The Religious Right and conservatives double down on their efforts to block efforts by women to use pill.
A dramatic new study with implications for next month’s presidential election finds that offering women free birth control can reduce unplanned pregnancies — and send the abortion rate spiraling downward.
When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate, according to a new report by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers.
From 2008 to 2010, annual abortion rates among participants in the Contraceptive Choice Project — dubbed CHOICE — ranged from 4.4 abortions per 1,000 women to 7.5 abortions per 1,000. That’s far less than the 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women nationwide reported in 2008, the latest year for which figures are available.
Among teen girls ages 15 to 19 who participated in the study, the annual birth rate was 6.3 per 1,000 girls, far below the U.S. rate of 34.3 per 1,000 for girls the same age. SOURCE
Despite this positive news for opponents of abortion many on the religious right see this as evidence that unwed teen girls are still having promiscuous sex. Farbus Doolittle, the Southern Baptist director for the Wayward Girls Home in Christian County, Kentucky, said that for rates of abortion to drop that dramatically means only one thing, “young fertile girls are violating God’s law to procreate and populate the earth”.
“We think it’s important that women forego the use of any contraception and forbid anything other than natural abstinence”, the clergyman said. “If these girls can’t just say no then they should honor the will of God and carry that unborn child to full term. God doesn’t want them to have sex before they are legally married and will send them straight to hell if they abort any child conceived out of wedlock.”
A spokesman for the Catholic Church also weighed in. “If, as supporters of the contraceptive mandate argue, it will pay for itself in reduced medical expenses, so will free embryo engineering and other eugenic services, including infanticide, doctor-assisted suicide, organ harvesting, and genetic manipulation,” wrote Thomas Joseph White, director of the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and R.R. Reno, in the conservative journal First Things.
An assistant to director White was later heard telling a colleague that the exaggerations uttered earlier by his boss were the result of his prescription lapse for Oxycontin. That information could not be validated by our reporters.
“The study’s lead author, Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University, said the results were so dramatic, … that [he] pushed the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology to publish the study before the Nov. 6 presidential election, knowing that the Affordable Care Act, and its reproductive health provisions, are major issues in the campaign”, according to Brian Alexander with NBC News.
Alexander also reported that John Santelli, professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said the study suggested “that it’s totally supportive of the president’s provisions on reproductive care and preventive services for women in the Affordable Care Act.”
This outraged some on the political right. Conservative politician Jeremiah Matthews of Lafayette, Louisiana was among those politicians who found this news disconcerting. “We have been very successful in portraying President Obama and his support for the birth control pill as a usurper of freedom and anti-God. For this news to suggest that maybe he was right would make him look like he really cared about the health of women and the unwanted pregnancies of young, poor teens. This would put us at an even greater disadvantage of achieving our number one goal for the American people – making sure that Obama is a one-term president”.
We have not received any response in our attempt to reach TV Evangelist Pat Robertson on this matter. Members of his staff tell us he has been in fervent prayer with the Lord in an attempt to get Tim Tebow to start at quarterback for the New York Jets for the upcoming Monday Night game against the Houston Texans.