The Guttmacher Institute is probably the most respected and accurate abortion-reporting agency in the U.S (they are decidedly abortion-choice in their ideology). I subscribe to their weekly e-blast to keep abreast on abortion statistics, as well as to see what kind of off-the-wall things these abortion-choicers will say next! In their August 24, 2006 email titled “Plan B Decision by FDA a Victory for Common Sense,” the GI praised the FDA’s decision to allow Plan B to be sold to adults without a prescription.
For those of you not familiar with Plan B, it is an “emergency contraceptive.” It is more commonly referred to as “the morning after pill.” If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex it will prevent conception. Many pro-lifers oppose the pill because it is believed to function as an abortifacient at the early embryonic stage as well (whether this is so will be the topic of a future post).
I was not surprised to find the GI praising the FDA’s decision. What caught my eye was a statement made by the president and CEO of the GI, Sharon Camp: “This is a historic event in the struggle for women’s reproductive health and rights, and a long-overdue victory for science over ideology.” Anyone who reads what abortion-choice advocates have to say quickly recognizes that they offer few arguments to substantiate their position. They defend it by throwing out nice-sounding slogans and catchy buzzwords that resonate with their audience. “Science over ideology” has become a favorite slogan among liberals who favor bioethical policies that allow for the destruction of prenatal human beings. Whenever someone raises a reasoned objection to their worldview, they respond that we are pushing our personal ideology at the expense of science.
A couple of things struck me about Ms. Camp’s use of this slogan, given the topic. First, she is constructing a straw-man. By pitting the pro-life view (“ideology”) against science, Ms. Camp intends to convey the notion that we are anti-science. That is simply not true, and she knows it. We are opposed to using science to kill innocent and vulnerable human beings. Our opposition is moral in nature. But it wouldn’t sound very good to put the debate in those terms: “This is…a long-overdue victory for science over morality.”
I was also struck by Ms. Camp’s reference to the pro-life position as “ideology.” I do not deny that the pro-life view is an ideology, but Ms. Camp’s use of this word is entirely rhetorical, and distorts the truth. First, she invests a negative connotation into an otherwise neutral word. Secondly, the fact of the matter is that her view on abortion is no less of an ideology than the pro-life view. They are competing and opposing ideologies. But these are the kind of word games abortion-choicers use to win the day. If you want to find substantive arguments, you’ll have to read pro-life authors!