To The Daily Sun,
In a recent letter to The Sun, one writer let us know how he attended the anti-choice march and rally in Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision. Another complained that the "liberal media" did not properly cover this rally. In both cases, the writers were male.
This writer is not sure that "us guys" get a vote on this issue. After all, it is a woman who has to carry a fetus for nine months, go through labor, and if dad shirks his responsibilities, all he has to be is a sperm donor. Perhaps the best thing that men can do, if they oppose abortion, is to make sure they are not the reason that women make that choice.
This writer is proud to have attended rallies in Washington and elsewhere to protect a woman's reproductive freedom and right to choose. But, he has also has marched, rallied and stood for causes that just might make abortion a bit less common: for social justice, for a living wage, for universal health care, and against violence against women and children.
Unfortunately, with the exception of many Roman Catholics and a few others, it seems that the most vocal "pro-lifers" are conservative fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestants who include their opposition to a woman's right to choose as part of a wider, meaner, inhumane and selfish social and political agenda. It is uncertain that they should wear the label "pro-life." At least some who oppose abortion do their part and advocate for children and even adopt the "unadoptable."
They often are against welfare programs, nutrition programs and child advocacy programs while at the same time supporting the death penalty and the "military-industrial complex." Some even demand that women give birth in cases where the mother's life or health or in danger or in cases of rape and incest. How is this pro-life? It is better to call them "anti-choice" than "pro-life."
Conversely, it is unfair to label pro-choice advocates as "pro-abortion." This writer is not female but if he were, he is not sure he could make that choice. Most women who make that choice will tell you that it is one of the hardest they ever made. Most women do not terminate a pregnancy on a mere whim.
Many anti-choice advocates seem to be more concerned about a fetus before it is born and want to deny services and support to mothers and children after the child is born. Many also oppose contraception and whine that their First Amendment rights are violated when, as employers in profit-making, non religious enterprises, they are asked to provide birth control coverage to their workers. Funny, they do not seem to mind coverage for Viagra!
It would seem that availability of contraception would cut down on the incidence of women terminating their pregnancies. Still, many promote misinformation about Planned Parenthood and demand that its funding be even though abortions are a small fraction of what Planned Parenthood does.
Other's picket clinics and harass women who might be there for contraception or for pre-natal care because they WANT their baby.
Other Christian conservatives lobby against comprehensive sex education. In many school districts dominated by conservative Christians, the only thing that students can be taught when it comes to avoiding STDs or pregnancy is "abstinence until you are married." One supposes this is based on the perfectly "logical" premise that if adults tell teens over and over not to do something, they just won't do it!
Also, these public schools also invite thinly-veiled Christian guest speakers who engage in misinformation about sex as well as "slut shaming" which is typically most directed toward young women. Predictably, schools employing this model frequently have higher rates of teen pregnancy and STD infection.
Many anti-choice advocates are proud that they march against abortion. What are they doing to make abortion less common?
(Scott CRACRAFT) is a citizen, taxpayer, veteran, and a resident of Gilford)
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