Good sense.

April 1, 2009

Bonnie Erbe says that abortion is not a tragedy. In fact, it is a positive good.

The Associated Press ran a story on March 25 that read as follows: “The pregnant woman showed up at the medical centre in flip-flops and in tears, after walking there to save bus fare. Her boyfriend had lost his job, she told her doctor in Oakland, Calif., and now — fearing harder times for her family — she wanted to abort what would have been her fourth child. ‘This was a desired pregnancy – she’d been getting prenatal care — but they re-evaluated expenses and decided not to continue,’ said Dr. Pratima Gupta. ‘When I was doing the options counseling, she interrupted me halfway through, crying, and said, “Dr. Gupta, I just walked here for an hour. I’m sure of my decision.”

Yes, it’s sad that this unwed, pregnant mother of three had no money for bus fare. It’s terrible that her boyfriend lost his job. It is heart-wrenching that she fell to tears in the doctor’s office. But in the long run, can we agree that this unwed couple’s decision not to bring a fourth child into the world when they are having trouble feeding themselves and three children is no tragedy? It’s actually a fact-based, rational decision that in the end benefits the three children they already have and society as well.

Feeding and raising children is expensive. Tuition may be free at public schools but there are still books, transportation, food, clothes, medical care and activities that add up — way up. One may assume this family of five is struggling just to maintain its basics: housing and food. Add one more child and those costs rise as income drops. It’s no tragedy: it’s a good decision. The decision benefits society in two ways. It allows the couple to focus more time, energy and resources on their three children, giving each child a better life and a better chance of growing up to become a contributor to society. It also reduces the chance the family will have to rely on scarce public resources to raise their children.

Ms. Erbe does not claim that the unborn child is anything other than a, well, child. Indeed, she refers to the unborn baby as the couple’s “fourth child” and argues that the couple’s (other) “three children” will benefit from the abortion.

Sooooo, under Ms. Erbe’s “fact-based, rational” standard, would she approve if the couple decided to bring the unborn child to term and, um, terminated their oldest child? After all, if they keep the oldest child, then the couple’s “costs [would] go up as income drops.” Presumably, they already have baby clothes, whereas they would have to buy new clothes for their growing fourth child. And, the baby wouldn’t eat as much as his older sibling. Finally, of course, society would benefit because the couple could focus more time, energy, and resources on their three remaining children, and would not have to rely on the public. Would Ms. Erbe claim – as she did when the issue is abortion – that this course of action is “not always tragic and lots of times, it actually makes good sense”?

h/t – K-Lo

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