Sunday, May 07, 2006

Social conservatives really aren't anti-abortion

If they were, they'd be advocating some of the successful policies that the Netherlands and other European countries have followed. This essay shows that preventing abortion is not their primary agenda:

What is REALLY scary is the willingness to distort science in order to achieve their ideological goal of taking us back to the 19th century -- a time with horrific levels of sexually transmitted diseases. As late as some years of the 1910s, syphillis was one of the ten leading causes of death in America. And it is scary also that some Jews support these efforts despite our muich more lenient attitude towards birth control, and a somewhat more lenient attitude towards abortion than that of the Catholic Church and some evangelical churches.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're being a bit disingenuous here - they have other goals in addition to disagreeing with abortion. Simply adopting models exclusively focused on fighting abortion would therefore be inconsistent.

You don't have to agree with their goals, but they're hardly being inconsistent. And yes, their willingness to pervert science is as disagreeable is the tidal wave of ad hominem attacks directed at Bjorn Lomborg when he deviated from the party line of global warming. (I'm not defending either approach. Just providing equal time.)

- Moishe Potemkin, non-partisan warrior

8:50 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Just providing equal time.'

I'm surprised to hear a relativist argument coming from you, Moishe.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know. I get punchy sometimes. I don't mean it.

- MP

11:01 AM  
Anonymous tzurah said...

I read that NYTimes magazine article, too. Pretty disturbing. I can understand that for a lot of traditionally-minded people, simply the idea of pregnancy being an incovenience is anathema. Babies are a blessing, after all. I am certainly troubled by the extreme ambivalence I see in many young, modern Jews towards being a parent compared to their more frum peers. I appreciate how the whole notion of promoting birth control can be seen as stemming from the lack of value placed in having children. I'm all for kiruv professionals promoting the idea that having kids is a wonderful thing to do.

However, coming out too strongly against birth control in order to spread this message seems utterly misguided. The likelihood that reducing the availability of birth control will in itself get people to actually warm up to the idea of having babies seems incredibly remote. The logic can be worked out, but it's so indirect! It the meantime, the policy will certainly lead to many lives being wrecked unnecessarily.

For those who are already moral and good (that is, presently being in or looking forward to being in a monogamous relationship with many kids), blocking the availabilty of birth control will result in a society more in line with their ideals. This more perfect society will, however, result in increased suffering among the many people who have not had the chance to become similarly enlightened. This sort of utopianism is very seductive, but leads to virtuous, idealistic people causing harm.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

"This sort of utopianism is very seductive, but leads to virtuous, idealistic people causing harm."

In the 20th century, utopian idealism resulted in mass murder on a scale never seen in human history.

1:44 PM  

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