The Life and Death Paradox

Supreme Court Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Washington, USA - 20 Mar 2018Okay, it’s time to stir things up a bit.

I don’t understand why those who oppose abortion also often oppose contraception. It seems rather paradoxical to me.

Contraception prevents unplanned, unwanted pregnancies, and women who choose to have abortions do so, to a large extent, because of unplanned, unwanted pregnancies. So doesn’t it follow that advocating the use of contraceptives and promoting their availability would reduce the demand for abortions?

But that logic seems to be beyond what many religious and social conservatives can grasp, so they continue to follow the paradox of being opposed to both abortion and contraception.

DAD7BB0F-89CB-4F7F-A4E3-2793DAB675A3In a related paradox, social conservatives often oppose sex education in public schools other than “abstinence-only.” They take this position even though the data shows that there is a greater teen pregnancy rate in school systems that teach abstinence-only than there is when a broad-based sex education program, including teaching about the use of condoms and other forms of birth control, is included in the curriculum.

“Oh Lordy, don’t teach the kids about condoms,” they say, apparently because they believe knowledge about condoms and their use promotes sexual activity.

Oh yeah, it also prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

7CE49602-FC1E-4F86-8736-845B45DE6432And then there’s the paradox that many who are pro-life also support the death penalty. Can you really be pro-life and pro-death penalty? Where is the logic in believing it’s okay to terminate the life of an adult human being but it’s not okay to abort a fetus? And by the way, a fetus is not a baby, and thus, having (or performing) an abortion is not killing a baby.

Sure, those on death row are presumably bad people, but they are living, breathing human beings nonetheless. A fetus is not yet a living, breathing person, but pro-lifers are appalled at the idea of terminating a pregnancy while seemingly having no qualms when it comes to terminating the life of a prison inmate.

Liberals generally support a woman’s right to choose because they believe that a woman should not be forced to bring an unplanned, unwanted baby into a bad situation and that the government shouldn’t insert itself into private matters about what a woman can do with her own body.

And liberals tend to oppose the death penalty because they believe that the government doesn’t have the right or moral authority to take the lives of people, even allegedly very bad people, especially with the growing number of instances where DNA testing shows that some death row inmates were wrongly convicted.

Conversely, conservatives who oppose abortion do so because they believe that a fetus is a “person” as of the date of conception. But at the same time, they tend to support the death penalty because they want those evil, nasty criminals to pay the ultimate price for their crimes.

The question in my mind is whether there is a moral equivalence between abortion and the death penalty. When you get to the heart of the matter, it really boils down to the very sympathetic image of an unborn baby pitted against the very unsympathetic image of a hardened criminal who has been sentenced to death for committing heinous crimes against society.

Am I the only one who finds these matters of abortion, contraception, and the death penalty paradoxical? How about you?