Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Supply and Demand (Interesting Pro-Choice essay)

A friend ran across this on Craigslist and thought it was pretty well written, so she shared it. I enjoyed it as well, although some of it is a little harsh. Still, many good points.

The original post

"So I was walking through campus the other day and there were some kids holding posters in support of Roe V. Wade. 'Bravo,' I thought, as I walked by. Then out of the corner of my ear I heard mockery of the activists in the form of “I’m bored, hey! We should go get abortions this afternoon! That would be fun!” which came from one male pro-life student to another.

Now, I know, I’m preaching to the choir here, but the abortion debate is quite a bit more complex than “baby-killing” versus “choice.” If it were that simple, I don’t believe that the battle over the issue would have been dragged on for this long. And, so, I’m curious as to why the argument, on both sides, has been driven to simplicity.

In case there are a few dip-shits out there reading this, I’m going to go through this comprehensively so as to, perhaps, enhance the debate within the minds of a few.

First and foremost: not a single person on Earth desires an abortion. In this case desire is not interchangeable with demand. Women do not want abortions the way they may want a new car, a warm home, or in the case of my girlfriend: a new pair of shoes.

Goods, services, and subsequent industries begin with demand; supply is purely reactionary. In the case of abortion, the legality of the practice is completely arbitrary. Meaning: demand is unaffected by the government’s administration over the industry sector.

If we create a typical profile of a woman that chooses to undergo the procedure, we paint the picture of someone that is 1) young, 2) lower to mid-middle class, 3) uneducated, 4) a minority and 5) living under social constraints that render un-wed motherhood completely unacceptable. This may be a generalization, but for the purposes of this experiment, we’re going to the peak of the bell curve.

When you think about this, it makes sense. In the animal kingdom, the only reasons a mother abandons her young are 1) the creature is too weak or disabled to keep up and 2) there’s not enough food/resources for the mother to survive and sustain her child.

How then, can the demand for Abortions be addressed and quelled? Also, how do the policies of pro-life proponents address these problems?

Lets just shoot down the list. We’ll use a median-voting pro-life individual to identify the problems with thinking about this problem too simplistically. That individual is: a republican, because lets face it, if you’re die-hard pro-life, you’re a fucking republican.

Since youth isn’t a variable that’s easy to change (and also not a very good reason to get an abortion) we’ll exclude it from the argument.

1) The person is poor. They cannot afford to sustain themselves and a child without adversely affecting the quality of their already shitty lives. The pro-choice left seeks to offer the lower class tax breaks and transfer payments from the upper class. The left increases funding to social welfare programs and public assistance. Republicans burden the poor with taxes while passing tax cuts to the wealthy. Welfare programs are eliminated.

2) The person is uneducated. They aren’t aware of birth-control options that are at their disposal. They are unskilled laborers and therefore have little to no potential to “make-it.” The left seeks to educate high-school students over birth control, offer birth control to teens, and make plan-B available without a prescription. The left supports education by increasing funding to schools. Republicans tend toward the opposite. Children are, with a degree of futility, taught to “wait until marriage” and are fed mis-information that claims birth control can lead to infertility. Public education programs are cut, creating more working class individuals while manufacturing jobs are exported to exploitable regions of the world.

3) The birth is unsupported by friends and family. Meaning the abortion seeker is afraid of alienating themselves from their friends and family, school and workplace, and their entire community. Leftists offer support centers and their families tend to be much more accepting. Right wing nuts threaten the woman with the wrath of god, disown her, or send her to a hospital where the child and mother are nurtured in a concealed and unfit environment.

4) The individual is a minority. Not a lot you can do about this one. However, I wish to point out that pro-life billboards preach that adoption is a viable alternative and that millions of loving couples are waiting to adopt. Here is the problem with the millions of couples that are waiting to adopt: they’re fucking racists. Millions of couples are waiting to adopt white babies while the baby market is flooded with brown ones. Recently, its been brought to the public’s attention that those children are being adopted by foreigners from Canada and Europe. Legislation is being introduced, by republicans, that will prevent those unwanted babies from leaving to other countries, where they are wanted, because they were “born in America and should stay in America.”

Pro-life republicans, while they claim to oppose abortion, create the very environment in which demand for the practice thrives. Pro-choice democrats seek to create an environment in which no one needs an abortion in the first place, while ensuring the practice is safe, sanitary, and performed by a licensed medical practitioner as we, as a society, are still in a transitional period. By eliminating the demand for abortion, practitioners will lose the ability to practice. The supply will cease to exist and the clinic will close. Which seems much more civil than blowing it up or shooting some doctors.

People are, in general, pretty fucking stupid. They are, however, programmed to survive. If a woman becomes pregnant, and that pregnancy threatens her economic, social, or political survival, she will resolve her problem by all means at her disposal. The legality of abortion is therefore not the issue and all of you conveniently Christian conservatives that lack the devotion to help the sick and poor should shut your fucking mouths."

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