I've tended to avoid abortion as a topic for the blog. Some of the rhetoric on both sides made me shy away from the controversy and the number of folks who are in opposition that I've linked and respect from Hugoboy to Propaganda Box helped too. But now I'm feeling compelled to write on the subject.
I can understand the moral ambiguity involved in the debate but over the last few years the rhetoric and the tactics of much of the "pro-life" movement makes me think that their goal is not an honest reduction in abortion as much as it has to do with control over women in reproductive matters.
I linked on the efforts to defund planned parenthoods, a source for sexual education and contraceptives which can reduce abortions. The continual efforts to go after any education which includes information about contraception in the schools, as well as misinformation in many absintence only programs, concerns me as well.
The campaign to have pharmacists deny women the morning after pill is one which has wider ramifications, in terms of access to birth control. The morning after pill prevents implantation, ie a pregnancy, it does not cause an abortion. A number of birth control methods such as IUD work in the same manner.
The campaign over the morning after bill suggests a movement to restrict access to contraception on a much wider scale. I'm not sure how this can reduce abortions, especially when you compare US rates, one of the highest in the western world, with other nations where education and contraception is widely accessible.
Then we have the language of Al Mohler who reject contraception even within married life as a rebellion against God. If the goal was to reduce abortions, this campaign against contraception and women's choices in reproduction makes no sense.
You'd also want to support services such as child care, health care, education, things highlighted in Chris Tessone's post on abortion. Instead congress just voted to eliminate funding for reigning in dead beat dads and slashing health care and education. All things which could give women options outside of abortion.
If it's on the other hand, a way of controlling women's decisions in this area, than the efforts by many in the "pro-life" movement start to make sense. And that's why, as noble as some of the rhetoric sounds, I can't throw my lot in with such a movement.