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National Conversation: Abortion, Birth Control, Poverty

 
 
Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 04:11 pm
Even though we may never agree on the issue of abortion, President Obama has challenged the nation to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. In his speech at Notre Dame, President Obama said:

“Maybe we won’t agree on abortions but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually … So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. Let’s reduce unintended pregnancies. Let’s make adoption more available. Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

Personally, I do not want our government to have power over procreation. If the government has the power to legally prevent or criminalize abortion, then government also has the power to require abortion. The pendulum that would embrace the omnipotent government power over procreation could swing either way. After all, if individuals cannot support their offspring due to poverty or scarce resources, the responsibility to support these children falls on the tax payer. The government therefore would have a compelling interest in reducing or eliminating the number of children born into poverty or those whom would consume scarce resources. Our government could institute policies similar to those in existence in China. Thus, although I would never choose to have an abortion myself, I strongly believe that the power over procreation must remain in the hands of the individual and not in the hands of government.

As a nation, we must understand that the decades-long politicization of procreation and our citizen's sexual health has had adverse consequences that affects society at every conceivable level. For instance, many citizens are vehemently opposed to providing access to abortion, birth control, and sex education. The inevitable outcome of that political policy is that far too many babies are born into poverty. Thus, we are confronted with citizens who are vehemently opposed to using our tax dollars to provide care and support for impoverished women who do carry their children to term. How do we extricate ourselves from this fruitless spinning of our tires generation after generation?

How do we shrink our nation's welfare state when millions of young people, who live in poverty and despair, continue to have babies that they cannot support? These poverty stricken, minimally educated, low opportunity citizens continue to rely on the welfare state generation after generation for their survival. Although some of them are able to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and "work" themselves out of poverty and off the welfare rolls, far too many of them are defeated even before they leave the womb.

If we want to reduce the number of abortions and reduce the number of children born into poverty, don't we have an obligation to educate our nation's youth concerning their sexual health and provide them access to birth control? Because we live in the real world, we must be pragmatic.

First: We must recognize that abstinence only programs do not work.

Second: We must give our impoverished youth the ability to build for a future that does not involve reliance on the welfare state.

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dlowan
 
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Reply Mon 18 May, 2009 04:24 pm
@Debra Law,
And...I don't think it's just the poverty.

Teenage parenthood/single parenthood is a major risk factor for adverse outcomes for kids...this INCLUDES poverty, but also a number of other psychological and even physical problems.

Any government seeking to limit kids' access to whatever birth control education is supported as being effective by research is doing great harm.

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Woiyo9
 
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Reply Tue 19 May, 2009 06:14 am
Quote:
How do we shrink our nation's welfare state when millions of young people, who live in poverty and despair, continue to have babies that they cannot support? These poverty stricken, minimally educated, low opportunity citizens continue to rely on the welfare state generation after generation for their survival. Although some of them are able to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and "work" themselves out of poverty and off the welfare rolls, far too many of them are defeated even before they leave the womb.


This is the key.

However, the policies so far by this Govt seem to provide a dis-incentive to get these people off welfare rolls.

You liberals can not "talk yourself" off welfare by increasing taxes on the working class . Those who are unwilling to work and use the "stable of children" as the excuse must be persuaded to get out and find work. Taxpayer funded abortions must also end.

Good words by Obama. Now I want to see real action.
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