Well, that solves everything
Jezebel reports on a bill before the House of Representatives that includes funding to encourage women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.
The bill in question is called the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion, and Supporting Parents Act. It provides funding for sex ed that teaches teens about both contraception and “delaying” sex, as well as increased financial support for pregnant women and new mothers, and money for “a national information campaign on adoption.” The goal is both to prevent unintended pregnancies and, in the words of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, “foster an environment that encourages pregnancies to be carried to term.”
Funding for contraception-based sex education, I can definitely get behind that. More support for pregnant women and new mothers, particularly if they’re unmarried and on their own, absolutely. Promoting adoption, not so much, because “Well, you could always give it up for adoption” has long been a pat solution for an unwanted pregnancy, as if it’s an easy, pain-free process for all parties involved, even if the baby is a minority or has special needs. Other than that, except for the fact that its main purpose seems to be more to reduce abortion as opposed to genuinely helping mothers in need, it seems like a sound idea, except if it works, and a woman decides to have the baby, what about afterward? There is an unshakable misconception that once a woman has given birth and is settled in with the basic necessities for caring for a newborn–diapers, formula or the accouterments necessary for breastfeeding, clothing, etc.–that’s all the help she needs and everything else will eventually work itself out. Except the needs for taking care of a child increase as the child gets bigger, not to mention more expensive, and by the time he or she gets to be school age, suddenly the government isn’t so interested in his or her well-being anymore.
One of the reasons I am reluctant to engage in a real dialogue with conservative pro-life supporters is that most of them tend to be rather blatantly hypocritical, in that they insist that all pregnancies should be brought to term, regardless of whatever difficulties the mother may be facing (financial, emotional, physical, etc.), yet also support a reduction in welfare and government supported assistance for families in need. It’s extremely important to them that these babies are born, yet once they are they don’t want their taxes to go towards making sure that they’re fed and receive proper medical care. An infant’s needs don’t end with a package of diapers and a coupon for Enfamil, and very rarely for low-income families do the issues of daycare and affordable health care just work themselves out on their own. Many times even just finding a decent place to live is, to put it mildly, a challenge. However, conservatives tend to be curiously unsympathetic, claiming that if a single mother of three who can’t go to work because she can’t find affordable daycare had just kept her legs closed she wouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place. Well, she didn’t, and you browbeat her into having children she knew she couldn’t afford to raise, so now what? Like it or not, now it is your problem, so deal with it. Part of being an American taxpayer is having to kick in towards helping other people when they’re in trouble. If you’re so hell-bent on unwanted pregnancies being carried to term that you support the idea of essentially lying to women by telling them that everything will be okay and it will all work out, it’s up to you to support them when it doesn’t. Your responsibility doesn’t end when you get what you want.