While Republicans Attack Women’s Rights, Their Policies Actually Lead to More Abortions

birth-controlWomen’s rights have been front page news here lately as states controlled by Republican legislatures all across the country have been moving at a feverish pace to pass new, highly restrictive, attacks on women and their bodies.

A fact you fail to see many Republicans address is that abortion is a Constitutionally upheld right.  Sure, they might disagree with abortion, but that doesn’t change the fact that for 40 years women have had the right to have one.  Yet, despite being given this Constitutional right, Republicans (you know, the part of “Constitutional values”) have continuously done everything they can to deny women their rights.

But even if you want to move past that, the hypocrisy within conservative ideology as it relates to abortions (and sex in general) is astounding.

Ask yourself this question, “What’s the leading contributor to a higher number of performed abortions?”  The answer is pretty simple.  It’s sex between a man and a woman where contraceptives weren’t used, which resulted in an unplanned pregnancy.

Now, I’m not implying that using contraceptives is a foolproof way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.  But when two individuals decide to use either a condom, a birth control pill — or both — the odds of an unplanned pregnancy are greatly reduced.

This isn’t rocket science, it’s just basic logic.

Now, are conservatives right in their assertion that the best way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy is by waiting till marriage to have sex?  Kind of.  Well — if you believe that all pregnancies that occur while married are planned.

But even if you believe that abortions never occur with married couples (which is false, by the way), the unrealistic idea that people should just “wait till marriage” isn’t a plausible, or sane, policy to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

So what is the sane, and logical, option to help curb the rate at which abortions occur?  Well, rational thought would dictate a couple of things:

  • Proper sex education at a young age to stress the importance of safe sex and to educate young people on the responsibilities and consequences they face if they choose not to have protected sex (unplanned pregnancy is just one of the risks).
  • Access to contraceptives that is affordable to everyone.  I would even argue they should be free at certain clinics for low-income individuals and offered at schools through counseling programs.

Except, Republicans strongly oppose both of these.  In fact, almost every social stance conservatives take on these issues actually increases the likelihood of higher rates of abortions.

While Progressives often support better sex education in our schools, conservatives often strongly oppose these classes.  While Progressives often support affordable, or free, access to contraceptives for Americans, conservatives spout lines like, “I am not paying for someone’s sexual activities!”  While conservatives consider Progressives part of the “party that wants to murder babies,” Progressive policies actually seem constructed to curb the likelihood of an abortion.

Progressives promote policies built to educate young people on the responsibilities that come from being sexually active, and policies that promote access to and use of affordable contraceptives.   These are two fundamental failures in the conservative argument, which together are key to curbing occurrences of unplanned pregnancies — and abortions.  While most Progressives are “pro-choice,” we are realistic about the world around us.  Instead of clinging to some naive ideology about “Well the Bible says…” we ask ourselves, “What can be done to lower abortion rates by acting with reason and logic when it comes to these matters?”

Then as conservatives claim to be “pro-life,” they seem to shape their policies on sex education and contraceptives in a way that would directly lead to more women having abortions.

Because the simple, and indisputable fact is this — the majority of abortions are a result of unplanned pregnancies.  Unplanned pregnancies are more likely to occur when a man and a woman are naive to the consequences of sex, then proceed to have sex without any kind of protection.

Which is the exact situation conservative social policies on sex seem geared to make happen more frequently.

So while Progressives are pro-choice, we do what we can to shape policies which hopefully will curb the number of unplanned pregnancies — which are the leading cause of a woman having an abortion.

Yet, as Progressives seek reasonable stances on sex and contraceptives, conservatives claim to be “pro-life” while supporting policies which are the leading factors that contribute to unplanned pregnancies — which then result in a higher number of abortions.

Because that makes perfect sense for the party that’s “pro-life,” right?

The Republican Party: Doing all we can to restrict abortion rights, while supporting policies that lead to a higher number of unplanned pregnancies — the leading contributor to abortions.

It’s easy to see why conservatives often discourage funding for education.  If their supporters began to actually think for themselves, they’d have no one voting for them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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