My stance for the BBC's "World Have Your Say" program at 9am CST July 26th. The discussion is about "The nastiness of the US abortion debate." I hope I can make a good case for making this discussion more civil.
I want to be as "fair" and non-judgmental as I can. I don't think I can budge on rape culture, though.
The reasons that I see are causing this nastiness:
1) Religion. People believe abortion is a sin against god.
2) Life. When does life begin?
3) Demonization. Each “side” feels empowered to judge the other.
4) Politics, Money, Power, and Distraction. Our country has been divided between "red" vs. "blue" by our political parties. Abortion has been used to “mobilize bases” starting in 1976 with Bob Dole and Jesse Helms working to elect Ronald Reagan.
5) Rape Culture and Female Oppression. Women are, essentially, sluts and whores and do not have the same opportunity in the workplace.
I want to make it clear that I am pro-choice (as compared to pro-live birth*), and that I believe that abortion should be legal, safe, and rare.
* The difference between pro-life and pro-live birth is that pro-life should mean just that, including pre-natal case, doctor visits, and helping pay for their lives after unwanted babies are born. The burden to women, which could be single mothers, is so great and is often lost in this discussion.
WARNING: THE BELOW ARE DATA POINTS THAT SUPPORT MY OPINIONS
Here are some facts about teen pregnancy and why I feel the pro-live birth needs to be more considerate of what happens after these unwanted babies are born.
Into a New World: Young Women's Sexual and Reproductive Lives
“In most of the world, the majority of young women become sexually active during their teenage years. The proportion is roughly one-half to two-thirds in Latin American and Caribbean countries, reaches three-quarters or more in much of the developed world and exceeds nine in 10 in many Sub-Saharan African countries.”
From: Facts on American Teens’ Sources of Information About Sex
Sex Pregnancy and Abortion
· Although only 13% of U.S. teens have had sex by age 15, most initiate sex in their late teen years. By their 19th birthday, seven in 10 teen men and teen women have had intercourse.
· The majority (86%) of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate between 1995 and 2002 was the result of dramatic improvements in contraceptive use, including an increase in the proportion of teens using a single method of contraception, an increase in the proportion using multiple methods simultaneously and a substantial decline in nonuse. Just 14% of the decline is attributable to decreased sexual activity.
· The United States continues to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the developed world (68 per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2008)—more than twice that of Canada (27.9 per 1,000) or Sweden (31.4 per 1,000)
From: Into a New World: Young Women's Sexual and Reproductive Lives
What are the chances?
What are the chances of a child growing up in poverty if: (1) the mother gave birth as a teen, (2) the parents were unmarried when the child was born, and (3) the mother did not receive a high school diploma or GED?
· 27% if one of these things happen
· 42% if two of these things happen
· 64% if three of these things happen
· Only 7% if none of these things happen
Put another way, if these three things happen, a child’s chance of growing up in poverty is 9 times greater than if none of these things happen.
From: Teen Pregnancy, Poverty, and Income Disparity