Monday, January 26, 2009

Pro-life, pro-choice

I don't usually write about politics here. The politics I care about most are in Israel, and I don't have the knowledge or the stomach to get into that on a regular basis. So far as American politics go, I don't get too wrapped up in it; we don't have a TV, I was almost completely oblivious of the election until a few weeks before it was time to vote, and so far as my personal make-or-break political issues, they are limited to the environment, Israel, and, yes, abortion.

I am very firmly of the opinion that the men in Washington (and the few women) should not be the ones making the reproductive choices for us all. They should not be the ones deciding for people like Julia, with miscarriages numbering in the double digits because of an unbalanced translocation, or the woman I know who waited six years to be pregnant, only to find out through an ultrasound that the baby would not survive to birth. They should not decide for the women with preeclampsia, or those with HELLP. And they should not be deciding for the women with no partner, no source of income but her own job, and no one to help her with a baby.

Every abortion is a tragedy, for everyone concerned. Yes, it's killing a baby. I'm very fond of babies, and I don't want anyone to kill babies. We can agree on that, surely. Isn't everyone (okay, not Hamas, but the rest of us) pro-life, when it comes down to it? Who's pro-death? Who's actually pro-abortion? Those of us who are pro-choice recognize that sometimes, all the choices are bad.

Which is why this organization gets my money. What a concept! Let's actually give women--at least some of them, those we can help--choices. Let's give them better choices. Let's acknowledge, for once, that most women have abortions because they can't take care of a baby--and give them a better choice. How about help with the baby? How about a crib, a stroller, baby clothes, diapers, and food? Oh--and while we're at it, how about help with daycare, so that the mother won't be unemployed and destitute as soon as she gives birth?

Great idea, isn't it? In a tiny country like Israel, it stops 4,000 abortions a year.

Wouldn't it be nice if, in this country, we could do something similar? How about, in this time of too many people needing too few jobs, if some of that stimulus money went to creating a program of--gasp--government-paid maternity leave? How about government-funded daycare? Think how many problems that would solve. More women would be able to take care of their babies, resulting in fewer abortions. Jobs would be created in daycares by the babies whose moms worked, and jobs would be left open by the women choosing to stay home with their babies.

Wouldn't that make everybody happy?

It'd sure make the babies happy.

How about if, now that we're all believing in change, we think about changing things for them?

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