The man from Sojourners oozes patriarchy in response to his readers' questions about discouraging abortions:
Support for women caught up in difficult situations and tragic choices is a better path than coercion for really reducing the abortion rate. Yes, I agree there is never a "need" for abortion except in the case where the health of the mother is threatened. But until we can reach out to women who "feel" the need for abortion and support them in alternative choices, we will never change the shameful abortion rate that both sides seem content to live with while they just attack each other. It is time to move from symbols to solutions.
This is literally the most patronizing attempt to legislate morality that I have seen in a long long time, outside of the Bush administration. It is smug, elitist and condescending. There is no vision of social benefit, no argument about the values of one policy option over another. When it boils down to it, the purpose of this dubious proposal is to make the Democratic party safe for people like Wallis and other pro-lifers who want to act upon women in the guise of "reaching out to them."
I don't want to hear any more crap about how "we're all on the same team." Until Jim Wallis can start his discussion of abortion with the recognition that women are moral agents in their own right and don't need him to guide their decision-making, we're not on the same team at all.
The Bush Administration has drafted a set of regulations that could seriously undermine the ability of American women to get birth control. The draft regulations put politics above women’s health care needs.
As currently written, the Bush regulations extend federal law, allowing more health care institutions like insurance companies, pharmacies, and hospitals to refuse to provide contraceptive services and information.
In recent years, states across the country have passed laws that protect women’s access to birth control. The Bush regulations specifically seek to undermine these important protections, including laws that:
Require employers to provide contraceptive coverage on an equal basis with all other prescriptions in their insurance plans,
Require pharmacies to fill prescriptions for birth control,
Require emergency rooms to offer rape survivors emergency contraception (under the draft rule, hospitals could be exempted from even having to tell rape survivors that such contraception exists),
Permit state and local governments to refuse to allow hospitals to merge when the result would be the elimination of reproductive health services.
In addition, the draft rule could require government-funded health centers to hire employees who will refuse to do their job. For example, if implemented, the regulations could force a family-planning center to hire a receptionist who refuses to make appointments for women seeking birth control. The rule could also make it easier for organizations that refuse to provide women with contraceptive services and information to get government money designed to support reproductive health care centers.