Thursday, February 02, 2006

Good Article on the Politics of Abortion

From commondreams:

Every Sperm is Sacred

The general joke about pro-lifers is that for them, "Life begins at conception and ends at birth." That's when the poor, the disenfranchised, the overworked, the overloaded and the undersupported women without access to good health insurance have to start raising these unwanted children.

In 2001, an article in Harvard's Quarterly Journal of Economics, John H, Donahue III and Steven D. Levitt concluded that: "Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization... Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime."

While this theory was immediately attacked, its ramifications are interesting. More studies could have been done on the positive effects of abortion - if the climate had not been made so emotionally charged that even suggesting there were positive benefits was seen as something akin to supporting child rape.

There's something self-righteous about pro-lifers, something sneering as well as controlling. They have the same kind of credibility with me as racist senators who are later found to have fathered illegitimate children with their African-American servants. There's a whiff of hypocrisy in the air. I would bet that some of the most fervent abortion foes have had abortions - or their wives and/or mistresses have had them. And if abortion is criminalized in this country, they will still have them. Anyone with money for an airline ticket will have access to abortions, because some states will permit them and many other countries provide them.


We're back to the domination of women, aren't we? About getting us back into the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, so men are not challenged by our talent, our wit, our abilities and our gumption.

The Monty Python comedy troupe was making fun of this belief in their song, "Every Sperm is Sacred": "Every sperm is sacred/Every sperm is great/If a sperm is wasted/God gets quite irate."

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