Back in August, Cruz was endorsed by Georgia Right to Life’s Political Action Committee in return for pledging his support for a Constitutional amendment declaring that fertilized eggs are for all intents and purposes, human beings and that the use of birth control products such as intrauterine devices is equivalent to having an abortion. Also, at the 2013 Values Voter Summit, Cruz called emergency contraceptive pills “abortifacients.”
To sum up, Ted Cruz wants to extend the right-wing encroachment upon women’s reproductive and 14th Amendment rights, despite the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade that a woman’s decision to have an abortion is protected by the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Moreover, given that the Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2012, there had been 13.2 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, down from the Guttmacher Institute’s report of 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years the previous year, and that as of June 2015, the number of abortions in the U.S. declined by 12 percent since 2010, the “pro-life” hysteria on the part of Ted Cruz and his supporters is way overblown.
In addition, although Ted Cruz describes IUDs as “abortifacients,” these devices do not actually kill fertilized eggs, but instead decrease the mobility of sperm to prevent it from reaching the egg. As for emergency contraceptive pills, these drugs simply interrupt ovulation, fertilization or both, and do not kill fertilized eggs.
This is not to say that Ted Cruz is against all forms of contraception, given his crude and flippant remarks made during a town hall meeting in Iowa on November 30, 2015:
“I have been a conservative my entire life. I have never met anybody, any conservative who wants to ban contraceptives. As I noted, Heidi and I, we have two little girls. I’m very glad we don’t have seventeen… Last I checked, we don’t have a rubber shortage in America. Like look, when I was in college, we had a machine in the bathroom. You put 50 cents in — and voila! Anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it’s an utterly made-up nonsense issue.”
However, Cruz doesn’t take into account that although condoms can be effective to a point on their own, typical use of male condoms, which accounts for the condom sometimes being worn incorrectly or not at all, yields a pregnancy rate of between 10 and 15 percent, whereas similar practice with female condoms can yield a 21 percent pregnancy rate within the first year of use. Naturally, when condoms are used perfectly per the instructions on the package in conjunction with other forms of contraception, the likelihood of conception decreases.
Cruz also doesn’t take into account that many religious denominations forbid any use of birth control, and many religious colleges would probably not install vending machines dispensing condoms on their campuses.
If Ted Cruz is so hung up about abortions, he should not be limiting access to effective contraception, which would prevent more unwanted pregnancies and therefore prevent more abortions. Since the average cost of raising a child born in 2014 to the age of 18 years in the United States comes to roughly a quarter of a million dollars, Cruz should also look into enabling people, particularly women, to receive better wages, more comprehensive health care, better access to higher learning and more suitable time for paid maternity leave, all in the interest of giving more purchasing power to the people who spend money, which would deal an appreciable if not fatal blow to poverty, strengthen the U.S. economy and lower the U.S. infant mortality rate, which is double that of Finland, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Norway.
Of course, being that Ted Cruz is against raising the minimum wage but in favor of cutting food stamps, to my mind, he has no right to declare himself “pro-life,” as being trapped in a cycle of poverty is no life for mothers and their babies, or anyone for that matter; nor is it any kind of life for a child if he or she dies before turning a year old.