Whether pro-life or pro-choice, you should support vaccines and GMOs

I tend to stay out of abortion discussions, I value not having my neck slit too much. It is one of those issues where both sides really do argue from too much emotion. But there is one Facebook page on the topic I occasionally check in on, Pro-Life Discussions. I may disagree with them in practice (my own thoughts are in that grey area in-between), but they do get one thing right that many on the pro-life side don’t; prevention of unwanted pregnancies to begin with can only be a good thing. They (or at least one of their administrators) are pro-GMO and pro-vaccine.

Contrary to the misconception that opposition to GMOs and vaccines is the liberal version of the conservative opposition to climate science, there is a movement of conservatives opposed to both. As an example Barbara Loe Fisher, who runs the terribly named National Vaccine Information Center, called the HPV shot the “slut shot” saying it would encourage young women to be promiscuous.

A myth has also been going around the anti-science branch of the conservative community about vaccines using cells from recently aborted fetuses. In reality they are produced using the same line of cells from one abortion decades ago, that would have occurred regardless of what was done with those cells. Even for people that see a fetus as being a child, it shouldn’t be any different than organ donations.

In 2011 US teen pregnancies, birth rates, and abortion rates reached an historic low. This is a trend that appears to be occurring in countries that have educated women, access to contraceptives, and access to health care. This is essentially the Bill Gates plan to solve over population. Instead of trying to control birth rates by force, he is trying to raise the standard of living (something vaccines and GMOs contribute to).

Contrary to the belief held by many that the world was so much better in “their day”, the world of the 1960s and 1970s was pretty grim. Whether you agree with the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade or not, the timing of the landmark case taking place in this era was no coincidence.

Pessimists of those decades saw the world’s population as a ticking time bomb. China instituted a one child policy and India created policies to encourage sterilization (encouraged by loans from the West). Bestselling books like Famine 1975! and The Population Bomb written in the 1960s would even go so far as to call for an end to food aid, thinking it wasn’t worth the cost to save a doomed developing world.

So at a time when the population pessimists had control of public dialog, it almost makes sense that abortion rights would be granted to women.

The pessimists were proven wrong, but the damage they did to the developing world should not be forgotten. China’s one child policy would lead to the deaths of many baby girls in an attempt to ensure the one child is a son, and there were reports in India of men in villages being dragged away for forced sterilization.

The fact is that countries with educated women, economic development, urbanization, and high life expectancy have falling birth rates. And isn’t that what we all want? Falling birth rates means falling abortion rates.

That means getting women off of subsistence farms and into schools. Findings from the World Resources Institute indicate that improving agricultural technology is key to reach that goal. Increasing yields with better seed along with using natural solutions to avoid soil degradation with native plants can help us “farm smarter”.

This is contrary to what the organic movement is all about. They want women working in the fields all day picking weeds and bugs instead of going to school. (Pesticide free farming!) Yet such reversal of human development would only bring back the era of forced sterilizations and one child policies.

If the pro-life movement is stressed out today, do they really want to return to a time when governments imposed mandatory abortions?

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