Bush Administration is not prepared to care for any "unaborted" children
George W. Bush, master of unintentional irony, has declared Sunday, January 19 to be "Sanctity of Human Life Day." Were it not for the day's oh-so-coincidental placement three days before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it might be tempting to wonder what human life Bush could possibly be thinking of.
But no, this is just another unneeded signal that with the blessing of the religious right, Bush intends to do all he can to overturn Roe vs. Wade. And there is no point in speculating about any other meanings that might be attached to the day, because it is fairly evident that the life of a fetus (or unborn child, as the anti-abortion people insist on calling it) is the only life that Bush really considers to be valuable.
First of all, it should really be "Sanctity of American Life Day," since Bush obviously has no qualms about killing, say, Iraqis, whether they happen to be old, young or unborn. Even American fetuses grow up to be people, though, so let's take a look at just how sacred the unwanted but unaborted fetus is after it leaves the womb.
There is a good chance these days that a woman who has an unwanted pregnancy will be poor. Since our government does not support the kind of welfare that would allow her to take care of her child without working, she will be forced to go back to work as soon as she can after giving birth. Odds are there won't be a husband to help her out, and the child will either come along to the mother's job, or stay with whoever is handy.
This will continue until the child is old enough to go to public school. But since Bush would rather give tax money back to the rich than spend it on the poor, public schools don't have the money to offer a very good education. Maybe this child (let's say she's female) will have one extraordinary teacher, who will inspire her to spend hours in the library learning on her own, to take all the hard classes that are offered and to ace them all, while working to earn the money and win the scholarships to put herself through college.
But chances are against that happening. More likely, she will be one
of the children who, having neither parents who can instruct her nor teachers
who can afford to pay special attention to her, simply floats through
school without learning much of anything. If she is abused at home, as
frequently happens to unwanted children who are seen as financial burdens,
this will certainly lessen her chances of success.
If, however, she is determined not to keep the child, there will be only a few options for her. She can carry the baby to term and give it up for adoption, but this would probably mean dropping out of high school. Her other choices are to have an illegal and probably dangerous backstreet abortion, or to perform an abortion on herself which might well result in her death.
All this can happen, not because Bush believes in the sanctity of human
life, but because he doesn't. To the religious right, a baby in the womb
is a powerful symbol. Once that baby leaves the womb, they couldn't care
less what happens to it.