Substantive Work on Reducing Abortion

Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, recently wrote a good article on the need to take concrete steps to reduce abortion. “Abortion – From Symbol to Substance” is a much more compassionate and sensible take than what I typically hear from the Pro-Life advocates on the Right. This is an agenda I can get behind.

Wallis mentions two bills which have been offered up in congress, ones which take steps to deal with the roots of abortion instead of merely condemning or criminalizing the fruits. HR 1074: Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act, and HR 6145 [109th]: Pregnant Women Support Act are both worthy of encouragement. Sadly, neither bill has a sponsor from Utah, all of whose Representatives are LDS and supposedly advocate life and helping those in need. Why not give your representative a call, see whether or not they endorse these bills, and recommend that they back the bills.

In reading Rep. Lincoln Davis’ press release announcing the bill, I find it particularly interesting that while such religious organizations as The National Association of Evangelicals, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, have found it justified to back Representative Davis’ Pregnant Women Support Act, the two of the most prominent religious groups who speak most loudly on moral issues and abortion specifically have not supported the legislation. Perhaps this is because those organizations are more concerned with exclusion, retribution, and building a base of power through moral grandstanding than in compassion and real solutions to the moral issues? While those and similar groups have exerted considerable control within the pro-life movement over the years, those who are pro-life don’t need to follow their lead. Those concerned with life can join together on this different road to deal with the tragedy of abortion, a road more Christian in my view.

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4 Responses to “Substantive Work on Reducing Abortion”

  1. Cstanford Says:

    I’ve appreciated this post, as well as your other thoughts on the subject. It’s wearying to see so many who still don’t move beyond simplistic moral outrage.

    I’ve had a lot of discussions about abortion with people where these points have been brought up, and I’m glad to see that some legislators are trying to actually do something about the causes for it.

  2. Emily Says:

    The reason that these groups don’t stand up in support of this legislation is because it would take away the Republican rhetoric that has won them elections for the last 15 years.

    If they really wanted to fix this problem, they would have fixed it by now. As I see it, without this wedge issue they can’t win, and they know it.

  3. jennifer Says:

    I agree with Emily. This is not about morality but about elections. Sad, but so true. Part of the dilemma, of course, is that everyone knows that even if the Republicans were able to outlaw abortions, women would still find ways to obtain one if they wanted one. Always have, always will. I’m not promoting abortions, but making observations.
    Truly, to reduce the number of abortions, we should examine education, availability of contraception, and what support systems we have in place for those who become parents when they were not ready. All of these pro-life tactics are proven. Another factor that only contributes to abortions is the condemnation and villifying of the women by the most sanctimonious holier-than-thou among us.

  4. Emily Says:

    Jennifer –

    “Truly, to reduce the number of abortions, we should examine education, availability of contraception, and what support systems we have in place for those who become parents when they were not ready. All of these pro-life tactics are proven.”

    Bingo. And these are things we can *all* support, no matter what side we find ourselves on. The fact that the far right *doesn’t* want to support these things troubles me a great deal. It makes no sense.

    But hey. The far right never makes any sense and can’t deal with reality. They are more concerned about their rhetoric.

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