[Today’s post by Nick Reynosa is part 3 of a four-part series. Click here for part 1 and here for part 2.]
[Editor’s note: This post was written prior to the announcement of the Hobby Lobby decision. Wherever you come down on that decision, it’s worth mentioning that even the Hobby Lobby plaintiffs, who are devoutly religious and passionate enough to take their case to the Supreme Court, do not object to most forms of contraception. The case involved four types of contraception; Hobby Lobby willingly provides another sixteen.]
If pro-lifers are anti-contraception as pro-choicers suggest, then we certainly are ignoring a tool that undoubtedly prevents millions of unplanned pregnancies and hundreds of thousands of abortions. Is the pro-choice assertion true? A contingent of the pro-life movement is Catholic, and the official teaching of the Catholic Church does reject the use contraception. But this population is but one part of just one pillar of the movement.
Briefly, the pro-life movement consists of:
- Conservative Catholics
- Non-Conservative Catholics
- Non-Christian Religious Pro-Lifers
- Non-Religious Pro-lifers
In labeling the pro-life movement anti-contraception, the pro-choice movement has cherry picked the views of a minority of pro-lifers to argue against the pro-life movement as a whole. In framing the birth control issue this way the pro-choice movement has sought to claim a monopoly on the great successes of expanded contraceptive use. However, pro-lifers of all creeds who have consistently championed responsible contraceptive use are equally entitled to claim as much credit.
The bottom line is that the contraceptive variable belongs in both equations. Since contraception use can be advanced regardless of the legal policy on abortion, this variable does not effect the relative merits of the pro-life and pro-choice policies. So for purposes of the life equation, I will assume that perfect access to contraception can cut the abortion rate in half, whether abortion is legal or not.
Tomorrow, I will conclude this series with an examination of the most controversial variable of them all: women’s deaths in legal versus illegal abortions.