Weekly Review in Politics: Roe v Wade

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It leaked this week that the Republican Supermajority on the Supreme Court is planning to overturn Roe v Wade. Everybody is up in arms about it, but my question is, ‘where were they before?’ We knew they were going to do this, so where was the outrage when the Republicans stacked the court?

To be fair, there was outrage then as well, but then, it’s as if the public went to sleep. I myself am guilty of that. I get though–it is exhausting. And, I cannot be up in arms every minute of every day of every week of every month or every year. It is exhausting, but the Republicans are trying to dismantle our democracy bit by bit. Why are they planning this one? It’s not because they want to protect unborn children. They don’t care about unborn children. And, they don’t even care about children starving in the streets. The only thing they care about is their money and consolidating power. This is about controlling women and their bodies. Make no mistake: the era of the rich white man was dying a slow and painful death, and this is their attempt at resurgence. They don’t care about anyone other than themselves.

I’m Not Pro-Abortion

You should know that I am not pro-abortion. Would I get an abortion if I found myself in the situation of an unwanted pregnancy? I might. You have to understand though that the odds of this happening outside of rape are slim. I am asexual, and I don’t see myself in a sexual relationship any time in the near future. Add to that, because of my asthma and age, it would be a higher risk pregnancy. I am also not in an economic place to have a child right now.

But, overturning Roe v Wade eliminates abortion, even in the case of rape. So, if you are opposed to Roe v Wade, you would really force a rape victim to carry her rapist’s baby? That really would be rape culture. Things are bad now–they will just get worse.

Overturning Roe v Wade Will Not Reduce the Number of Abortions

That’s right. If Republicans even cared about abortions (which they don’t), they are going about the wrong way of reducing them.

For those of you who know me, you know that I was a behavioral therapist for many years. I’ve since left that field, but before I did, I obtained my BCBA certification, one of the highest credentials available in that field.

Punishment as a Last Resort

One of the things that we talk about is that punishment procedures should be a last resort only. There is a reason for this. While punishment can be a powerful procedure, it only works in the presence of the punisher. Should we have police stake out every place where an abortion could potentially take place? Have cameras on every person twenty-four hours a day? It is not possible.

Secondly, there are major side effects from using punishment. In the case of outlawing abortion, people rising up in protest? Check. There’s a march coming up in a few weeks. It can be worse than this, but most of the people who will be outraged by this are law abiding citizens. Congressmen, begin expecting calls and protests from the people, because it is coming.

What They Should Do Instead

As behavior therapists, we don’t just look at consequences of a behavior, but we look at preventing the behavior if we can. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent abortions rather than punishing them after the fact?

So, how do you prevent an abortion? Well, are we giving adequate medical care before, during, and after pregnancy for both the woman and her child? No? Well, then why are we surprised that women are choosing to end their pregnancy rather than taking the risk of having a baby?

Are we making sure the woman is making a livable wage before, during, and after her pregnancy? No? Well, then why are we surprised that not everyone can afford to go through with a pregnancy?

Are we offering affordable child care, so the woman can return to work should she choose to do so? No? Then why are we surprised?

Are we creating a supportive environment for a woman who becomes pregnant out of wedlock or are we shaming her? We’re shaming her? Well, why are we surprised she is choosing to have an abortion rather than telling us that she is pregnant?

Are we implementing proper sex education that teaches not only abstinence, but how to have safe sex, how to protect oneself from predators, and the consequences of premarital sex? Or are we creating frivolous bills that are vague to a fault, causing teachers to even be afraid to say the word gay? So, why the hell are we still surprised that abortions are happening?

We create an environment that is unsupportive to women in general and unsupportive to having children, and then we wonder why abortion is happening. Instead of looking at our own behavior, we are opting to punish those who are already being punished. How exactly does that make sense?

To Join the May 14 March in Los Angeles, go here.

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