Two state lawmakers in Ohio, feeling embolded by the new administration1, are reviving a pro-life prayer rally in Kettering tomorrow.2 Despite the local paper calling it a “march”, the organizers self-describe it as a prayer rally.
There will be two state representatives and the Ohio Secretary of State as a keynote speaker for their prayer rally. [EDIT: The prayer rally is apparently being organized by elected officials, as my RSVP was answered from an ohiohouse.gov address.]
Anyone wanna bet how many faith traditions are represented in their prayers?
But that’s not the biggest problem.
If they’re really against abortion, then perhaps they should support the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Federal funds for PP don’t go for abortions, and haven’t for almost my entire lifetime. Instead, those federal funds go to support women’s health and… wait for it… contraceptives that PREVENT ABORTIONS.
There are far more effective ways to reduce unplanned pregnancies with a great deal of research backing them up: Comprehensive sex ed and free or extremely low cost birth control. Between 2009 and 2013 (before the program got axed by the Colorado state GOP), a program doing exactly that reduced statewide teen pregnancies by 40% and abortions by 42%.
But they don’t.
Further, these groups don’t focus on increasing welfare benefits to single mothers, or having a daycare provision as part of welfare. They don’t focus on increasing WIC or foodstamps. They don’t focus on funding more programs like HeadStart or increasing the resources of public schools.
It’s policies like that which demonstrate that these groups are not “pro-life”, nor are they even “anti-abortion”.
Despite their pretty rhetoric, their actions clearly show their aim is to police and limit women’s sexuality.
And for me – as someone who is both pro-choice and not fond of abortions – that’s simply unacceptable.
1 “With new pro-life leadership in the White House…”
2 It will be at 5:30 pm outside of 1401 E. Stroop Rd., Dayton, Ohio, if you’re interested in asking these questions of your state representatives directly.