I really hate people with all that uppity hygiene.

Nothing Is Free

February 12th, 2011
11:56 am

valerie

So is killing plants to eat them also murder?

Thulsa Doom- truth is the first casualty of liberalism

February 12th, 2011
12:24 pm

Good nothing for valerie that nobody decided to arbitrarily abort her life in the name of “population control”

Thulsa Doom- truth is the first casualty of liberalism

February 12th, 2011
12:30 pm

“0311@2:46, But it’s ok to deny basic sustenance to that child who didn’t ask to be born?”

Terrible argument by Cynthia. Let’s see. Kids from poor families get
1- free health care via medicaid
2- free or reduced school breakfast and lunch
3- free food stamps to feed them the few meals the mother must provide
4- free or subsidized housing

And here Cynthia is asking why conservatives don’t want to pay to raise someone else’s child.

Here’s a suggestion Cynthia- Get the freaking lazy dad to help pay for the kids he fathers. And where are the brothers/sisters/parents/grandparents? Just about everyone has them. Why can’t they help pay to raise their own relative.

Thulsa Doom- truth is the first casualty of liberalism

February 12th, 2011
12:34 pm

Question- Cynthia wants us to pay for their birth control. If they can afford a $600-$700 abortion or whatever it costs then why couldn’t they afford the $30-$40 a month for birth control or the 50 cents for a condom to begin with?

Ed

February 12th, 2011
12:57 pm

If people die because they are denied access to health care/health care insurance, is that murder? Yes. Nearly 45,000 die each year because they are denied access to health care insurance. Right to life, doesn’t stop after birth!

Loretta Ross

February 12th, 2011
3:08 pm

Thanks for the clarity of this article. I distrust people who worshop fetuses but whose policies actually harm the children once they are born. I’m sorry that so much vitriol is directed at you for your brave position. Keep up the good work!

Thulsa Doom- truth is the first casualty of liberalism

February 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

Ed,

Nobody is denied access to the ER room. Its the law and people get treated. If someone has a chronic condition like high blood pressure they can pay $50 private pay to a doc, get a prescription, and pay $4 for that medication at walmart or kroger.

If you’re so poor you can’t afford that then there is medicaid where you pay $0.

And if you are in between poor and middle income you can turn in the $600 a month suv, buy a $2000 beater that runs but doesn’t look flashy, and buy a catastrophic health policy that will cover you.

If you can’t get insurance at all then go to work somewhere that offers group insurance where you are mandatorily taken.

If you’re self-employed and are a very small business you can get group health insurance which requires only 2 employees.

There are solutions to everything already- people like you just like to whine and not take responsbility for anything. You’ld rather someone else pay for your stuff.

Thulsa Doom- truth is the first casualty of liberalism

February 12th, 2011
3:17 pm

Loretta Ross,

Soooo people who “worship fetuses” are to be mistrusted. You are one sick, twisted person if you think that those who believe in the sanctity of human life are the bad guys.

“People whose policies actually harm children once they are born?”

Um, no. That would be the worthless parents and families of the children who refuse to provide for those children once they are born. And in case you missed it we provide numerous social programs such as free breakfast and lunch at school, medicaid, food stamps, subsidized housing, all so that people like me who play by the rules can provide for the worthless people and their children. We all believe in a social safety net but few of us believe that welfare should be a whole way of life.

carlosgvv

February 12th, 2011
3:32 pm

If the politicans strongly oppose abortion but don’t care a fig about babies once they are born, then something is at work they don’t want to talk about. Someone needs to follow the money on this.

ray

February 12th, 2011
3:47 pm

What if…what if the anti-choice movement is really just a ruse to fatten the base?

Nah…

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 12th, 2011
3:58 pm

Thulsa Doom- truth is the first casualty of liberalism
February 12th, 2011
12:30 pm

They don’t have the money for contraception because they can’t forgo the purchase of a big color flatscreen t.v.

Not to mention the lottery tickets, beer and cidgarettes.

Really last word

February 12th, 2011
4:01 pm

My question to CT is do the adults who are on government assistance care about babies . . if they did, they wouldn’t have them if they can’t support them!! Don’t give me . . they were unintended. As adults we all know where babies come from !!! Duh!

spoofproof

February 12th, 2011
4:08 pm

Let’s do a recap:
1. Democrats condone and support atheism.
2. Democrats condone and support sodomy.
3. Democrats condone and support abortion.
Why would anyone who is civilized support anyone whose policies endorse death and the ruin of civilized life? Democrats worship money, power, and each other. Look at Detroit Michigan and see the ruination caused by Democrats. Is that what YOU want? Think & Vote for anybody but a Democrat.

DeborahinAthens

February 12th, 2011
4:12 pm

A lot of tripe from you right-wing Bible thumpers, but it all comes down to the fact that your contention that a clump of cells constitutes a person, is merely your philosophy. It is not mine, nor is it many others. I believe a person is a person when he or she takes a breath of air, on their own. Until that time, in most ways, a fetus is merely a parasite. If, in some fantasy world, a parasite could attach itself to a man, and have to be fed, watered, cared for until it popped out, and then, fed, watered, and cared for for the next 16 or 17 years, men would figure out a way to excise the growth. The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church is breathtaking! Anyone that has traveled to Mexico or Brazil, where thousands of children live in garbage dumps and starve to death, realize what an insane philosophy that is. If you believe the Pope gives two figs about any child, take a visit and see what enforced bans on contraception has created. I have two children that were planned, and were loved and cared for. They are both grown men with families of their own. I never had an abortion, but, ironically, if not for the help of Planned Parenthood, my husband and I never could have conceived our first child.