Everything That Is Wrong About The Anti-Abortion Movement
The movement is aligned with the political party least likely to foster conditions that are favorable to the unborn.
I am pro-life, but not in the way that most evangelical Christians think about it. I would only consider abortion in the most serious of circumstances for me and my wife. I can clearly recall when my wife was informed of her first pregnancy, and how they asked her if she wanted to test the baby for congenital and genetic diseases. We declined. We never even considered abortion. We made up our minds to accept our kids as they would be when they were born, without regard to the outcome. We have two happy and healthy kids now.
But not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone is born into happy circumstances. Not everyone has the capacity to have kids and give them a happy life. Even today, in “the greatest economy the world has ever seen”, millions of kids are raised in poverty. Just ask the former presidential candidate and spiritual guru, Marianne Williamson. She knows about the war zones and the child abuse that are still prevalent in the nation today, made worse now by the pandemic.
I am pro-life, but I am against a really shitty life. Forcing women to have babies against their will is a really shitty life for the mother and the child. Even if you can send that baby up for adoption, there is nothing like the love of the mother. And there is no guarantee that the adoptive parents have worked out all of their unresolved issues with their own parents.
So when I read “The Anti-Abortion-Rights Movement Prepares to Build a Post-Roe World” by Emma Green at The Atlantic, I could not but help notice the sentiments held by the people moving the money behind the anti-abortion movement. I see that they would like to build the infrastructure that will be needed to support the children forced to enter the world without a biological mother who wants or that can support them. The article opens with this passage about Cheryl Bachelder, retired CEO of Popeye’s Chicken restaurants:
Recently, Bachelder has become captivated by what will happen if the anti-abortion-rights movement succeeds in its goal to make abortion illegal in the United States. “What if there were a lot more God-given babies, and we were, as a community, completely unprepared to help their mothers?” she said. Now that she’s retired, Bachelder is willing to speak publicly about her views on abortion — our conversation was the first time she had spoken with a journalist for a national news outlet about her involvement in the anti-abortion-rights movement.
I find this desire for privacy very interesting. This explains why the conservatives are so insistent on Citizens United. They don’t want people to be exposed for their political contributions and to possible harassment. But CEOs of large public companies hold the public trust. Their political contributions should not be hidden from the public eye.
The nugget in the entire Atlantic article is about creating the infrastructure required to support the children born to mothers who don’t really want them, as evidenced by any consideration at all for abortion. Kudos for the people who are actually starting to wake up and think about how to support the kids they want to bring into the world after making abortion illegal. If only private support were enough.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the anti-abortion movement is married to their worst possible ally, the GOP. Few if any have noticed that the GOP has been a huge driver in abortions. I suspect that this dynamic is unintentional, though. Who knew that by driving inequality to levels not seen since before the Great Depression, that the GOP with their insane desire to implement public policy choices that distribute income upwards, they’d also be creating conditions that could favor even more abortions?
In the wild, when mammals are pregnant in an environment where there is not enough food or water, the mother will spontaneously abort the fetus. There is no law to stop this. There is no government to ensure that the mother has the resources necessary to support the pending child. So the mother spontaneously ejects the unborn baby to ensure the survival of the mother for another time. We have exactly this problem in America.
For 40 long years, the GOP and conservative Democrats with them, have worked tirelessly under the puritanical belief that if you deprive people of money, they will work. But not everyone has the capacity to work. Not everyone has received the training to work. 14% of the people have an IQ lower than 85 and those people can’t do very much or the armed services would take them in. The average IQ of America is 95, which isn’t that much smarter. This isn’t to say that they’re bad people, this to say that we need to organize much greater support than private enterprise is capable of or willing to give. I think that conservatives may have failed to notice that people of limited intelligence might not be incentivized by money to work.
One of my biggest concerns about the anti-abortion movement is in the courts with respect to the First Amendment. If the courts rule in favor of the anti-abortionists on religious grounds, then that makes this a religious issue, and I’m very wary of theocracy. It is a religious belief that life begins at conception?
In Judaism, they believe that life begins with the first breath. Oh, you mean viability? No, I mean, they believe that abortion is OK before the first breath. The Israeli government pays for tens of thousands of abortions every year. And we give $3 billion to Israel every year. Heck, just before Obama left office, we sent Israel $38 billion. “But none of that money is spent directly on abortions,” Senator Mike Lee told me by email. Who are the biggest cheerleaders of Israel? Evangelical Christians.
If the anti-abortion movement really believes that their struggle is about the preservation of the unborn human life, they need to take a long, hard look at their support for Israel. More to the point, they need to admit that they respect the religious beliefs of Israel while disrespecting the beliefs of people who are not religious at all, but for whatever reason, insist on deciding what to do with their own bodies, including the choice to terminate a pregnancy. I wouldn’t do that myself, but I respect the decision of a couple or a single mother, to terminate their pregnancy.
In a very reasonable sense, the anti-abortion movement is attempting to infringe upon my First Amendment right to freedom of religion. For these reasons, I believe that anti-abortion laws fail every test under the First Amendment.
If the anti-abortion movement were looking for a true ally, they’d find it in progressive Democrats. Progressive Democrats are actually more sympathetic to the cause because they seek to change the rules that determine how income is distributed. If ordinary people have more money, they will have a greater capacity to support a child. They will have a greater willingness to support a child. If money is tight, or there is little emotional or financial support, abortion may seem like a practical option that a woman would not consider lightly. Nobody wants an abortion. But if the resources to support a child are not there, the option to terminate the pregnancy should be there.
Of course, anti-abortion activists will raise adoption as a practical alternative to abortion, but the literature says that child abuse is widespread in adoption systems and in orphanages. For many decades, there has a persistent lack of oversight, financial support, and care for children who are not wanted by their biological parents. Guess who is the biggest detractor in providing the financial support needed by biological and adoptive parents? The GOP. It would seem then that the left hand of the pro-life movement has little grasp of what the right hand is doing.
Progressive policy choices could lead to more equitable income distribution. There is no obvious reason why CEO compensation should soar by 900% over the last 40 years while wages grow only 15%, beyond public policy choices. Conservative policy choices got us here. And when CEOs are paid more, everyone else is paid less. That is, everyone else except for the directors on the board and members of top management. They get more money in exchange for rubber stamping more pay for the CEO. Huh. A not-so-virtuous cycle.
Most people must be paid less in order to support the astronomical salaries of the top brass. If resources are scarce, you can expect fewer babies. Prior to the pandemic, the American birth rate was already at historic lows. It’s going to get even lower while the economy picks itself off the floor under Trump. Conservative public policy choices are not conducive to bigger families, or we would have seen bigger families for the last 40 years. That doesn’t sound like pro-life to me. That sounds like pro-shitty-life to me.
If anti-abortion activists really want a nation where abortion is illegal they must surely know that no law is going to stop a woman determined to get an abortion. All the charity in the world isn’t going to dissuade that woman, either, if the charities are poor. The charities are no match for an economy tilted so that all the money slides towards the rich, leaving little behind for the rest of us to give to charities that could help.
A tax cut just isn’t the same as a raise. People with more money will give more. If public policy choices stagnate wages, the majority of the people won’t be able to give enough money to charities to support a 7-figure income for the CEO and help all the women who want to keep their babies and raise them. Get the picture?
A more equitable economy means more money for everyone, and that means more mothers who keep their babies. An equitable economy means that more people have money to donate to charities that support women who need emotional and financial support for their unborn child, support that they could not get from the father or they would not be seeking support outside the family. There are huge knock-on effects of a progressive public policy agenda that are absent from the puritanical hobgoblin economy promoted by Trump.
Charity isn’t enough to help the women who have been abandoned by a man and left with an unwanted pregnancy. A better distribution of income would do more to stop abortion than any law against abortion would. An economy that distributes the national income upward, leaving everyone else with less is, in my opinion, one of the greatest drivers of abortion and coincidentally, divorce.
And what about the men? Where are the men in all of this? Some of them went to church. Then they ran for office. Then they inspired this article by a Mormon woman who declared that men are 100% responsible for every unwanted pregnancy. You just can’t have a baby without sperm. I should know. I was born without vas deferens. I can shoot no bullets. But I think of the millions of babies abandoned by the men who can sire a child without medical intervention, and I wonder how many of those men are active in politics today.
Men are 100% responsible for unwanted pregnancy and the men seeking anti-abortion laws seem to be seeking 100% obedience from women. Those same men seek not just obedience to their supposed laws. they seek a 100% guarantee that women will never say “no” within their harem.
I have two daughters and I’m thinking of all of this. I want to see them get married. I want to meet their kids. I want them to never have to wonder if they should get an abortion. I want them to have confidence in having kids. I want them to see conditions in their lives that support them when they decide to start a family. I am pro-life in every respect except when the law requires a woman to have a baby against her will. I am not just pro-life, I seek a better quality of life for the soon to be born child, an attitude that I find is not readily apparent in the anti-abortion movement.