Republican presidential candidates have a long history of threatening to overturn Roe vs. Wade. The Republican platform asserts “the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” As sensible as that sounds, considering the most relevant Republican objective is less government, overturning Roe vs. Wade is the worst idea ever.
Republicans and Government
The Republican party considers itself a “party of government reform,” according to its official platform. As such, their goal is to downsize the government, but based on the party’s own declaration, downsizing is only the beginning.
“It isn’t enough to merely downsize government, having a smaller version of the same failed systems. We must do things in a dramatically different way by reversing the undermining of federalism and the centralizing of power in Washington.”
Rand Paul, a popular Republican senator, has spoken out on the importance of a more Republican government. He believes that the country has suffered under Democratic leadership, which usually involves a surplus in government interference.
“The GOP does not want to tell you how to live. In fact, we want to get out of your lives. We will not choose your doctor for you. We will not trespass on your first amendment right and dictate how to run your business. We also will not outlaw doughnuts or Big Gulps.”
Rand Paul’s statement only applies to some liberties. Abortion is not one of them. According to On the Issues, Paul, like his Republican colleagues, is pro-life and wishes to defund Planned Parenthood. Here’s why that’s contradictory.
Pregnancy and Government
Abortion laws are amended every year to remain relevant to our changing society. Now, some abortions are even paid for by government insurance plans, which saves the government money even though it costs money. This is because having a child is much more expensive than aborting one. And if the mother is poor, that expense often falls onto the government.
The cost of a normal abortion ranges from about $300 to $950. When a woman wants to abort in the second trimester, the cost can rise to about $3,000, according to Glamour magazine. Third-trimester abortions are the most pricey, costing an about $10,000. But this is cheap compared to the cost of being a mother.
The most recent “Cost of Raising a Child” report, written by the United States Department of Agriculture, estimated that it costs middle-class citizens about $245,340 to raise a child to the age of 18. This estimate is equivalent to about $12,800 to $14,970 per child each year.
In 2015, the government spent $1 trillion on welfare systems to help poor families for essentials like housing, food, and healthcare. With inflation, this number can increase each year. Additionally, the list of other ways that the government assists families is quite shocking.
The federal government has revealed that there are over 45 million people who are considered poor in America. Of the 45 million, 80 percent have heating and cooling. According to the U.S. Census, 75 percent own a vehicle, 66 percent have cable television, and 50 percent have a computer. In other words, poverty in America is not as severe as poverty in a third-world country, but it’s still poverty.
Republicans Against Abortion Are Republicans For Government
The Republican agenda usually never changes. For the most part, they all desire to increase military spending, intervene in world conflicts, and limit what the government can do in the lives of citizens. This includes increasing taxes for citizens of all income levels, providing less social welfare, and contracting government jobs to private companies. So, how is does increasing cost and government involvement in the lives of poor families help anything? Well, it doesn’t.
The government pays for 24 percent of abortions each year. Forbes reports that one in 1,000 abortions is paid for with taxpayer money. Additionally, over $540 million goes to Planned Parenthood annually. This is a large amount of money, but welfare services cost an average of $152 billion each year. So, Republicans have some math to do.
In 2013, there was a total of 1,058,490 abortions in the United States, according to Guttmacher. If the government paid for 24 percent of the abortions in 2013, that’s a total of 254,038 abortions. If we assume that each abortion was a first-trimester abortion, and the cost was the minimum price of $300, that’s over $76 million a year in abortions. But $76 million is far less than $152 billion.
If Republicans succeed in overturning Roe vs. Wade, they will do more harm to the country than they will to women. And unintentionally, they will damage their own agenda.
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