January 25, 2006

Abortion: What You Aren't Hearing About

Thirty-three years after Roe v. Wade, and the debate over abortion continues to be a core part of the national divide in America. With Alito's confirmation pretty much a done deal and Christian extremists heralding him as a new sort of savior, there is no doubt that his addition will result in a more conservative court. Whether he will help bring about the fall of Roe is anybody's guess.

Suppose Roe falls. The common misconception is that abortion would instantly become illegal throughout America. However, overturning Roe would only have this effect in the red states. Of course, Congress could move to enact a federal ban, but I'd be surprised if the Republicans still have the political clout necessary to pull this off.

"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed." Randall Terry, Operation Rescue

If we imagine a scenario where abortion is outlawed in red states and permitted to continue in blue states, America becomes increasingly divided. Red-staters who can afford to do so will travel to blue states for abortions. Those who cannot afford to do so will either have more unwanted children or will resort to dangerous procedures on their own. In other words, we end up with more children in poverty or more medical expenses caused by back alley procedures. In either case, the red-state taxpayers pay the price. Of course, they won't let anyone raise taxes, so they have to continue to cut services and sink further into oblivion (If you think "oblivion" is too strong a word, come visit Mississippi).

Is this the future we want for America? What if every dollar currently spent on efforts to overturn Roe was instead used to end poverty in America, strengthen our educational system, reduce dependence on foreign oil, etc.? Wouldn't it be great if we cared as much about the children who have already been born as we did the unborn?

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