The anti-abortion movement likes to talk about the culture of life, but it turns out that it is the long championed Democratic proposal of providing more resources to poor pregnant women does more to reduce abortion rates that crowing about a “culture of life” ever could.
Joseph Schiedler, president of the Pro-life Action League, wrote an op-ed in USA Today titled “Compromise Equals Betrayal” (gee, you’re either with us or against us?). He writes, “There is no evidence that increasing social programs — such as low-cost health care and day care, college grants and maternity homes — will impact a woman’s abortion decision. It is rare in our experience to find a woman who says the reason she is choosing abortion is that she doesn’t have day care, or that she’d rather go to college…More than 3,000 pregnancy centers in the U.S. are ready to help a woman with material needs, emotional support, counseling and medical care. Anyone who wants to stop abortion should promote these centers….. Women are not looking for government-operated social programs. They’re looking for someone to care, someone to love them. Government programs cannot do that.”
Joe, Joe, Joe….first of all, discussing abortion rights with a man who claims to be “pro-life” always brings out the Susie Sunshine in me, but before I go there, I’d like to point out that you suggest that single mothers are just looking for someone to “love them”.
Oh, Joe. I think most single-mothers have discovered that love from a man isn’t the answer. There’s just something about having to choose between diapers and food that kills the girl looking for love that you’re so sure rests inside of every woman. If you pause here for long enough, you might realize just how deeply she’s internalized this truth. Unless by “love” you mean money to support herself, in which case, bring on the social programs. Or were you suggesting that a woman sell herself to any man willing to “care for her” so that she can keep her fetus?
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Would this be a good time to point out why running Sarah Palin as your “glass ceiling breaking pro-feminist” candidate was an epic failure? Oh, the pain is raw? Since you still have Palin stumping for the “pro-life” cause, I’m thinking y’all don’t get it all.
Furthermore, “there’s no evidence that increasing social programs will impact a woman’s abortion decision…” Perhaps not, Joe…but there is a LOT of evidence that increasing social programs will help her MOTHER HER CHILD MORE EFFECTIVELY!
See, this exposes the problem with these guys – it’s all about the concept of a fetus, and never about the life of the child. It’s about fooling the woman into not having the abortion; not about the realities of being a single-parent. The only thing they care about is “impacting her abortion decision” – not the quality of life of the child or the mother. There’s NO practical understanding of the hardships and financial reality an unsupported single mother faces. And here’s a news flash: when a mother faces hardships, her children suffer also.
And also, Joe…there actually IS evidence that increasing social programs impacts abortion rates:
“Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good … conducted a study linking states that provide more generous services to the poor with lower abortion rates. CACG suggested that to reduce abortion rates pro-lifers should consider the policies traditionally championed by Democrats–extending publicly-funded social services to poor pregnant women–rather than exclusively focus on restricting abortion.”
See, Joe, maybe women aren’t quite as stupid as you think they are. Maybe instead of “looking for love”, they’re dong the math and realizing that they can’t support this child. Maybe they don’t want to doom themselves and their child to a life on welfare, being shamed by Republicans as “welfare moms”, and losing their support programs one by one. Maybe they don’t want to sell themselves to a man in order to stay out of the food-line. Maybe they want a life of dignity.
Maybe if you helped them with real life support, they’d decide to keep their baby.
But that’s not going to happen. The very agencies and programs set up to help single mothers are the “welfare” programs pro-life politicians’ rail against and work hard to de-fund.
“In 2007, The Children’s Defense Fund published its Congressional Scorecard on the best and worst legislators for children. The organization scored congress members’ votes on many of the policies that help pregnant women decide whether to parent or abort. The votes were on Head Start, increasing the minimum wage, reauthorizing and increasing funding for S-CHIP, increasing funding for children with disabilities, job training, Medicaid funding, helping youth pay for college, and tax-relief for low-income families with children. Based on their votes on these issues, the Children’s Defense Fund ranked 143 congress members as ‘the worst” for children. Of the 143 worst legislators, 100% are pro-life.”
The most successful presidency for reducing abortions was pro-choice Bill Clinton.
Yes, somehow these rabid pro-lifers who feel so strongly about their values system that they can justify murdering doctors who perform legal procedures do not embrace the very policies that could and have dramatically reduced abortions.
What does that say about their value system? It tells me that it’s not about abortion or fetus rights at all, because if they really cared about those things, they’d support the policies that reduce what they feel is murder. Instead, they vote against those polices and rail against them as “socialist” and mock and deride “welfare mothers” as the grifters of our society.
While they place the fetus’ rights over the rights of the mother, once the fetus is born, the anti-choice movement removes all support for a single mother. So what is their real goal? Their own actions reveal that they are more concerned with controlling a woman’s body and keeping women in poverty who don’t abide by the cultural rules of the religious right than they are with the lives of the unborn. This spells patriarchy to me, which should come as no surprise since the church espouses and propagates the most damaging patriarchal belief system still operating in our culture.
The religious right has failed to support a culture of life, both financially and socially. Their idea of “pro-life” is to shame a woman into keeping the fetus and then leave the woman to fend for herself as a welfare recipient and victim of her circumstances. And rather than offer real support for unwed mothers, this culture so shames these women that pro-lifer church-goers slink into abortion clinics in order to save their reputations.
The use of imposed poverty and shame to control a minority class is nothing new, but it sure as hell doesn’t spell pro-life.