The provision in the stimulus bill to allow more states access to a program Medicaid pays for contraception, stripped from the bill by conservatives, could have prevented 12,000 abortions per year. Ross Douthat isn’t impressed: that’s only a 1-2% reduction in the abortion rate, he says.
But wait a minute. Doesn’t Douthat consider abortion “murder”? Why, I believe that he does, or at least that he says he does, in order to be able to label his political opponents as supporters of “feticide.” Is eliminating 12,000 murders per year really something to sneeze at?
Note also the complete illogic Douthat employs: because Catholics don’t in fact pay much attention to the Church’s anti-contraception teachings, it must be the case that right-to-life fanatics haven’t managed to torque American public policy around in ways that make contraception less available. (Plan B, anyone?)
Some people think that Douthat was a better-than-average choice for the NYT conservative-columnist slot. If so, what does that say about the competition?