Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Abortion and Economic Issues

This was posted in Sojourners by Glen Stassen. The Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, and the co-author of Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context, Christianity Today's Book of the Year in theology or ethics.
Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

First, two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three years, unemployment rates increased half again. Not since Hoover had there been a net loss of jobs during a presidency until the current administration. Average real incomes decreased, and for seven years the minimum wage has not been raised to match inflation. With less income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Second, half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless usually do not marry. Only three of the 16 states had more marriages in 2002 than in 2001, and in those states abortion rates decreased. In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the year before, and 7,869 more abortions. As male unemployment increases, marriages fall and abortion rises.

Third, women worry about health care for themselves and their children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now than before this presidency - with women of childbearing age overrepresented in those 5.2 million - abortion increases.
The conclusion
What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, child care, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need policies that provide jobs and health insurance and support for prospective mothers.
A controversial article that points out that abortion is more then about legislation and is linked to enviromental and economic factors.

1 comment:

F said...

Reading this about the link between economics and abortion reminds me of the objections we read about during the debate about slavery in the 1800's. States said that if we abolished slavery then millions of farmers would starve and go bankrupt and be unable to compete with goods being shipped in from the British empire or the cane that was produced with slaves in the Carribean islands.

The issue is not whether economics has a tie to abortion, the issue is is abortion killing a human being. Economics has a tie to theft as well but we see no one trying to legalize stealing when the economy get's bad.

There is only one issue. Is the fetus a human being. And if you are not 100% it's not human you should not be killing it. We don't demolish abandoned buildings if we are 95% sure that no child has accidently crawled inside it to play hide and seek. We have to be 100% sure. Are you 100% sure the fetus is not human? It has unique human DNA that no one else in the world has.