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June 12, 2016 11:50 AM UTC

In new book, a conservative explains why she's a "pro-life realist" and more

  • 1 Comments
  • by: Jason Salzman

Conservative operative Laura Carno is out with a new book with the ridiculous title of, “Government Ruins Nearly Everything.

But the subtitle should keep you from burning the book: “Reclaiming Social Issues from Uncivil Servants.”

If you ignore the “uncivil” part, you can look inside the 138-page volume and appreciate some of the ways that Carno tries to apply her free-market mindset to the issues of marriage, guns, abortion, and education.

She picked issues where her free-market, anti-government analysis might challenge conservatives (marriage, abortion) and progressives (guns, education), which is interesting.

But I’d have to recommend that you skip to the chapter on abortion, because it seemed the freshest.

Carno comes up with a new term to describe herself, and I’m hoping when Carno sneezes at conservative gatherings, it infects the conservative world. She calls herself a “pro-life realist.”

As such, she supports Roe!

She opposes excessive government regulations of abortion, like mandatory ultrasounds prior to having one.

“A person can be pro-life and believe the government can’t reduce abortions,” Carno, who founded I Am Created Equal and is possibly best known for her pro-gun advocacy, writes, pointing to data showing that making abortion illegal results in more abortions.

“Where abortions are illegal, more abortions occur,” she writes in her straight-forward and easy-to-understand prose.

Pro-choice activists would say government policy can definitely reduce abortions, but they’s agree on the banning part.

See, for example, Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative, which was run by civil servants and is credited with lowering abortions among teens by as much as half. Now it’s funded by the state, as well as run by it.

Carno offers alternatives to banning abortion or using government to make it more difficult. These include misguided efforts like the Save the Storks program, which push ultrasounds to pregnant women, along with alleged counseling. But to Carno’s point–this is a private effort. And Carno doesn’t advocate deception among the crisis pregnancy centers she favors. Unfortunately, many of these outfits have been shown by NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado to be manipulative and predatory.

Carno suggests pro-life groups do more for foster-care and support adoption programs, not just of infants. Carno wants government out, of course, but we’ll take it.

She wants better education about contraception and access to birth control, including the pill and new methods.

I like Carno’s plea for empathy among people who are pro-life. It’s an attitude that both progressives and conservatives can learn from–and can move us to solutions across the issue spectrum.

Here’s what Carno has to say (page 65-6):

An increasing number of Americans don’t want abortions to be illegal, even though they consider themselves to be pro-life. Why? Could it be that Americans are concerned about others who might be in a much more difficult situation?.. Pro-life realists…can easily imagine a woman in a dire financial situation who has an unplanned pregnancy. They fear she could be living out of her car if she experiences just one more financial setback. 

The empathy is real, and informs their preferences, even though they are pro-life. Among even those who are not generally political, this is a common reason for pro-life people to want to want abortion kept legal.

Progressives can come up with lots of ways to critique this, even condemn it, but, hey, let’s acknowledge our mutual empathy and see where it takes us.

Comments

One thought on “In new book, a conservative explains why she’s a “pro-life realist” and more

  1. One doesn't have to be a "progressive" to critique this book. After all, recall what the founder of the modern conservative movement in our country; the late Senator Barry Goldwater; had to say about abortion: "it's not a conservative issue; it's a matter between a woman and her doctor". 

    I suspect that the radical, hard core, anti-abortion movement won't appreciate Ms. Carno's take on their authoritarian approaches.

    I would also recommend the following book, by Robert Boston in 2014: "Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn't Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do."   His basic conclusion after a number of interesting chapters on the so-called social issues:  "Run Your Own Life, Not Mine."

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