Yesterday, on the floor of the House, one of Georgia’s leading mossbacks, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, (R-GA), gave a speech denouncing Planned Parenthood and professing to care about black babies lost to abortion. I wish I believed that Broun cared about black babies, but I know better.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the sort of hypocrisy Broun and others are up to on abortion:
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.
Brown’s paternalism is showing.
—— Cynthia Tucker