Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cal Thomas--off the deep end.

When you can't win an argument any other way, exercise bizarre stretches of the imagination. A Cal Thomas column republished in the Spokesman-Review of 19 January 2008 applied new and very strange arguments to a very old and stale anti-abortion stance. According to Thomas' particular hyperventilating on the subject, 50 million could have been people since 1972 and the Roe v Wade decision that legalized many (but not by any means all) abortions across the country. Never mind that according to news media research abortions at their peak reached 1.6 million by 1990 and declined afterwards to 1.2 million by presumably 2005. It would be a hard stretch to make the argument that 50 million kids died in the womb by the deliberate acts of their "Jezebel" mothers. You really can't claim that abortions "on demand" reaching their peak of 1.6 million can account for 50 million non births in more than 30 years. But then, the only people to make that unreasoning argument would be the anti-abortionists themselves. So, how would we account for 25 million "abortions on demand" (as a guesstimate) in the last 30 plus years? Poverty, rape, family problems, medical problems, the lack of commitment to family by those who see sex only for recreational purposes. It is also my understanding that at one time the work place was itself hostile to the idea of pregnant women. She could either have the paycheck, or the child, but not both. So, while anti-abortionists were foaming at the mouth over the idea that women weren't committed to having kids none of them suggested that true pro-family agendas start with counseling the guy about the expectations of himself as a man and a future father. Only the woman should bear the burden, only the woman.

What counts for the rest of what Thomas would have been referring to 50 million abortions over all? Still births are an abortion and so is miscarriage. The miscarriage and still birth rate remaining a constant of approximately 20 % then in the last 35 years at least 7 million "children" would have died of natural causes. 25 to 35 million "abortions on demand" and 7 million still births and miscarriages would produce at most a little over 40 million abortions. Given that at the time Roe v Wade legalized abortions, most women had not obtained one. And by the time the peak level of abortions had been reached, by 1990 only 1 in 4 women had actually made the choice to have an abortion for what ever reason. But if you were to do what anti abortionists have done using the peak level of abortions in 1990 and applying it to all the years Roe v Wade was in effect only then could you get the figure of 50 million plus. And a political cause. So, legal abortions that began in the low thousands over a decade from 1972 or 1973 to 1982 when Reagan came into office and legal abortions became a hot button issue--probably 80,000 to 100,000 in those years. Abortions that climbed into the millions by 1990 and began declining to slightly over a million since that time. I'd have to say that 25 to 35 million would be about right.

From here, Thomas goes on to declare that his hypothetical "50 million" people had they been born... Did I mention poverty? It is extremely hard for the chronically impoverished to get out of their pit of despair esp. when they are minorities. A percentage of that "50 million" would have been born in those conditions and would just as likely to have: died in their first year of birth around hundreds of thousands per year in this nation alone, never have known a father, mom would be on welfare, crime in general would be a fact of life along with gang activity. Their only chance of getting somewhere is to have entered the military, maybe. But to date, we haven't heard of any Einsteins being discovered in a meth house. No, for an Einstein to have a chance at proving what he is capable of, his parents are not only determined to see him succeed, they also have the wherewithal to make sure he does. How about circumventing the need for NAFTA? Had "50 million" children been born, American based businesses wouldn't have seen the need to go global. Wow. That's not the business argument that I have heard. Businesses go global and deliberately seek out the cheapest labor possible because it is good for the American economy. Which puts those "50 million kids" on notice that just like their parents, neither would they have a secure economic future because American businesses would rather hire the cheapest possible labor and can't recognize the disconnect between labor and only because of labor is consumer demand possible and "what's best" for the economy. If those "50 million kids" had been born, we wouldn't need illegal immigrants. Wow. In the last 35 years, over a hundred million kids have been born, certainly capable of doing the work that illegal aliens are doing now. But are the businesses that willingly hire illegal aliens because they are far cheaper labor just as willing to look closer to home and hire your kid? Not necessarily. Under the circumstances, those "50 million kids" aren't facing the sort of dire threats to their future like their born peers of today. Because they were aborted. Reminds me of Solomon writing about the blessings the still born child had over the living. Putting it bluntly, Thomas would rather wring his hands over the dead than act on the behalf of the living.

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