“We are the Pro-Life Generation.”
Speaker Paul Ryan made that deceleration on July 14th, 2016, but is it true? Are WE are the Pro-Life Generation? Well it depends on what you mean by “we.” If you are talking about America as a whole, it should be noted that America is split almost 50-50 over the idea of abortion and whether to identify as “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” According to a recent Gallup Poll, America is split 47% of those surveyed identified themselves as Pro-Choice while 46% identified themselves as Pro-Life. This is different from a similar poll by Gallup done in 2015 where 50% identified as Pro-Choice and 44% identified as Pro-Life. It does seem like the gap is tightening. The same Gallup Poll also noted that 29% of people said that abortion should be legal under any conditions, 19% said that abortion should be illegal under any conditions, and 50% of people said that abortion should be legal under certain conditions but did not specify which conditions. Altogether it looks like America is pretty divided over the issue of abortion but it looks like the amount of people who identify as Pro-choice vs. Pro-life are very close.
The reason I am writing about abortion and the pro-life versus pro-choice views is because last week the March for Life took to the streets of Washington DC to show support for protecting the rights of babies in the womb. This march was on the heal of the Women’s March which had a large pro-choice showing. Because these marches happened in Washington DC, I decided I’d give some information about the march as well as my personal feelings about the issue of abortion. This will be probably be the most controversial political post I’ve written so far on the website, so I ask you to use civility no matter which side of the issue you are on. We can have a civil discussion without hating each other and throwing around words we don’t really mean.
Now the March of Life took place last last Friday. Although the exact count of people is not known, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Washington DC as well as cities all over the country in the name of protecting life in the womb. It was the 44th annual March for Life and in coincided with the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade which established abortion as a right for women. This year was special for the Pro-Life movement however because for the first time in history, a sitting Vice President attended the march. Vice President Mike Pence attended the March for Life and gave a speech saying, “Life is Winning.” However, it should be noted that this march was Pro-Life but was not overwhelmingly in favor of the new President. Usually being Pro-Life is seen as a Republican issue, but the march was not overwhelmingly in favor for the new, Republican President.
So at this point you might be wondering what my personal views on abortion are, or maybe not. I don’t know you personally. I consider myself Pro-Life and a supporter of defunding Planned Parenthood. That being said let me give some more details on my views before you pick up your pitchforks and torches. When I say Pro-Life, I don’t mean “Pro-birth.” I don’t want a child born into a terrible family situation and then to be left behind by the country. I feel like there should definitely be a support net for women who choose life instead of abortion which I know will be taxpayer funded. Personally I think that all the money that goes to Planned Parenthood should instead go to the several different alternatives that provide all the services Planned Parenthood provides minus abortions. There are many out there but they don’t have the name recognition that Planned Parenthood. This money could be used to let women know there are alternatives and the money could also go to funding government programs that help these women and their children. I know Republicans are quick to slash government programs, but I recognize that some of them do a lot of good and need to be funded. I would also rather that my tax payer dollars go towards paying for people’s birth control and condoms over paying for abortions if that were my only two options.
I also think that the issue of abortion needs to be a multi-prong approach. We just can’t restrict abortion and then think our job is done. It’s far from over. We need to figure out why young girls are seeking abortions in the first place. A lot of this has to deal with the short supply of cheap birth control available which can be tackled by organizations giving out birth control for free or for reduced prices. We also need real sex education in our schools and parents need to be more responsible for teaching their kids about sex. We can’t go around teaching abstinence only and hope that kids don’t get pregnant. That doesn’t work. If you have a problem with health teachers teaching kids about sex, then step up to the plate and you teach your kids. You can’t expect kids to just “not have sex.” If they are informed and have access to things like birth control, they are far less likely to get pregnant and spread STD’s. Abstinence should be taught as an alternative but sex education should also include actually talking about safe sex. If we tackle the issue from both ends, there will be a reduced need for abortion as well as the overall number of abortions will drop without jeopardizing women’s health.
I am not anti-women or against women’s health, I just believe that those rights should also belong to young women in their mother’s womb. Personally I’m in support for a Heart Beat Bill. I think a “Life of Conception Bill” takes it too far and doesn’t have that much scientific backing. Maybe it has religious backing, but we need a scientific definition to life. To me it makes sense that you are declared dead when your heart stops beating, so you should be declared alive when your heart starts beating. That’s oversimplifying things and I recognize that, but a heart beat bill makes sense to me and I think it has real, scientific backing. If we have a scientific definition of when life starts, we can then have a fair, civil discussion about abortion and women’s rights without the whole thing being discarded as “religious zealots who hate women.” I’m not a religious zealot and I don’t hate women. Another thing I want to point out that its very easy to talk about abortion with these overarching terms and broad points, but it becomes especially hard when it comes to the individual. These things are not easy choices and can be quite damaging to young women. We can talk all we want about the definition of life and defunding Planned Parenthood, but it becomes a very different story when a 17-year old girl comes into their facility balling her eyes out after fighting through protesters to get an abortion because she was uninformed, had sex, and now she can’t turn to her parents because they are profusely Pro-Life and would not support her if they knew. Those situations do happen from time to time and I would hate to be in that situation. I think Republicans need to continue to be Pro-Life and support the baby in the womb, but also remember to support the woman carrying that baby.
Ok I think I expressed enough opinions there. Agree with me? Disagree with me? Feel free to leave a comment either way as long as its respectful.
Reminder: Keep all discussion civil and on topic. I do not want to shut down free speech but I will if the speech is hateful and/or not-constructive. Thank you.
P.S. Here is a right-leaning article about alternatives to Planned Parenthood. I don’t necessarily agree with the article but it does have information about other women’s health clinics around the country.