How I can vote pro-choice without changing my mind about abortions

This blog post by Libby Anne explains why it’s madness to assume that only one way of voting will prevent abortions, that only the Republican vote will save life and is moral.

And yes, my goal is to save the lives of those unborn babies by making abortion stop happening.  But how can you be against abortions, and also against birth control, and expect to end abortions?

The Catholic/traditionalist Orthodox teaching against birth control, makes no sense: Birth control does not destroy a person!  It shows no understanding for the various issues women have to deal with during their childbearing years, even if they’re married, having many children.

And down through the centuries, even the Catholic Church has argued over when the soul goes into a baby.  Since we now know that the body naturally rejects 50% of fertilized eggs, you’ve got to wonder if God really would waste so many souls, since He’s known this fact long before science figured it out.

And do we really have any hard evidence of when ensoulment occurs?  The Bible is silent about this.

I don’t support abortion, but I’m a realist as well.  Making it illegal will not end abortions, merely make it more dangerous for women who get them. 

The above blog post shows that women/scared young girls will get abortions whether it’s legal or not, that changing the law does not affect rates, so more women will die along with the unborn baby–and the rates of abortion go down when birth control is widely used. 

What we need is easy access to birth control, sex education, help for poor and unwed mothers, and a removal of the stigma of unwed mothers. 

I think back to a couple of times in college when I thought I was pregnant, not from promiscuity but from someone I loved.  One did not love me, and the other was an abuser who had broken up with me.  Should I have had to marry the guy to avoid condemnation?

And there are so many young people putting themselves at risk of STDs and pregnancy because they do not realize that there are other ways this can happen besides vaginal intercourse.

Make no mistake: Even the “good Christian kids” are putting themselves at risk by doing everything but “going all the way,” and not preparing themselves in case they do go too far.  Sex ed is necessary.

And mounting evidence says that the Pill/morning-after pill does NOT cause abortions, not even by the standards of conservative Christians:

The notion that morning-after pills prevent eggs from implanting stems from the Food and Drug Administration’s decision during the drug-approval process to mention that possibility on the label — despite lack of scientific proof, scientists say, and objections by the manufacturer of Plan B, the pill on the market the longest.

Leading scientists say studies since then provide strong evidence that Plan B does not prevent implantation, and no proof that a newer type of pill, Ella, does. Some abortion opponents said they remain unconvinced.

…Experts say implantation was likely placed on the label partly because daily birth control pills, some of which contain Plan B’s active ingredient, appear to alter the endometrium, the lining of the uterus into which fertilized eggs implant.

Altering the endometrium has not been proven to interfere with implantation. But in any case, scientists say that unlike the accumulating doses of daily birth control pills, the one-shot dose in morning-after pills does not have time to affect the uterine lining.

….European medical authorities have not mentioned an effect on implantation on Ella’s label, and after months of scrutiny, Ella was approved for sale in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy, where laws would have barred it if it could be considered to induce abortion, said Erin Gainer, chief executive of Ella’s manufacturer, Paris-based HRA Pharma.

…Dr. Trussell of Princeton said that if morning-after pills worked after eggs were fertilized, they would prevent pregnancy better than they do. The pregnancy prevention rates are probably lower than scientists and pill makers originally thought, he said — in some studies as low as 52 percent for Plan B and 62 percent for Ella.

By contrast, scientists say, research suggests that the only other officially approved form of emergency contraception, the copper intrauterine device (also a daily birth control method), can work to prevent pregnancy after an egg has been fertilized. –Pam Belluck, Abortion Qualms on Morning-After Pill May Be Unfounded

(Note: This is not RU-486, the pill which does indeed cause abortions.)

I used to have a hormonal imbalance which made the Pill necessary.  This was before anybody started talking about the Pill causing abortions.  It has since been cured, whether through use of the Pill or by a miracle, and I want to have another baby, so I haven’t used it since late 2006.

But many women still desperately need to take the Pill for medical reasons.  And my priest even told me the Orthodox Church is not against birth control, that I can use the Pill if I wish–though many traditionalists insist otherwise.

And you can also very easily say that Obama is a pro-life hero because of Obamacare making birth control easily obtained, and therefore cutting abortion rates by 75%:

As most observers surely know, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) requires insurance coverage for birth control, a provision staunchly opposed by most of the same religious conservatives who oppose legalized abortion.

If Peipert is correct, however, the ACA may prove the single most effective piece of “pro-life” legislation in the past forty years.

And from the first link, at the beginning of this blog post:

I realized, then, that if the goal is to cut the abortion rate, the pro-life movement should be working to make sure that women can afford to have and care for children.  After all, a full three quarters of women who have abortions say they could not afford a child.

If we found a way to offer more aid to parents, if we mandated things like paid maternity leave, subsidized childcare, and universal health insurance for pregnant women and for children, some women who would otherwise abort would almost certainly decide to carry their pregnancies to term.

But the odd thing is, those who identify as “pro-life” are most adamant in opposing these kind of reforms.

I knew this back in 2007, because I grew up in one of those families. I grew up believing that welfare should be abolished, that Head Start needed to be eliminated, that medicaid just enabled people to be lazy.

I grew up in a family that wanted to abolish some of the very programs with the potential to decrease the number of abortions.

When I shifted my position on this issue, I was in many ways simply becoming consistent.