Anti-Abortion States Worst Places To Get Pregnant And Have Kids. Who Would Have Thought?
An analysis published in the New York Times today (gift link!) demonstrates what so many of us have been saying for years about the states that have either banned or are about to ban abortion — that they are particularly horrid places to live for both pregnant people and children in general.
They have higher maternal mortality rates, higher infant mortality rates, higher child poverty rates, and more uninsured women and children, and are much less likely to have minimum wages over $7.25, the Medicaid expansion, or paid family leave. In fact, literally none of them have paid family leave. If you have a kid in these states and you do not have a job that gives you paid family leave, you may have to get your ass up out of the delivery room (if you can even afford a delivery room) and get right to your next shift.
This should only come as a shock for those who have not been keeping up and who think any of these people actually care about babies or life, which they do not. This is not and has never been about either of those things for a very large percentage of the anti-abortion crowd. Some young people, some religious people who also oppose the death penalty and war and believe in taking care of the poor? Sure. But the vast majority of anti-abortion people in this country are also opposed to anything that helps anyone whatsoever.
In most of these states, abortion has been barely accessible for years. As it goes away entirely, many of these problems will get increasingly worse. There will be more children living in poverty, more teens unable to finish school or go to college because they're having a baby, and more sick children without healthcare. There will be more people dying while giving birth, and more people giving birth in less than ideal places because they can't afford to go to a hospital. It's going to be very, very bad.
The analysis suggests, however, that part of this may be due to the fact that "in many of these states, skepticism of government aid runs as deep as opposition to abortion." This is some bullshit and we must stop pretending it is a thing. It makes them look far smarter and more savvy than they actually are.
If you will notice, the only time these people do not "trust the government" is when it comes to things that might help people. You want to start a war based on a lie? Execute or imprison some people who might be innocent? Provide aid and support to brutal dictatorships? Pretend a cop didn't kill an unarmed Black person in cold blood? Tell people whom they can marry or have sex with? Ban some books from the library? Dole out some corporate welfare? These are your people. This is exactly who you go to for that. They love cops, they love the military (just not "the troops"), and they worship their politicians like a bunch of 13-year-old K-Pop stans. They will be on the side of the government every damn time, right up until the government tries to make sure that the babies they forced into this world have something to eat.
That's not skepticism, it's cruelty. It may sound pedantic, but the more we let them frame it as something remotely reasonable like "skepticism," the less likely we are to get those in these states any kind of help at all. And they're gonna need it.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse