WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – Abortion as a birth control practice would go away if Christians would do the same – that's the conclusion of the latest liberal attack on Christianity by psychologist Valerie Tarico.
Tarico, who writes for Huffington Post and other left-leaning publications, claims in a new commentary at Raw Story – also a leftist website – that America's high rate of abortion is what it is because Christians keep meddling with and squashing the evolutionary processes of sexual liberation.
According to the psychologist, who claims to be a former evangelical, Christians oppose abortion not because they are actually interested in saving the lives of children killed in the womb. Instead, she claims, Christians are only concerned with preserving things like purity, righteousness, and "traditional gender roles with women as designated breeders who defer to male authority."
"They want those things so badly that they are willing even to drive up the abortion rate in order to get them," Tarico writes.
How could this be? According to Tarico, Christians are promoting "accidental pregnancy" because of what she calls "pro-natalism, an obsession with sexual sin, an emphasis on righteousness over compassion, and a determination to structure social rules and programs around some fantasy ideal rather than how the real world actually works."
Tarico describes "pro-natalism" as a strategy to compete in the religious spectrum. In other words, for Christianity to survive, Christians must have babies – and lots of them – because they are commanded to have them. This idea of "treating women as breeders," she claims, has bleed over into society at large and resulted in accidental pregnancy and abortion.
Second, Tarico claims Christians are obsessed with sexual sin, evidenced by ineffective abstinence education programs and discussions about sexual purity. She claims conservative Americans are "slow to use birth control, because that would make them guilty of the sin of premeditated sex," which is clearly forbidden in Christianity.
Another reason Tarico proposes for the staggering number of abortions in America is the Christian emphasis on righteousness over compassion. In fact, the author claims Christians do not care how women came to have an unwanted pregnancy, what they plan to do with the child, and the implications of her care after the termination of the pregnancy. Hard-hearted Christians just want to be right, she says.
"They'd rather be right than solve problems. They would rather condemn abortion from a position of righteous superiority than solve the complicated conditions that cause women to terminate pregnancies. They'd rather judge from the sidelines than get their hands dirty," she writes.
Tarico fails to mention the more than 2,200 crisis pregnancy centers established by Christian churches and organizations nationwide, or which 1,800 are run by Heartbeat International.
Finally, Tarico claims Christians simply do not understand the real world where "real humans" live. They live, she alleges, in a "fantasy world" where people can – with the help of Christ – work to control their natural impulses and wait for sex until they are married and ready to have children. If they would only cease opposition to "top-tier contraceptive care," she writes, teen pregnancy and abortion would vanish.
"Someone who really wanted to reduce abortions would showcase better birth control in every teen health class in the country. They would make sure that the most effective contraceptives available were available to all women regardless of age or income, as a program in Washington State does. They would be more focused on promoting wise childbearing than virginity. Those who claim they want to end abortion don't succeed because that's not really what they are after," Tarico writes.
Tarico is the author of two books, The Dark Side: How Evangelicals Corrupt Love and Truth, and Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light.
In 2013, Tarico published a commentary in which she argued abortion is "a blessing, grace or gift."