In Senator Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, I was glad that he touched one of the third rails of politics namely abortion when he said, “We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.” I am with you, Senator Obama since I am pro-life, but more on that later.
With McCain’s selection of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, this third rail was re-touched upon when the news reported that she is against abortion rights. This was a brilliant move by McCain to connect with Evangelical Christians who do turn out in large numbers primarily because of this one issue.
Also this move by McCain was to sway some Clinton supporters who are angry that Obama did not choose her to pull the lever for McCain. I do not know how well this will work since Senator Clinton is pro-choice. This move was also made to sway those still undecided voters and if they are pro-choice, then the McCain/Palin ticket is not the right choice for them.
As many of you already know through past columns, I am pro-life and I agree with Barack Obama that we as a country must do everything possible to reduce the numbers of abortions. I even took heat for my stance on this issue and that is okay since we can agree to disagree. While I am pro-life, I would never interfere with a woman’s right to choose since it is protected by the United States Constitution and I believe in upholding that sacred document.
The thing that worries me should McCain and Palin win is that they will appoint more conservative judges to the bench who are anti-choice.
In addressing this issue in the past, I have confronted others who feel as I do of the sanctity of life. In the past, I have emailed groups such as Operation Rescue that they are not doing their part to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. They may show up at abortion clinics, but by that time, it is already too late. Some of these extremists will badger a woman who is already feeling emotionally torn.
When Obama stated in his speech, “No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.” I do suspect that many faced with unwanted pregnancies feel isolated and alone especially if they do not have health care or come from poverty. Are those pro-lifers on the right just talking the talk without actually giving these women the support they need? How many women who become pregnant without health care are on their own?
Before I get into viable solutions to address this issue, many on the right think of the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez a dictator, but this is a little known secret that is not openly discussed as it pertains to this issue. In Venezuela, abortion is against the law. It is only legal if the mother’s life is in danger. I even wrote of it in a past column titled, Imagine a country that actually takes care of its poor and unborn! What do you say to that, Pat Robertson or other fundamentalist Christian leaders who are against a woman’s right to choose?
Now if those in the pro-life movement truly want to reduce the number of abortions, here are some viable solutions.
As a preventative measure, sex education should and must be taught in our public schools and that does include how to use birth control. This way a girl doesn’t have to find herself pregnant and alone with no where to turn.
We must as a country also give a pregnant woman the health care she needs during that pregnancy so that she does bring a healthy baby in to this world. We must also ensure that that child does have health care once born. They do so in Venezuela, so why not here in the United States of America?
Children born into poverty in Venezuela are being fed at the 1,100 feeding centers in Venezuela which are funded through the profits made by CITGO oil. This diet contains proteins, starches, vegetable and milk.
All forms of birth control should be covered by one’s health insurance if they are lucky to have a health care plan. By the way, most health care policies do cover Viagra should a man need it. I guess a man’s sex drive is more important than preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Any pharmacist refusing to fill contraceptive medications such as the pill should be told to go find other work. Their moral stance has no place in the work place if we are going to bring down the number of unwanted pregnancies.
If these terms cannot be met by others who say they are pro-life, they cannot interfere with a woman’s right to choose. After all what hope do most of these people give a woman when faced with an unwanted pregnancy without giving her the support she needs?
Barack touched upon personal responsibility last night and this is where parents need to get involved in their own child’s life to stem the tide of unwanted pregnancies. This means actually having a discussion with your child about the birds and the bees. I have basically had a talk with my two teenage children saying, “No condom, no sex.” Much to their embarrassment, I even demonstrated how a condom is used.