RMC Responds: Taking Back ‘Choice’Posted: March 8, 2013
This week, a commenter said: “Choice extends beyond a single issue. I’ve been pro-choice on most issues for a long time! Let’s take back the word “choice!” ”
As the Republican Majority for Choice, we advocate for access to all reproductive choices. Whether this includes motherhood, adoption, education, prevention, or safe, legal and rare abortion – all are equally important to us. We will continue to work to ensure and promote access to all reproductive health services. This week’s commenter gets to the very heart of this issue; reproductive health is about so much more than just abortion.
In recent years, the GOP has taken an extreme stance on many women’s issues, leading voters to often mistrust their agenda. Instead of focusing on smart investments in proven-effective solutions, preventative family planning policies have been lumped into the messy and controversial pro-choice v. pro-life debate. But this week’s commenter brings up a great point, “choice extends beyond a single issue,” – reproductive health is about so much more. By increasing women’s access to the full range of reproductive health choices, from abstinence to birth control to motherhood and beyond, we can achieve our mutually held goal of creating strong and healthy families, lessening the rate of unintended pregnancies—and abortion– across the country.
We have the tools to meet these goals. In recent weeks, this blog has discussed the value of investing in abstinence plus comprehensive sex education over the ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that the federal government, including the current administration, has spent millions on. We have gone over the incredible success seen by such research programs that make contraception readily accessible to women who were otherwise unable to afford it. Focusing on policies that are aimed specifically at prevention, education and family planning has clear social, political and economic benefits for the country as a whole.
We have to stop ignoring supposedly “taboo” issues and instead bring all sides to the table to work on common ground and common sense policies that are effective. We must be the party of economically sound solutions. We need to welcome those with diverse viewpoints under the banner of the GOP and work together towards advancing conservative and effective preventative family planning policies that are both socially and fiscally responsible. In the current political climate, where more and more Americans distrust Congress and the electorate is more polarized than ever before, preventative family planning policies provide real solutions and undeniable cost-savings for both taxpayers and the government. Investing in these programs will lessen the need and incidence of abortion, lower the number of unintended and teen pregnancies, and dramatically reduce the rate of STD transmission—worthwhile objectives we can all agree on.