To end abortion, fix sexuality: George Mason professor
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Before abortion will ever come to an end, people must have a more accurate understanding of healthy sexuality, according to a leader in the pro-life movement.
“Instead of reminding people what they are doing when they have an abortion, we need to have have people think about what they are doing when they are having sex,” Helen Alvaré, a law professor at George Mason University, said as a featured panelist at the National Press Club during a symposium held by Americans United for Life last Thursday.
The pro-life movement is appropriately squeezing the “supply-side of abortion” through legislation focusing on ultrasounds and informed consent, as well as an expanding network of crisis pregnancy centers, said Alvare.
But what is being overlooked is “the demand-side of abortion” – the hook-up culture that often leads to unintended pregnancies too often aborted.
“Young women talking about what it's like out there in the market for sex, marriage, and mating will tell you they are not happy” with what Alvaré calls “the Unbearable Lightness of Sex.”
Planned Parenthood's murky view of sex – that it is a pitfall that can potentially lead to unwanted children whose existence will dash women's dreams forever – has distorted the procreative function and “taken all the fun out of sex.”
“We need to reconnect” physical intimacy with having children in people's minds, so they know that what they're doing "has meaning,” she said. “We need to reform our marriage laws as to entrance and exit – so we put marriage and children together.”
Statistics suggest solving marriage will, to a large extent, solve the abortion crisis. Some 85 percent of women who seek abortion are unmarried. Infidelity causes some married women to abort.
The present environment of strings-free sex benefits men, who feel no sense of responsibility toward the mother or child, and leaves isolated women alone to deal with single parenthood or the lingering guilt brought on through abortion, said Alvare.
“I think women would like to get married a little younger and have their children a little younger – so sue me,” she quipped.
A series of polls and a growing body of women's literature would back her up. Women are increasingly skittish about marrying late after a generation that is dealing with the reality of plunging fertility, which begins in the late 30s.
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Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco recently found “that women did not have a clear understanding of the age at which fertility begins to decline," as they wrote after a recent poll, which they publicized in Human Reproduction.
Women in such liberal publications as Slate and The New Republic – both decidedly outside the pro-life camp – have noted the disappointment of women who learned too late the error of the feminist slogan, “you can have it all.”
Men, too, must man up to their responsibilities as fathers. “Of couse, we have to defeat the porn industry alongside that,” said Alvaré.
The daunting task of restoring a sense of healthy sexuality is all the more necessary because of the sexual revolution. There has been a massive increase in non-marital sex, illegitimacy, and abortions "since the widespread introduction of contraception, and there is no reason to believe this is going to end,” she said.
Such data convinced author Mary Eberstadt to write in her book Adam and Eve After the Pill that Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reiterated Catholic Church teaching against contraception, has been vindicated. In Humanae Vitae the pope had predicted an increase in abortions, as well as infidelity, the devaluing of women and a general lowering of moral standards, as a result of the embrace of contraception.
“If you were to ask which document of modern times was the most unwanted and reviled document it would have be Humanae Vitae,” Eberstadt told LifeSiteNews.com last year. “Yet this document contains more truth about the sexual revolution and the world it would usher in than any other document.”
While full conformity with the view of the Catholic Church on contraception is likely too far to go in one step, beginning a national discussion about the real meaning, and consequences, of sex plays an irreplaceable role in changing a culture that countenances a million abortions a year.
“This is a revolution I'm talking about, but a revolution is needed,” Alvaré said. “I think a lot of women are ready for it.”