Saturday, June 27, 2009

Paying pregnant women to "choose life"  

In a new Bloggingheads video on the Times website, two (AHEM) men, one from BeliefNet and one from Slate, discuss ways to reduce the abortion rate. First and foremost, do you all find it as annoying as I do when men who will probably never experience pregnancy sit down and talk about an issue such as abortion? Just wondering. Because it really makes my skin crawl.

But anyway. The representative from BeliefNet suggests that in order to encourage women to not terminate their pregnancies and instead carry the baby to term, we should pay them. I see a few things wrong with this (to say the least).

1. It reminds me of some creepy dystopian novel.

2. How on earth could the government or pro-life organizations afford to pay thousands of dollars to the endless amount of pregnant women in the United States?

3. The man from BeliefNet suggested that pro-life organizations raise money to give to pregnant women, but why not just set up foundations to give free items, such as diapers and toys, to financially unstable mothers, instead of conjuring up this creepy image of "cash for babies"? This whole "let me pay you $3,000 in exchange for you keeping your baby" sounds like it borders on bribery.

4. I can't imagine that any form of compensation could remove the pain of carrying a pregnancy to term, giving birth to a living baby, and having to give it up for adoption.

5. How about we take the more practical and less creepy route in reducing the abortion rate and just simply instate sex education programs in schools? Surely government money would be better well-spent teaching young people to protect themselves than to bribe pregnant women to "choose life."


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5 comments: to “ Paying pregnant women to "choose life"

  • June 27, 2009 at 7:37 PM  

    You touched on many of the things I find wrong with this. It's really creepy.
    And the whole "throw money at the problem" solution is never practical and usually insulting.

  • June 27, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

    I saw this on the NYT website and felt it was very creepy as well. I dont understand why people avoid speaking of the real problem...the insufficient sex education, or lack there of, in many schools.
    Pro-Life groups seem to be scared of sex education. But it is pregnancy prevention and education that both the pro-choice and the pro-life groups can be in agreement. I wonder if they will ever acknowledge that?

  • June 27, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

    That money could be put to much better use if they just supported proper sex-education. Why is it that the pro-lifers are so set against education?

    And giving money to a woman just to keep her baby is insulting, like three thousand dollars will help her to raise a kid for eighteen years, or compensate for the pain of giving the child up for adoption.

  • June 28, 2009 at 4:42 AM  

    Paying women to keep their babies would work if abortion were a decision based on finances but it's not. Have they not done their research? This idea also makes an assumption that it's only poor women choose abortion and that these women can be manipulated by money.
    On a practical level, it's just not feasible, either. It would be in the interest of women who never intended to have an abortion to pretend they would in order to cash in.

    It shows a staggering lack of understanding of women's motives and decision-making capabilities to assume you can pay them to keep a baby (and when they place a monetary value on the baby, what message are they sending?)

    As to finding it abhorrent that men should discuss abortion, I disagree. Men are not stupid apes, they are capable of understanding the issues that do not directly affect them if they are able to listen. I've never had testicles but that doesn't preclude me from discussing what impact castration must have on someone. Sure, my opinion would be limited and would also HAVE to be influenced by people who may well know better but it doesn't remove my right to talk about it.

  • June 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM  

    Right blogger, I understand what you're saying about men being capable to discuss these issues, but to me, it seems that the first bit of what you said shows that men can't sit around without even one woman and discuss issues that affect women. They completely missed the fact that many women don't choose abortion based solely on finances. Perhaps if they have a woman in on this debate, she could've mentioned that.