Texas Republican Sen. Dan Patrick has proposed that pregnant women be given half a grand per baby by the state within 30 days of birth to discourage abortion.
‘We want that lady to have an incentive that makes her stop and think about having an abortion and that gives her a reason to put her baby up for adoption,’ said Patrick, who hosts a conservative radio talk show.
The first time I read his actual statement, I was shocked and appalled. After all, it’s not very often I use these words and actually mean them, but is this insensitive proposition what Texas wants the rest of the nation to know them by? As if giving birth or choosing to abort were as easy as making $500. It is ridiculous to put a price on an infant’s head.
This is an insult to all women and their families. Realistically speaking, the majority of women who are considering abortion are those of low income and teenagers. So is $500 the going rate for a human baby these days? Call me crazy, but I thought selling babies was illegal in the United States.
During a legislative conference in New Braunfels, Texas, Patrick cited the state’s abortion statistics for the past year. He calculated that with a total of 75,000 abortions, if a mere 5 percent of these women preferred to go through with the labor process, at a total cost to the state of $37.5 million, it would save approximately 3,000 infant lives.
Patrick has seriously gone through with the legislative process to make this proposal into state law, but as of yet there hasn’t been any official voting. Only rumors and opinions float around the legislature at the moment, leaving the public in disbelief.
Clearly, Patrick has no idea how difficult it is to be a woman in this type of dilemma. Abortion is a personal and intimate decision and should always be handled with care and utmost importance. Respect, one of the characteristics Patrick doesn’t demonstrate in this bill, is the main issue. He fails to see that there are plenty of other factors that ultimately affect such a decision by women under these critical circumstances.
In an effort to be philosophical about this issue, let’s say that the bill actually passes and becomes law in the state of Texas. Where are these 75,000 babies supposed to end up? Children all over the world are already starving and suffering under extreme poverty. OK, let’s even cut it down to just the state of Texas. Republicans don’t want to increase taxes, so where is all the extra money supposed to come out of? Perhaps Patrick didn’t think too far ahead, but these issues still stand, not to mention the lack of morality and ethics inherent in buying and selling babies.
Society doesn’t need to spend any more than it already does on raising the unwanted children who will most likely grow to be even bigger burdens to the majority of the population. Multiply that number by 3,000 per year for as long as this bill would be law.
I am not much of a gambler, but even I am willing to bet that there are plenty of people who would offer $500 to conservative politicians to stay out of their personal business. Sounds like a good, if not great, way to spend money, if it meant total freedom from the conservative types who can’t help but be offended by same-sex marriages, freedom of speech and abortion issues.
Roger Salgado is a first-year literary journalism major. He can be reached at email@example.com.