Obama’s First 100 Days

Yesterday was President Obama’s 100th day in office. He made the following comments regarding his pro-choice position:

“The reason I’m pro-choice is because I don’t think women take that — that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day. And I think they are in a better position to make these decisions ultimately than members of Congress or a president of the United States, in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their clergy.

So — so that has been my consistent position. The other thing that I said consistently during the campaign is I would like to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that result in women feeling compelled to get an abortion, or at least considering getting an abortion, particularly if we can reduce the number of teen pregnancies, which has started to spike up again.

And so I’ve got a task force within the Domestic Policy Council in the West Wing of the White House that is working with groups both in the pro-choice camp and in the pro-life camp, to see if we can arrive at some consensus on that.

Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not highest legislative priority. I believe that women should have the right to choose. But I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on. And that’s — that’s where I’m going to focus.”

First off, we wish he wouldn’t use the term pro-life. Pro-life is not the opposite of pro-choice.  The use of the term pro-life implies that we are pro-death. The opposite of pro-choice is anti-choice. The use of the term pro-life is a political capitulation to abortion-rights opponents.

And while his middle-of-the-road approach sounds like the voice of reason, there is a lack of acknowledgment of the fact that the same groups that oppose abortion also oppose birth control and education that teaches people how to prevent pregnancy.

  • Anti-choice forces believe in abstinence-only education because they claim that contraception is ineffective. They grossly distort the effectiveness rates of condoms to try scare teens into celibacy. When the teens do have sex, they are unprotected — which only results in more teen pregnancies and more abortions.
  • Anti-choice forces distribute the mis-information that Plan B emergency contraception is an abortafacient and work to pass legislation that makes it harder to get. Confusion about Plan B plus limited access results in more unintended pregnancy and more abortions.
  • Anti-choice forces are currently, actively, working to allow pharmacists the right to refuse to dispense contraception.
  • Anti-choice forces oppose efforts to help impoverished women around the world understand how to use birth control and to provide funding for birth control, which results in unsafe abortions, poverty and and maternal deaths.

At this point Choice Matters spends more time and effort on expanding access to Plan B, supporting real sex-education, and preventing unwanted pregnancies than we do protecting abortion rights.  We work daily to reduce the abortion rate by fighting to implement policies that help to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Anti-choicers tell women to abstain or to suffer the consequences. That’s not pro-life–it’s anti-sex and anti-woman.

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