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Linking abortion and economic well-being is “a profoundly dehumanizing argument”

by | May 9, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

You remember last week’s tempest in a teapot in Democratic party circles. When NARAL screamed at Tom Perez for suggesting there might be room for pro-lifers in the party, the chairman of the DNC retreated faster than you can say “Democrats must pledge fealty to abortion on demand, or else.”

That brouhaha stimulated some back and forth which include pretending a pro-life Democrat might be endorsed by the party. Even hinting at that required assurances that he or she would never have any influence. The model “pro-life” Democrat is Robert Casey, Jr., who rarely allows his “personally opposed to abortion” stance to influence any vote.

The more interesting evasion was to try yet again to fold abortion into the panoply of “progressive” issues, captured in a New York Times op-ed titled, “Why Abortion Is a Progressive Economic Issue.”

Bryce Covert’s tortuous explanation why Democrats need not “move away from so-called social issues like abortion and reproductive freedom” need not detain us. In her op-ed today in the Times–“The Problem With Linking Abortion and Economics”–Lori Szala does it for us, although once removed.

Szala takes aim Ellen Shaffer at the Center for Policy Analysis who maintains “Abortion rights are a key pillar of income equality” and that “Opposition to abortion rights is a key factor keeping women and kids in poverty.”

But linking abortion and economic well-being is “a profoundly dehumanizing argument,” Szala writes

It reduces mothers and their children to mere economic objects, and amounts to saying we are justified in killing those who impede our economic progress. Parenting presents undeniable challenges, but no one argues that those challenges give parents the right to kill their children.

It’s also, she writes,

patronizing, and patently dishonest. Of course unplanned pregnancy presents challenges. But it doesn’t have to lead to economic failure. Abortion is society’s easy way out — its way of avoiding grappling with the fundamental injustices driving women to abortion clinics.

Abortion “solves” nothing. What it does do is end many things: the child’s life, often the relationship with the baby’s father; and the opportunity to grow by forthrightly dealing with challenges.

In fact, “Abortion addresses only a symptom of these women’s problems,” Szala argues.

An abortion clinic, for a few hundred dollars, ends the life of a child whose upbringing may strain her mother’s resources. Full stop. The woman will leave the clinic still burdened by every single problem she came in with.

There are better solutions; they just require more creativity and more effort.

Take a few minutes to read her thoughtful op-ed. Pitting unborn children against their parents, specifically their mothers, is a lose-lose recipe.

Better to find a better way.

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion