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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Abortion and class warfare

August Pollack has a good entry on how liberal policies are more effective at reducing the abortion rate than any ban on abortion ever could be.
The war against reproductive rights is more than an assault on women. It's more even than an assault on the basic right to bodily intergrity. It's a tool in the class war.
The right likes to go on and on about how criticizing government policies that steal from the poor and give to the rich are an unacceptable form of "class warfare". Of course, taking money from those who need it most and giving it to those who need it less is somehow not class warfare, but that's another post. It has become very difficult indeed for people in the major media to point out how certain laws disenfranchise the poor without being accused of socialist tendencies or commiting acts of class warfare. But it does well to remember that abortion bans are a weapon in the war of the wealthy and powerful against the rest of us.
If one of the Bush twins found herself in a precarious position and needed to obtain an abortion before she embarrassed her father the President after he has managed to get the procedure outlawed, what do you think the odds that she won't get the necessary abortion in a timely manner? Yeah, that's what I thought. There's a reason that anti-abortion groups are well-funded, because the rich know that they are only banning the procedure for the poor. If you have enough money, you never get an abortion. You merely had to have treatment for your "miscarriage".
Limiting ordinary women's access to birth control disempowers them as women and as members of their socio-economic class. Overly big families are an effective way to disempower the men as well. And of course, the disempowerment reaches well into the next generation. Simply put, the more people, the less resources for each individual. Scarcity means that people are too busy fighting for scraps to cooperate and put the people on top out of power. People who are busy always trying to figure out how to cover their own bills don't have time to follow politics and vote, much less time to organize and educate other people.
It has been shown repeatedly that the bigger the family, the smaller the economic chances for each child in it. People everywhere are figuring this out and deliberately limiting their family size, much to their government's consternation. Ordinary, working class people are ready to raise a generation of kids who have a better shot at getting a good education and some basic psychological motivation than the generations before them.
What's a rich, powerful class to do to hang onto their power? Well, they have to attack the working class's ability to raise themselves up through their children. If I were to come up with a plan to squash the hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans, my plan would be to a) make it difficult if not impossible for ordinary people to control their family size, b) lower wages and raise unemployment so that they were too worried about keeping their jobs and making it through today rather than think about tomorrow, and c) destroy the ability of the public school system to give their students a worthwhile education so that only those who can afford private school are able to educate their children. Funny how those three goals seem to have gained ground under BushCo. Nah, it has to be coincidence.

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