Here’s a Simple Way to Prevent Up to 23 Percent of All Abortions

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade, here’s a sure-fire way to significantly reduce abortions. Make pregnancy free.

Providing free healthcare during and immediately following pregnancy for both the mother and the child is crazy talk, I know. But the anti-choice movement, which has gone so far as to make abortion in the cases of rape or incest a matter of legitimate public debate now, should be working to make it easier for women to “choose life.” According to one study, 23 percent of women have chosen to have an abortion for financial reasons. Likewise, 42 percent of women who have abortions live below the poverty line.

So it should be in the best interest of the anti-choice people, if they’re sincere in their opposition to abortion, to mitigate this very solvable reason for it. If the movement was really about preventing abortions and not subjugating women, anti-choicers should be pushing for totally free and universal healthcare for pregnant and post-natal women and children, and in some cases job support, housing, food and universal maternity leave. If the health and life of the fetus is so important, then caring for that life should be priority number one for the so-called “pro-life” crowd.

But they’d rather make the process either illegal, dangerous or wrought with harrowing big government intrusions and mandates (eg: transvaginal ultrasounds) with, in the case of working class women, absolutely no means of having children without going broke in the process. Meanwhile, a not insignificant chunk of the movement is also opposed to health insurance companies covering contraceptive services and, indeed, are also opposed to government subsidies for health insurance premiums, not to mention universal maternity leave.

We shouldn’t hold our breath for this to change any time soon, of course. But it’s important to underscore this glaring point of hypocrisy: that the anti-choice movement supports a government mandate to carry a pregnancy to term, but provides no means to support or prevent unintended pregnancies.

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.