I recently attended a meeting in Senator John Marty’s House where at least half of the participants were pro-life. It was a shot experience with life advocates. The discussion that followed the meeting revealed some solutions that life advocates could take in order to reduce the number of abortions.
news flash. The lower the number of unwanted pregnancies, the lower the number of women seeking an abortion. Therefore, if advocates for life really want to reduce the number of abortions, they must focus their efforts on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.
Abortion becomes a controversial issue only after the sperm and fertilized egg meet in the same place. Therefore, if pro-life advocates want to reduce the number of abortions, (something pro-choice advocates want to do, too), then pro-life advocates must actively advocate for the use of birth control methods that prevent live sperm and a fertilized egg from pooling in Same place: Birth control methods like condoms, tubal ligation, and vasectomy. Both sides of the abortion issue have an interest in working together to do so, even if abortion rights advocates would take it a step further and advocate for other forms of birth control that pro-life advocates deem scandalous.
When I brought up the concept at a city council meeting, it was met with silence, save for one vote.
One said, “It won’t work because condoms are only 85% effective.”
The actual number is like 98% if a condom is used properly, but let’s go with the 85% number. To make a theoretical point (without playing whack-a-mole with all the statistical probabilities), which is better; 10,000 women with unwanted pregnancies tend to have miscarriages because no form of birth control was used at all or 8,500 women who never got pregnant because of condom use? 8,500 unwanted pregnancies that didn’t happen is a win for everyone, right?
In the public interest, for the common good, take the profit. Take any win no matter how small. The little things add up. If your shoes or boots weigh 1 pound and you have a 30-inch step, you will have lifted 2,112 pounds in one mile. In six miles, you’ll lift 12,672 lbs. That’s more than the curb weight of two pickup trucks. This is how the differences between defenders of life and defenders of the right to choose can be resolved. One step in the right direction at a time.
Years ago, a “friend” repeatedly sent me political emails full of manipulative lies. I was checking on her, then informing her that the emails she was posting were not correct. In the end I asked her why she kept doing this. She responded that while the emails she was posting “might not be true”, she felt justified in sending them to people anyway, because they were consistent with what she believed in.
Lying to people on behalf of God seems as logical as loving people for Satan. But religious motives aside, lying and deceiving people is a bad strategy to gain their trust. As with hard selling attempts, he manipulated them into buying lies, using the same tactics used car salesmen used in the 1960s.
If life advocates want to be seen by choice advocates as having credible, reliable ideas worth considering; If they want to win over the public to their point of view, simply having the values, beliefs, and game plan to manipulate people into believing they are right, is not good enough. Pro-life advocates need a new direction and a new solid platform of believable and reliable talking points.
The pro-life movement has a vocal, prickly, assertive, angry and detached surface. It’s basically trying to attract people by pushing them away. But at the core of the pro-life movement are people who share something in common with the people at the core of the pro-choice movement. Honest, passionate, goodwill. Through this door of goodwill there is reason for hope. That the conflict between these two groups can find a peaceful solution.
John Matsen is a retired federal law enforcement officer with a high school diploma with a major in social sciences and a minor in psychology. His position on the complex issue of abortion is still evolving.