We should be paying women to have abortions

Would you take $500 to have an abortion?

If a woman answers “hell yes”, is she ready to be a mother?

No loving parent would trade their kid for $500, but a lot of women who aren’t ready to be a mother would gladly trade an unwanted baby for cash.

So why don’t we give it to them?

It’s a lot cheaper for society. Kids are expensive.

Schools, hospitals, roads, food — there are so many costs of raising a child that are picked up (at least in part) by society. And if the theories in Freakonomics are correct, unwanted kids who would have been aborted (if it was available) end up committing a bunch of crimes.

The average murder costs society $17M. We pay for prisons, lawyers, investigations, and those jumpsuits prisoners have to wear.

Why don’t we pay for abortions instead?

We all know the answer, right? Religion.

It’s belief. It’s nice to think that babies should have a chance to live. That somehow, they’ll escape the awful story of their circumstances.

We don’t want to think about how a rapist father and an addicted mom are supposed to pull their shit together and produce a child that benefits society — or how unlikely that is to actually happen.

We don’t like to think about the kids in foster care who are suffering from unimaginable traumas that their parents have done to them.

The truth is ugly. A lot of those kids would have been better off if they had never been born.

What if our belief was different? Is it possible that the soul of a child goes into a different place if it’s never born?

If you abort a fetus, does the soul go into another body?

Maybe we can convince people that increasing abortions will actually allow more women who are trying to conceive to be successful.

Perhaps they will believe the idea that God only gives out a certain number of babies each week, and that a woman who is aborting her fetus is actually giving the gift of life to another mother who really wants to have a kid.

It’s a nice idea, right? People seem to need a nice idea to cling to — the idea that unwanted babies turn into criminals and prisoners is pretty ugly.

Maybe if we can get the Pope to endorse it, people will jump on board.

Life is sacred, he’ll say — but we’ve recognized that as the divine vessel for life, women know when it’s right for them to have a child.

Ha ha ha, you say — that would go against centuries of church teachings. The church hasn’t exactly endorsed “trusting women” as its main platform.

But in an ideal society (not one dictated by religious belief), abortion would be safe and available to all women, any time, without question.

Adding a paycheck just helps make sure that women don’t have unwanted babies.

The money is a great litmus test. If you’d take cash over a kid, you don’t need a child that will (most likely) turn into society’s problem.

For a lot of women who are not ready to have a kid, abortion is a wonderful choice to make. It’s a loving thing to do.

It’s a brutal choice to force a woman to have a child when she knows the kid’s life would be miserable.

Why do we force her to prove it? In many places women can’t get an abortion unless she’s filed a rape or incest charge.

It’s not enough for her to say one of these things to herself:

  • I know that I am barely hanging onto my own life.
  • I’m barely paying my own bills.
  • I am addicted to drugs.
  • I make very bad choices.
  • I want to go to school.
  • The guy who got me pregnant is a terrible person.
  • I would be an awful mother.
  • I am not ready to be a good mother.
  • [Any other valid reason not to have a kid.]

No — instead, if she lives in a state that makes it really hard to get an abortion (and she’s poor), she’s supposed to have the kid, by herself, and somehow overcome all the obstacles in front of her.

Is that likely at all?

Will a mother who has made very bad choices suddenly become a rational, competent, emotionally healthy person?

Nevermind just the reality of being poor.

Here’s how those crazy hippies at the Brookings Institute put it:

Those with incomes below the poverty line were twice as likely to report chronic pain and mental distress as those earning $75,000 or more, and three to five times more likely to have extreme pain or extreme distress.
Experiencing discrimination is also associated with stress. Among other things, discrimination raises the transaction costs of simple things such as getting a loan or buying a home. Maternal stress related to discrimination is associated with lower birth weights — which are linked to worse outcomes on a number of progress indicators — thus passing disadvantage on to the next generation, according to a new study by Zaneta Thayer at the University of Colorado.

Key phrases:

  • Extreme pain and distress
  • Maternal stress = worse outcomes
  • Passing disadvantage on to the next generation

This makes sense, right?

  • If you are poor, you’re more likely to be extremely stressed.
  • You’re more likely to have chronic problems, including mental health.
  • You probably can’t afford great therapy, or to take the time off from work to go to therapy.
  • You will pass on your unresolved emotional issues to your children.

And yet, from a policy level, we have decided to essentially force you to have the child you don’t want to have in the first place.

Instead, I’d like it if we just gave you $500 to have an abortion.

It would save so much money on the costs of bad parenting that we pay.

We could put that money towards fixing our broken mental health, foster care, and justice systems.

Plus it would create jobs — we’d need a lot more abortion clinics and technicians! It’d also be an economic stimulus — that $500 would go right back into the economy.

Sure, there’d have to be a limit. It’s nasty to think, but I’m sure some folks would try and get pregnant just to get the $500 for the abortion.

Maybe only the 1st abortion would be $500 and after that they’d be free but not paid? Either way, let’s give away free sterilization too.

Let’s trust people who know they don’t want to be parents.

You know that even proposing this concept on a national scale would cause a huge uproar.

Could you imagine how Fox News would respond to the very idea that we should pay women to have abortions?

They’d freak out.


Because: religion.

There’s nothing else standing between us and improving society.

(Note: I’m not against religion, I’m against using religious arguments to make the lives of women and children a whole lot worse just to allow some self-righteous people to feel better about themselves in their “advocacy”. I’d encourage anyone who is “pro-life” to focus their energy on ending wars.)