William Saletan wants pro-choicers to declare war on abortion.
William Saletan is wrong. First off, where do we get off declaring war on a concept? You declare war on a country, not a concept (and no one even bothers with that sort of war anymore either — the U.S. hasn’t actually declared a real war since World War II).
Second, Saletan is ceding the moral high ground to the anti-sexers. As I’ve argued time and time again, the battle over abortion is really a battle about sex. “Pro-lifers” don’t just want to ban abortion, they want to ban sex. By playing along with their battle plan to do away with abortion, Saletan is taking a dangerous step towards their ultimate goal of banning sex.
Saletan justifies his “war” by claiming that abortion is not good — that no woman prefers an abortion to avoiding pregnancy in the first place. By this logic, we should declare war on all medical procedures. After all, everyone would prefer to avoid appendicitis rather than submit to an appendectomy, right? Let’s declare war on appendectomies!
Now, obviously it would be preferable if more women could avoid unwanted pregnancies. But really, aren’t unwanted pregnancies just one possible outcome of unhealthy sex?
What we really should be fighting for is more healthy sex. Just a couple of ideas to toss out here:
- Healthy sex is fun and natural
- Healthy sex is between consenting adults
- Healthy sex uses medically proven contraception
- Healthy sex relies on several methods to prevent pregnancy (where desired) and disease, including prophylaxis, abstinence, and communication between partners
- Masturbation is healthy sex
- Prostitution should be highly regulated or strictly forbidden
- Effective contraceptives and prophylactics should be freely available to all
- Enforcement of rape laws and education about rape should be dramatically increased
- Abortion should be freely available to all women
- Proven sex education should be a part of all school curricula, nationwide
Got any other ideas?