I am neutral on whether abortion violates some religious scripture or crosses a line of morality. That being said, I am vehemently in favor of a women’s right to choose. Because the decision to terminate a pregnancy is based on choices that circle back to the question, “Who’s going to take care of that unwanted child?”
The clique of middle aged to elderly white men who make up our government, who hold domain over women’s choices, would rather take away that choice and leave that child born with no social safety net or provisions to assure that the child will be cared for from infancy to adulthood. Instead, you see a rolling back of health care, the vilification of social services, the pendulum of quality education swinging toward the rich, the movement toward building more privatized prisons as opposed to after school enrichment programs and money taken away from teacher salaries and given to corporations in the form of tax breaks. That trickles down to less funding for services on the state and local level.
According to CNN, it costs over $235,000 to raise a child through college. Time Magazine puts that figure at $1.1 million. Take a young woman in dire economic circumstances faced with the prospects of raising that child alone, or a young struggling family just barely holding on, looking to make ends meet with the children they already have. Forcing them to go to a back alley abortionist is downright criminal.
One could argue that they should have that child and the lord, or someone will provide. But if that is the argument, why is there little to no legislative compassion aimed at supporting children of unwanted births? Where is the social safety net to assure that every child who is born has an equal chance to thrive and prosper regardless of socio-economic standing?
This is the idiotic cycle… If legislation is going to force children to be born into the world, they there should be legislative support for these children. This can be done in a very broad sense. Make sure there are child nutrition programs; make sure there are health maintenance programs. Create low cost childcare so mothers can find work and support these children. Have after school enrichment so that children can learn, grow and be nurtured in a safe environment.
Jobs creation and training, housing development, education enrichment, these are pillars that could prevent forced births from being a drain on society.
Forget the anti-abortion rhetoric and hyperbole, show true compassion and make a way for these children. Once that is done, go ahead, make all the anti-abotion laws you can pass, but to do anything less, in making sure these children are cared for, is cruel and cynical.
This is a march on Washington in 2004 in support of women’s rights.
You can follow Will on Twitter: @WillJWright