Obama’s abortion reduction packaging

Abstinence only.jpgThe debate over the President’s “common ground” approach is focusing on two aspects: reducing abortion by supporting pregnant women, and reducing unintended preganancies by promoting sex ed and contraception.

With the package of legislation having been hashed over, the divide now is on whether to present both elements to Congress in a single package or to separate them out. Dan Gilgoff at USNews has a great story on the argument, which focuses on whether including both aspects in one bill would poison the whole package for pro-choicers, on the one hand, or pro-lifers, on the other. And on the other hand, separating them might doom each to defeat, as Gilgoff writes:


Many abortion rights advocates and some Democrats who want to dial down the culture wars want the White House to package the two parts of the plan together, as a single piece of legislation. The plan would seek to reduce unwanted pregnancies by funding comprehensive sex education and contraception and to reduce the need for abortion by bolstering federal support for pregnant women. Supporters of the approach say it would force senators and members of Congress on both sides of the abortion battle to compromise their traditional positions, creating true common ground that mirrors what President Obama has called for.


But more conservative religious groups working with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships say they would be forced to oppose such a plan–even though they support the abortion reduction part–because they oppose federal dollars for contraception and comprehensive sex education. This camp, which includes such formidable organizations as the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and the Southern Baptist Convention, is pressuring the White House to decouple the two parts of the plan into separate bills. One bill would focus entirely on preventing unwanted pregnancy, while the other would focus on supporting pregnant women.


The White House declined a request for comment. Advocates for both plans say the administration has offered no hint about how it will come down on the matter. But with the White House expected to announce its plan on abortion and related issues this summer, advocates on both sides are strenuously lobbying for the plan, arguing that it offers the only true hope for common ground on very thorny issues.

“We welcome the opportunity to seek common ground with this administration . . . and to work on behalf of pregnant women and unborn children,” says Deirdre McQuade, a spokesperson for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, which is pressuring the White House to decouple pregnancy prevention from supporting pregnant women. “But issues of pregnancy prevention are much more divisive and would only slow down much-needed assistance to pregnant women.”

Read it all here

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posted June 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

How do the Southern Baptists and the Catholic Bishops plan to reduce the need for abortions when they don’t want to help make contracption available? Guess everyone is supposed to “abstain”. Like that is going to happen! I know the RCC is opposed to anything but the unreliable rhythm method, but somehow I don’t think the teenage girl in the back seat of the Chevy is thinking about that…much less what time of the month is when it comes to her fertility.
Unreasonable not to fund not only sex education but contraception as well. All fine and dandy to offer help to pregnant women, but it is cheaper to not have those unwanted pregnant women to begin with.

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posted June 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm

This legislation will be an interesting test of the pro-life movement’s true colors. If their bottom line is indeed working to prevent abortions, or whether it is an absolutist agenda of forcing everyone to live as an orthodox Catholic or evangelical. My gut tells me it’s the latter, but I’m willing to let their actions speak for themselves.

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posted June 30, 2009 at 5:13 pm

But Pagansister, the Church says “Just say no” when it comes to condoms. Our bishop has made it clear that under no circumstances are condoms ever to be used. However, some bishops and priests feel that it is valid for married couples to use condoms if one of the partners has HIV/AIDS.

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posted June 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm

“….the Church says” Just say no” when it comes to condoms” mareczku
One of many problems with the RCC. Thus unwanted pregnancies…to married as well as unmarried women and some of those women having an abortion…also a “No No” to the RCC. Might be different if that bishop had to give birth to a baby!

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posted June 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm

The US government has no business involving itself in the business of pregnant women at all. This is necessary at all is under the business of the various state governments, and that also is doubtful. Abortion is murder and should be punished as any other high crime against children except whenever the mother is at great risk because of it.

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posted June 30, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I’ve just been reading about the Vatican II council’s discussion on birth control in O’Malley’s “What Happened at Vatican II”. It seems strange that a doctrine (anti-contraception) that was so almost flipped 50 years ago still rules.

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posted June 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm

RE: Contraception What actually seems strange is that people, (except the handful of couples that were present and whose suggestions were ignored), who are not in the position to procreate are the ones dictating what should go on in everyone elses bedroom. Stranger still is that people are also told to inform thier conscience, yet it can only be within the parameters that have been set. The church needs to back off of its obsession with sex which borders on idolotry. This one topic gets all of the headlines when in fact the RCC does a lot of real good in the world. If the church were really about promoting whole community cathechesis, I believe, many things (including abortion and unintended pregnancy) would lessen considerably.

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posted July 1, 2009 at 8:26 am

The right to life movement believes that the unborn child has the right to its life. This is where the “common ground” begins. Educate the public on where life begins. Educate them on building strong marriages and provide programs to support families and working moms. Change the law to reflect that unborn babies have rights just like their mothers and fathers. Providing sex ed and contraception info does not make abortion go away, they just encourage further irresponsible behaviour. It does not address the issue that abortion ends the life of a human being. Declaring that the unborn child is human and does have rights will act as a foundation on which to build a responsible culture of life. The Law created this monster, so we appeal to the Law to make a responsible decision.

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posted July 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm

your name:
So you’re against sex education? You just prefer that kids have sex and end up pregnant….thus more abortions due to fear of telling their parents. Somehow whether there is sex education or not,some kids will experiment (after all, it doesn’t take long to figure out what goes where and what to do just follows)and sometimes there is a pregnancy or an STD…neither desired. There was a study recently published that said abstinence only education DOESN’T WORK. Ignorance of the facts of life is not the way to go. Providing sex ed explains what a child should know and how to prevent pregnancy & STDS, with the best option being abstinence. Sex ed may not make abortion go away….but it will prevent many abortions, since there will be fewer pregnancies. Does that make sense to you?
There is absolutely no agreement of when life begins. Educate the public? Excuse me, but the “public” in most cases isn’t ignorant. Educate them on what? Your version of when life starts? Not all agree with your version. You have a lot of good ideas on the “perfect marriage” with every child wanted is the ideal, but life doesn’t work that way…as I’m assuming you know, depending on your age. Yes, help should be given to those who choose to finish a pregnancy and working mothers. IMO, a woman should be able to decide in the first trimester whether to carry a pregnancy to term or not. However that isn’t for you or me or the government to decide. It is up to the woman, her circumstances and her doctor. No one else.

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