Tuesday, March 27, 2007

how could he even think that's a good idea?

I feel that it is my duty and privilege as a Democrat to point and laugh at the silly things Republicans do. Occasionally, I want to cry.

Last week, a state senator in Texas proposed offering women seeking abortions $500 to keep their babies and give them up for adoption instead. Dan Patrick, from New Braunfels, Texas, said at a press conference, "If this incentive would give pause and change the mind of 5 percent of those women, that's 3,000 lives. That's almost as many people as we've lost in Iraq." Was that an abortion/war comparison? Hmmm…

Before I go off on an unrelated tangent, I can’t believe that an anti-choicer would even propose that you can place a monetary value on human life. Sure, I suppose we already do that in wrongful death lawsuits and such, but an anti-choicer’s main argument (after saying that life begins at conception) is how precious life is. And if we’re selling it for $500, surely it can’t be that precious. Ugh. I’m totally disgusted by that notion.

This law is absurd on a number of levels, but let’s start with the money. $500? Are you kidding? That’s it? Does Mr. Patrick realize that it costs much more than $500 to get appropriate prenatal care? That’s hardly an incentive to get an accidentally pregnant woman to go to see her doctor. And it reduces the question of whether a woman should have an abortion to a cost-benefit analysis. Frankly if I were dirt poor, pregnant, and desperate, I would forego that prenatal care and just pray for a healthy baby so I can get my $500. And now that I think of it, there is no mention of unhealthy babies being paid for at a discounted rate so now there really is absolutely no incentive to get appropriate pregnancy care.

Now let’s talk about children in foster care, because you know that’s where these babies will end up. I’m all for reducing the number of abortions in this country, but not at the risk of overwhelming an already bursting-at-the-seams foster care system in this country. It’s not easy to adopt a baby and there are more and more couples seeking fertility treatments instead of adoption (or adopting outside of the US as Angelina Jolie has done many times now). So that means, these babies will end up going through the system, some of them falling through the cracks. Who knows? This baby purchasing bill might end up increasing crime rates over time.

Ok and how about reducing that abortion rate? Look, no pro-choicer is going to look you in the face and say, “Woo hoo, go abortions.” We want the number of abortions to drop just as much as any anti-choicer. But paying women for their children is just not the best way to accomplish this. So, Mr. Patrick, how about we do this. How about we invest those tax payer dollars into the following:

  1. More comprehensive sex education in order to arm teens with the knowledge to prevent pregnancy (none of that abstinence only crap).
  2. Better access to contraception especially since not all health insurances cover hormonal birth control.
Two simple concepts. One desirable result that everyone can be happy with.

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