Now that Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) has introduced a bill promoting contraception to reduce the need for abortion, he has been disowned by much of the pro-life movement. According to Cristina Page at the Huffington Post, not a single pro-life group in America supports contraception — and not a single such organization signed onto the legislation. A number of pro-life leaders have signed on, including Dr. Frank Page and Rev. Joel Hunter. But no pro-life organizations. And that’s despite statistics showing that 80% of the nation’s right-to-lifers support contraception.
And take a look at how the nation’s religious groups feel about contraception, with the percentage below indicating the proportion that want to expand access:
- Catholics: 90%
- Evangelicals: 88% (even though only 28% favor abortion rights)
- Baptists: 94%
- Presbyterians: 99%
- Methodists: 95%
- Lutherans: 95%
- Jews: 97%
So it seems that the most policy-relevant schism at the moment is not between pro-lifers and pro-choicers. It’s within the pro-life community. And even then, we have the advocacy groups wanting one thing on contraception and the actual pro-life public wanting the opposite.
With these numbers, in this political climate, how long can pro-life advocacy groups stay relevant to the debate?
Jesse Lava also blogs at jesselava.com.