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Opinion

More to ‘pro-life’ belief than anti-abortion

Tracey Pollock

February 5, 2009

The pro-life movement is a huge faction in this country. It is generally thought of as a movement of people who do not support abortion in any form, based off of a moral and/or theological objection. But have you ever really read into what it means to be “pro-life?”

Obviously this group of people does not support abortion in any form (except some liberal pro-lifers support abortion in the case of rape and incest), and most of them ALSO do not support access to affordable birth control, and support abstinence-only education in public schools.

Birth control is referred to as “chemical abortion” by pro-life groups. They see using birth control as denying God’s gift of life. Unfortunately, this ideology has made way into the realm of public policy and many family planning clinics (the Planned Parenthoods) now receive little to no federal funding for the services they provide to generally young low-income women.

And thanks to a last minute executive order by former President George W. Bush, all health care workers now have the legal right to deny women information about birth control and abortion, based on a moral objection the professional has.

This means that pharmacists do not have to fill birth control prescriptions, doctors do not have to discuss birth control or abortion options with patients and emergency rooms can deny patients emergency contraception (a.k.a. the morning after pill).

Abstinence-only education in public schools teaches children not to have sex until marriage, that condoms are prone to fail, teach false information about the risks of abortion and do not provide education about birth control methods.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (a government agency) in 2007 the teen pregnancy rate increased 6 percent nationwide, and in 2008, one in four girls between the ages of 14 and 19 had a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). This means that 3.2 million teenage girls are infected with a STD. Do you see a connection?

Also, this group of moral crusaders generally does not support social programs that help low-income women and families. So, if women do not have accurate information about sex, poor access to birth control and have no choice but to keep their child, what do people involved in the pro-life movement expect young people to do?

Babies are expensive and generally young families need financial support. There doesn’t seem to be any compassion for the life of the baby after it has left the womb, or empathy for the mother and family of the child.

Finally, what about support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the death penalty?  Generally, people on the pro-life side of the argument (conservatives) are also ardent supporters of these wars and capital punishment.

War causes death and destruction no matter what the circumstances, and the death penalty needs no explanation. How come they don’t support life above all else in these circumstances, regardless of the necessity for war or punishment they feel is appropriate in these situations? 

So if you are ever in an argument about the pro-life and pro-choice movements, please refer to pro-lifers by the more accurate label of anti-choice.

Tracey Pollock is an alumna of UW-River Falls.