Openly atheist, blind Democratic congressional candidate James Woods (D-Ariz.) had a flawless response to the anti-abortion extremists at the National Pro-Life Alliance this week: If you really want to prevent abortions, support access to birth control.
After receiving a mailer from the NPLA asking him to endorse the "sanctity of life," Woods sent back a letter telling them he couldn't support "policies that jeopardize the health and stability of women and their families." Instead, Woods said he supported policies proven to reduce abortion rates like promoting comprehensive sex education, expanding public family planning services, distributing universal birth control and helping low-income families. The real kicker is that he sent along a few condoms with "Prevent Abortion" labels and his name on them:
This is a great response to a terrible organization. The NPLA's mission statement begins with "every human life is precious in the eyes of God," and laments, "Ever since the dreadful Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, more than 55 million precious unborn babies have lost their lives." They back ultrasound "informed consent" laws (you know, the ones that require many women to undergo medically unnecessary vaginal penetration), the Sanctity of Life Act (which would define life as beginning at conception) and countless other aggressively evangelical attempts to regulate women's bodies. Their latest 2014 newsletter is full of half-crazed accusations that Obamacare is "tyrannical" and "funds abortionists," like abortions are some kind of lackadaisical welfare benefit for no-good lazy strumpets rather than medical procedure.
So kudos to Woods, who not only refused to engage them on their own screwed-up premises but also pointed out that crazy pro-life policies don't do anywhere near as much to lower the abortion rate than ones that equip women with the resources and education to plan for children for a time that's right. Or -- and this is crazy -- helps women who don't want children at all to avoid going through a costly medical procedure. Studies have shown comprehensive sex education, for example, to result in a 50% lower teen pregnancy rate than abstinence-only. Extensive research by the Guttmacher Institute found that ease of access to birth control was responsible for falling abortion rates, while new abortion restrictions barely had any impact at all.
Image credit: James Woods For Congress
h/t: The Friendly Atheist