Thursday, October 9, 2008

A nonsensical policy

When did family planning become a bad word? When I was little, we used to drive past this building with the words, "Planned Parenthood" on it. I didn't know what it was nor did I know the controversy surrounding such clinics. However, the words struck me. "How great is that? People can plan on when they want to become parents!" This was when I was in elementary school. Now that I am older, I still think the same. How great is is that people can control their own reproductive choices?

This post is about family planning. I had a friend call me the other day and we discussed family planning. She is pro-life, I think, and asked me, somewhat rhetorically, "Why wouldn't any pro-lifer support family planning?" She went on to argue (and I'm paraphrasing here) that anyone who is pro-life should be for any prevention in unwanted pregnancies, including comprehensive sex education and teaching and enabling people to use birth control. So, this in light of a recent op-ed in the New York Times highlighting President Bush's "pro-life" choice to cut off birth control funding to many international organizations, got me raging. Seriously, doesn't he get it? Not giving people condoms doesn't stop them from having sex. Giving them condoms simply gives them a way to protect themself from infection and unwanted pregnancy when they do have sex. I mean, if the President decided not to fund any programs that provided sex education or birth control in the United States, people would be outraged - wait, he already did and people are outraged. I guess we can give President Bush brownie points for being consistent.

Meanwhile, a "young woman lies in a hut, bleeding to death or swollen by infection, as untrained midwives offer her water or herbs. Her husband and children wait anxiously outside the hut, their faces frozen and perspiring as her groans weaken." [Quoted from Kristof, "Can This Be Pro-Life?"]

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