Framing Reproductive Health
Reproductive health is a hot topic lately. Have you noticed that? So I’ve been giving it some thought and doing some reading here and there, and I’ve found some very nice pieces out there in the blogosphere. Here’s an example at Rockridge Institute.
We value responsibility and empathy. No woman wants to be pregnant without the means to raise a child. We empathize with these women and assume the responsibility to help prevent this situation from occurring. Because we value empathy and responsibility, we strive to reduce human suffering.
We value effective problem solving. The best way to reduce abortions is to prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place. Making abortion illegal is not effective in reducing abortions. Making abortion illegal increases the numbers of women dying from pregnancy-related complications.
We value the lives of women, children, fetuses. We value health and safety, effective problem-solving. That’s why we support the measures that reduce abortion by preventing unintended pregnancies (comprehensive, accurate sex education, access to contraception and family planning services, emergency contraception, etc) and support policies that strengthen communities and make it easier for women to raise their children in healthy environments (social safety nets, health care, aftercare, family leave, improving public schools). Our goals are to make abortion rare by prevention and keep it legal to prevent the additional loss of women’s lives.
We value the importance of raising children. Women use contraception to delay having a child until they are in a position to provide a stable environment for their children. Women space their pregnancies so they can maximize the attention and resources they can provide for each child. Unintended pregnancy can be a threat to the ability to take care of their existing children and a threat to the ability to take care of the children she will have in the future
We value responsibility. It takes enormous responsibility to be a good parent. It is because women recognize this, value children, and want to be the best parent they can be that they use contraception to prevent pregnancies and turn to abortion if pregnancy occurs when they are unable to provide for a child. This is why they will risk their lives to do so even when abortion is illegal: Defending their children.
Because we value honesty, we state our goals honestly and transparently, and we use credible evidence to support our policies. We are not the first and only country to approach these issues. Because we value effective problem solving, we learn from the successes and failures of other countries as well as our own. There is overwhelming evidence that preventing unintended pregnancies reduces abortions and saves lives.
Preventing unintended pregnancy should not be a political issue; it should be a common goal. Because we value life, health and safety, we support the policies that are effective in preventing pregnancies. We oppose funding abstinence-only-until-marriage ed programs because they are not effective in reducing teen pregnancy. We oppose mandating parental consent for teens to obtain contraception because it would result in more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions. Preventing unintended pregnancies is too important an issue to support ineffective policies for political gain.
Our values on reproductive health are far nobler than the values of Conservatives. The facts and evidence support the effectiveness of our policies in reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions, not theirs. It is crucial that we communicate this clearly, loudly, and often.
I think this sort of framing is very cool and very effective. What do you think?