Why do “pro-life” politicians want more abortions (and more poverty)?

Of course, they would never admit that more abortions would be likely if Planned Parenthood was actually defend, but it surely is.  Yes, PP performs a lot of abortions.  But you know what they do even more of?  Help people plan parenthood.  And you know what research suggests the type of pregnancies most likely to end up abortion are?  Of course, unplanned ones.  Furthermore, there is ever more evidence (Isabel Sawhill is great on this), that unplanned pregnancies are a key driver of poverty.  If only there were an organization that provided free and low-cost birth control and family-planning information to poor women!  Oh, wait– there is.  And Republicans want to cut it’s budget.

Ruth Marcus is right on top of it:

It is also not rational — whatever your position in the abortion debate.

If you are among those who view abortion tantamount to murder, I respect your belief. But consider: Defunding Planned Parenthood would inevitably result in more unplanned pregnancies and therefore more abortions, not fewer. In fact, if you really want to reduce the number of abortions, you should be lobbying to increase funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide birth control.

An important reminder: The federal money that goes to the organization cannot be used to underwrite its abortion services except in some rare exceptions. Sure, money is fungible but this funding comes with strict rules about commingling federal dollars with money and facilities used to perform abortions.

Rather, defunding Planned Parenthood would mean taking away money that it receives from the federal government for contraception and other essential services. Among low-income women who receive publicly supported contraceptive care at clinics, more than one-third use Planned Parenthood clinics, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

“You’re removing contraception with this [defunding], and if you remove contraception, you get unintended pregnancies, which means more abortion,” said Joseph Potter, a University of Texas demographer who has studied the impact of Texas’s move to defund Planned Parenthood in 2013, and testified on the organization’s behalf in a court challenge.

Yes, fewer Planned Parenthood clinics would mean fewer legal abortions (and surely many more illegal and dangerous ones, though admittedly not as many as there would have been legal), but it strikes me as very unlikely that it would have the impact of 345,000 less abortions per year that the Guttmacher Institute estimates that Title X funding for family planning leads to.  That’s a lot.  And not even counting the negative social consequences for the additional half-million un-planned births.

But of course, what should rational analysis, and heck, even concern for less abortions matter when we can talk about fetal body parts and make the base happy.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

4 Responses to Why do “pro-life” politicians want more abortions (and more poverty)?

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    Deep down in the Freudian regions of the psyche, right wing men want women punished for having sex, punished by having children whose sometimes life long demands consitute that punishment. But punishment not just for having sex but for having so much perceived power over men.
    It’s no accident that historically women have been blamed for men’s sexual misdeeds and still are in much of the world.

      • Jon K says:

        its not just subconscious for fundamentalist evangelicals and especially reformed protestants (Calvinists). They believe it is part of god’s fundamental plan for women to be ‘helpmeets’ to their fathers and then their husbands. Check out this explanation from the book Quiverfull (which is an excellent book on the christian patriarchy movement):

        The biblical understanding, of course, is that men and women are one, united, and equally important in the eyes of the Lord. But within that understanding, the first created human, Adam, has authority—demonstrated by God’s choosing him to name the animals and to in fact name Eve when she was taken from his side to be his servant and companion. So a woman is to submit to that leadership, and a man is to love his wife as he loves his own body, as Christ loves the church, for she is his body, after all.
        ” ‘She is flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone,’ said Adam. ‘She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of me.’ ” Campbell repeated the oldest story with starry-eyed wonder. “Adam recognized that, of all the animals, she was not a new creation. Every single thing God created was new creation—the stars, the sun, the moon. Adam and the animals were dust of the earth. Eve wasn’t. She wasn’t made from dust. She was not a new creation. She was not some independent, new creation who could do what she liked. She was part of man. Out of man. Made for man.”
        “But woman, being what she is, cyclically fails to accept this knowledge, mourn Campbell and her fellow Titus 2 mentors. They see a darker story in Genesis as well, that in the beginning, there was Eve, and Eve had a feminist heart. Her particular sin nature was to rebel, as Lucifer rebelled, against God and the authority He’d put over her: her husband, Adam. The original sin is gendered, as they see it, and feminism is the nature of women’s original sin: an inclination to disobey, to subvert authority, to rebel, to not submit. And it was through her rebellion, and Adam, with his particular sin nature, rebelling by failing to lead his wife and allowing her to lead them into sin, that paradise was lost. In some tellings of the story, feminism is not in Eve, but is the serpent itself, whispering in Eve’s ear. This is what Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., imagines in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a feminist devil enticing Eve with visions of the world beyond Eden. “This tree, Eve, is your only chance to reach your potential.” There in the garden, the first man and woman allowed a reversal of sex roles that gave Satan his opportunity: the snake “struck at Adam’s headship,” and therefore God’s order, through the naivete of Eve. Uprooting gender roles, this lesson explains, is the way that Satan always strikes at God.

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    Maybe God made a few improvements in Human.2
    Eve’s “sin” was in wanting to get knowledge outside of faith. The penalty was expulsion from Paradise and into an existence that demanded ever increasing knowledge to survive.

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