Let me finish tonight with this: it's a subtle, for me, recommendation to those protesting the appearance tomorrow by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown University.
You oppose her speaking because of her position in support of abortion rights, so let me propose a thought to you who, like me, values life.
Will protesting the Secretary's appearance radically reduce the millions of abortions in this country each year? Will it reduce it by one? What would? What practical, workable step would radically reduce the number of abortions in this free country of ours?
I would suggest it is radically reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Get the young men having sex with young women to stop having unwanted pregnancies.
Stop protesting government officials and start talking to the people actually involved in having these millions of unwanted pregnancies. Tell them and get the word to them as parents, teachers, loved ones that if they're going to have sex--and that's a decision they ought to accept moral responsibility for--please use birth control. Just stop having unwanted pregnancies.
This is how we do things in a free society that values life: not with dictatorial laws, but with persuasion.
I say this as someone who accepts the moral teachings of my church, but also as someone who accepts the practical need here for effective action, not more protests.
Now, a word about Secretary Sebelius. It could be argued that this one person has done more to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies than anyone in our country. She's behind the policy of requiring insurance companies to cover birth control. Making birth control free, which is what she's done, will do more to reduce unwanted pregnancies than anything I can imagine. Certainly urging people to stop having sex is another way. Her way will, I bet, have a more dramatic result. It could actually work. I know what the protesters believe. They believe they can stop abortion by protests, by rallies, by stopping people from speaking at graduation ceremonies.
Common sense tells us that the way to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions is not at a graduation ceremony, but on what we used to call "dates." It's when a young man and a young woman are together. We can argue against them having sex, but we can also suggest that when relationships become close and respectful, birth control is far better than an unwanted pregnancy.
So, here in my role as a secular advisor, I suggest that those of us who think that this country would be better off with radically fewer abortions actually begin doing something about it.
Kathleen Sebelius deserves credit again, it could certainly be argued, for doing her part. Rather than protest what she's doing, pro-lifers and pro-choicers might just think about giving her a little credit. At least let her speak!