Religion holds back rational thought as the guiding force of human development. Scientific discovery is greeted with skepticism. The earth isn’t flat and is not the center of the universe… Stem cell research is blocked today in the US. Statistical analysis is not used for decision making. You start with the belief and find the facts that comfort your ideas.
Consider abortion. For everyone involved, the goal is to reduce the actual number of abortions.
Compared to western Europe, the USA is much more religious. Abortion is fought by the conservative right with all their might. Abortion is being blocked in a growing number of states. The republican program declares wanting to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape or incest. In the same way, they fight for abstinence instead of contraception and are against sex eduction in schools.
In western Europe, abortion is widely legal and accepted (except very religious Ireland). There is no big social issue. Through sex education and promotion of contraception, they have a much lower rate of abortions than the USA.
The conservative right in the US is more concerned about the religious precepts than the human misery involved. By restricting sex education, the religious lobby actually increases the number of abortions.
Why does it seem that we know only how to punish, not how to help, to educate, to support?