Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mandatory Abortion for those 25 and Younger

Ted Rall had some interesting quotes in a recent article.

"Even pro-choice liberals are afraid to speak the truth: teen marriage and parenthood are disasters for everyone concerned. I have serious problems with well-off married couples who decide to terminate their pregnancies for frivolous reasons. Conversely, abortion ought to be mandatory for people under 18. Twenty-five would be better. Teen marriage should be banned."

In case we didn't get the point, he closes the piece with this.

"Congress should act to protect these kids from themselves--ban teen marriage, mandate teen abortion."

Question: Since when did a individual's/couple's "right" to control their reproduction become someone else's "right" to mandate when they should marry and reproduce?
Answer: Quite a while ago.
* A side note about Dr. Connelly's book, linked to above. While I take umbrage at his misrepresentation of Catholic theology and practice, you kind of have to do that if you are writing a book which criticizes the population control ideologues as severely as his book does. As a prof. at Columbia University, it was the only way to save face and gain acceptance of his work in academic circles.

Honestly, I wonder how prevalent this idea or its variants is among the elite in US society? My aunt's a big proponent of forced abortion/sterilization for the "stupid"/underclass, but I haven't personally met too many others who hold (or at least widely admit to holding) such radical opinions. Yet, it seems from my reading that such a philosophy must hold sway with at least a large minority of ruling classes around the world, or it wouldn't have been so prevalent in policy over the last century. Given the tremendous advances in biotechnology in the last decade, with more certainly to come, I find that thought more than a little disconcerting.



purple_kangaroo said...

Wow, that's scary.

Kevin said...

Wow, that is so ridiculous that it's hard to believe Rall is serious. After looking up some of his history, though, it's easier.

On the surface, he invokes some compelling statistics, but his logic is distorted and his apparent goal is incredibly disturbing.

Rall's overarching premise seems to be that it is our government's role to minimize our unhappiness (as defined by him or perhaps some statistics), through force if necessary.

The question of the proper role of government and reconciling different views of that role keeps recurring for me recently. Totalitarian attitudes like Rall's scare me in the opposite direction, toward libertarianism.

Just out of curiosity, MB, does your Aunt lean politically left or right?


MamasBoy said...

"Just out of curiosity, MB, does your Aunt lean politically left or right?"

Very strongly left. There isn't a right wing bone in her body.


MarkC said...

Along these lines, I was recently having a discussion with a politically-liberal friend, mainly on the topic of abortion. He recommended an article in Slate magazine called Whatever Happened to Family Values? by Jacob Weisberg.

The article doesn't advocate forced abortions... quite. But, his thesis is best encapsulated in this quote:

"like it or not, the availability of legal abortion supports the kind of family structure that conservatives once felt so strongly about: two parents raising children in a stable relationship, without government assistance."

How is this? He pulls out the statistics. Young women who get pregnant and keep their baby have a low likelihood of success in life. Either they raise their children as young single moms, a recipe for disaster, or they have shotgun weddings, which have a high likelihood of ending in divorce within ten years.

It probably uses lots of the same statistics that Rall uses in his article.

Sounds convincing on the surface... but it leaves out the critical comparison. What about young women who DO have abortions? Do they do better in life? The Slate article doesn't even raise the question. Rall at least acknowledges it in passing... but in contrast to all his statistics and studies, his observation about young women who have early abortions is that "[a]nyone who went to high school knew a student couple where..." Right. Very convincing.

Is it possible that nobody has done studies of the overall well-being of women who had early abortions? Is it possible that, given all the similar studies that have been done, that one hasn't been done? It would surprise me.

But, until those numbers are produced, I'm going to keep clearly in my mind the very strong possibility that these statistics are showing a correlation, rather than a causation. Some other root cause (say, lack of family support, family poverty, any number of possible things) results in high numbers of young pregnancies... and also results in low levels of success later in life. Whether or not those young pregnancies are terminated with abortions, I suspect, has little to do with how successful those women become.


Anonymous said...

wow...that's a little scary...chiling even