Did you know that 66% of pro-choice advocates also favor more abortion restrictions?
Part of the problem that we have as a society in dealing with this issue is that we’re stuck on labels… and those labels set us on two opposing sides, against one another, even though there’s so much we could be united about.
That’s because the vast majority of us agree: we want to reduce the abortion rate. And what’s more, we know how to accomplish that.
So, let’s start accomplishing the things we agree on first.
How to reduce abortions in WV
Let me lay some common sense on you: Rapists should not be able to sue for visitation rights. But West Virginia is among the 31 states that allows a rapist to sue for visitation rights, meaning a woman who has that child might then have to deal with her attacker for the next 18 years.
That is insane! To protect both mother and child, then let’s start with this simple change: Rapists should not be able to sue for visitation rights.
Where do we go from there?
Let’s take a serious look at the causes of abortion so we’ll understand how we can reduce abortion rates.
Who gets abortions—and why
The truth is that women who get abortions are disproportionately poor. Plus, poor women are also more likely to consider themselves pro-life.
This means that financial pressures often lead to the tragic decision to end a pregnancy that would in other circumstances be welcomed. What a heartbreaking thing.
But this also means we have a great opportunity to reduce abortions by helping struggling families.
So, another good way to reduce the number of terminated pregnancies is to make sure that everyone has access to birth control, and that we have support for families and children after birth. Paid family leave. Affordable daycare.
Contraception should be free and accessible to allow people to engage in family planning and avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place.
And if you find out you’re going to have a child with serious challenges that will require special medical care you can’t afford… well, how about we help you afford that care?
Because, does anyone seriously want to suggest a child should suffer without proper care or medicine because his or her parents were poor?
What we can do when we work together
We can provide genuine help to families, women, and children in this state. Pro-life AND pro-choice people should be all over making legislative changes that will reduce abortions by removing the financial pressures that prompt them.
There are people on both sides who want to reduce the number of abortions performed in this state… so let’s DO THAT. Because the other part of the puzzle is this surprising piece of information: places where abortion is illegal actually have higher abortion rates. And if you look at the details there at the link, the abortion rates are thought to be higher when there is “more restricted access to contraception.”
So, the conclusion must be: we know how to reduce abortions—WE KNOW HOW—but our representatives are by and large not doing those things. In fact, they’re doing the opposite. They’re doing things that have actually been shown to make things worse.
Some are just ignorant of the facts, to be sure. But others are aware–and don’t care. Many politicians and political PACs use this issue as a tool to divide us. Understand, the goal of some is not to reduce abortions; it’s to stay in power by taking advantage of your compassion, and by controlling your vote with false promises.
And that’s a tragedy, too.
If our goal is to reduce abortions, let’s unite and fight together to do the things that will accomplish that.
When you look at the data, it’s patently obvious that there’s a tremendous amount we can do that would have an immediate positive effect in reducing abortions, protecting children, AND helping struggling families. That’s a win-win, right?
There is a lot to accomplish together—a lot we can all agree on. Let’s start there.