Uphold right of choice

By Mike Dishnow, July 24, 2005

President Bush has done his homework and nominated a highly qualified individual to the Supreme Court. The question is will Judge John Roberts be willing to uphold Americans’ rights, freedoms and legal protections?

It is important that a woman’s right to reproductive freedom be upheld. The sensible stance on abortion is to keep it legal and work toward making it rare. A realistic attitude toward birth control and sex education would be helpful.

We would do well to study the experiences of Canada and the other Western democracies. These nations have much lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and sexually related crimes.

They take a different tack in educating their populations, including the youth, and make birth control readily available. The expectation of sexual responsibility is clearly communicated to the young and not so young.

Abstinence-only education is folly. It didn’t work in the 1950s and ’60s, and it isn’t working now. One has to be rather naive not to recognize the state of sexual behaviors amongst our youth- albeit, not all that different from the behaviors of those in their ’30s, ’40s and ’50s.

There is an alarming tendency afoot to replace scientific study and analysis with religious and political ideology. This is a path we will tread at our own peril. Whether it is global warming or human sexual mores and behaviors, what is trumps what isn’t. It is the real culture, not the ideal culture, that the cultural anthropologist gives credence to.

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