Monday, April 24, 2017

Bernie, the Dems, abortion, and poverty

I saw an article today about why Bernie was wrong for supporting pro-lifer Mello and defending that by saying economics was what mattered and reproductive justice was just a side issue ... Abortion is about economic justice.

Here's an article by Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden, on that same issue ...

An anti-poverty agenda that excludes access to reproductive health care is woefully incomplete

[...] Having a child is much more than an economic event, but it’s also very much that, invoking significant direct costs and opportunity costs (and benefits too, of course). Thus, the inability to control such costs due to lack of access to reproductive health care is a potentially poverty-inducing problem for low-income women and their families (and 69 percent of those who seek abortions are low-income). Conversely, increasing use of the birth control pill, for example, has been found to significantly reduce the gender pay gap.

I was particularly struck by the findings from a research project in progress called the Turnaway Study .... A key finding from the Turnaway Study in the economic security space is that relative to women who were able to get the abortion they sought, women denied an abortion had three times the odds of being poor. A year after they were turned away, these women were 10 percent less likely to be working full-time (58 versus 48 percent), and 76 percent of them received public assistance, compared to 44 percent of women who were able to access abortion.

- Source: What the War on Reproductive Rights Has to do With Poverty and Race

There's more I could cite, but the point is that reproductive rights for women is not some unimportant side issue that can be optional if you really do care about poverty and economic justice.


  1. [I]t is the task of law to pursue a reform of society and of conditions of life in all milieux, starting with the most deprived, so that always and everywhere it may be possible to give every child coming into this world a welcome worthy of a person. Help for families and for unmarried mothers, assured grants for children, a statute for illegitimate children and reasonable arrangements for adoption - a whole positive policy must be put into force so that there will always be a concrete, honorable and possible alternative to abortion. [From Declaration on Procured Abortion, Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, November 18, 1974, Paragraph 23]

  2. "Reproductive healthcare" covers a lot of territory. One can support availability and access to birth control without supporting abortion. And one can support the development of a just society, as cited by David above, to mitigate the need for abortions due to poverty.

  3. It would be nice if we lived in a society where there was adequate financial support for everyone, but we don't. We also don't live in a society where cheap and effective contraception, like the IUD, is available to everyone who wants and needs it.

    Meanwhile, people who are denied abortions become poorer, and Bernie and Perez are backing a pro-life abortion-antagonistic candidate. This goes against the DNC's stated support for women's full reproductive health care, and it goes against support for those in poverty.

    1. If you're talking about Heath Mello, he seems fairly liberal on social safety net issues. Not that it's going to matter much if he's mayor of Omaha. It's pretty sad if supporting those in poverty means that you have to support the taking of any life.

  4. This is what fuels pro-choice .... the fact that to pro-life people, embryos and zygotes will always be more important than actual women and children.