Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why Elections Matter - And Debates Leave Too Much Unsaid

Is there ever going to be a serious conversation about what the repercussions would be if Roe vs Wade was overturned? This is not a theoretical matter because it could really happen in the not too distant future, at which point the matter ceases to be about opposing talking points and transforms into nitty gritty details to be dealt with.

I respect someone sincerely having a Pro Life position but I’m tired of hearing politicians say “I’m pro life”, “I believe in the sactity of life”, “all lives are sacred” without then detailing a follow up plan.

Suppose Romney wins the election and eventually he’s able to appoint enough conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe vs Wade.

So it’s now illegal for a woman (guy who contributed to the pregnancy bears no consequence of course, a major flaw in plan) to get an abortion. Penalty for breaking the law must be decided on.

Jail time seems ridiculous. So I guess you go with a hefty fine. But not everyone will be able to afford the fine. Jail time for those who can’t pay? Result, prisons overflowing with poor women.

Whatever penalty is decided on, let us assume it’s quite pursuasive. This means far fewer abortions, far more babies. The number of women who get pregnant without planning to parent will stay the same. After all, many of those who are anti-abortion are also illogically anti-contraceptives.

So now what? I will conservatively guess that the birth rate increases by 50%.

Women who wish to avoid the penalty for getting an illegal abortion (I won’t even get into the safety of the inevitable bootleg abortions from the network of unlicensed practicioneers that will emerge) decide to give birth even though they don’t want/plan to parent.

A percentage of these women will give a half hearted shot at raising the children. I'm going to say 20%. These are mostly poor, single women pushed to care for children they don’t want in their lives. The picture will not be pretty in those households but all that matters is squelching abortions.

But how about the other 80%? The attitude of these women is that you can make them carry to term but you can’t make them parent. 10% of these pregnancies are hidden and babies end up left in dumpsters.

Now we must deal with 70% of babies born to women who did not want and do not plan to raise them. The system (which takes various forms, much of it private/charitable, but much of it also government run or dependent on government money) will have to take care of these children. Adoption agencies and foster care system become overloaded but all that matters is squelching abortions.

I will generously assume that if you’re going to overturn Roe vs Wade you’re also going to pass laws that make adoption extremely affordable. As result, 25% of these children find welcoming homes.

It would be nice if all of these households had guaranteed healthcare. That’s a separate though certainly not unrelated matter for another day/post.

25% is probably too high a projection. After all, a fair number of the children will be the result of rape and even incest. This makes them way less adoptable. It’s not like reducing the cost of adoption means everyone becomes willing to do it. Many people have no interest in parenting, or no interest in parenting someone who is not their biological child. As for those who are willing (God bless them), they’ll have some restrictions (such as no can do if child is the result of violent rape) for obvious reasons.

But I’ll stick with my optimistic 25% guesstimate anyway. That leaves 45% of the babies whose biological mothers could/would not raise them going into the sytem.

Now as we know, the Romney/Ryan budget calls for making massive cuts to social services even though a massive INCREASE in funds to social services would be required to handle all of these children.

What we have here is another case of math that doesn’t add up. You want to “fix” our economy but simultaneously want to overturn a law that would eventually lead to a crippling of the economy. And keep in mind, this is the best case scenario I’m working with.

So maybe, just maybe, the issue isn’t quite so simple as saying “I’m pro life”, “I believe in the sactity of life”, “all lives are sacred”, “abortion is cold blooded murder that must be prevented at all cost”.

If that’s your stance, I understand and respect it. You believe in no exceptions other than perhaps when the life of the mother is at risk? Fine. I too wish that the number of abortions that occur each year considerably decreased, although since I am a man and cannot get pregnant, I’m not so arrogant as to think I have the right to tell a woman what she is allowed to do with her body. But if you are that arrogant/self righteous then I really need to hear your follow up plan. I need to know how many lives you are volunteering to care for if you insist on taking away women’s reproductive rights. If you are going to insist that every child be born then surely you will be doing your minimal share to address the consequences of this taking place. You don’t want to just overturn a rule of law and then let the chips fall where they may, correct? Not when those chips happen to be lives that you profess to care so much about.

If in fact you don’t have a follow up plan, then you need to go sit quiety in the corner and give more serious consideration to who you plan to vote for.


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