Friday, October 31, 2008

How voting Obama will save babies

I've been doing a fair amount of phone banking into some areas with what seem to be a bunch of folks who won't vote for Obama because of the abortion issue. Here's what I tell them. It's the first argument that has actually helped me win a few over.

In 1996, as an undergrad in college, I took a bus trip to Washington DC for the annual protest on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I have always been pro-choice but wanted to have the experience. I paid about $35 for the trip. When I arrived at the stadium where they were parking the buses, the entire lot was filled with buses from all over the place. There had to be a thousand or more buses. Being math inclined I started doing the numbers in my head (1000 or more buses * 40 people a bus * 35 each) and I realized we just spent a large sum of money to fight to overturn a law but did nothing to help women make a more life preserving choice.

It's taken another 12 years for me to formulate my own position on abortion but it has been heavily informed by that trip.

My core belief is that we need to to things now to help woman facing a difficult decision to make the right choice. From that day on I donate a small amount of money every month to a shelter for pregnant women who want to keep their babies. If you believe in this cause, consider visiting them and making a donation. On the side of politics I believe we have to stop voting on this one issue and, instead, support a candidate who will do things to help save babies tomorrow.

We have been fighting the Roe v. wade battle for almost 40 years. No matter what argument you make for or against, between 40 and 60% of Americans will disagree with you. There are good people making reasonable points on both sides. With the nation this divided, fighting this by the law won't solve the problem. And besides, we know that abortions still happen even when the law is changed.

Instead, we need to enact policies that can start saving babies tomorrow. Most women having abortions are in poverty and lack health care. If we enact policies that provide everyone health care, a woman will not face the decision of bringing a child into the world without care. If we provide women options for better childcare perhaps they will have an easier time to bring a baby into the world while being a single mom.

Research also shows that abstinence only education leads to more pregnancies. We need better education to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Now I know some will say there is no such thing as an unwanted pregnancy and that people shouldn't have sex till marriage. My favorite is hearing that argument from a married couple I know who had their first baby 7 months after their hastily arranged wedding. The fact is, no amount of moral training will stop people from having sex before marriage. Kids will be tempted, adults will do what they will and people will have sex. Better access to education and contraception will lower unwanted rates of pregnancy and reduce the number of abortions now.

The bottom line is this. We've been fighting this battle for 40 years and each year more babies are aborted. We can keep fighting that battle and make no progress. We can go another 40 years and look back and regret that we did nothing today when we had the chance. Or, we can start solving the problem today and begin saving babies tomorrow. To me, it's really that simple. My God calls me to start saving babies now and Barack Obama is the candidate best positioned to support that goal through access to health care, reasonable education, and policies that support single moms in the workplace. Where do you stand?

Do you agree? Please consider helping me reach my fund-raising goal by clicking here or on the thermometer image to the right. If you can't donate, please consider leaving a comment below to show your support.

No comments: