The Senate voted down a bill 53-47 that would have helped cut down on unwanted pregnancy by promoting programs that provide education and greater access to prescription and emergency contraception. Over the weekend I heard a representative of Planned Parenthood speak about the bill, offered by Harry Reid and HIllary Clinton, and it makes so much good common sense that I find myself surprised that even this republican Senate could not support it.
And while I was concerned when I heard headlines a few months back that Senator Clinton was "softening" her stance on reproductive rights, I was encouraged--at that same meeting--to read her entire speech on the subject. It is fabulous and right on point. Check it out.
This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult and soul searching decisions a woman and a family can make, is also one in which the government should have no role. I believe we can all recognize that abortion in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women. Often, it's a failure of our system of education, health care, and preventive services. It's often a result of family dynamics. This decision is a profound and complicated one; a difficult one, often the most difficult that a woman will ever make. The fact is that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place.She went on to point out that most women spend a far greater percentage of their adult lives trying not to get pregnant than they do trying to conceive. This legislation would have made that effort simpler, more effective and more accessible. The consequences of keeping it more difficult is nothing less than a higher abortion rate. That is happening as well.