Friday, February 17, 2006

Heading to Zimbabwe

While I think the political structure in Vernon, California is precisely where today’s Republican Party wants to lead our country, apparently the social structure they’re driving us towards looks more like Zimbabwe. CNN is reporting that: “The corpses of at least 20 newborn babies and fetuses are found each week in the sewers of Zimbabwe's capital, some having been flushed down toilets, Harare city authorities said, according to state media Friday.” The CNN article makes clear that these are “illegal abortions.”

This simply demonstrates a point I find myself making all the time on the subject of abortion. CRIMINALIZING ABORTION DOES NOT PREVENT ABORTION. IT DRIVES IT INTO BACK ALLEYS (AND APPARENTLY BATHROOMS AND SEWERS) BUT IT DOES NOT PREVENT IT. So one has to ask oneself why some Americans are so desperate to criminalize abortion. It sure isn’t because criminalizing abortion will prevent abortions. I’m sure once Roberts and Alito overturn Roe v. Wade (and, don’t kid yourself; they are going to overturn it), Republicans will express shock at newborn babies and fetuses in American sewers. But that’s exactly where we’re headed.

A second point this article demonstrates is that if you criminalize abortion and make it difficult to obtain, you get infanticide. We’re headed here, too. Again, I expect the nice suburban Republicans who voted for Bush will be horrified. They shouldn’t be. Infanticide is and was a predictable consequence of their actions. Maybe they prefer it to abortion; I don’t.

The article goes on to explain that: “Acute shortages of revenue and gasoline in the nation's worst economic crisis since independence in 1980 have crippled public utilities and garbage collection services across Zimbabwe. Hospital fees and charges for scarce medicines have soared. Church and charity groups blame economic hardships for an increase in illegal back-street abortions.” This demonstrates a third point I’ve often made. The lack of a safety net and poor economic policies increase the number of abortions -- legal or illegal. People who can’t afford to feed the children they’ve got are more likely to abort than people who know they’ll have the resources they need.

No one in their right mind believes that providing obscene tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while cutting the social safety net can lead to anything but more abortions. No one in their right mind believes that economic policies based upon borrowing exorbitant sums from China to finance a vanity war can lead to anything but more abortions. Bush and his Supreme Court picks are leading us closer and closer to the same conditions that Zimbabwe is experiencing: acute shortages of revenue and gasoline, soaring hospital fees and charges for scarce medicine, economic hardship -- and increased abortions and infanticide.

Culture of life my ass.


sister of ye said...

Absolutely agree!

A true culture of life would care for children after birth, see they had adequate food, housing, medical care and educational opportunities.

A culture of life would ease the burdens on stressed adults trying to make a living will caring for kids, elderly parents or both.

A culture of life would value people in their diversity - single or married, parents or not, gay or straight, of whatever race, religious beliefs or occupation.

A culture of life would give some security to the elderly, so they can spend their days in comfort while seeking their final wisdom.

A cultic veneration of blastocysts/embryos/fetuses is NOT a culture of life.

sister of ye said...

Oops, that's "living while." Should have used preview.

Prior Aelred said...

"Why are women so angry?"

MAYBE because they have good reason?

(OK, I don't have an answer to, "What do women want?")

Excellent post, Hecate -- I have said the same sort of thing time & again (perhaps not so stridently) on various sites until I am blue in the face.

It is important to have high ideals -- when they actually make things worse, they need to be re-examined (the French catholics are asking Pope Rat to reconsider the ban on condoms -- like that is gonna happen -- HA-ha!)

Zap Rowsdower said...

And look what's happening in South Dakota today.


Ellie Finlay said...

They don't actually want to prevent abortion. They want to punish women for having sex.

Xan said...

My own repeat-till-blue-in-face line is a bit more blunt: What the government can ban the government can also mandate. It's de-facto illegal to be "pro-choice" in China because that suggests that it is up to the individual to decide how many children to have. There, it is up to the government to decide, and they have decided that nobody is to have more than one.

Whether you are pro- or anti-abortion is irrelevant. The only question that matters is WHO gets to make this most important choice. Forced abortion, forced sterilization, eugenics programs, ultimately Darfur-style ethnic cleansings and genocides are the other side of government-mandated forced childbearing.

"My Body, My Choice" ain't just a slogan. If you don't own your own body, then you're a...hmm, there's a word for that status, lemme think here....