Birth Control Solution to Abortion Debate?

NARAL’s Nancy Keegan offers up A MESSAGE TO THE RIGHT-TO-LIFE MOVEMENT FROM NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA: PLEASE, HELP US PREVENT ABORTIONS [PDF]. Saying that we’ll never agree on the abortion debate itself, she says we should start by embracing a common ground:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid — who disagrees with us on the issue of abortion — has offered a commonsense bill called the Prevention First Act which would help reduce unintended pregnancies through better access to birth control. This landmark legislation represents a serious first step in addressing the problem, and I hope you’ll join pro-choice Americans and me in offering your support.

Political Animal guest Amy Sullivan is quite excited about this, thinking it will put the Right on the defensive.

While I agree that many religious conservatives oppose access to contraceptives, a position that puts them in a distinct minority, I’m confused by NARAL’s proposal. What exactly is “better access to birth control”? That is, who is it that can’t get condoms, the Pill, or other forms of contraception now?

They’ve been giving out free condoms in schools for twenty-odd years now. Further, all but the very poorest among us can afford condoms. They’re roughly 50 cents apiece. Hell, Trojan will send you one for free. Medicaid recipients in the state of Alabama, as religiously conservative as any state in the nation, get family planning from A-Z absolutely free.

Goodness, if NARAL is really concerned about people falling through the condom gap, couldn’t they distribute them themselves? They raise millions of dollars a year, after all.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Ease up, James — they’re only 50 years behind the times.

    Those Dems who gathered around the statue of FDR are 70 years behind.

  2. bryan says:

    I find it interesting that NARAL uses the term “right-to-life movement” in this press release. Every time I read or hear from abortion rights activists, it’s the “anti-choice” movement.

  3. Lt Bell says:

    the anti-choice movement is also against all forms of birth control – You must be living with your head in the sand if you have not noticed the facist-religionists coming out against anything new in this area
    pray for rapture

  4. bryan says:

    LT Bell,

    I think you’re confusing the entirety of the anti-abortion movement with the official position of the catholic church. Of course, your overheated moonbat rhetoric would suggest you tend to do that.

  5. Drew says:

    Um, Lt Bell, you might want to actually have your facts straight before you speak. I am part of the pro-life movement, and am most certainly not against birth control or contraception. I work in a crisis pregnancy care center and we have to educatate a number of the girls who come in on just such issues. To lump all of a particular group together on something like this is just crazy. That would be like saying all democrats are lunatics because Dean screamed.

  6. Just Me says:

    Lt Bell-another pro lifer here, and yes you have your facts straight. I am not opposed to birth control or having access to birth control.

    The Catholic church is on record as being opposed to pretty much every form of birth control other than NFP, but I can’t think of any other religoius body, or official non Catholic right to life group that is on record as being opposed to all forms of bc.

  7. rabidfox says:

    Am I the only one who’s getting bored with anonymous and his damned list?