To the Single Issues Voters

Dear Single Issue Christian Voters,

I’ve talked to so many of you. I attended church with some of you. Some of you I consider friends. You’re the ones who told me that you didn’t “love the politics but you love the babies.” I get it. I understand why you’re a single issue voter. I also grew up believing that I had a responsibility as a Christian to vote for a “single issue.”

I think most of us understand what you mean when you say that you’re a single issue voter. After all, you don’t care very much for revising the tax code. You’re not big on finding protective environments for the endangered osprey. Those aren’t the single issues. The single issue you’re voting on is your stance on abortion. You’re adamantly “pro-life”, and that’s the single issue that you care for most deeply.

You voted for Donald Trump in the hopes that he would appoint the Supreme Court Justices who will finally end abortion once and for all. Some of you told me that you “held your nose” and voted for Trump because you care so much about unborn babies. After all, you’re single issue voters.

Well I must admit, under Trump’s presidency things are changing. In fact, you may be happy about the changes taking place. After all, the topic of abortion is front and center just like you wanted. In the state of Alabama they’re passing laws that outlaw abortions all together. They’re even outlawing abortions in the case of women who are pregnant because of rape!

Not to be outdone, Missouri came along and passed a law saying that no abortion can be performed after eight weeks. So single issue voters, it’s working. I suppose that you are seeing the fruits of your vote.

Except for one small fact:  

Abortions performed in the United States are down, like way down.

In fact, abortions have been in steady decline since the 1990’s. Since 2010 abortions have decreased by about 12 percent every single year. We’re seeing a steady decline in abortions that shows no sign of ending. It’s happening my single issue friends! We’re winning the battle!

Let’s start with Title X, the only federal program dedicated solely to providing contraception and other preventive reproductive health services. Title X is responsible for counseling almost 4.6 million families, with majority of families qualifying as low income. Families now have access to contraception, family planning education, and affordable STI tests.

Numerous government grants, which work to teach sex education, provide contraception, and prevent sexually transmitted diseases have accounted for the historical drop in teen pregnancy rates. In Colorado, a state funded program that allowed teens access to contraception and education, accounted for a 42 percent drop in abortions!

I know this one won’t sit well with my single issue Christian voters, but we must recognize the fact that Planned Parenthood has played a major role in the decline of abortions. In fact, only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s operations center around abortion. The overwhelming majority of Planned Parenthood’s operations center on reproductive health and wellness, affordable medical exams, and affordable access to contraception.

So there you have it, single issue voters. Initiatives are working. Abortions are down and show no sign of increasing. If we continue at this rate it’s always possible that they stop altogether. And yet, the people for whom you voted are working to change the laws that decrease abortions!

For the past five years house Republicans have worked to defund Planned Parenthood on the grounds that the organization provides abortions, even though Planned Parenthood cannot use federal money to perform abortions. Recently the Trump administration issued a gag order against Title X and House Republicans have worked to end Title X each year since 2011. Unfortunately, these restrictions do more to limit access to healthcare and education rather than limit abortions. By limiting Title X, it’s possible that we’re actually increasing the risk of abortion.

And despite the fact that Colorado saw a major decrease in abortions, Republican lawmakers voted to block the state funded program that was directly tied to the major decrease in abortions!

This should bother us, single issue voters. If lawmakers truly care about being pro-life, then it seems like they’re not doing much to bring about the flourishing of every single woman for whom reproductive rights are absolutely essential. It seems like our politicians could do a better job affirming those who find themselves living in poverty with little to no access to medical help. And if we’re truly pro-life, it seems that we should take a good hard look at those who are working to take away the basic rights of human beings, especially those who have little access to care after birth.  

Single issue voters, you can actually fight the absurdity of the anti-abortion laws passed in Alabama and in Missouri. The sanctity of life has mattered and will continue to matter in our government and around our country. Our federal programs are protecting the sanctity of life. They’re working. Our state funded programs are protecting the sanctity of life. They’re actually working.

So where does that leave you, my single issue Christian voters?

You have the opportunity to truly be pro-life by protecting women who have experienced rape and abuse.

You have the opportunity to truly be pro-life by affirming and giving power to women.

You have the opportunity to truly be pro-life by addressing the fact that 60 percent of our chronically undernourished population are both women and children.  

You have the opportunity to truly be pro-life by addressing the inadequate care at our borders, which has resulted in the deaths of children.

You have the opportunity to truly be pro-life by advocating for continued childcare and continued care for foster children.

In fact, it seems like truly being pro-life looks a lot like the ministry of Jesus.

Single issue voters. You can still make a difference and you don’t even have to hold your noses to do it.

So the question now becomes, single issue voters, are you truly Pro-Life or do you simply want to legislate sex? Are you truly pro-life or do you simply want to keep the patriarchy in power? Are you truly pro-life or are you simply advocating for a strict, Christian moral code?  And if you’re the latter, then there is another reason for which we should all hold our noses.

Jonathan Williams

Robbie Klein