The Simple Unpacking: Modern Conservative “Ideology” Consistently Achieves the Opposite of its Stated Goals (Abortion)

The Polislice’s simple philosophy is that the best policy is whatever works for the most people- “the greater good.” Essentially, make shit work, please.  While that may seem like a neutral and very common sense ethos, that’s the progressive position that conservatives fight against tooth and nail.

A 30,000 foot view of the specific policies that modern conservatives (as opposed to classic conservatism) espouse, proselytize and fight for consistently shows that these policies in practice achieve the opposite of their stated goals. That’s partially why we’re so often debating “facts” because the metrics of what is, what’s real, what is factual debunks conservatives’ claims of moral or intellectual integrity over and over again.

Abortion: Firstly, classic conservatism wouldn’t even take a stance on abortion. The libertarian view of it, natural law and self interest dictates that women have sovereignty over their bodies and no one should get between an individual and their conscience. That’s a common modern conservative cry when it suits them. But they’ve subordinated conservatism in this case to the religious theology of their Christian base. Their goal is to eliminate abortion as a legally recognized medical procedure and eliminate that family planning choice.

The Upshot: modern conservatism is almost wholly against all abortion rights. They used to grant exceptions for the life and health of the mother, or rape, but that has eroded. Moreover, the ideological center of their philosophy is also against birth control! Given the plain logic that the way to prevent abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancy this would seem to be a contradiction that renders their position ridiculous, but because their thinking emanates from a religious theology rather than a rational political ideology, they can’t grant that and their arguments become more vociferous as they lose a grounding in facts or rationality.

So they’ve incrementally pushed limits on abortion, promulgated regulations on the state and federal level that close women’s health/family planning clinics and practically fetishize  closing Planned Parenthood in a way that amounts to the persecution of a legitimate business (not very conservative). If they got their way and abortion was outlawed and access to family planning and contraception was curtailed (or even outlawed per pre-Greenwald v. Connecticut) not only would there be more unplanned, unwanted pregnancies but there would almost certainly, history teaches us, be just as many abortions. They just wouldn’t be as safe or as easy to access as they have been since Roe v. Wade. Of course, women with means would be able to get what they need. Women without means will be thrown to the depredations of black markets or forced to have children they can’t afford. (It’s important to remember that the achievement of Roe was to democratize abortion rights and safeguard women’s lives). The modern anti-abortion conservative is working, it seems, for the result of more poor children and more abortions including more unsafe abortions.

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