Saturday, February 26, 2011

An Argument for Pro-Choice Made to an Anti-Abortionist

I applaud your passion. I would like to encourage you to join me in fighting for the living child, who's already here and needing help.

Contraception is far preferable to abortion:

Every study shows that when contraception is shown in sex education classes, and when sex education is taught, teen birth rates go down. Every study shows that when women are more educated, the number of children they bare goes down. Any desire to reduce teen pregnancy or to reduce the number of poor children, would strive to increase sex education and college bound women.

I don't know why Christian conservatives seem to prefer preaching Abstinence rather than a more complete sex education especially since the latter is better at preventing teen pregnancy. I don't know why the GOP is reducing monies for higher education at this time, which will, statistically speaking, increase the birth rate at a time when we don't have enough jobs for the existing population. Decisions have consequences, as you point out. The GOP seems to be in favor of increasing the population among teenagers and less educated mothers.

Families cannot afford to be large anymore:

You said we have been an irresponsible society, and I absolutely agree. This has been especially so since the conservative upheaval/rebellion in 1980. This was the beginning of "Greed is GOOD" when the culture/society began to encourage those on top to take it all, without any regard for their neighbors, their employees, or their environment. This is when the good paying jobs for those without a college education began to diminish.This is when small corporations were bought out or sold out to large corporations who then fired 60% of the employees in order to increase profits. This is when those at the bottom of the middle class began to merge with the poor. And, in terms of our arguments, this is when the American family became less able to afford any additional child.

I went to Catholic school, and many of my friends had 10 to 13 children in their families and we had great times so I am not against large families, but that was in the 1950's when the average family income was more than it is now and most wives were able to stay at home to care for their children. This is no longer true. In the 1980's it cost $100,000 to raise a child. My sister had 2 children, and my brother had two children, and in both cases the husbands had vasectomies after the second child.

As a social worker, many of the families I see are headed by a single woman, often on Public Assistance. I remember hearing a nun talk about the pregnant teen girls she counsels, and she explained that most of them reported that they had a child to give them the love that they were missing from their own childhood. Sometimes the women I see are these teens grown up, and now they are living on public assistance with 4 or more children. Sometimes they are good moms, and sometimes they are overwhelmed and have no idea how to feed and clothe their children when each new birth pushed them further below the poverty line.

I salute you for being liberal about birth control, but these are the mothers who don't use contraception or have abortions, because they are hoping that each new man will become the man of their dreams and take care of his family. You can imagine, I'm sure, how many of these men actually stay to care for their child and the 3 or 4 previous children. And, how many of these men will have vasectomies to prevent additional births? Are we, as a society, going to make a commitment to their children? Obama is trying to make such a commitment to education so that these children will do better in spite of growing up in a housing project or shelter.

Families in Distress:

I am a social worker, so I see many families in distress. I would just like to introduce to the conversation, that pregnancy and birth are not always as beautiful and sacred as you describe. Sometimes a family becomes homeless through no fault of their own. Sometimes a husband leaves, or an educated mother finds that she has to leave her employment because a child is born with severe birth defects. Some of these families are heroic, but life for the children growing up in a shelter or an overcrowded situation where mom had to move her husband and 3 toddlers back into Mom's apartment with two bedrooms, and now 4 grownups and 2 teenagers.

And, then there is the educated, employed mom who gives birth to a child with a birth defect. The old medical insurance rules allowed private insurance companies to deny insurance to such a child. I have seen moms who were professional women have to quit their jobs so their family could go on Medicaid. One Mom had quadruplets for her first pregnancy; they were born premature, and two caught a life threatening infection, Staphylococcus Aurelius while in the NICU. Her private health insurance quickly ran out -- life time maximum for those two children, and mom had to put everyone on Medicaid.

Medicaid allows their child to have the operations or the care or the equipment necessary to keep him/her alive. Their husbands will have to leave so they can keep their beginning level jobs, pay their school loans, and continue to supply $$ to the Mom and her children. If the husband stays, the family earns too much to be eligible for Medicaid and the children will die.

The new HCR rules prevent private insurance companies from doing this. The mom could keep her job, and the husband could stay home to help with his family. But, if conservatives have their way, we will be back to the scenario above. Is there some reason that conservatives want families to be in distress?

YOU Choose between A Woman's Right to Choose an Abortion or a Society Choosing to Protect Living Children:

Many Republicans now claim the "personal responsibility" card and deny that society has any responsibility for poor or disabled children. Now, I am not arguing for abortion, but I am arguing for a woman's right to choose her health, and for the health of her family. I'm making this argument, because our society chooses to abandon the children who are born to unfortunate circumstances. We don't have national health care, so those who have children who need extraordinary care end up on Welfare with their whole family. Oh, they also end up without the dad who earns too much to allow his children to have Medicaid.

When we have national health care, and offer jobs for all, then I will agree that Roe v Wade can have very limited use. Until then, I will not require a Mom and Dad to choose to destroy their family to make up for one mistake, or one birth defect, or the illness of a parent.

When society chooses to have better schools, and to repair neighborhoods where half the children of the poor or jobless are not being killed before they are 20 years old, or developing PTSD from watching their cousins, brothers and friends be killed or sent to prison, then I will agree that Roe v Wade can have very limited use.

I applaud your passion. I would like to encourage you to join me in fighting for the living child, who's already here and needing help. Sometimes it takes more than a mother -- it takes a community to support a child. But, for that we all have to make the higher choice.


egb said...

"individual responsbility" is the solution. Ocare abrogates that completely.

You mention real HC problems. Ocare solves none of them and worsens many.

HC and SS are engineering problems ill-suited to "political bills" or Reid/Pelosi/Obama solutions or even any "Republican" solutions. Until "individual responsibility" is THE major part of any HC solution, HC costs will go up and America's HC "system" will go in the toilet.

Sorry to be so direct, but political gerrymandering with Health and Social Security are unconscionable.

Pelosi/Reid/Obama/Nixon and more have fiddled, while I am burning.

cgpb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy from said...

As I thought, you did play the "individual responsibility" card. So then, will you at least support giving the mothers the tools they need for responsibility. Let's support full and complete sex education in schools, and let's make it as easy as possible for women to go to college. This will reduce unwanted pregnancy.

You have not responded to the "acts of God" problem, where a mom has to face giving birth to a child with a severe, often fatal, birth defect, or terminating this pregnancy for the protection of her family.

Life is just not simple for many. And "individual responsibility" does not always prevent catastrophe, but sometimes communal irresponsibility has made the problem worse.

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