Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
History is the best teacher, but not everyone is willing to learn from it. This is certainly the case with Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization of Women (NOW), who recently appeared on CSPAN to offer the same worn-out solutions to the high rate of abortions in the US – universal birth control and comprehensive sex education.
O’Neill was a guest on Thursday morning’s edition of Washington Journal on CSPAN to discuss her organization’s support of the ‘Violence Against Women Act’. A woman called into the program to ask why there wasn’t a “Violence Against Babies Act” to stop the senseless killing of so many unborn babies in America.
“You know, one in three women will have an abortion before the age of 45. It is common and it is necessary,” O’Neill responded.
“You can bring the rate of abortion down by having two things. One, universal birth control, make birth control available to any woman who wants it universally. It is in fact – birth control is a key part of women’s preventive health. The second thing that would bring the abortion rate down would be medically accurate and age appropriate comprehensive sex education.”
The fact that one in three women are now having abortions before the age of 45 is one of the biggest red flags O’Neill could wave that something is not working when it comes to addressing the issue of unplanned pregnancies in America. Could it have something to do with that fact that more than half of all women who report an unplanned pregnancy were using the very same birth control she believes should be universally available? Has it ever occurred to her that the widespread use of contraceptives is actually contributing to the problem?
It should. Research has found that up to 54 percent of women seeking abortions were using contraceptives when they became pregnant.
The passage of time has taught us that the notion of contraceptives being used to lower the rate of unplanned pregnancies is a concept that has never worked anywhere but on paper. In real life, it just doesn’t happen that way.
Instead, as the USCCB cites in this statement, “People tend to take more risks when they are led to believe they can avoid the negative consequences of risky behavior through technology. Widespread contraceptive availability has actually led to more people becoming sexually active, at earlier ages, and with more sexual partners—hence more pregnancies. ”
It makes perfect sense. Look at this way. If someone came up with a pill that allowed you to gorge on French fries and cheesecake without gaining any weight or suffering any health risks, how long do you think it would take you to toss out those carrot sticks and Weight Watcher points? Let’s face it. We’re only human, and sometimes the temptation is more than we can resist.
The old “safe sex ed” idea is another proven disaster. In spite of the millions of dollars the government pours into these programs every year, sexual activity among teens has never been so high. This could also explain why we’re experiencing an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in this country with almost half of the 19 million cases reported annually now occurring in youth ages 15-24.
O’Neill needs to revamp her way of thinking, which should begin with an honest look at what history has revealed about her so-called solutions. As difficult as it might be, she should then ask herself a very tough question – “what’s wrong with this picture?”
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