Letters to the Editor

Preserve option, discourage use

In wake of the March for Life, I’d like to point out that no one on either side of the abortion debate is “pro-abortion.” No one gets up in the morning thinking, “What can I do today to increase the number of abortions?” What we’re fighting about is how to discourage people from exercising what is currently a right.

The approach of the ostensibly anti-abortion side is to reduce access to birth control, remove sex ed from schools, eliminate social services for low-income pregnant women and criminalize abortion. The first three obviously will increase the number of abortions. But for the pro-life movement, a higher abortion rate is a desirable short-term outcome, because it provides leverage in the battle for criminalization.

Let’s be honest. The main goal of pro-life activists is to move women out of the workforce and into heterosexual marriages. More pregnancies and fewer options means more women in a state of dependency. Gruesome talk about killing babies serves as a distraction — indeed, a dreadfully cynical one that is costing the lives of unborn children who in a more enlightened society would never have been conceived.

Why don’t we all put our cards on the table? The pro-choice side opposes abortion but supports abortion rights; the goal is to preserve the option while discouraging people from using it. The pro-life side would take away the right, making pregnancy a more effective means of coercion.

Charles Youmans,

State College