Blog Posts

Common ground on contraception and preventing abortion: it’s more common than you think

David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics and consistent life ethic proponent, and Cristina Page, a pro-choice activist, have co-authored an excellent post for the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog about preventing unplanned pregnancy and abortion.

To reduce unintended pregnancy and abortion, we know what works. And it is not simply moral outrage. Countries that have the lowest abortion rates in the world, such as Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, are those that have made contraception most easily available; typically free of charge. And so the cuts to family planning being pushed by House Republicans will have dire consequences, not only for their anti-abortion cause, but for many Americans interested in controlling when and how often to have a baby. Indeed, researchers have calculated the effect: cuts to Title X will result in an estimated 973,000 more unintended pregnancies. And those unintended pregnancies will lead to 433,000 unplanned births and 406,000 more abortions each year.

They also point out how out-of-step pro-life politicians are with the majority of grassroots pro-lifers, 80 percent of whom support contraception (a statistic I've cited many times myself, and I'm thrilled to see it get out there in a high-profile forum). If there's a group in this country more poorly represented by its so-called leadership than abortion opponents, I don't know what it is. Most Americans who identify as pro-life don't support attacks on contraception and want our kids to learn more about sex than "don't have it." We know it takes more than simply moral outrage; but moral outrage makes for great political posturing and fundraising letters. So that's what we get.