Here is his story.
Nobody wants more abortions
By: Andrew O'Connor
I'm going to go out on a limb and say no one wants there to be more abortions. People may not want the government to legislate that, but no one actually wants there to be more abortions.
When one side calls itself pro-life, it becomes difficult to debate. If one doesn't agree with the pro-life stance, deductively that person must be pro-death, anti-life and/or pro-fetal-genocide, right?
Wrong. Pro-choice means pro-choice, and we don't want more abortions either.
Maybe there is someone somewhere who actually wants more abortions. I'm sure there will be e-mails saying doctors and the "abortion-industrial complex" do. I can't speak for them.
I can guarantee, however, no woman who actually has undergone the brutal, sometimes dangerous operation enjoyed any of it. What is lost in the fight between people waving signs of mutilated fetuses and those waving ones for "reproductive justice" is that most of us can agree that we should have as few abortions as possible.
I have a dream that one day, women will never have to make the choice of whether or not to carry a child for whom they cannot provide. I have a dream where one day, every single child that is in foster care is adopted. I have a dream, but right now, that's all it is: a dream.
According to a 2006 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 125,000 children awaiting adoption in this country (3,000 in Illinois alone). The median age of these children is between 4 and 7. The fact that so many children are in the hellish wringer that is the foster care system is a national tragedy.
While we still have this many children in the foster care nightmare, it is cruel to argue, as pro-life people do, that adoption should be the only option. If every child in foster care were adopted, that would be a legitimate stance to take. But they aren't, so the reality is that adoption-only produces more unwanted, born children.
In reality, it is the pro-choice people who are lowering the number of unwanted born and unborn children.
How? By using the only tool proven effective in combating unwanted pregnancies: comprehensive sexual education.
Abstinence is great in theory. Theoretically, if no one has sex, no one can get pregnant. Yet studies have shown that abstinence-only education has little to no effect on actual pregnancy rates. These same studies concluded that comprehensive sexual education does reduce unwanted pregnancy. The more condoms and education we have, the less unwanted pregnancies and abortions we have.
Furthermore, abstinence-only education has produced a bizarre side effect where young people's definition of sex becomes dangerously liberal. Studies have shown, especially in areas where abstinence is the only education, increasing numbers of young people don't consider oral sex or even anal sex to be sex. Frighteningly, more women are reporting they engaged in anal sex first, because, by their deductive logic, that still makes them abstinent virgins.
Ultimately, the abstinence argument has no place in public schools. Abstinence is fine as a part of a comprehensive education, where you tell children the truth. Abstinence is the only sure thing, but if you do choose to have sex, by using condoms or other forms of birth control, you can prevent unwanted pregnancy. They should also teach that anal sex is definitely sex.
It is up to adults to educate children on right and wrong so they can make their own informed decisions. Ultimately, most people's objection to abortion or comprehensive education is a religious one. I respect people's religious views, and in America you can do whatever you want at your church and in your home. But in America, we have a separation of church and state, so in our public schools, we should only be teaching the methods proven effective, not the thinly-veiled religious ones you wish would work.
What is lost in the debate is the common ground we share. Nobody wants more abortion; let's work together toward that goal.
O'Connor is a junior studying political science and philosophy.