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A Roadmap to Defining and Winning the Real Abortion Debate: Prevention vs. Punishment

Lisa Littman suggests that the real abortion debate is about differing approaches to unintended pregnancy on the part of progressives and conservatives.

How the Conservatives Sell the Punishment Approach

How can one possibly convince a person who truly believes that abortion is murder to support policies that increase the number of abortions? Among the "Pro-Life" leadership, there must be an understanding that honesty would make their policies unpopular. To build a large following, it would be necessary to distort the science and discredit the groups that promote accurate information. In this context, it is not surprising that numerous punishment groups are spreading falsehoods like: contraception is dangerous and increases abortions; sex education promotes sexual activity; abstinence-only programs are effective. These myths are blatantly and verifiably false [4-6,11], but they are repeated frequently enough to have won over a large segment of the U.S. population. Supporters of the punishment approach also continue to falsely assert that their goals are reducing abortions despite the evidence that their approach of increasing the risks of sex has never, in any democratic society, worked to decrease unintended pregnancies and abortions. To them, the unlikely end justifies the dishonest means.


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