Why I will probably vote for a president who’s pro-choice, and still be able to sleep at night

The kind of therapy I do is quite different from traditional discipline in one crucial element. Instead of treating the behavior, I treat the cause of the behavior. For example, in traditional discipline models, a child is punished (spanked, grounded, yelled at) for engaging in some negative action (hitting his sister, saying a bad word). With Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), we discover the reason that a child engages in anti-social or otherwise harmful behaviors and treat it based on that. For example, if a child begins to scream because his or her math sheet is too hard, instead of giving them a time out (which negatively reinforces the behavior- the math sheet is removed and so they will most likely repeat this behavior in the future), we would ignore the screams while teaching them to ask for help or a break. If they are shoving other children (or adults) because they want attention (even negative attention such as yelling at them is positively reinforcing in many cases), we would teach them to tap someone on the shoulder and say, “Do you want to play tag?” while completely ignoring their shoving behavior. Rather than punish bad behavior, we assume that bad behaviors are another means of communication in their social tool chests. What I do is to make “bad” behaviors ineffective. One important principle in this theory, though, is that all behaviors must be replaced with something of equal functionality. This, friends, is what I do. Besides getting beat up, of course. I’m an interpreter.

Now, to bring this around to the title of this post. Next year, I fully intend to vote for a presidential candidate who is pro-choice, for the first time in my voting history. I used to be a one issue kind of voter, and as you may be able to guess, it mandated the candidate be pro-life. However, I’ve realized some things in the past few years. While I still care deeply about tiny, helpless, not quite born babies, I also care a lot about adults and born kiddos. This includes women and children and men and everyone. There are a lot of birthed people in pretty crappy situations. Lots of people die every year because they’re hungry. IN AMERICA. Lots of people can’t afford health insurance or their huge co-pays and deductibles and never get preventative care and then suddenly have huge, expensive health problems. Lots of people with mental illnesses never get psychiatric care that they desperately need because they can’t get a job to pay for medication and therapy because they have a mental illness. Or their parents can’t afford it for them because they can’t hold down a good job because they’re constantly having the leave work because their child is having some kind of crisis. OR because some incompetent, greedy bastard decided that your mental health and physical health are unrelated. Lots of little, tiny girls who shouldn’t even know what sex is are getting pregnant because their stupid sex education class didn’t teach them how to avoid getting pregnant other than abstinence (which is, admittedly, the only way to guarantee this), and their boyfriend says he’ll leave and the only kind of love they’ve ever been shown is by gross, abhorrent older men who molested them when they were tiny and helpless (and who probably are experiencing some kind of severe mental illness of their own) and so they have sex with raging hormones boy because he says those three magic words.

I’m too lazy to look it up, but a huge study came out this week that showed that abstinence-only sex education programs had NO (that’s a zero) measurable effect on the rates of sex, the age of first sexual encounter, rates of STD’s, or rates of pregnancy. NONE. However, the comprehensive classes (abstinence and contraception) had a positive (and by that I mean the good direction of movement, not necessarily upward movement) effect on all of these. No, really. Thanks, W.

It breaks my heart to look at 5th graders and realize that some of them are experimenting with sex. The prospect of a girl getting pregnant the year she is first able to is horrifically tragic. Knowing that many girls and women choose abortion is unbelievably saddening. All these things are awful, and all these things are inextricably connected. (Most) Pro-lifers focus on making abortion illegal. This treats only the effect. To treat the cause is to go up a couple of paragraphs and stop patterns that lead to girls and women getting pregnant when they don’t want to be. In countries where abortion is illegal, the rates are lower, sure, but not by as much as you might think or hope. Millions of babies are still aborted every year be it legally or illegally. If we’re going to pursue making abortion illegal, we have to simultaneously (or preemptively) go back a few steps and minimize the number of girls who are in this cycle that leads to teen (and pre-teen) and otherwise unwanted pregnancies. Let’s be serious; kids are having sex. Yep. It’s sad. You know what happens when they have sex, though? Well, biology teaches us that a sperm reaching an egg leads to a zygote. This delightful little guy has a mere 25% (fully natural) chance of implanting into a uterus and becoming a living, breathing human being. Hmm. So, kiddos are doing this, and this happening. This is a real problem, and ranting about the defeat of the American family and then forbidding schools from distributing condoms, the pill, and instructions in the use of each is passively supporting the inevitable abortions and other horrific results.

Perhaps that’s a bit strong. What I’m saying is that I would rather see a president support social policies that lead to girls not having sex (such as comprehensive sex ed program). Poorer kids have sex earlier and have a higher risk of getting pregnant. I believe that there are systematic structures in the United States that make it very, very difficult to climb out of poverty (though not impossible, of course, I know). If they’re having sex (which way too many are), then let’s support keeping them from getting pregnant in the first place. Once they’re pregnant, let’s make it feasible for them to keep the baby. Make sure there’s a safe place to escape from their judgmental, unaccepting, potentially abusive fathers and boyfriends, if that’s what they need. Advertise the vast numbers of delightful families who desire to adopt babies. Emphasize it, make it simple, make it acceptable. Once these things are true, I really believe that the abortion rate in America will fall. If a woman is not pregnant, she cannot get an abortion. Can we all agree with that statement, at least?

The functionality of these principles is reflected in my kiddos every day. Their needs are met through other channels, and they don’t need to use aggression any longer. As a Christian, I ought to be motivated to follow Christ by the grace of His sacrifice for me, rather than out of fear of hell. Real, honest change occurs when I’m shown how to walk without falling into a pothole rather than when I’m punished for my misstep.

About lindswing

Once upon a time, I was born, grew up a little bit, did some stuff, and now I have a blog. I deeply respect the Oxford comma.
This entry was posted in politics. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Why I will probably vote for a president who’s pro-choice, and still be able to sleep at night

  1. Elessar says:

    Which presidential candidate will you be voting for that supports your system, since I know it’s not Ron Paul 2008?

  2. Derek says:

    “It breaks my heart to look at 5th graders and realize that some of them are experimenting with sex. The prospect of a girl getting pregnant the year she is first able to is horrifically tragic. Knowing that many girls and women choose abortion is unbelievably saddening. All these things are awful, and all these things are inextricably connected. (Most) Pro-lifers focus on making abortion illegal. This treats only the effect. To treat the cause is to go up a couple of paragraphs and stop patterns that lead to girls and women getting pregnant when they don’t want to be. In countries where abortion is illegal, the rates are lower, sure, but not by as much as you might think or hope. Millions of babies are still aborted every year be it legally or illegally. If we’re going to pursue making abortion illegal, we have to simultaneously (or preemptively) go back a few steps and minimize the number of girls who are in this cycle that leads to teen (and pre-teen) and otherwise unwanted pregnancies”

    Do you think a Christian is morally obliged to seek and support government
    policies that attempt to “minimize the number of girls [who have] unwanted pregnancies”?

    Why think that the government would be significantly effective in curbing unwanted pregnancies?

    From what you wrote it seems that you think that anyone who wants abortion to be illegal is obliged to also support legislation and/or government programs that minimize teenage pregnancy. But why think this is so? Suppose I think that murder should be illegal, and I also know (or think) that murder rates are strongly correlated with poverty rates. Does is it follow that If I support laws against murder I should also support government programs that attempt to reduce poverty rates? It seems not, for I might think, or have good reasons to think, that historically government programs that attempt to reduce poverty rates are substantially ineffective. Assuming I have good reasons to think this, it’s entirely coherent to support the illegality of murder while all the while not supporting government programs to alleviate poverty. Would you agree?

    • It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this brilliant blog!
      I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS
      feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.

      Talk soon!

  3. lindswing says:

    First off, the murder correlation is not perfect, since poverty is not necessary for murder, whereas pregnancy is necessary for abortion. I can see your point, but I do disagree. The drug war involves prevention (stopping drugs from being imported into the U.S.), and I think most people agree that we should continue that effort. I happen to think that in order to be coherent, one must support prevention as well as response to a problem. I know a lot of people argue that it’s not the government’s job to take care of these things, and that it’s churches’, parents’, and private organizations’ jobs. Well, they are obviously not taking care of it, and I believe that it is best for the overall health of our country to have these things dealt with. Murder and violent crime rates have been reduced by programs that alleviate poverty. If we can agree that teen pregnancy is bad, and we find that parents aren’t communicating with their children about the dangers present in sex, then it seems that someone needs to teach them this. Teen mothers end up on welfare at much higher rates than non-teen mothers, their children are much more likely to repeat the pattern, end up in jail, etc. These all end up costing the government (and therefore taxpayers) far more than a comprehensive sex ed curriculum. It’s silly, expensive, and quite foolish to neglect prevention.

  4. Derek says:

    Touché- my analogy to murder wasn’t airtight. I am completely open to being educated here; but I can’t resist propounding my skepticism. The fundamental point I wish to get across is the following. It seems that the fundamental purpose of a government is to recognize, protect, and ensure the natural rights of men; nothing is more paramount to the establishing of a government than that. So a question like “should murder be legal or not?” is germane to the nature and purpose of government, more so at least, then the question “what can the government do to help the poor?” Similarly, it seems that the question “Is the intentional aborting of a fetus violating the rights of any persons?” is a question pertinent to the nature and purpose of a government, much more so then, say, the question “What can the government do to reduce the number of pregnancies and thus reduce the number of abortions?”

    That being said, suppose someone happens to think that the intentional aborting of a fetus does, in many (if not most) cases constitutes the violating of a person’s right. Isn’t it clear that, given the nature of government, such a person should be concerned with getting legislating passed that protects those rights, more so then voting for candidates who support programs that might or might not contribute to the cause of decreasing abortion rates, but whom all the while actually think that abortion does not violate any person’s rights? Another potentially flawed example: Suppose that ALL murders only happen when there is a gun involved, and all people have guns as part of their anatomy (that is all humans have a biological gun). Candidate A thinks that murder is wrong and vigorously supports anti-murder legislation, but candidate A is reluctant to support programs that encourage people to not murder each other (perhaps because he thinks their ineffective). Candidate B, however actually supports pro-murder legislation, but nonetheless wants to mandate comprehensive conservative gun-use programs, which, if successful, might reduce the number of murders. If someone ardently believes that murder is severe human rights abuse, shouldn’t her allegiance be with candidate A?

    The moral of the story: It’s better to vote for a candidate who represents your convictions rather than the candidate who doesn’t, even if the candidate who doesn’t represent your convictions supports the establishing of programs that might help prevent what the candidate who does support your convictions is trying to prevent as well.

  5. Derek says:

    p.s. that last sentence I wrote is probably the longest sentence I have ever written that arguably isn’t a run-on setence.

  6. Eula says:

    I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you spend a lot
    of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work,
    there is an online tool that creates readable, SEO friendly articles in minutes, just search in google
    - laranitas free content source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>