Compare these two news reports from October 26. The first, from France:
The lower house of the French parliament voted on Friday to fully reimburse all abortions and to make contraception free for minors from the age of 15 to 18. France’s national medical insurance pays for abortions for minors and the poor, while other women are reimbursed for up to 80 percent of the procedure’s cost… Contraception is partly reimbursed. The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is likely to pass. [AP]
A safe bet: with free and easily available contraception, there’ll be far fewer abortions in France. And with free and safe abortions, there’ll be far fewer unwanted children born into poverty and negligence.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the Republican party sees any form of national health insurance as some kind of dire Communist plot against America, and plans to scrap Medicare. Its official platform calls for a ban on all abortion except in cases of incest and armed rape (and there are a ton of Republicans who want to ban it even then), and it is intent on shutting down the country’s largest provider of contraceptive advice and services:
Planned Parenthood filed a new lawsuit on Friday over a Texas rule that bars its clinics from a state health program for low-income women because the organization performs abortions… In the past two years, conservative Republicans in more than a dozen states have taken steps to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. [UPI]
What puzzles me about the French bill: why it seems to exclude girls under the age of 15.
What puzzles me about the American elections: how any self-respecting woman could even conceive of voting Republican. Or any man with a conscience.