Undead Sexist Cliches: Abortion wrecks the economy

Former Senator Rick Santorum raises an argument I’ve heard before in several versions: Abortion is destroying America’s future greatness!
The first form of that argument I ran into, back in the eighties, is that abortion could have eliminated a future Einstein, Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, etc., etc. The alternative version, which Sansom espouses in a radio interview, is that all those vibrant young workers would have pumped money into our economy—why, if each of them made $60,000, we’d have $9.4 billion in the trust fund (I should note, I’m not clear from the article if the figures were paraphrased from Santorum or an example from the reporter).
Where to start. Well, I could start with Santorum’s previously stated view that government must have the right to control what couples—not just gay but heterosexual too—do in the bedroom in order to prevent our slide into Sodom and Gomorrah. So the idea of telling women they have to reproduce for the greater good.
There’s the obvious flawed assumption that all these babies will grow up and become reasonably high-powered wage earners, rather than say, needing government help or getting by on jobs at Wal-Mart.
And of course, the assumption that this would make a difference. Even $9.4 billion is a drop in the bucket compared to Social Security’s $695 billion in benefits, after all. And it’s not as if Social Security is at a crisis point: Despite all the screams of doom, it’s good for a couple of decades, at least, and even after that the program will be able to pay 80 percent of benefits, at least.
Which leads to another point: What makes Santorum think that if we had all those women reproducing, anything would change in the Social Security argument? The current furor over Social Security isn’t because there’s a financial crisis in the program, it’s about the fact large numbers of people on the right are revolted by the idea of any government aid to anyone. Regardless of whether they need it and how much they’ve paid in. It’s also about the fact that on the left—or in the Democratic Party, which isn’t exactly the same thing—we have large numbers willing to slash it to look wise and fiscally responsible.
And of course, we could always import more people—immigration, possibly Santorum’s heard of it?—instead of requiring American women to produce more.
But of course, Santorum’s concern is less about the economy than stopping abortion and controlling women’s wombs (which can easily translate into controlling the rest of their lives). It’s a common wish on the right; an even uglier version, for example, is that white women must be made to stay home and breed so that the filthy unwashed minorities (Muslims or Hispanics, depending on the particular bigotry in play) don’t become a majority and start telling white Americans what to do (Pat Buchanan made this argument in one of his books, but he’s not the only one). Women’s sex lives are a resource that must be controlled for the good of the state.
Ultimately what it’s about is that despite the current cries on the right against sharia law, a good-sized chunk of the religious right would be perfectly happy treating women the way the Taliban does.

3 Comments

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

3 responses to “Undead Sexist Cliches: Abortion wrecks the economy

  1. Pingback: A couple of updates/corrections « Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Rick Santorum implies gay marriage is as big a mistake as slavery « Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Undead sexist cliche: If women don’t pop out babies, America is doomed! « Fraser Sherman's Blog

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