Who pays when we prohibit abortions?

Of course, it’s not about money. But money (the cost of bread and milk and gasoline) seems to be driving voters’ decisions about who to vote for in the Midterms. Why can’t the financial consequences of prohibiting abortions also become part of that decision?

I admit I got a C in economics, so I’m not the one to do a cost analysis. However, a woman’s common sense informs me at times like this. 

In early October, Brookings Institution analyzed U.S. Agriculture Department data and calculated: “From the day your baby is born until the day they turn 18, your family will spend about $310,605 — or about $17,000 a year” https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/interactive/2022/cost-raising-child-calculator/.

Imagine a family of four or five, a mother whose income the family depends on, a single mother—imagine their paying for housing (a larger house might be necessary), education (not including college), food, transportation, health care, and clothing for one more child.

The $310,605 does NOT include what an influx of children will cost the community. We’ll need more schools, more teachers, more after-school programs, more police (as the kids become teens and get stopped for speeding, carrying pot, and disturbing the peace). All this paid for with TAX DOLLARS.

But wait. Republicans accuse Democrats of increasing taxes. So will Republicans pass legislation to pay for community services? Of course not. Why? Because the majority of those kids will be born to low-income women. We’ll hear more about “welfare mothers” who sap our country’s financial resources. The affluent white population will assume these women are Black.

Many will label single mothers promiscuous. Some will blame mothers for staying at home to care for their children instead of working. Some will accuse mothers who work low-wage jobs—women who cannot afford childcare, forced to leave children unsupervised—of child-neglect.  

Meanwhile, affluent white women are more able to travel out of state for an abortion. Their right to privacy remains intact. Their status as respectable citizens remains intact.

As soon as the Supreme Court struck down Roe, the radical right-to-life people spoke of how precious each embryo is. They made statements praising adoption and pledged community support for women forced to bear children. I don’t believe it. 

Mothers and families aren’t the only ones to pay the price. We all will bear the financial burdens. Have Republicans proposed a budget for this?

Of course, it’s not about money.

Contraception and why you must vote in November

When it come to your reproductive rights, not voting in November makes as much sense as having sex without protection. Sure, you can take your chances, hope you don’t get pregnant. Likewise, you can risk letting other voters decide who will make laws that directly effect you. In fact, those most strongly opposed to women’s reproductive rights can be depended on to show up at the polls.

In the oldest section of many cemeteries you’ll find the graves of young women next to stone slabs inscribed with “Infant daughter” or “Infant son.” Only a hundred years ago, when my grandmother was in the early years of her marriage, Margaret Sanger was arrested for giving out information about birth control. Deaths related to childbearing were not rare, and large families overwhelmed many women. I was among the first generation of women to have access to birth control pills.

Last September Cosmopolitan ran an article, “11 Politicians Standing Between You and Your Birth Control” http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a4845/politicians-anti-birth-control/. In primaries leading up to the last presidential election, Republican candidate Rick Santorum openly spoke of his opposition to many forms of birth control, including the pill. Legislatures in several states keep whittling away at women’s rights to contraception and abortion.

Check now to make sure your voter registration is up to date. You must change your registration if you’ve changed your legal name or moved to a different precinct. This site may answer your questions: http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/ive_moved_recently_can_i_still_vote.aspx

And be sure to vote November 4.

 

Politics—who cares?

I’ve been trying not to care. It just makes me worry, deprives me of sleep, interferes with writing fiction. Reading the newspaper and watching the news on TV make things worse.

In my stop-caring campaign, I remind myself that retirement benefits, while not allowing luxury, do provide my shelter, food, and clothing. So it doesn’t matter to me when funds are cut to food stamps and programs that feed the indigent. My older neighbors who lack basic necessities should go live with their kids. If young enough to work let them get a job like I did. (Forget that my parents sacrificed for my college education so I could earn an adequate income.)

I no longer need a job, so why should I care if minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and a single mother would have to work 15 hours a day/7 days a week to earn $40,000? It’s probably her fault she’s single anyway.

I have health insurance that supplements Medicare. If my back aches I call for a doctor’s appointment. Others in the country have no health insurance at all. Not my problem.

I’m white, registered to vote, and have a drivers license. The older lady down the street—her friend regularly drives her to the library, which does not require a birth certificate for a card. In fact she long ago misplaced hers. What do I care? She’d probably vote for candidates I don’t like anyway.

The planet’s getting warmer, bringing draught to farmlands, flooding to shorelines. By the time things get really bad I’ll be long gone.

So what if a woman at age 45, who already has three young adult children, gets pregnant and isn’t allowed, even upon her doctor’s recommendation, to have an abortion? I’m past child-bearing years. Her crisis has nothing to do with me.

Yes, I’ve been trying not to care about these things.

But in my Bible I read, “Woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall hunger” (Luke 6:24-5).

And my grandchildren say “I love you” as they hug me. I want fresh air and water to be in their future. Adequate shelter, food, clothing. Freedom from debilitating illness and financial ruin. As I want for all children.

I dare not quit caring.