Saturday, August 05, 2006

That darned abortion question

In my campaign travels I have had some good people ask me about my position on abortion. I hate the question because as a democrat, I am labled as pro-something-or-other without a lot of opportunity to explain my position. I thought I would post my feelings on it here. This appeared at approximately 2 weeks ago. I am reposting it here for your reading pleasure. ;-) And I've updated it just a bit for clarity.


I wish we could move beyond the abortion discussion, because it makes life tough for LDS democrats like myself who have a different point of view.

Abortion is always a tragic choice, resulting from some kind of breakdown… whether it be breakdown in equipment or education. Trouble is we’re having the wrong discussion about abortion. The conservatives scream “End all abortions!” and yet the real way to end abortion is to end the number of unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Every pregnancy should be a wanted pregnancy. But we have inconsistent ideas when it comes to how we’re going to help those kids AND their moms get a fair chance in life.

In a community like Utah it is sometimes hard for good LDS people to understand that in some places in the world, women don’t have the support that they need to be successful mothers. We have the LDS Relief Society and extended family to buoy us up. Many many many women in this country don’t have such support. And so, when Democrats champion things like Head Start, All Day Kindergarten, and WIC, we are sometimes met with incredible opposition, with the critics yelling about “social programs.” So which way should it be? For me, I say we take care of the children and mothers and help them to be successful. I say let’s do an even better job of educating about birth control and encouraging abstinence when possible.

I’m afraid that the staunchest of conservatives want to have it both ways - no abortion and no social education. To me, it’s a no brainer. If you want to end the whole abortion problem in this country, then we must work harder at educating women and assisting women, who carry both the burden of the choice and the responsibility of the child. I agree that abortion is a poor excuse for birth control, but this is also a result of lack of education. We also need to really start talking about making adoption tax credits *permanent* and other ways we can help a mom through an unwanted pregnancy so that she can really choose NOT giving up on life.

As for the discussion about the Democratic platform and their commitment to a woman’s choice, I agree that there needs to be a bigger umbrella on this issue. That is why I like the "Democrats for Life" plan to reduce the number of abortions in America within 10 years. I may disagree with them on some other issues, but this plan is a winner. On the flip side, the Republicans have yelled and yelled about abortion, but abortion is still legal in this country. Finally, I think it would be wonderful if we could *all* see the sanctity of life *across the board.* Pro-life means a million things to me… life without poverty, life without hunger, and the list goes on.


At 7:50 AM, Blogger Richard Watson said...


You are absolutely right. It is all about educating women on abortion and receiving a good education in general. I, too, do not like to discuss the abortion issue because some believe that is the only issue to vote on.

My feelings are that conservatives are not "pro-life". I have always defined the title "pro-life" to mean that someone endorses a life. In other words, most conservatives only care about the fetus and not the child. If they were “pro-life”, we would have a better education system and better healthcare for children. I think it is a shame that conservatives continue using the abortion issue this election year as a scare tactic to win votes. It is unfortunate that conservatives only campaign on scare tactics rather than defend their failed policies. Over the years, they have constantly failed voters in Utah with their false promises and have relied on “moralistic values” as their campaign base.

Good luck to all Democrats, especially LDS Democrats who do have Utah Values.

-Richard Watson,

Chair, Davis County Democrats and Candidate for House District 19


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