Bush and abortion

October 21, 2004

Glen Stassen, an evangelical theologian, wrote a strong op-ed for the Houston Chronicle explaining why George W. Bush has increased abortions in the United States.

He dug through the available data on abortion rates in the 1990s, and suggests that compared to earlier trends, there have been 50,000 more abortions since 2001 than there would have been had earlier trends continued. That is a lot of abortions, even as Dubyais posturing about partial birth abortions, pandering to the right, and sending coded signals about Roe v. Wade. Why the disconnect between words and deeds?

It turns out that the most common reason people give for having an abortion is that they can not afford to have another baby. And, well, we are in one heck of a slump and Bush chose to target his tax cuts to his supporters rather than using them to create real economic stimulus.

Other prime reasons for getting abortions are lack of health care, lack of confidence in the future, or lack of a reliable mate. Bush's proposals for health care do less than Kerry's to extend health care to the uncovered - the biggest public health problem the nation faces. His approach to the real marriage problem - child-spawning without a commitment to child-rearing - has been to sponsor an amendment to stigmatize gays and cut back on unmarried heterosexual long-term partnerships.

Finally, the Bush folks have been against birth control, insisting instead on abstinence. You might make a case for teaching teenagers abstinence first - but what about adults? What about married adults who have enough kids? I notice that the Bushes only have a couple of kids - has anyone asked them what they use for family planning? Abstinence, rhythm, or the products that they want to ban for other people?

Stassen's piece adds evidence to Amy Sullivan's piece on faith and works and presidential candidates. Read it.

Posted by Red Ted at October 21, 2004 10:26 AM | TrackBack