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

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
2:43 pm

PLanned Parenthood should be allowed to teach about birth control, even though the abortion statistics show that their past efforts have been a huge failure.

But how about if they stop making hundreds of millions of blood money dollars by killing over a million US citizens a day?

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
2:43 pm

Sorry. That would be a year. Not a day.

james

February 11th, 2011
2:45 pm

“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”

Please CT- condoms are $1 a piece and available at your local walgreens, gas station, etc.. Does the pregnancy chart really go from top left to bottom right at say 68 cents a piece?

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 11th, 2011
2:46 pm

Cynthia:

You need to get something straight.

If every person in the U.S. that is against abortion absolutely refused to lift a hand, or adopt or provide funds that would be incredibly hypocritical but ………………. it’s still WRONG TO KILL AN INNOCENT CHILD !

No excuse you can come up with will excuse that !

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
2:48 pm

0311/0317 -1811/1801

A million Plus innocent children a year.

Talk about bad Karma.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
2:50 pm

I wonder how many abortions are performed as a result of a person not being able to afford birth control out of the million plus that are performed a year?

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
2:54 pm

power to the people

So when do conservatives “put a bullet in your head?”

Explain?

0311/0317 -1811/1801

February 11th, 2011
2:55 pm

Nothing is Free:

Yep, they just won’t let go of the big flat screen t.v.

barking frog

February 11th, 2011
2:56 pm

As God gave Adam a choice to obey or disobey,
It would seem God was pro-choice, however God
seemed to be displeased with his choice but God
didn’t kill him after his bad choice, so I guess God
was pro-life after a bad choice much like Jane Roe.

ctucker

February 11th, 2011
2:58 pm

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

barking frog

February 11th, 2011
2:59 pm

There are, certainly, some among anti-abortion activists who campaign dutifully on behalf of poor children — notably the clergy of the Catholic Church.
———————————————————————-
It’s possible there are ulterior motives here.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:01 pm

c Tucker

Who is denying food to infants? Try to get those hysterics under control.

they have free food, free medical and free housing. What do you ant . . a paid vacation in the Virgin Isles?

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

February 11th, 2011
3:07 pm

Abortion is murder, those who have them are murderers, those who do them are murderers, period the end of the story. Liberal hypocrisy is off the charts.

barking frog

February 11th, 2011
3:09 pm

Do not kill your children for fear of poverty for it is We who shall provide sustenance for you as well as for them.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6:151)[3]
———————————————————————
This view of Islam should be the view of us all.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

February 11th, 2011
3:11 pm

How about denying sustenance to idiots who automatically equate child birth with starving kids…You are a sad strange person. Good thing you are rare.

Willie

February 11th, 2011
3:15 pm

Denying sustenance to infants? Someone needs to get a grip. Quit slandering the motives of everyone who disagrees with you. Everyone who does not support a big government solution to every problem in the world is not a child hating monster. Quit catastrophizing all disagreement. You have become so shrill and so divisive that you are not really part of the discussion any longer.

GOP Lies

February 11th, 2011
3:20 pm

The republicans never cared about THE BABIES when bush was carpet bombing Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reagan didn’t care about THE BABIES when he had the battle ship New Jersey shell cities in Lebanon.

I know Nixon never cared about THE BABIES when we carpet bombed Viet Nam, I was there!

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:21 pm

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

There’s not a whole of of ways to defend abortions.

We have a society that needs to keep down the surplus population so Margaret Sanger came up with a way to do that. Of course she only wanted to kill off minorities, which of course are the main recipients of the services of Planned Parenthood but it has managed to kill off nearly 15% of our countries population.

I think if there is such a thing as Karma, killing off 15% of our own people has to really stink up the Karma, but it is what it is.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 11th, 2011
3:21 pm

A perverse argument, those who kill babies in the womb care for the babies, but those who oppose killing babies in the womb do not care for the babies. Leftist logic.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:23 pm

GOP Lies

Kennedy sent in the first combat troops. LBJ escalated the war to it’s peak levels. Nixon ran on the platform of ending the war which he did.

If you were there, seems like you would already know that.

J. Kase

February 11th, 2011
3:24 pm

And…and ….and you Republicans are terrible baseball players. Was in “A Few Good Men” I think.

Peadawg

February 11th, 2011
3:24 pm

“Nearly half the pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and about four in ten of those unintended pregnancies result in abortions”

There are that many murderers in this country? Wow….sad.

Misty Fyed

February 11th, 2011
3:25 pm

Your lack of understanding of logic does not make it illogical at all. We do not believe in mercy killings. By your logic, the fact that a baby will be born into poverty makes it ok to kill them. You believe that “no life” is better than a hard one and it is your right to force that belief onto someone who can’t decide for themselves.

Welfare is a seperate issue all together. Conservatives simply want people responsible for their actions. If you are willing to have sex, you need to be willing to raise a child. If not.. then don’t do it; or pay for contraciptives.

I don’t know where this non-sense about contraceptives comes from. Catholics are against it but no-body else I know. But if you want to raise my taxes simply to pay for contraciptives for someone making poor life decisions. Again.. That’s another matter all together.

Peadawg

February 11th, 2011
3:30 pm

“Jobs are Job No. 1, right?” – I would ask Obama that for the past 2 years. Seems like he’s more interested in unconstitutionally forcing us to buy insurance.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:30 pm

We have killed off nearly 40 million American citizens. And now Ms Tucker tells us that of the pregnancies in the US, we are killing almost a fourth of those.

The numbers are staggering.

We were told that by bringing sex ed into the schools, it would teach the kids to use contraceptives, but the numbers continue to escalate. Liberals had better hope that there is no God or no Karma. If there is, we are so screwed.

jack

February 11th, 2011
3:30 pm

uh I work for DFACs and the county. Half the people who apply for WIC don’t need it. they’re just working the system for free stuff

ATF

February 11th, 2011
3:32 pm

No. They don’t realy care about the BABIES. If they cared about the BABIES, they would care about pre-natal care for all pregnant women, about health care for the BABIES are they are born, about day-care for mothers so young children can be cared for while Mom’s work.

It isn’t really about the BABIES when it hits their pocket books. If it was really about the BABIES, all those anti-abortionists would be paying for pre-natal care and paying the doctors and hospitals for the cost of the birth for poor women. They would be paying for diapers poor women can’t afford. They would pay for the babies to see the doctors and get innoculations so they stay healthy. They would pay for the psychological counseling to help a young woman who gives birth after a rape.

It is only about controlling someone else. There is such power in imposing one’s will on another. They substitute control for the love they cannot give and think they have done something good.

God knows.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:34 pm

ATF

There are programs in place that address everything you said. Those programs are not going away. Why the hysterics?

I would like e decrease in the number of abortions. How about you? Are you completely OK with killing off over a million a year?

How to stop them?

February 11th, 2011
3:34 pm

If you really want to stop them – make it a law that the Father of the child is 100% responsible for all costs associated with raising and educating the child until the age of 21.

But we all know that will never happen.

J. Kase

February 11th, 2011
3:35 pm

“Jobs are Job No. 1, right?” Nope. He wants to know who leaked the SOTU to the National Journal.

Per Politico’s Glenn Thrush, Obama’s senior political adviser David Plouffe and other White House aides are “quietly trying to ferret out who leaked” the speech. Plouffe, Thrush reports, is particularly troubled because the draft had been circulated among only a small group of “trusted Obama hands.”

I guess you just can trust anyone these days, but I do love President Obama response: “I don’t need to deliver it now. Everybody saw it.”

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:35 pm

How to stop them?

Are you in favor of the father of the Child having a say in whether or not the mother has an abortion?

The Oddball

February 11th, 2011
3:36 pm

@ Nothing is Free:

As one who spend some quality time dressed in green, let me remind you that President Nixon did not end the war in Viet Nam. In his 1968 campaign, he said he had a secret plan to end the way, but he didn’t. He bumbled along for six years, poured untold more men and money into the pit, escalated Johnson’s bombing campaign, and finally withdrew in a shabby and cynical deal that everyone — EVERYONE — knew would be broken by the North Vietnamese as soon as the last American boot left the ground.

Not sure what point you were trying to make, but that ain’t the way it happened.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

February 11th, 2011
3:36 pm

Wasn’t MLK born into povery, should he have been killed just because he was poor?

How about holding parents accountable once in while]?

Sex is fun, but it’s not just for fun. Stupidity has consequences killing off the consequence is not the way to deal with it.

How to stop them?

February 11th, 2011
3:37 pm

Another suggestion – Require a license to have children. Most people are too stupid to procreate anyway. That is what is really wrong with this country. Too many idiots.

jconservative

February 11th, 2011
3:37 pm

Cynthia, once again I will agree with your basic premise.

For example you say “…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.”

I am not in love with this particular program, but it is an example of an attempt to deal with a problem.

I long ago came to the conclusion that if we ever use the police power of the state to force the birth of conceived children, then we should also use the police power of the state to guarantee the health of those children.

But as of today, we do not use the police power of the state to force the birth of all conceived children. And attempts by the state to provide for the health of born children are a hodgepodge of local and federal programs that are at best a sieve. And subject to the political whims of the day.

We have one end of the political spectrum wanting only to care for children before they are born, and the other end of the political spectrum wanting only to care for children after they are born.

And I agree the Catholic Bishops (USCCB) seems to be the only organization trying to care for all human life, both pre-born and post-born. So at the present time, they get a check from me every year.
My small attempt to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk.

Eugene Gillespie

February 11th, 2011
3:38 pm

If delusional religious nut-jobs bbelieve life begins at conception with a “soul,” then do identical twins only have half a soul since the egg divides after conception? Thank god that god does not exist and blasphemy is a victimless crime. Ever notice that the precious ten commnadments say nothing about slavery, human trafficking, child abuse, rape, etc… Pathetic bronze age nonsense.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

February 11th, 2011
3:38 pm

Just because your dad sucked doesn’t mean all dad’s suck ‘How to stop them?’

How to stop them?

February 11th, 2011
3:39 pm

No, a Fetus is a multi-cell organism. It can’t talk. Idiot.

Hooray for Cynthia

February 11th, 2011
3:40 pm

Right on, Cynthia. Couldn’ have said it better myself.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:40 pm

The Oddball

I missed Viet Nam because Nixon ended the war. I was number nine in the draft , but I didn’t have to go. Nixon ran, BOTH times on fighting the Democratically controlled congress to end the war and that is exactly what he did.

Say what you want, but Kennedy sent in the first combat troops and Johnson escalated the war to it’s peak levels. What you think of Nixon is reflected in what you said, but like it or not, it was NIXON that ended the war.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:43 pm

How to stop them?

So if a human can’t talk, we kill them?

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

How to stop them?

- -No, a Fetus is a multi-cell organism.- -

So are you.

pro-Ragnar

February 11th, 2011
3:44 pm

Very well said, Ragnar. Apparently the pro-choice contingent cares about future under-nourished children to the extent that they’d rather kill them in order to save them from hunger pangs…man, that’s some tough love. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water (pun intended)…perverse indeed.

Roe and Wade

February 11th, 2011
3:46 pm

Let’s all argue about abortion!!! I can promise you that not one comment on this blog is going to change the mind of a single person. But Ms. Tucker’s point is right on. The same people who want to outlaw abortion and force women into having children are usually the same people who rail against welfare babies.

Keep in mind that if abortion were outlawed there would be many children born into abusive homes.

Elliot Garcia

February 11th, 2011
3:46 pm

It is murder Cynthia, plain and simple….

John

February 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

The death penalty is murder…will Republicans’ next introduce a bill to ban the death penalty?

Mike K.

February 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

Cynthia essentially claims that you can’t oppose welfare and still care about kids. I can easily turn her argument around and say that liberals don’t really care about kids because, while they support welfare, they also support abortion. I don’t think either argument is particularly persuasive.

As for my personal take on abortion, I think few people would argue with the statement that it should be illegal to kill people. I’m not sure when babies cease being clusters of cells and become “persons”, but I am sure that there’s no particularly good reason to use birth as the bright line in the sand between personhood and non-personhood. I’m also sure that the law should err on the side of preventing the murder of persons. If newborns are persons (some would argue otherwise, but I am not one of them), then I think the line should be drawn much earlier. Perhaps abortion should be entirely illegal, perhaps it should be illegal after the first trimester – I think reasonable people can disagree. However, I think it’s pretty clear that abortion on demand, right up until brith is abhorrent and should be illegal.

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:49 pm

Roe and Wade

- -Keep in mind that if abortion were outlawed there would be many children born into abusive homes.- -

And there would be many children who weren’t. How many MLKs are we killing? How many people that could cure cancer with their intellect that we never allow to flourish.

You think a lot like Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. (That’s not a compliment)

Nothing Is Free

February 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

John

So you equate an unborn baby to someone convicted of murder.

I have to say: that’s pretty crazy.

Ground hog day

February 11th, 2011
3:51 pm

Maybe Cynthia’s collegue, Bob Barr is right this time. Maybe they should stop teaching the four F’s in elementary school, and that could stem the tide of abortions. Education IS the key here. We have to stop learnin’ kids the four F’s.

If not, we’re finished.