I wish we lived in a world where no pregnancy ended in abortion. You may think that puts me at odds with my party. It does not. In fact I stole my title from the party's leading presidential nominee Hilary Clinton.
There are those on both the left and the right who wish to eliminate abortions. The question is not one of differing goals but differing methods. While those on the right are quick to point out that laws banning guns won't actually stop people from own guns, they remain absolutely convinced that laws against abortions will stop abortion. I have abandoned my support for a constitutional amendment to ban abortions not because I have decided abortion are good, but because I have learned that there are more effective ways to reduce abortions.
The most effective method for reducing abortion is reducing income inequality. The most affluent countries have the lowest number of abortions, while countries with large poor populations have the highest rates(regardless of any laws, you see a similar correlation with gun control, income equality is the greatest predictor of gun violence).
Access to mental health services and sex education can also reduce pregnancies. In Utah we are currently witnessing the Republican party refuse to accept Medicaid funding for expanded mental health treatment. Programs designed to treat addiction and low self esteem can be especially effective in reducing unwanted pregnancies, but with out the additional funding these programs will not be able to treat those most in need. Sexual education programs in California have started addressing perceived power imbalances(which often come from self esteem and other mental health issues) in relationships in their sexual education programs. These programs have proven to lower pregnancy rates among youth who were enrolled.
Access to other forms of contraceptive and proper knowledge of how to use them also plays a large role in reducing abortion. While I believe that sexual relations should only take place between husband and wife, I recognize that banning contraception creates an undo burden on many. There are many couples who are avoiding having children for health and financial reasons. While my faith discourages avoiding children for social reasons, I recognize the right of others not to live my faith.
We do not live in a perfect world. Most pregnancies end in natural abortion(also called miscarriage). Many women are faced with the terrible circumstance that if they don't allow a doctor to end their pregnancy they will die or be permanently disabled. Many women have their most intimate decision about their body taken from them by a man, and end up pregnant as a result. Most agree that these women should not be forced to carry their rapist's child. These terrible realities of our fallen world have led to many religions, including my own, to recognize the need of abortion in these unfortunate circumstances. I realize that these will likely always be realities in our world but they can also be reduced through research, education and improved social policies.
The Democratic party supports the proven policy methods of reducing income inequality, providing mental and reproductive health care and education. While the Republican party wastes their time talking about methods that are proven failures, including defunding the largest provider of reproductive health and education in the country. If you are like me and want less abortions to take place in the United States vote Democrat.
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“While the Republican Party wastes their time talking about methods that are proven failures, including defunding the largest provider of reproductive health and education in the country. “
Do I like abortion? No. Do I like the culture surrounding it? No. Do I understand it is the law of the land? Sure. But I don’t like raisins either; I almost gag at the thought of eating one. So, this choice is a life preference. Does that mean I think other people shouldn’t eat raisins? No.
Here are the principles I stand on in my support of no Federal Government funding of Planned Parenthood (If you have pride in them, you should be able to name them directly in your article.)
1. Constitutional. This is the document that is supposed to guide the construct of the Federal Government. Article 1, Section 8 is the list of the sole responsibilities of the Federal Government. The 10th amendment affords anything else not listed to be the responsibilities of the states or the people. The services provided by Planned Parenthood are nowhere to be found. Not only that, Planned Parenthood is not a government agency, they are a private corporation. That fact alone, I don’t think they should get federal funding.
2. Legal. By this I mean, judicial. The judicial system was put in place to settle disputes between parties such as property damage or breach of contract. If there is no legal agreement between me and the woman seeking paid for services through Planned Parenthood, or if I did not participate with her in the activity that would cause her to seek out these services, there is no origin of debt between her and I. She has no grounds to take me to court to seek out that I pay for her services. The only person I am responsible for her “reproductive health”, would be my wife.
3. Spiritual. I am sealed to my wife, active with a calling, and hold a temple recommend. If I were to voluntarily meet up with a woman not my wife, and give her a few bucks a month so she could buy birth control or pay for an abortion, I’m I faithful to my wife? I wouldn’t be doing anything with her, just helping her out by buying her some condoms. Would my bishop not raise an eyebrow and want a chat? I’m sure my wife would be very understanding. Would I still be a moral person? I don’t mean this with any malice; this is just what I think. When government goes outside of it legitimate functions and taxes the people’s labor for things outside of what the government is allowed, is simply abuse of one for the purpose of another. It is coveting, bearing false witness and stealing. I would call it unrighteous dominion. I don’t like being abused, especially by fellow brothers and sisters of the Gospel.
I believe my principles are fairly sound. If you disagree and believe that as a Latter Day Saint, I should be coerced into having a portion of my income taken from me for the purposes of PP, please explain the principle you stand on based on the Constitution, law, gospel principles, scriptures or conference talks. I would be glad to hear your point of view, because I don’t see how progressivism and the Gospel work here.
I always research candidates before I vote for them. I have never voted for a candidate who supports idleness.
But let’s look at some numbers;
There are roughly 32,000 gun deaths per year (about 11,000 are homicides)
In 2011 there were over 730,000 abortions reported to the CDC (total abortion estimates vary from 900,000 to over 1,000,000 per year)
In 2013 PP performed over 327,000 abortions.
Those numbers don’t sound “never” or even “rare” to me (more than 2,000 abortions per day), so it doesn’t seem logical to talk about “reducing abortion rates” while supporting abortion providers, does it?
As for any “proven policy methods”, I believe that only following God given principles can bring happiness and freedom. For example…
In his talk, Church Welfare Services’ Basic Principles, Marion G. Romney quoted president Clark;
“Ours is not a socialistic or communistic state…”
“…saying that every person reaching a fixed age shall thereafter be kept by the state in idleness. Society owes to no man a life of idleness, no matter what his age. I have never seen one line in Holy Writ that calls for, or even sanctions this. In the past no free society has been able to support great groups in idleness and live free.” “And I’ll say to you that no society in the future will ever be able to do so.”
“You must remember that back and behind this whole propaganda of ‘pensions’, gratuities, and doles to which we are now being subjected, is the idea of setting up in America, a socialistic or communistic state”
So, before you vote, do your research on the candidates, and avoid the socialist ones. (Oh, and what IS the difference between a socialist & a democrat?)