• jeornom

    A letter to the editor of the Ventura County Star discussing health reform and abortion articulates succinctly the position of the majority of Americans who self-identify to pollsters as "pro-life."


    You make a conclusion about the beliefs of self-described pro-lifers based on a letter from a self-described pro-choicer?

    The majority of people who say they would not choose or are not pro-choice nevertheless do not want to take the choice away from others.

    According to May 2009 Gallup, 37% of Americans believe abortion should be legal only in a few circumstances, while 23% believe it should be illegal in all cases. In other words, 60% of Americans are ready to substantially limit the abortion choices of others, in favor of the unborn.

  • momtfh

    Almost the entire country believes in the status quo. The legal abortion these people want to keep legal makes them pro choice. Almost everyone agrees that the status quo is right: there should be restrictions on later abortions, which are rare and already incredibly difficult to come by even when medically necessary.

    I don’t know why NPR (and this commenter) wants to represent radical Catholic theology and extremist anti-choice beliefs as reasonable. Against contraception? More than 80% of self identifying Catholics use birth control!

  • stephen-f-schneck

    Good to hear from you again, Jodi.

     

    One of the things that is so typical of right wing style, whether in blogs, print, screen, or radio—is its shouting, self-righteous, and mean-spirited hysteria.  I’d like to think that we progressives are distinctive in part by the thoughtfulness of what might be called our style.  We talk reasonably with one another and listen to arguments carefully, even when we have our differences.

     

    In that spirit, let me take some exception, Jodi, to your suggestion that I perpetuated misinformation on the Diane Rehm show.  What I said was that federal funds would go to pay for some abortions in the current versions of the health care bills.  My analysis of the bills is exactly like that of Time magazine, FactCheck.org, New York Times, and the Associated Press—all of which came to same conclusion I did about the funding in these bills.  Maybe Glenn Beck believes such organizations are part of a conspiracy to perpetuate misinformation, but I don’t. 

     

    As for contraception, we had one caller to the show who asked me directly if I approved of the contraception funding in the bills, and my answer was that while I personally would not approve funding contraception, the presence of funding for it in the bill would not block my support for final legislation.

     

    I have concerns about these bills in addition to abortion funding.  Currently the bills are too costly in out of pocket expense for working class families above the Medicaid cut-off.  Moreover, it is crucial for the legislation to allow immediate inclusion of legal immigrants (a vulnerable population) and not require a five year waiting period.  And its inconceivable to me that any comprehensive health care system can work, can achieve needed economies, or can leverage private insurance practices without a robust public option.  These things, like abortion funding, need quick work in the weeks ahead.

     

    This legislation is an historic opportunity for our generation to address the most critical needs of our most at risk citizens.  One-third of the fifty million without health care are children.  Let’s join together, Jodi, and get this done.  Best wishes!

     

     

     

  • colleen

    I’d like to think that we progressives are distinctive in part by the thoughtfulness of what might be called our style

    I don’t believe that being ‘progressive’ is a matter of personal style but, rather, a matter of values and priorities. It’s clear from this post alone that your values and priorities are not progressive.

    while I personally would not approve funding contraception, the presence of funding for it in the bill would not block my support for final legislation.

    Oh wow, big of you.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • jodi-jacobson

    Thanks for writing.

    I must, in turn however, take issue with your analysis, and that of Time, FactCheck and the New York Times.

    Having worked long and hard on various US policies having to do with sexual and reproductive health, I have learned the hard way how wrong the "mainstream" media and even some usually trusted sources can get these facts. Indeed, the most recent and grossly unfortunate example–though only one such example–was the media misrepresentation of PEPFAR prevention policy, which no media source ever got right and which none investigated effectively until years later when finally GAO reports showed that the Bush Administration had been misrepresenting the amount of funding it was spending on abstinence-only-until marriage.

    As Jessica Arons pointed out in her recent article on RH Reality Check, the current bills in Congress represent the status quo of no federal funding going to abortion care.

    That is to me a gross injustice as it denies the rights of poor women to make fundamental choices about their lives and most harshly affects women of color, Latinas and low-income women of every race and ethnicity.

    It is an equity issue, a human rights issue, and a personal choice issue and one that so-called "common ground" efforts have completely taken off the table by first agreeing to maintaining the status quo on abortion funding…..and on which now some in the anti-choice camp appear to be reneging.  As we both know, the efforts underway to restrict abortion care further would affect women’s private insurance plans, not public funding.

    In regard to the position on contraceptive care and family planning, yes, you did say that you personally did not support funding for contraception. 

    The issue for me is: What business is it for either you or the Church to be involved in making government policy on an issue in which your ideology trumps the human rights and the scientific evidence (not to mention the regular practice of the majority of the Catholic population) on family planning.

    Which is why with all due respect I continue to wonder at the inclusion of people like yourself in these discusssions on public radio, in the media and elsewhere.  I truly mean no offense when I say as far as government policy and personal practice on sexual health and reproduction goes, I do not see a legitimate role for you or others representing Catholic theology to be at this table or be a spokesperson on those specific issues.

    As far as I am concerned, the "faith" community has far over-reached in its efforts on women’s health, has been included far too deeply in this issue, and has further muddied it.  The Church should teach its principles in church.  The US government should be promoting equity, good science, and the needs of all people irrespective of religion.

    Here I assumewe will continue to disagree.

    And in terms of "getting it done" I am not interested in doing much of anything that continues to put women’s lives on the chopping block.

    With best wishes, Jodi

     

  • jeornom

    Almost the entire country believes in the status quo.

    Please cite your source. According to the Gallup poll, 23% want abortion illegal in all cases. 22% want it legal in all cases. In other words, 45% of the country is not happy at all with the status quo.

    Almost everyone agrees that the status quo is right: there should be restrictions on later abortions, which are rare…


    You might be able to say that the 37% who want it to be legal only in a few circumstances want it to be "safe, legal and rare". However, 1.2 million abortions per year (the status quo) is not "rare".

    That leaves the 15% who believe it should be legal in most (but not all) circumstances. Is that who you mean by "almost everyone"?

  • colleen

    Please cite your source.

    Here’s a link to a whole mess of them. Please stop trying to make that Gallup poll say what you want it to say. You’re becoming incoherent.
    http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

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