Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Anti-abortionists have forfeited the right to call themselves pro-life. The Missouri House of Representatives tried to shave thousands of kids off Medicare three weeks ago because the youngsters came from families that made more than $8700 a year. The right wing wants to make sure these children get born, but it effectively throws them away as soon as they're out of the womb. That's not pro-life.

Too often, our society, especially Republicans, ignores their health, their education, child care and after school care while their mothers--often poor, single women--work. We ARE willing, though, to spend money on prisons for those neglected babies once the inevitable large percentage of them turn into criminals. That "solution" costs society more money in the long run than a social safety net would.

Some poor women have opted out of that cycle by having abortions, and in a way their decision makes sense. In 1999 two researchers (Donahue and Levvitt of Stanford Law School and the University of Chicago, respectively) showed a link between Roe v. Wade and, twenty-five years later, falling crime statistics. A CNSNews.com article states:

Not only does the study "suggest that legalized abortion is a primary explanation of the large drops in murder, property crime and violent crime," a quarter century after Roe v. Wade, it also reported that crime rates in five states that allowed abortion before 1973 "experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation."

Click here to read the article.

Neither I nor the authors of that study are recommending abortion to control crime. What I am saying is that unwanted babies face a bleak future. If we want to make abortion less appealing to poor, young, single mothers we need a social safety net for their children. Now that's a pro-life attitude. And we could further increase the likelihood of abortion being rare by preventing unwanted pregnancies. We need sex education that includes but goes beyond "abstinence training."

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