Speaking Of Religion And Public Policy

Though there weren't as many people out as there were for Saturday's rally for the Phoenix Coyotes, U.S. President Barack Obama faced protesters yesterday over his support of a woman's right to choose. (Guardian)

Obama was giving the commencement address at Indiana's Notre Dame university--a Catholic college, and therefore (in theory at least) anti-choice on the issue of abortion. Several graduates reportedly decorated their morterboards with crosses and baby feet in protest of Obama's presence. (I'm going to have to find a photo of that because that sounds damn creepy. Maybe the Guardian's writer meant "crosses and baby footprints"?)

With his characteristic eloquence, Obama called for understanding on both sides of the debate.

Sounds good to me. So here, in the spirit of understanding and reaching out to people who don't agree with my pro-choice views (and actually want to change laws to take freedoms away from everyone who doesn't agree with them, but I digress), here are 10 ways anti-abortion activists can actually help fetuses without being a bunch of facists who just want everyone to do what they say all the time.

1) If you're opposed to abortion, don't have one.

2) Fight for strong sex education programs in schools. Sex education = less pregnancification.

3) Provide information about sexual alternatives for youth: activities like heavy petting, oral sex and mutal masturbation can have carry zero risk of pregnancy if properly done.

4) Push for inexpensive or better, free, birth control.

5) Demand politicians increase financial support for low-income housholds. No one should be pressured toward abortion because they can't afford a baby.

6) Free universal day care. See above.

7) Support a fair, progressive tax system that puts the cost of society on those who can afford it, rather than on middle or low-income housholds. Reducing financial stresses on ordinary households mitigates a risk factor associated with unplanned pregnancy. Agitate against the flat tax movement, which is a thinly-veiled attempt to reduce the taxes of society's wealthiest members at the expense of the rest of us.

8) Vote for politicians who support strong public services like education, health care and other social programs--all factors in reducing unplanned pregnancy (compare: Europe vs. the U.S.).

9) Develop a reality-based understanding of human sexuality. Many experts agree that reality is a healthy place to live in.

10) Support gay marriage and gay rights. No one should ever get pregnant because they're trying to prove they're not gay when they in fact are.

FOOTNOTE: The Guardian's story mentions a recent U.S. poll that found most Americans are opposed to abortion. Well, maybe they are and maybe they aren't. Here's a different interpretation of that poll, from syndicated sex columnist/gay rights advocate Dan Savage, who's the "Editorial Director" of The Stranger, a free weekly in Seattle.

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