Pay Up, Pro-Life Movement

Another day, another rant in the local paper about protecting the “unborn children” that are “murdered” by Planned Parenthood. (Never mind that the vast majority of their services involve cancer screening for poor women.)

I usually have very little patience for rabid pro-lifers, because they tend to be affluent and educated and utterly out of touch with the lifestyles of most women who find themselves in the distressing situation of being pregnant at a time when they lack the relationships or resources to support a child.

But this time let’s compromise. I will respect a person with a no abortion under any circumstances viewpoint under one condition:

That person is willing to pay the entirety of the cost of the pregnancy, birth, recovery, and child support until the child is a legal adult. Let’s throw in a college fund too.

Not such a difficult concession, is it, pro-lifers? The majority of women seeking abortions are economically disadvantaged and frequently never had access to birth control or the ability to insist that their partners wear a condom. So if you’re going to force a woman to keep an unwanted child, you’d better cough up some cash to help pay for it. Until you plump white stay-at-home middle class church ladies realise this, you will fail to see how your attitudes compound poverty and further stigmatise disadvantaged women.

I believe that the pro-life and pro-choice crowds should move beyond abortion and simply agree that the true problem is unwanted pregnancy. I find abortion incredibly regrettable. There is always emotional distress and physical pain involved, even when it’s the absolutely correct choice. I am also unequivocally opposed to the late-term abortion of a fetus capable of surviving outside the womb. At that point we are dealing with a creature developed enough to suffer incredible pain whilst being ripped from limb to limb. But even an early term abortion can leave psychological scars on a woman, and our society’s stigma against the practise makes it difficult for them to seek comfort.

The best option for all women would be to never need an abortion. Then we wouldn’t have to argue over whether or not it should be legal. If there is no glob of rapidly dividing cells in a uterus to begin with, then nobody will have to argue over its fate. But that can’t happen without two things: feminism and funding. So decide when you’d like to pay, pro-lifers. Do you want to pay up in advance and allow women to learn how their bodies work and have the social standing to control their fertility, or do you just want to start cutting cheques to feed babies born from forced pregnancies?

41 thoughts on “Pay Up, Pro-Life Movement

  1. I like how they call themselves pro-life, when they’re only concerned with protecting people for about 9 months, while I’m concerned with their welfare from conception to natural death … preventing abortions by preventing pregnancy, and keeping them healthy after they’re born too. But I’m just “pro-abortion” to them. Of course.

    You’re exactly right. The pro-life movement’s concern is about the legality and incidence of abortion. They are wearing blinders when it comes to the actual causes that lead women to choose abortion, like, I don’t know, say … abstinence-only sex ed, lack of access to contraceptives, and other things that right-wing conservatives think will cure the world of immorality. They’re the ones causing all the abortions. But we’re the bad guys. *sigh*

  2. Great post. It points out the reality of the “two Americas”- there’s the sanitized version of Palin and her ilk and then there’s the facts. The pro-lifers need to not just walk in someone elses shoes they need to inhabit every aspect of that woman’s (and sadly, teen girls) life.
    They need to stand next to the nurses in Neo-Natal ICU and watch the crack-preemie struggle. She’ll be going into foster care in 6 mos if she makes it.
    The pro-lifers are nowhere to be seen as she is bounced from home to home to care facility to an early pregnancy and drug use herself (if she follows statistics) And then the pls will scream that she shouldn’t have classes to tell her about her body, her choices- where will her future care come from?
    If Planned Parenthood goes, it will be another step backward for all of us.

  3. I support the standard Mormon position: that under certain circumstances involving rape, incest, or when the health of the mother is threatened, abortion may be a viable option.

    However, I consider myself strongly pro-life and disagree with what I see as the fundamental flaw in your argument:

    “The majority of women seeking abortions are economically disadvantaged and frequently never had access to birth control or the ability to insist that their partners wear a condom.”

    This is a false dichotomy. These aren’t the only options. There’s another option. Abstinence. I would strongly disagree with anyone who would argue that people don’t have that option available to them because I believe that type of argument demeans people and denies their freedom. If someone truly doesn’t have a choice (e.g., rape), that is a different situation. But arguing that pro-lifers should have to pay so that others can copulate irresponsibly is absurd.

    • Sorry, there’s just no evidence that abstinence is a sensible strategy for the majority of the population. Abstinence education has time and time again proven absolutely fruitless. Young people who are exhorted to remain abstinent have sex, and because part of abstinence-only education consists of convincing them that most contraceptives don’t work anyway, the ones who get abstinence education just end up having sex without protection.

      It’s an option, but it’s not a sensible option, it’s not a realistic option, and it’s definitely not an effective strategy in preventing abortion. The US is about the only Western nation where abstinence-only education is in widespread use, and the US has higher rates of abortion, rape, incest, child sexual abuse, and just about every other sexual dysfunction and sex-related problem you can think of.

      Abstinence is a horrible suggestion.

        • Lisa,

          Your comment makes no sense. At no point did I state any directive, let alone command, regarding anyone’s sexual activity. Adding profanity to your comment does not add substance.

        • The use of strong language denotes strength of feeling. Her use of “fucking” helps to express her strong feelings about the subject, especially because her comment is written and not spoken out loud, and it’s more difficult to convey tone in writing than orally. Strong language definitely helps to express meaning, unless it’s used in situations where it doesn’t fit the tone of the statement. In this case, Lisa’s use of strong language did in fact add substance.

  4. Macha,

    You’re missing the point. Abstinence is not a suggestion. The ability to remain abstinent is a reality. Because it is a reality, those who choose not to remain abstinent cannot claim that others should pay for their choice not to remain abstinent.

    • No, I think I’ve got the point pretty well. It’s pretty clear what your point is. I just disagree with you. There’s a difference.

      You think we can prevent abortion altogether through abstinence. And mine is that abstinence is not realistic. No, the ability to remain abstinent is not a reality. Aside from the people who are forced or coerced into sexual activity without their full consent (their ability to remain abstinent is definitely not a reality), there is simply no way to avoid every possible situation where you’d be inclined to have sex and where your hormones would take over, shutting down your rational mind. Not only is it not realistic, it’s just plain unhealthy to abstain from sex just because you don’t want to procreate. Seriously.

      The only realistic and proven effective option, if you’re looking to prevent abortion by preventing pregnancy, is comprehensive sex ed along with freer access to (and information about) contraceptives. That’s all there is to it.

    • Should married couples who do not wish to have children remain abstinent? Not everyone has access to birth control; not everyone can take hormonal contraceptives; not everyone can afford to have a vasectomy. And not everyone is married to a spouse who respects their bodily autonomy and personal desires (read: marital rape).

  5. Macha,

    No, unfortunately you don’t understand my point. I’m not saying that simply because people can remain abstinent that all people necessarily will remain abstinent. I’m saying that because people CAN remain abstinent, if they CHOOSE not to, the consequences are theirs to bear.

    Also, you said:

    “there is simply no way to avoid every possible situation where you’d be inclined to have sex and where your hormones would take over, shutting down your rational mind. ”

    This statement is patently inaccurate. Hormones don’t “take over” or “shut down your rational mind.” You are in control. You make the decision. Your theory ignores people’s agency. It’s naive and irresponsible – not to mention false – to assert that people are not responsible for their actions.

    If you don’t want a child, don’t do those things that lead to children. If you do those things that lead to children, and become pregnant, you don’t get to end the baby’s life to save yourself some difficulty that you chose. It’s no excuse that you didn’t have access to birth control or didn’t feel like you could insist on use of condoms. The choice is still yours to make, and the consequences are yours as well (again, rape is of course a different story). It’s a harsh reality, but, that is really all there is to it.

  6. I find it entirely repugnant that you characterize the creation of human life as essentially “the consequences of your actions,” basically a punishment committing the horrible crime of having sex. Not only is it a sex-is-dirty-and-wrong argument, it treats human life as a punishment for irresponsible behavior.

    Regardless, you repeatedly insist on side-stepping the facts of my statements, that is, that persistence such as yours in pointing out “well there’s abstinence too!” is entirely ineffective. It’s just a fact. My point here is not that nobody can be abstinent (I’ve only ever had sex with one person in my life, and that is my husband – it can obviously be done). My point is that any kind of emphasis on abstinence is not only unrealistic (most people don’t have my sex drive or my exact life experiences that led to my particular choices and lack of sexual activity), not only is it harmful by denigrating any sex-positive attitude, but is a waste of energy if your aim is the prevent abortions by preventing pregnancy.

    Just as it is pointless and ignorant for pro-life activists to spend all their time talking about when the fetus’ heart starts beating and how it has feelings and can hear its mother’s voice instead of telling people to use protection and educating them about sex and relationships, it is pointless, a waste of time and energy, to talk about abstinence to prevent abortions. Sure, some people will remain abstinent. It’s an option. But to tout it as the solution to the problem is just plain wrong, because abstinence for people who are not so inclined is unhealthy, physically and psychologically. Sex is good for you, and not just when you’re in a long-term, committed relationship and open to procreation. Telling people not to have sex is irresponsible.

  7. Ryan lives in that tidy, sanitized box of myths and lofty ideals that have nothing to do with the down and dirty reality of the so-called “Mormon standard position” The REALITY is that the rape victim is pressured into marrying her attacker, or coerced into silence to protect the priesthood holder who violated her. She is blamed (David O McKay, “…the victim must admit her portion of the guilt”) In the case of incest she cannot even turn to the judicial system, because in UT the judge can throw out the case or turn over the conviction or amend the penalty in the case of incest. And if she succumbs to the threats of her immortal soul and place in the CK (or not) and turns to her Dr. if HE is mormon he will let that be his guide, not the medical reality of a 9 or 10 year old bearing a child. There are thousands of first-person accounts of these above scenarios occuring. I can bear witness too, both as a victim and as a nurse watching a too young mother succumb to internal bleeding because of her Drs personal convictions.
    You need to spend some time in the real world, Ryan. Try the Peace Corp or Habitat for Humanity or volunteer in an inner city program. Get out of your white tower and mingle with the masses. It will do your heart, soul and perspective a world of good.

  8. Macha,

    Your mischaracterizations are entirely your own. I stand by what I said regardless of whether you understand it or not.

    And again, this is proving fruitless, but my point is not that abstinence, or the ability to remain abstinent, will end unplanned pregnancy. It is that the OP is wrong to call for pro-lifers to pay for the consequences of individuals’ choices – and they are choices – to copulate irresponsibly. Do I think the ability to remain abstinent will prevent people from having extra- or pre-maritcal sex? No. But those who choose to engage in those behaviors should be the ones to deal with the resultant pregnancies and help resolve the very difficult situations in which innocent children who, through no fault of their own, have been placed.

  9. St.ain’t,

    You mischaracterize both my position and the teachings of the LDS Church. I disagree with your mischaracterizations and hope things work out well for you.

  10. Ryan, this entire conversation has consisted of you claiming that we just don’t understand what you’re saying. You are wrong. We do understand your argument. We just disagree with you. Please learn how to distinguish between the two before engaging any further.

  11. Macha,

    One more try.

    OP: Pro lifers should pay for children born out of wedlock because they are against abortion and without abortion many women will have children through no choice or fault of their own.

    Ryan: I disagree. Everyone can remain abstinent if they choose to. Because people can remain abstinent, if they choose not to they should have to own up to and resolve the situation rather than relying on others to pay for their choices. (Oh, and by the way, no one is saying women should be forced to keep a baby they don’t want, adoption is very much an option).

    Macha: But abstinence doesn’t work!

    Ryan: The issue is not whether people will remain abstinent. The point is that because they CAN (not necessarily will) remain abstinent, if they choose not to, they are responsible for that choice.

    Macha: But abstinence doesn’t work!

    See what I mean? I think we’re having two different arguments. I am arguing with the OP, and you are arguing with something I didn’t say. I don’t know about St.ain’t, and never said anything about him or her. But I really don’t think you understand my point. So, I don’t think we’re addressing the same issue. I hear what you are saying. I just don’t think it addresses or is relevant to what I am saying.

    • In addition to replying to insistence that people can remain abstinent (to which I responded that no, they cannot, and to claim that they can or should is indicative that you do not understand human sexuality), I also said that your “a baby is the consequences of your actions” argument was dehumanizing, and that I disagreed with it. So, that’s both of your claims that I addressed and responded to, therefore your attempt to make it appear that I have not understood your argument, or cared to respond to the substance thereof, is incorrect.

      • Macha,

        You said:

        “In addition to replying to insistence that people can remain abstinent (to which I responded that no, they cannot, ”

        Not only is this statement unequivocally false, it is in direct contradiction to your earlier statement that “My point here is not that nobody can be abstinent (I’ve only ever had sex with one person in my life, and that is my husband – it can obviously be done).”

        Apparently you’re not sure what your argument is. How can you expect anyone else to understand it?

        But more importantly, your assertion that people cannot remain abstinent denies their agency and is completely false. If we can’t agree on that, we’re never going to reach the same conclusion.

  12. Ryan,

    1. Is it fair to expect people to remain abstinent throughout their natural lives because they never attain enough financial security to provide for themselves and a child?

    2. How do you propose that we enforce the rape/incest exception? Do you have any idea how many rapes will never be proven because there is no evidence eliminating the possibility that the woman was consenting? How do you propose that we insist a 17 year old girl, in order to obtain an abortion, report/acuse her own father/brother/uncle/whatever other related tyrant that abused her? Should we force women who have already been traumatized to be further traumatized by the experience of having to prove to some official (and society at large) that she was not consenting?

    If you can’t provide reasonable answers to those questions, you should excuse yourself from the conversation. If you can’t answer those questions and I find myself in need of an abortion, I shall just assert that my assaulter was a very gentle rapist.

    • Amy,

      Unless you can prove that abstinence is not an option, you should excuse yourself from this conversation.


      The same applies to you.

      Neither of you has shown that abstinence is not an option, and any claim that abstinence is not possible is blatantly false. Because abstinence is an option, those who do not choose it cannot hold others responsible for that choice. Until you can prove that abstinence is impossible, there is no basis to assert that those who support life should pay for those who create it irresponsibly.

  13. Ryan,

    Thought of another. Is relenting to coercion consent? Or shall we require that a woman be beaten to within inches of her life before we accept that she was, in fact, raped and not merely a fan of and willing participant in very rough sex?


    Couldn’t agree more!

  14. Fine, I misspoke. *gasp* you caught me.

    The truth is that I did not remain “abstinent,” in the sense that I never had sex; I had an awful lot of sex even though I have never been in a position to support and raise a child. I’m still not ready to have a baby, but we’re still having plenty of sex. However, before I was in a relationship where I thought I would marry that person, I did abstain from sex. My abstinence had nothing to do with babies.

    So let me put this as plainly as possible.

    1. Abstinence is a very bad idea, because it’s unhealthy.
    2. Abstinence is very difficult, because it’s bad for you, so expecting abstinence is unrealistic.
    3. Punishing people with “the consequences of your actions is to have the baby” is wrong, because it’s founded on the idea that abstinence is realistic.
    4. It’s also wrong, because, as Molly said in the first place, women who choose abortion do so for a variety of reasons, most of which has something to do with not having the information or access to contraceptives they need to avoid pregnancy.

    Your entire argument presupposes that women get abortions because they just didn’t care to do what they needed to prevent the pregnancy, and they should just have to deal with “the consequences of their actions,” i.e. a human life, treating the baby as a punishment for being bad. There are a variety of other reasons for unplanned pregnancy (including contraceptive failure for people who basically did everything right otherwise) that prove that it’s not their fucking fault, as you seem to think.

    Your argument is entirely without compassion and understanding, without recognition of the reality that no one can possibly always do everything right. It’s a fantasy ideology that has nothing to do with the reality of human needs and human experience. In short, your argument has no love whatsoever.

    As I’ve said before, arguing about abstinence or how evil and wrong abortion is doesn’t accomplish anything but misdirect our attention from the actual causes of abortion and get in the way of actually preventing abortions through realistic means, and I find that morally reckless.

  15. Sorry Ryan, but there were no “mischaracterizations” in my reply. I was stating facts. However, as evidenced by your ramblings,I can see that no amount of facts will be able to confuse your perception of reality. You did not bring well-thought out dialogue to this conversation, you brought a rigid religious cant. I think they call this “trolling”.

  16. Ryan, you’re an arrogant arse with no grasp on reality. However, that alone won’t get you banned. I am fine with spirited, even combative discussion on my blog. I allow people to post their opinions in comments, even if I think they are wrong. But you broke one of my rules when you took it upon yourself to instruct another reader that they had no place in the conversation.


    Perhaps you ought to trot back to an LDS Chapel, where shushing intelligent women is tolerated.

  17. Ryan,

    In the literal sense, it IS possible for people to remain abstinent. That wasn’t my question. My question was is it FAIR to expect that? Is it fair for the “have’s” to expect the “have not’s” to go without such an integral part of the human experience and forbid them from expressing romantic love, another integral part of the human experience, in that way? My point is that the argument that abstinence is a viable option is unrealistic at best and inhumane and elitist at worst.

    Can you prove that abstinence IS/WAS an option? It isn’t an option for those who are raped. You have yet to tell me how the rape and incest clause is a reasonable “exception” to your otherwise pro-life stance. I still assert that until pro-lifers can answer those questions, they should hold off on judging the morality of, and trying to legislate the behavior of, others – particularly others who have already been traumatized. They shouldn’t also be forced to answer to moral elitists who think they can define and determine such things as abstinence and force.

    It’s one thing to claim the moral high ground. It’s quite another to take it upon oneself to ensure that justice is served in every case.

    In fairness to Ryan, I was first to suggest that he excuse himself from the conversation if he couldn’t answer what I consider to be fair and reasonable questions about the morality of expecting someone to be abstinent and how society would justly enforce the “rape and incest only” clause so many pro-lifers like to use so as to avoid looking like their insensitive ass-ness is complete. I meant it only to point out that there are questions pro-lifers need to answer before bringing such otherwise incomplete suggestions to the table. It may have been an inconsiderate way of making that point and, although I didn’t intend it that way, I apologize. (And I think Ryan did turn my wording around to deflect, rather than address, my questions and to shush Macha and I.)

    • Amy, on your word I’ll reinstate Ryan. Far be it from me to hold a grudge if you don’t. And for the record, being considerate isn’t required, only encouraged.

  18. Molly,

    Name-calling is childish and immature. And it was, as she admitted, Amy who first “took it upon [her]self to instruct another reader that they had no place in the conversation.” Yet, her admonition didn’t seem to bother you a bit. I find your hypocritical stance unfortunate, if not surprising.

    As to your original post, I stand by what I said: abstinence is an option. People have remained abstinent their entire life. Voluntary sexual behavior is exactly that: voluntary. No other proof is needed. So, I will maintain my pro-life stance and refuse Molly’s request for what I consider to be a very unnecessary handout.

    And Molly, you still did not address adoption. You state that “if you’re going to force a woman to keep an unwanted child, you’d better cough up some cash to help pay for it.” Who said anything about forcing a woman to keep a child? The LDS Church encourages adoption, which is a very viable option. I don’t think people are “forced” to keep their children, even if the child is “unwanted” by them. Many, many people, including many of those pro-life Mormons you so vehemently condemn, have provided loving, stable environments for so-called “unwanted” children.

    I do not intend to comment further on this blog. I enjoy a debate, but not when one side cannot entertain opposing ideas without banning a sincere commenter. I hope things work out well for you.


    • >> Name-calling is childish and immature.
      So is being patronising and deliberately obtuse.

      >> Voluntary sexual behavior is exactly that: voluntary. No other proof is needed.
      This has nothing to do with whether or not abortion should be legal. You argument is like saying “Some people eat food because they like it. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to get medical treatment for food poisoning.”

      >> And Molly, you still did not address adoption.
      I’ll address it now: it’s the woman’s choice. Adoption is a wonderful thing when it’s right for all parties. If you can’t even consider why a woman would chooses to terminate a pregnancy rather than go through the physically and psychologically grueling process of bringing a child into this world and then giving it up to total strangers, then you’re a callous twat.

      >> I do not intend to comment further on this blog.
      How did you manage to type that with your nose so high in the air that you couldn’t see the keyboard?

      >> I enjoy a debate, but not when one side cannot entertain opposing ideas without banning a sincere commenter.
      You didn’t get banned for your ideas. You were banned for making an argument that consisted of “Yeah, well . . . SHUT UP.”

      >> I hope things work out well for you.
      Really? I thought you just said your comments are sincere.

  19. On no, I totally hold a grudge. 😉 I hate it when people (trolls) use that deflecting technique of picking up on one thing I’ve said, twisting it a bit, and completely ignoring any of the questions I’ve asked or points I’ve made. I think people should either have their position well-thought-out so that they don’t have to deflect, or have the decency and courage to admit that they don’t have all of the answers and on that grounds should maybe step back from their position (ie, excusing themselves from the conversation) until they do.

  20. I like how he ends his comments with well wishes, basically a banner that says “I’m such a good Christian for talking to these evil heathens.”

    I’m really not impressed with or fooled by his pompous commentary on all of our comments. He wants us to know that he believes that when we swear we’re stooping to a level of discourse that’s beneath him. People who think they’re better or more civil debaters because they don’t swear or use “profanity” as he puts it, think people who use that kind of language are not as intelligent or polite as they are. It’s basically a classist prejudice against the “profane” language of the lower classes. George Carlin made a living off of curse words, they’re a lovely and effective way to get your point across. People who are bothered by them simply do not understand their power.

  21. I just want to point out also that nowhere did Ryan present any kind of argument that in any way addressed your original post, specifically your main point, that the issue is not abortion, but unwanted pregnancy.

    It seems he just wanted to spew out his own maxims to people he knew would disagree with him (essentially to perpetuate his own victimized, martyred self-identity, which is why he inevitably exited the conversation in such a childish and impetuous manner), and so found a blog post that had a marginal relationship with his opinion and attempted to use it as platform for his abstinence propaganda. His comments had nothing to do with his views on abortion, because what he really wanted to say is that he hates the fact that there are people having sex in situations and relationships he doesn’t approve of.

  22. Found you via Macha’s blog–between this and your previous post, I couldn’t subscribe fast enough! I completely agree. I wrote a similar post here ( about how much it pisses me off that many of the same people who want to make abortion illegal also want to avoid providing any sort of support for raising a child. Argh. The same people who think I’m a bad Christian for not wanting abortion made illegal choose to ignore the entire part of the Bible regarding social justice. It just… drives me crazy.

  23. I didn’t even read the comments (but I noticed that their were a lot). I just wanted to add my two cents and say that I am more concerned about women who get abortions without realizing the EMOTIONAL consequences. Guilt, grief, pain. I recently overheard someone I know crying to someone else about how hard it was for her to find out that a friend was pregnant after aborting her pregnancy. I have not been in that particular situation, but I imagine that it is VERY DIFFICULT. Women who have aborted pregnancies do not need the criticism they receive and women considering abortion need to be educated about the emotions they will have to endure after an abortion. I don’t have any other serious opinions about it… I guess except that we shouldn’t ever go back to the days where women had to have abortions done in back alleys with dirty hangers or whatever and got serious infections/etc and were never able to have children afterwards. I’m not a fan of abortion, but I’m even less of a fan of abortion being illegal. If that makes sense.

    • Becky, you’ve articulated so much of what I feel on the topic. Abortion is never a happy choice. It’s not something people look forward to, any more than they look forward to having to make other agonising medical decisions, such as whether or not to continue chemotherapy. There are emotional consequences that get completely lost in the debate over the legality of abortion. Failure to realise that abortion should be legal means a person hasn’t got a brain. Failure to realise that abortion is traumatic means a person hasn’t got a heart. You make perfect sense. Being pro-choice doesn’t mean you must be enthusiastic about the fact that abortions take place. Ideally, the pro-choice movement can help prevent unwanted pregnancies to begin with, and no-one will have to go through what your friend did.

  24. I liked the analogy about those eating food having to live with the consequences of food poisoning without recourse to medical treatment. Apropos in part, I think. A possible but not necessary consequence of eating. Of course, all analogies are subject to some assault (food poisioning is rarely an intended and welcome consequence of eating).

    I think I understand Ryan’s point (though I disagree with it). I agree with most of the other points made as well. I think Ryan’s point is that if you cannot abstain, you have to deal with the consequences, rather than imposing those consequences on others. He keeps saying that his point does not exclude the possibility that individuals may not be able to abstain, only that they should have to shoulder the burden of their lack of self-control.

    Well I think for better or worse that people have a lack of self-control. We are after all just animals with much more complex brains. If that denies people their agency, then so be it. I have no idea the position of the Mormon church on this issue. In general though, most faith traditions do find the idea that people are animals ‘demeaning.’ I find it accurate and therefore liberating. On the off chance that Ryan is still reading though, I think such arguments do not directly meet his point.

    Therefore my second argument, to meet his argument, would be this. Ryan says in his first post “But arguing that pro-lifers should have to pay so that others can copulate irresponsibly is absurd.” That to me is the essence of his argument. My response would be – who do you want to pay? Irresponsible people is probably not a good answer – they are more likely to pass the costs on to more responsible people. So that is an answer that essentially goes no where. Well I shouldn’t say nowhere, there are ways to force people to responsibly procreate provided enough state intervention. Not sure I like those options.

    I think the argument stands on its head. It may be that the people who are having the abortions are trying to be the responsible ones. And that the people not allowing the abortions are imposing costs on women, men and families who canot bear the costs and therefore imposing costs on society at large – which I think is part of what the original post was trying to convey. Of course, in Ryan’s comments I see a conflict between the idea that babies are a commodity and the idea that babies are something more than a commodity. I don’t know how to address that, but some of those ideas can also take us to dagerous places.

  25. Molly, I agree that even early abortions can leave serious psychological scars on women, and it’s not socially acceptable to talk about the pain. The bottom line is that women are made (created?) to love and nurture. Deep down, abortion tears us apart.
    In my experience working with women in crisis pregnancies, there is often (not always, as every situation is different) a man – or parents – behind the scenes, pressuring for the abortion. It may be, “I’ll leave you if you have this baby”, or “You cannot live in this house if you carry to term”; I don’t know how often it’s the mother’s true desire to abort. This is what angers me; I believe that sometimes, men use easy access to abortion as a way to manipulate and use women sexually. And then they go on about how it’s a woman’s right to choose. Really?
    We may have more rights than before, but the old problems haven’t gone away.

  26. Trickled downstream from Cognitive Dissenter and, boy, did I show up on a good day! I’ve been doing some re-reading about child brides and abusive treatment women in some parts of Afghanistan, Yemen, and Ethiopia. The zealots and ultra-conservatives among the pro-lifers would have us slam on brakes culturally and speed in the other direction, producing a Dark Ages for women in this country…and, therefore, for the country as a whole.

    Some, with their redefinition of “person” initiatives, would essentially be working to ban birth control altogether.

    This is brilliant and I’m glad I found you.

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