Analyzing the Social Calculus Behind the Republican Anti-Abortion Stance

Suppose we accept the Freakonomics premise that abortions leads to fewer criminals, it would seem at first blush that Republicans would want fewer Batman seeds out in the world. After all, if Republicans have wealth, the premise of your progeny becoming Batman, while very cool, has an obvious downside that you and your spouse are violently murdered.

So, assuming selfish motives, what are the real reasons Republicans want to discourage abortions? Republicans value individual freedom and choice and the personal responsibilities that come with it. But telling someone they can’t terminate a living thing seems awfully similar to telling someone they can’t buy a gun and use it to terminate a living thing. So something else must be going on here.

First, it could be that they willingly accept programming from religious authorities. So if they’re told that killing a fetus is murder, but buying a gun to kill woodland creatures is not murder, they accept it. Also, blowing away a human intruder is also dandy, because babies are innocent and trespassers deserve death.

Second, they might figure they are safe from criminals in their gated communities and high-walled McMansions, so if an abortion ban did lead to more violent criminals, it could be a positive thing. Because if the thinking is that wealth and happiness are zero sum, the worse off they (the poor and downtrodden) are, the better off we (the rich and religiously moral) are by comparison.

Third, they might think the Freakonomics premise is flawed because they can save the extra babies like how Angelina adopts third world babies. Probably via religious indoctrination. And if you grow up in a poor ghetto to poor parents who would otherwise have aborted you, you can still bootstrap yourself out by simply accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior. So if you remain poor, that’s your own failing.

In summation, it seems Republicans want the world from Escape From New York. Guns are plentiful, there’s a huge social divide, but the amoral are sequestered neatly away over “there” where they can’t affect decent people and can be forgotten with no consequences. Is this the true Republican fantasy?


Answer: they don’t. They consistently act in ways that make abortions more unpleasant, expensive and dangerous; they don’t seriously try to stop them from happening. The point is to torment and oppress women, nothing more. They’ll try to make abortion less safe, they’ll make prenatal medical care harder to get, they’ll force women to go through multiple humiliations to get an abortion; but they’ll show no interest in or actively oppose the sorts of things that would actually reduce abortion like birth control or sex education. They also of course show no interest for the child they force her to give birth to. They’ll get abortions themselves when they want one. The anti-abortion movement is about malice towards women; abortion law is merely their chosen club to beat women with.

No, they don’t. They want an authoritarian society of warlords and serfs, where the strong do what they like and the only functions of the government are to crush dissent, regulate the common people’s personal lives, and military conquest. “Personal responsibility” means not having responsibility, it means looking upon the rest of humanity as no more than cattle to be exploited.

Strawman, and fallacy of the exlcuded middle, and a couple of other fallacies tossed in for good measure.

I still can’t follow all the logic behind “cut funding for low-income contraception” -> “fewer abortions”.

It’s something like this:

planned parenthood spends 3% of it’s money on abortions
PP gets money (a lot) from the federal government
PP gets money from donations
PP doesn’t use any federal money for the abortions, BUT
PP uses the federal money for contraception, which enables them to
spend more of the donation money on abortions, therefore
if we cut the federal money going to low income contraception subsidies,
PP will be forced to use the donation money for contraception, therefore
PP won’t be able to do any abortions!

Then I get to “low income people won’t be able to pay full cost for abortions, so they’ll have more unwanted babies which will be supported by welfare, etc.”, which will increase the deficit, so Republicans will have to cut support for women/children so then the unwanted babies just starve, or what?

It still seems to me that increasing low-income contraception support and education is a better approach that will reduce abortions without increasing the “unwanted babies” problem.

What’s the real plan here?

I don’t think they want to oppress women, I think they want to ensure that the poor stay so. The best way to do this is keep them religious, undereducated, and with large families to care for. This motivation doesn’t stem from any true malice, just an incredible sense of entitlement and gold old fashioned greed. If they stand to benefit from an action, they will support it no matter how harmful it may be to others in the long term. Combine this group with the true religious believers, those who simply have no understanding of economics, and the closet racists and you have the majority of the current republican party.

I think you are all making it too complicated. There are several things happening:

  1. This is an issue used by rich, business interests to convince the non-wealthy to vote against their own economic self interest.
  2. Social conservatives are squigged out by pre-marital sex, and even though they did it themselves they don’t want their daughters to do it as well, because the more different partners they have the better chance one of them will be black or Jewish or like F1 more than NASCAR.
  3. A lot of working class families see things like PP as something that “other people” benefit from. They don’t see themselves as poor enough to go in to the clinics, and if they did they would probably not feel comfortable there as a social conservative.

It sure seems like it.

Non-specific and therefore pointless statement, and a couple of other non-specific rejoinders tossed in for good measure.

What utter steaming, complete pile of bullshit. Or more accurately:


That Freakonomics hypothesis is rubbish as even though abortion rates have declined for the last twenty years there has been no corresponding rise in crime-indeed crime still went down.

Of course I see this is rapidly degnerating into a circlejerk, mutual masturbation thread of those “evul Republicans”. LOL.

Would you care to, y’know, just ask us? I’m sure it’s fun to imagien all kinds of evil motives for your percevied enemies and then base even more horrific statements on that, but it’s not good for actually discovering why people do things.

The church has always been opposed to sex, for the simple reason that the primitive sexual urge is one of the very few things powerful enough to compete with the church for the hearts & minds of mankind. Abortion, like contraception and sex education can lead to “consequence free” sex and serve to avoid the “punishment” of the pain of childbirth and responsibility for raising children.

I firmly believe this is behind the church’s inherent opposition to contraception, abortion and sex education. And they don’t even have the decency to be honest about it. They say abortion causes pain to the fetus…unlikely, but even assuming it’s true, why should they care? This is the same group that advocates beating and punishing children for percieved “sins”. They say that abortion is taking a life and life is sacred. This could be credible except that the same groups usually advocate for war and capital punishment. Are we to assume life becomes nonsacred after birth? They claim that the fetus or even a zygote has a soul. Again I say “so what?”. If the child, or fetus, or zygote is terminated prior to the age of accountability, then its soul (assuming it has one) gets a free pass to heaven. What are the churchmen so upset about? It strikes me they’re not being entirely truthful.

If one takes a literal innerent view of scripture, as most abortion opponents do, there is actually very little support for a prohibition on abortion. It is a meme that has become acceptable and hallowed within christian doctrine. In effect, it is an addition to scripture…and scripture states very clearly that men should not presume to add or subtract anything from the holy word. But of course a biblical literalist only takes literally the parts he/she finds convenient.

You lost me at “Batman”.

Sorry, but the GOP has proven over and over in recent years that they are irredeemably full of shit. Speaking as a former Republican, I no longer trust any of them on any subject, unless the subject is how to undermine democracy with lies and obstruction. Politics and power are blatantly more important to the GOP than the actual health of the nation. The expanded luxury of the wealthiest Americans is blatantly more important to the GOP than the needs of anyone else in country. Really, I don’t see the point of talking to Republicans anymore about anything. Mendacity to achieve power is their highest virtue.

So, no, I’m not going to ask any GOP about anything anymore. Analyzing behavior is sufficient.

Having said all that, the whole abortion = fewer criminals “calculus” is pretty dumb.

I don’t think it’s controlling and oppressing women , ultimately, or keeping people poor. I honestly think for many conservatives it really comes down to them seeing it as defending the innocent and unborn, and that abortion , especially in later stages when the fetus has a human form, is akin to killing a baby.

The problem is IMO, is that they are so focused on that one event, they are not seeing or thinking about how that event inevitably links to other events, and problems and solutions are tied to each other. Talking about the recent budget issue with PPH money being spent on abortions. They seem very willing to sacrifice all the good things that PPH accomplishes to make sure that tax money doesn’t go toward abortions, {baby killing} and yet they can close off the killing that went on and still goes on in our military actions.
They would like to outlaw all abortions on moral principles, even knowing that they will still take place, and also cut funding for programs that support the poor. IMO, if you insist that women have no abortion option and actively campaign to prevent it, it creates a moral imperative for you to actively care for a pregnant girl in need, and/or children in need.

I’d love to hear an honest explanation of your personal views and your experience with others views.

The REpubs have been in power many times and have not ended abortion. They could have. But a lot of people vote on one issue. They have been convinced the Repubs agree with them on abortion. So they vote for them regardless of how damaging they have been to their economic health.
If the Repubs ended abortion the abortion haters would have to come up with a new reason for picking who to vote for. The Repubs would likely lose a lot of those people.

I completely disagree with the Democrats on the issue of gun control. But I’m wholeheartedly behind the Liberal agenda aside from that, so I vote for them anyway regardless of how damaging it might be to one of my hobbies.

That’s the point Gonzomax was making. You vote on one issue at the expense of another. To you gun rights don’t matter as much as the other liberal talking points.

For what ever reason, a huge chunk of people make abortion their key voting position. For others it’s gun rights. And in 2004 it was all about restricting gay marriage. There’s a [weak] case to be made that the economic crash of 2008 was the result of Republicans getting re-elected, where the deciding factor was same sex marriage.

Exodus 22:-24: