"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Saturday, October 22, 2022

No More Roe v Wade–Abortion Is Finally Big Business

The signs were already going up at the entrance to the Mass Pike: ‘Need an Abortion? You’ve Come To The Right Place’.  Massachusetts, perhaps the most liberal state in the union and the most outspoken for abortion on demand, saw a way to generate private enterprise and also show the political flag to the state’s progressives.  Now that abortion had become restrictive in many states, Massachusetts saw the chance to do a land office business.  ‘First term pregnancy?’ said a sign posted on the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border. ‘Last term? No Matter. Abortion Here On Demand’.

Image result for signs advertising abortion clinics images

Of course the states adjacent to Massachusetts are also pro-abortion so are also gearing up for an influx of women from the South and from those many states which are classified as ‘legal for now’ but likely to become restrictive in the near future.  No one in the Massachusetts legislature ever shied away from a fight, and conflicts over land, water rights, trade, and interstate commerce have been staple items for more than a hundred years.  Legislators welcomed this new challenge and were delighted they could confound the ambitions of Connecticut and New Hampshire while building a solid base for new private sector development and showing in a bold, uncompromising way, their commitment to abortion for all – ‘Any time, any place in Massachusetts’ had already become the meme.

In restrictive states like Florida, volunteer agencies were already soliciting funds for travel to Massachusetts to defray the cost of airfare for those in shaky economic conditions; and the most progressive businesses with a footprint in most US states were reconfiguring their benefits packages to cover out-of-state travel for abortions.  

Massachusetts abortion clinics offered special family and lifetime promotions and special cost rebates for referrals.  Abortion finally emerged from the volunteer, non-profit ghetto and became an industry where marketing, advertising, sales, and attractive offers were the rule.  Abortion became no different from a brake job (‘Act now and get 25 percent off a new set of tires’) and just about anything else (‘Buy one and get one free’).

Image result for images women flying to the north for an abortion

Once abortion became a commercial product, it gradually lost the moral opprobrium that was once common.  If any woman could walk into any one of a hundred private clinics in Massachusetts on her way to Saks or Tiffany's,  get a D+C, and walk out within the hour for a late lunch, then it became part of  the commercial landscape.  It was as value neutral as a tank of gas, or a lunch at Balthazar.  It quickly folded into the featureless, valueless world of American consumerism.

The countries of the former Soviet bloc had all provided abortion on demand, and over the many decades of Communist rule, women used abortion instead of birth control for unwanted pregnancies, and treated them like colds. Take aspirin and call me in the morning. The great moral interdictions of the Church were gone from view.  Once abortion became restricted, women who were unfamiliar with the pill and less so with the condom, got pregnant; but this time around it was more of slog.

The advertising agency running the Massachusetts' abortion campaign, did their best to dampen enthusiasm for long-lasting methods of contraception like injectables and the IUD.  They acted within the law, but laws governing  truth in advertising were infamously weak; so suggesting that putting such things in a woman’s body had incalculable risks and dangers to health and well-being resonated.  The agency, building on the recent  COVID experience where millions of Americans refused the vaccine on  the grounds that it was dangerous and debilitating and would lead to serious physical and mental issues implied – never conclusively stated – that these particular contraceptives were suspect and ‘needed more study’.

Image result for images the iud

The first rushes shown to the Director of Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services were brilliant.  They showed small, happy families, all prosperous and vigorous.  All children went to Harvard, summered on Martha’s Vineyard and skied at Gstaad. The Massachusetts campaign was ironically like the early family planning campaigns in India were the slogan was ‘A small family is a happy family’.  Happiness, good will, family intimacy, and social prosperity were enduring themes.

Religious leaders from the Vatican to the smallest store front church in Alabama howled foul.  While they applauded the overturning of Roe v Wade, they were nonplussed at this most unpleasant of unexpected consequences.  Abortion after Roe was by no means abolished or even thwarted, but had become a thriving industry; and they, like every American brought up with the consumer-driven capitalist society of America, knew that once it became a commercial product, there was no stopping it.

Conservative states with strong religious support sued Northern states like Massachusetts for their attempts to thwart their states' moral, social, and political intentions.  Permissive states sued back and said that, for example, Georgia’s attempts to restrict out-of-state abortion travel was a reprise of Jim Crow, would disproportionately affect the black poor, and was racist at heart.

Meanwhile the liberal states of the West Coast quickly jumped on the bandwagon.  Southern California was really not that far from Texas, one of the most restrictive states in the Union, so why not ‘do a Massachusetts’ and siphon abortion-seekers from Dallas and Houston rather than see them board planes for Boston.   Solidly pro-abortion states were far fewer in the Midwest, but Minnesota, a longtime stalwart of abortion rights and women’s political ascendancy, followed suit.  In so doing, liberal abortion services were available in three of the four corners of the US.

The Pope got wind of all this, and wrote a special encyclical called De Rerum Mercatorium in which he noted the alarming, immoral situation of abortion within the private sector, a place where, this profoundly socialist man well knew, its insidious corrupting influence would extend far beyond women’s bodies.  The hellish combination of perverted anti-family apostasy and devilish laissez-faire capitalism would distort the morals of America forever.  It was the perfect storm for Francis – abortion and capitalism now part of the same twisted, brutal system.

Pope Francis uses Christmas Day message to plead for equitable access to  vaccines | National Catholic Reporter

Of course no one was listening.  The promotional advertising by California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Minnesota – each outdoing the other for color, verve, and allure -  was news, not the hectoring of the pope.  He was history and America had moved on into a post-modern neo-capitalist world. 

The Law Of Unintended Consequences should never have been cited.  Anyone paying the least bit of attention would have seen Massachusetts coming.  It was a foregone conclusion, the evident and natural outcome of a fluid political system and a capitalist system worthy of Rockefeller, Carnegie and the Robber Barons; only now such private enterprise was everywhere, fully integrated and woven into the social fabric, and here to stay.

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