James Dobson spoke in Pittsburgh in an effort to drum up support for anti-science republican candidate Rick Santorum. One of Dobson's comments caught my eye:
He accused the Republican House and Senate of "sitting on their hands" on key conservative social issues. He said they had squandered a growing public sentiment that abortion should be limited or banned.
One of my problems with Dobson is the incongruity of his stance on abortion and abortion prevention. At one extreme, Dobson preaches that all life is sacred - even leftover invitro eggs, or the potential for pregnancy represented by his opposition to the morning after pill. His position is an oversell. Dobson is against abortion but takes pro-life to a point so extreme that it cannot be supported. On the other end of the spectrum, Dobson rails against contraception, sex education, HPV inoculations, and Mifeprisone (RU486), all in the name of moder fundamentalist morality. It is as if he does not understand the no matter what we do, kids are going to have sex. When ignorant kids have sex, they do so without the benefit of contraception. The results are unwanted pregnancy, the spread of STDs, broken families, teen parents, adoptions, and worst of all, abortions. Kids are not the only one affected by Dobson's extreme positions - adults must deal with the fall out. Adults have unprotected sex, people are people, and we do illogical things impulsively and then deal with the consequences. However, Dobson actively fought the release of HPV inoculations and Mifeprisone - affecting every woman of childbearing age in the country. How many unwanted pregnancies resulted from his illogical position? How many women died because of Dobson’s crusade to prevent abortions, how many cancers did he cause by his opposition to the HPV inoculation? Most damming, how many abortions did he cause by promoting abstinence over sex education and contraception?
Abortion is one of those touchy subjects that I do not like to address. No matter what I say, I will upset friends and family. Where do I stand? My position is simple and moderate. I firmly support a woman’s right to have an abortion (I think the politically correct term is the "right to choose" – but I prefer to call it what it actually is, the right to have an abortion). However, it makes sense to reduce the number of abortions performed. Abortions are undesirable; they can be reduced in number through access to education, contraception, and when necessary, access to emergency contraception. Dobson's position - prevent access to abortions while simultaneously limiting access to education and contraception, well... it is just plain illogical. However, logic has nothing to do with it. Dobson position is religious, flawed, and dangerous.
I will not pull punches the Right to Choose team either. I will get to them in a future post. I have just one question – does it really make sense to deny parental rights so that a child can seek an abortion?
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