Thursday, January 23, 2014

Are Anti-Abortion Payments Exploitation?

Angie C sends us a story on Save Unborn Life, an organization that pays expectant mothers to refrain from terminating their pregnancies.
Save Unborn Life exists for the sole purpose of offering abortion-minded women money to bring their babies to term. After a meeting with Merriott, Hope was offered $3,000 not to go through with the abortion, which was scheduled for the next day. She immediately accepted the offer.
The anecdote in the piece is stuffed to the gills with woe. BATNA despair on full display.

I wonder if anyone would be willing to defend the position that SUL is exploiting women to forward their agenda. Ordinarily, the clash over abortion is mostly sound and fury, with plenty of speech but few real resources on the line. This is different: this pro-life group works not through coercive political channels, but by market(ish) incentives. But poor young unwed mothers are still in dire straits. There's no disengaging that bit of moral intuition.

The pro-choice folks I know lean in the direction of seeing the downside of state coercion on (at least this one particular) highly contextual personal decisions. I think they'd be okay with private subsidies to poor folks struggling to make ends meet. It'd be nice if many of them (again, the ones I know personally) would take this insight and apply it more broadly, but that's neither here nor there for now.

And it's not just BATNA engaged:
Merriott said that SUL also encourages poor women to sign up for federal assistance programs such as Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and that adoption is often the best option for women who cannot afford to care for their children. But SUL’s main objective, she made clear, was to save one life from death and another from a lifetime of regret.
Regret too.

And I'd again encourage you to think about Basic Income.

PS: could this be an enforceable contract? I don't mean in a legal sense, but in a practical sense. SUL probably wouldn't be able to recoup in the event of a breach. How marginal are abortion decisions, on average?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?