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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Website Under Deconstruction: Orlando Women's Center

SPL supporter Margot D. suggested that we take a look at the Orlando Women's Center as part of our "Website Under Deconstruction" series. Here's the first thing we saw:


The discount offer isn't surprising; abortion is a business, and there's significant competition in central Florida. But a three-minute abortion?!? That's not a decision between a woman and her doctor, that's an assembly line.

Once you close the pop-up, it only gets worse. That discount applies to the abortion pill, which is supposed to be for pregnancies early in the first trimester. OWC is offering it through 14 weeks, which is into the second trimester. But of course, the fact that they're using the same pill regimen for early-term and later-term pregnancies doesn't stop them from charging the later-term patients over $100 more than the early-term ones. Shameless.

OWC offers abortions through 24 weeks, and the "Note From The Founder" page makes it clear that they would like to commit even later abortions and would do so if not for Florida law banning abortions after viability. There's also this interesting statement:
Abortions performed before 6 weeks gestation are at the forefront of how abortions will be performed in the future as the majority of abortions will occur during this time. There are less moral and ethical personal conflicts associated with having an abortion performed earlier in pregnancy. The earlier in pregnancy the abortion is performed the less fetal development, fewer complications, and less guilt.
How it is that an abortionist can simultaneously want to do third-trimester abortions and also express a preference for "less fetal development" is beyond me. But clearly they're not that concerned; that's the sole mention of fetal development on the entire site.

I was surprised to see that OWC is much more forthcoming about the possibility of post-abortion psychological issues than most abortion businesses. On the "Abortion Methods" page, it says:
Psychological Impacts Associated with Abortion 
Studies conducted on the impacts of abortion do not provide conclusions which allow doctors and others to make statements or predictions about psychological problems associated with abortion. While many women are relieved after their abortion, others may experience anger, regret, guilt, or sadness. In a review of 250 such studies, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop reports that factors which may make the decision about abortion more difficult for some women than others include: Strongly held personal values, feelings about abortion, pressure from other people, ending an originally desired pregnancy, a decision made late in the pregnancy, or the lack of support by a partner or family member.
That's not great—after over forty years of legalized abortion, of course there are studies with conclusions—but it's better than the usual approach of sticking fingers in your ears and shouting LALALALALA.

The next paragraph is just a straight-up lie:
Effects of Abortion on Fertility or Future Pregnancy 
Most studies show no impact of first trimester abortion on fertility or subsequent pregnancies. The effects of multiple second trimester abortions are undetermined.
Abortion is known to increase the risk of premature birth in subsequent pregnancies. That conclusion is supported by over 100 peer-reviewed studies. Those studies have also found that multiple abortions pose a greater risk. The effect of multiple second trimester abortions is no mystery.

But the kicker is the "Safe Abortion" page, which states: "We are proud of our excellent safety records and extremely low complication rates." OWC's safety record is nothing to be proud of. It includes numerous malpractice lawsuits for botched abortions, including one in which the victim was awarded $36.7 million; a criminal charge for slapping an abortion patient who changed her mind and got up to leave because the abortionist couldn't place a needle in her vein after several attempts; and a police raid.

No wonder OWC's advice to patients regarding "annoying" sidewalk counselors is to "avoid them, not speak to them, and walk directly into the office."

More in our "Website Under Deconstruction" series:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Time to redirect Planned Parenthood money to more deserving providers

In the wake of the growing "baby parts" scandal, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on a measure to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect that taxpayer money to legitimate, deserving women's health care providers.

Planned Parenthood apologists will tell you that this measure will deprive women of care. They're even running advertisements to that effect. (On whose dime, I don't know.) Don't believe them. This is a funding reallocation, not a funding reduction. Since the bill is pretty short and sweet, here it is in its entirety:
A BILL to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
SECTION 1. FINDINGS
Congress finds as follows:
(1) State and county health departments, community health centers, hospitals, physicians offices, and other entities currently provide, and will continue to provide, health services to women. Such health services include relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and referrals. 
(2) Many such entities provide services to all persons, regardless of the person’s ability to pay, and provide services in medically underserved areas and to medically underserved populations.
(3) All funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services. 
SECTION 2. PROHIBITION. 
(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be made available to 16 Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.

(b) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to—
(1) affect any limitation contained in an appropriations Act relating to abortion; or
(2) reduce overall Federal funding available in support of women’s health.
The primary beneficiaries of the legislation will be Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHCs already have far more locations than Planned Parenthood and treat far more patients: over 21 million a year, according to the Government Accountability Office. FQHCs provide holistic care on a sliding scale. Not only do they offer contraception, well woman exams, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings, in violation of Planned Parenthood's purported monopoly on women's health, FQHCs also offer a wide range of primary health care services for women, men, and children that Planned Parenthood doesn't. And they somehow manage to do all that without killing anyone and dissecting them for parts. Imagine that.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill. He is far too deep in Planned Parenthood's pocket to see reason. But the legislative vote is worth having, because it gets lawmakers on the record and sets the stage for another vote once someone who respects the right to life is in the White House.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Only a "Potential" Person?

Meme via Live Action
[Today's guest post by Acyutananda is part of our paid blogging program.]

“A woman is an actual, living, breathing person, and a zygote/embryo/ fetus is only a potential person.”

This statement is a staple feature of discussions about abortion, and the meaning is always that the woman can rightfully abort the “zef” if she finds it to be of any benefit to her to do so.

But let’s look at a woman’s objective when she gets an abortion. No sane woman does it for the sake of the immediate abortion experience. She does not expect it to be fun to go to the clinic, fill out forms, pay $350, lie on an operating table, and perhaps experience significant pain. She is always thinking of benefits, perhaps the benefits of freedom from pregnancy, at least a few hours in the future.

And if she is getting an abortion in order to avoid problems for herself after the birth of the child, she is thinking still farther in the future. And if she feels an abortion will make it easier for her to finish grad school, she is thinking of benefits years down the road. In every single case, she is thinking of her future – that is, her potential.

So those who say that we don’t need to think of the child’s welfare or interests because “a woman is an actual person and a zef only a potential person” are essentially saying:
  1. The woman’s potential should be taken into account, and therefore she has a right to kill her unborn child 
  2. It’s okay to kill an unborn child, because its potential should not be taken into account.
Actually, the morality or immorality of any action must always be related to the future. The real scientific present (not to be confused with a person’s experience of the present, and the possible value of “living in” that present) has no duration. It is just a dividing line between past and future. Nothing we can do that affects another person or oneself only for a moment of no duration will have any consequence for the other person’s or one’s own well-being or suffering. And no action we might take can alter anyone else’s past, nor our own past.

If I have already reached the moment of my death for reasons unrelated to you, it does no harm to me if you shoot me. It may harm bystanders in terms of shock, but only if they, unlike me, have enough future left to be able to feel shock. It does no harm to me if you shoot me, and it does no good to me if you serve me a cappuccino.

Someone may point out that the pro-choicer’s “only a potential person” refers to the ontological status of the unborn, whereas their position about the “potential” of the woman and unborn refers to future life events. That is true in terms of the pro-choicer’s literal words; literally the pro-choicer only mentions the ontological status. But the practical consequence of the unborn’s ontological status, according to the pro-choicer (which is his or her only reason for mentioning that ontological status), is that the potential, or future, life events of the unborn can and should be disregarded, while the woman’s potential life events are taken into account.

Since personhood is a subjective concept, it can legitimately be at least argued that the unborn right now is only a potential person. But though “only a potential person” literally refers only to the ontological status, those who say “a woman is an actual person and a zygote/embryo/fetus only a potential person” are in fact also making points 1 and 2 above: that the unborn’s potential life events should not be taken into account, while the woman’s should. So the inconsistent treatment and unfairness remain. And they remain regardless of whether the zygote/embryo/fetus is in fact a person. Whether it is presently a person or not, the fact that the unborn has some future of life events ahead of it (if only it is not subjected now to violent death) cannot be denied.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dark humor and the pro-life movement

Open question for our readers: what do you think of dark humor about abortion?

A Secular Pro-Life supporter poses the question in reaction to this meme which is making the rounds on facebook (along with several similar ones):


New Wave Feminists' parody videos riffing on the Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal push the envelope even further.

Abortion workers have used gallows humor for decades. Pioneering abortionist-turned-pro-lifer Bernard Nathanson shared the lyrics of an industry song, "There's a Fortune in Abortion," in the 1970s. A few years ago, former Planned Parenthood affiliate director Abby Johnson revealed that abortion workers referred to the freezer where aborted children's remains were temporarily stored before disposal as the "nursery" (among other macabre jokes).

But as far as I can tell, the pro-life side doesn't have a long history of dark humor. It appears to be a relatively recent development, probably attributable to the irreverent tendencies of the Millennial generation.

I can appreciate the arguments for and against pro-life dark humor. On the one hand, humor can reach people who aren't listening to the mainstream debate. It can also be a coping mechanism for pro-life advocates who are burdened by the millions of helpless lives lost. We need to vent somehow.

On the other hand, our whole goal here is to respect life, and the boundary between gallows humor and disrespect is extremely subjective. I happened to like the "arm and a leg" line. But I winced the other day when I saw someone tweet "If Hillary Clinton didn't support Planned Parenthood, Chelsea would have hundreds of half siblings, LOL."


What say you? Where do you draw the line, if you draw it at all?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How I left the pro-choice movement and found true liberation

Above: pro-choice counter-protesters hold altered signs denying post-abortive parents' pain

[Today's guest author writes anonymously.]

I was atheist, feminist, left, libertarian and pro-choice since conception. My mother was an English woman who had a weekend affair with my African American father, and then raised me on her own. She was independent, liberal and proud. She had abortions before conceiving me, and several abortions after conceiving me. So I was her choice. I was the child she chose to keep.

I had my own abortions, for varying reasons. If I said I didn’t regret them, I would be lying, but liberated women aren’t allowed to feel regret over a clump of cells that would ruin their lifestyle. We couldn’t show other women our tears, because then they might not be able to kill their clump of cells, and then their lifestyle would be ruined.

My friends had abortions too. Some of their reasons were very similar to my own. I had a friend who was raped; she had an abortion, and went on to live a loveless life because the rape had scared her away from men indefinitely. I had a friend who lived in poverty; she had an abortion and went on to live a life of poverty. I had a friend who lived with domestic violence; she had an abortion and went on to be beaten by her partner for the next five years, until she met another partner who also beats her. I don’t know what would have happened if they kept the children. I guess we never know what happens with a life unless we let it live.

I also had friends who had abortions for reasons very different from mine. I had friends who didn’t like using condoms because it didn’t feel as good, and didn’t like the side effects of the other contraceptive methods, so they used abortion as their contraception. Although I didn’t really agree with their choices, who was I to judge? Just because it’s not something that I would do, why should I have an opinion? It was their body, they could do what they wanted with it; why should they give up their lifestyle for a clump of cells?

I had friends who didn’t have abortions too. I had one friend who was very young, living in poverty, had an abusive partner and was a drug user. When she told me she was pregnant, I immediately suggested abortion to her. I was such a supportive friend that I even offered to pay for the abortion and drive her there. I was even willing to help her hide the after abortion grief that she was not supposed to have.

She disappeared for a few months, returning with a pregnancy that was far too far along to terminate. She gave birth and kept her child. She loved that child so much that she got rid of the abusive boyfriend, stopped taking drugs, and is now an amazing mother with a reason not only to live, but to live a productive life. I don’t know what would have happened if she had an abortion. I guess we never know what happens with a life unless we let it live.

So as you can see I was very pro-choice; freedom, social justice, logic, women’s rights, it was all there in one neat little package.

Until it wasn’t…

The first little cracks started showing with my second pregnancy, but only the first pregnancy I considered keeping. My first scan was at 12 weeks. I thought I knew what I was going to see, because I had been 12 weeks pregnant before. And my doctors, teachers and mother had all told me the same thing; it was just a clump of cells. That’s why it had seemed perfectly logical to terminate it, because liberated women don’t let clumps of cells ruin their lifestyle.

I went in there expecting to see no more than a blob on the screen, but what I saw chilled me to the core. It wasn’t a clump of cells, it was a little human with a functioning heart and a functioning brain, arms and legs, and a little body, which was flipping around doing somersaults over and over again, just like a child playing in the park.

That should’ve been enough to make me change my pro-choice views, but it wasn’t. I thought maybe a fetus wasn’t a clump of cells, but an embryo pretty much was, and pro-choice rhetoric told me that abortions rarely happened after the embryonic stage anyway. Pro-choice rhetoric also told me it’s still okay if you do have an abortion after that time, because women who have abortions after that time only do it because it’s the best choice; because they don’t want to live in poverty, or with domestic violence, or have a reminder of rape, or to bring an unwanted child into the world. Even if it did kill little humans, it was for logical, leftist, libertarian, feminist reasons.

I was still pro-choice enough to go on and have a second abortion, suffering far less regret this time. It was an easy choice now. It was easy to hide your pain away. And I was doing it for all the right reasons; all those reasons the pro-choice movement had given me.

I got a double major in education and psychology, and pro-choice rhetoric told me this was because I chose when to have children. If I had have kept my children then there is no chance I could have gotten my double major. None at all.

I taught young people, I counselled young people. I did both paid and volunteer work at education centres, victims of crime centres, and also in child protection. I was a true humanitarian, and I thought all life deserved a chance to be great… at least, all born life. My pro-choice beliefs remained strong.

The second lot of much deeper cracks began to show some years later when my ability to hide the pain of my abortion wavered after a miscarriage, and I made an attempt on my life.

Once I had made a recovery, and managed to hide my pain once more, the humanitarian in me said I had to help other women hide their abortion pain too, because if they couldn’t hide it well enough, they might attempt suicide too, and life was precious to me. All born life, anyway.

I had two options: a pro-life Christian support group that I assumed would shame women and condemn them for their choice, or a pro-choice family planning group that would help women accept abortion as the right choice. Despite the pain abortion had caused me, I was still pro-choice, so of course, I chose the latter.

I participated in online support, talking to women I would never meet, and knew nothing about. Coaching them on how to hide their feelings like I did. Telling them to look to the future instead of the past—that’s what we were trained to say. We were trained to put all the focus on the woman, because she was important. We were trained to focus on all the positive things that come out of abortion, a child saved from poverty, a child saved from abuse, women given their liberty. We were trained to lie—no, avoid the truth. We had to avoid the truth, because if women knew the truth, they might not have abortions, and if women didn’t have abortions, they would be slaves to their clumps of cells. And hiding the truth would help them with their own pain, because it had helped me with my pain…

That was when the cracks grew so deep, I knew there would be no repair. Hiding the truth had not helped me with my pain. It had just made me bury it deep down inside, and take the risk that it might explode to the surface every now and then, and maybe one day be fatal. Obviously it wasn’t working at all. Yet the pro-choice movement had been hiding the truth for years now, for at least as long as I had been involved.

Why were we hiding the truth from women, if they were still being hurt anyway? Women should be able to make choices based on all the facts. We are not delicate little flowers that need to have the truth hidden from us. Even if the truth is hidden from us, we are smart enough to figure it out eventually.

This made me take pause and think; what other truths were the pro-choice movement hiding? It already seemed they thought women delicate and stupid, so was it a possibility they lied about being feminist? They did tell women that their own natural bodily functions would deprive them of liberty. This seemed to suggest that a woman’s body was abnormal and needed to be corrected. Women accepting that they were wrong, and society was right—that their bodies needed changing, not society—that didn’t seem very feminist. To add to this they were fighting against legislation that protected women, and supporting legislation that put women’s health at risk. It didn’t matter if the abortionists weren’t properly trained, or if the clinics didn’t meet safety and hygiene standards. They wanted abortion clinics to be open so women could fix their “abnormalities” at any cost. 

The pro-choice movement was beginning to sound more and more misogynistic, and if they were misogynistic, how could they be feminist?

I thought maybe they weren’t feminist, but they were still leftists, right? They still cared about social justice. They still wanted every child to be wanted and loved, fed and homed. They still cared about the weak and needy... except the weakest and neediest among us. They were okay with them not being loved or wanted. They were okay with them not being fed or homed. They were okay with them losing their lives, so that the strong and powerful could live their lifestyle.

So if the pro-choice movement was supporting the powerful, by denying services to the weak, how could they be Leftist?

Maybe they weren’t feminists, and they weren’t leftists, but they must be libertarians, right? That was what we were always told, a woman’s liberty to do as she chooses is more important than a clump of cells... except a woman is only more important than the clump of cells, because the clump of cells is undeveloped and non-sentient, and hasn’t given anything to society. But a newborn baby is also undeveloped, non-sentient, and hasn’t given anything to society, and we still value its life. We value it because it has potential. And if we value a baby because it has potential, then we must value a clump of cells because it has potential too. So if a clump of cells has the same value as a baby, shouldn’t it have the same rights? And if it should have the same rights, shouldn’t it have the right to life? And does its right to life trump the mother’s right to bodily autonomy? Did it even violate the mother’s bodily autonomy in the first place? It was forced inside her body by the actions of others, who did have freedom of choice. So that means killing it would be condemning it for the actions of others, and violating its personal liberty.

So if pro-choice said that the freedom of one group of people meant taking away the freedom of another group of people, how could they be libertarian?

It seemed obvious the pro-choice movement were not feminist, they were not leftists and they were not libertarians. But they were definitely logical and scientific, like atheists, and they did not rely on a fallible belief system to support their claims.. except they do hold the belief that personhood is judged by the law, even though history has shown us over and over again that the law can get personhood wrong. And they do hold the belief that a life in the womb isn’t valuable unless its mother says it is, and she can change her mind about its value at any time prior to 24 weeks gestation. And they do hold the belief that birth turns a clump of cells into a human, even if it has only gestated for 22 weeks, and can’t breathe on its own, but only if they want it, and it is born alive. If they don’t want it and its born dead, then it is still just a clump of cells. So if they hold beliefs that have no physical evidence and no scientific basis, and have been disproven before, then how can they be logical and scientific like atheists?

If the pro-choice movement uses fallible belief systems to justify the strong taking life from the weak, tell women their bodies need to be fixed, and do this all in the name of freedom, then it goes against everything I believe in. If it goes against everything I believe in, how could I possibly support them?

I am still an atheist, feminist, left, libertarian, but I am no longer pro-choice.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Women Betrayed rallies across the US tomorrow

Rallies against Planned Parenthood will take place in 49 65+ American cities tomorrow. Times vary but most are taking place in the mid-day. Find your closest rally and get all the details at WomenBetrayed.com.

Special shout-outs for two rallies being organized by friends of SPL: The Pittsburgh rally is led by Aimee Murphy of the Life Matters Journal, a consistent life ethic webzine that regularly publishes SPL commentaries. And the Rochester, NY rally is organized by Feminists for Nonviolent Choices.

Here are some sign ideas from Aimee (click to enlarge):




Friday, July 24, 2015

House bill targets same-sex marriage, hits single parenthood


Via the Huffington Post:
In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage, Republicans are pushing legislation that aims to protect Americans who oppose these unions on religious grounds. But critics say the language is so broad, the bill creates a license to discriminate that would let employers fire women for getting pregnant outside of wedlock.
The First Amendment Defense Act prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person -- which is defined to include for-profit corporations -- acting in accordance with a religious belief that favors so-called traditional marriage. This means the feds can't revoke a nonprofit's tax-exempt status or end a company's federal contract over this issue.
The bill specifically protects those who believe that marriage is between "one man and one woman" or that "sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage." Ian Thompson, a legislative representative at the American Civil Liberties Union, said that in addition to targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the bill "clearly encompasses discrimination against single mothers" and would hobble the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal body that protects women from sex-based discrimination, to act.
Lauren Nelson of the Friendly Atheist points out that "[e]ven if the GOP can push it through Congress, there’s approximately zero chance that President Obama signs the bill into law." That's undoubtedly true, and explains why the story has elicited relatively little reaction apart from the usual Republicans-are-stupid-and-evil commentary.

But Nelson missteps when she suggests that state-level versions of this law are likely to succeed because anti-abortion state laws have succeeded. In fact, the same groups that have pushed hard for state-level pro-life laws are also staunch opponents of pregnancy discrimination.

That became abundantly evident last year, when the Supreme Court heard Young v. UPS. Numerous pro-life organizations petitioned the Supreme Court to rule in favor of strong workplace protections for pregnant mothers. Among them? Americans United for Life and the Susan B. Anthony List, two of the biggest forces for pro-life state legislation.

If opponents of same-sex marriage want to pass anything like the First Amendment Defense Act at the state level, they have two choices: either narrow the language considerably, or go up against the heavyweights of the pro-life movement. And so continues the divorce.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No, men aren't 77% of anti-abortion leaders

Above: the front of the line at the 2015 March for Life in Washington, D.C.
You've probably seen the black-and-white poster that boldly proclaims: "77% of anti-abortion leaders are men. 100% of them will never be pregnant."

The 77% figure has always struck me as high. I've been active in the pro-life movement for about eight years. In my experience, the gender balance is pretty even; if anything there tend to be slightly more women.

The poster was created by a group called the Pro-Choice Public Education Project. Their website doesn't contain a source. So I emailed them over the weekend, asking: "Can you provide a source for the statistic that 77% of anti-abortion leaders are men? People are challenging me on it and pointing me to anti-choice orgs that are led by women. Thanks."

No response.

So I thought I'd try putting the data together for myself. But I immediately ran into a problem: who is a "leader," exactly?

Do you have to lead an organization, or would a pro-life journalist, politician, or other public figure count? If we're talking about organizations, does that include any and all organizations that take a pro-life stance, like the Republican Party and its various state and local affiliates, or just organizations that exist for the primary purpose of advancing the right to life?

How big does the pro-life organization have to be? Do local/regional pregnancy resource centers count? (If so, the number of female pro-life leaders skyrockets.) Or should the organization have to be statewide, national, or international? What about organizations like Secular Pro-Life, which has active members nationwide but is not "big" in terms of budget?

Drawing the line is completely subjective, which explains the 77% figure. I'm quite sure I could manipulate the definition of "leader" to produce any result I please.

But I won't. The pro-life movement is better than that. Instead, I encourage you to get involved and see the diversity of our movement for yourself!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Women in pro-life states use better contraception


Abortion advocates like to argue that if the right to life is restored, women will just turn to illegal abortions and harm themselves. I've previously pointed out why that argument is silly and condescending:
[Abortion advocates who make that argument] are saying that the average American woman, living after the reversal of Roe, would be completely incapable of the following train of thought: "This pregnancy hasn't come at a good time. There's a pregnancy center a couple miles from here that might be able to help me out, but will that be enough? I suppose I could take a semester off. Or maybe I could take online classes instead. Will I have to take out a loan? Move back in with my parents? Get a second job? Go on welfare? Place my baby with an adoptive family? I'm not thrilled about any of these options. On the other hand, they are much better than the option of sticking a sharp object up my privates and hoping for the best."
At the time, I failed to mention another possibility: that restoration of the right to life will cause women who don't want a baby to be more careful about their contraception and thus avoid the crisis pregnancy in the first place.

I don't remember exactly why I left that out, but it probably had something to do with not wanting to accuse anyone of currently using abortion in lieu of birth control. After all, even if you think abortion is morally acceptable, it's not a pleasant experience. It's also pricier than avoiding unplanned pregnancy in the first place. So why would anyone deliberately choose abortion over contraception?

I stand corrected. As it turns out, women do indeed respond to abortion restrictions by obtaining better birth control. A recent study shows that this is already happening in the United States.

I'm a bit late to the party; the study was published last month. But better late than never.

The Guttmacher Institute, which strongly supports abortion, had this to say:
In the past decade in particular, there have been substantial increases in the proportion of women of reproductive age living in states with highly restrictive abortion policies. Against that backdrop, the authors sought to understand how women’s contraceptive behavior is related to restrictions on abortion access in the state where they live. To do so, they analyzed data from 14,523 women aged 15–44 from the 1995 and 2010 cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth in conjunction with information on state-level abortion context.
The analysis suggests that women living in states with more restrictive abortion contexts tend to use highly effective contraceptives. However, increases in states’ restrictiveness during the study period did not appear to be associated with increased use of highly effective methods. The authors propose a likely explanation: that states introducing restrictive legislation already had significant restrictions in place, and women living in these states had previously adjusted their behaviors. Additionally, the authors note that contraceptive choice seems to be most strongly influenced by individual characteristics, irrespective of the larger abortion context.
The authors propose that the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies is to ensure access to highly effective contraceptive methods for all women, particularly in contexts where access to abortion is limited.
In fact, these results aren't terribly surprising, because earlier research (of which I was previously unaware) reached a similar conclusion:
We find restrictions on abortion availability (through abortion legislation mandating parental consent or notification) induce women to seek a reliable form of birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies, while pro-choice sentiments in the legislature may have the opposite effect.
"Pro-choice sentiments in the legislature may have the opposite effect" is the closest anybody comes to acknowledging the obvious implication that women are currently using abortion as birth control in states with few protections for the preborn.

In conclusion: when the right to life is restored, the sky won't fall. Instead of using abortion as birth control, women will use birth control as birth control.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Volunteers needed for Planned Parenthood protests on July 28


Students for Life of America (SFLA) and its companion alumni organization Pro-Life Future are coordinating anti-Planned Parenthood rallies around the country and are seeking volunteer rally captains to expand the protests into as many cities as possible. The rallies will take place on July 28, a week from tomorrow.

Under the banner #WomenBetrayed, the rallies will call for an end to taxpayer subsidies of the abortion giant. The campaign was perhaps spurred by the recent "baby parts" exposé, but is not focused on that issue. There is no shortage good reasons to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect reproductive health funding to more worthy organizations. As SFLA puts it:
The abortion giant claims they care about women but they don’t – just look at their actions. Planned Parenthood gets over $500 million a year in our taxpayer money and makes more than $100 million in profit, all while having abortion quotas. The organization has been caught covering up statutory rape, double-billing taxpayers, aiding and abetting sex traffickers, scheduling sex-selective abortions and accepting money to abort African American children.
Women have been betrayed by Planned Parenthood. Families have been deceived. And the smallest among us have been the ultimate victims of Planned Parenthood's horrific business schemes. Quite frankly, we've had enough. It’s time to relieve Planned Parenthood of our taxpayer dollars.
As of this writing, volunteers have signed up to lead rallies in Lansing, Los Angeles, Denver, St. Paul, Lexington, Washington, St. Louis, Chicago, Des Moines, Houston, Dallas, Bloomington, Columbus, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Rochester, Trenton, and Fort Wayne.

If your city isn't on the list, sign up to be a rally captain! The application is simple, you'll get an answer within 24 hours, and SFLA will support you with "sample press advisories, media talking points, step-by-step rally planning directions, at least 1 hour of one-on-one coaching, social media graphics, legal support, training conference calls, and even professionally-printed rally signs!" There is no religious requirement and I would love to see some rallies led by non-Christian pro-lifers.

Get all the details and apply ASAP at WomenBetrayed.com.