Friday, April 1, 2016

The Abortion Tax: A Modest Pro-Life Proposal

I sometimes wonder at the wisdom of the "regulating abortion to death" strategy (often called the "chip away" strategy because it nips around the edges, instead of attacking the heart of the issue). Most pro-life groups still support these measures. But is it a wise choice to support them, and to commit so much time, effort and money to them?

Will their strategy not regularize and normalize abortion by creating a well-regulated industry?

Will parental consent laws (while "saving some babies") not simply bring millions of grandparents into culpability for the murder of their grandchildren?

Will 20-week bans, or "heartbeat bills", while "saving some babies" who look and function more like cute baby boys and girls, not ultimately teach society (and, frankly, pro-lifers) that any fetus without a heartbeat, brain function, or some other commonly suggested measure of humanity are therefore less human? Less deserving of rights? Less valuable?

Will a law requiring a 24-hour wait so a mother can get an ultrasound, receive information about the humanity of her child, and cause her to reflect upon all this... While "saving some babies", will it not also convince the vast majority of mothers that inside their womb is a living, developing human child with their own unique DNA, with feelings (including the ability to feel pain), with a heartbeat, with fingernails and fingerprints... And yet it's your RIGHT as a woman to kill that unique, living human being.

But a recent epiphany has caused a change of heart. (I mean this, of course, in the manner of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" (1729) - one of history's first overtly pro-life publications).

I hereby submit a modest tax proposal.

A Modest Pro-Life Proposal

If the goal is to "save some babies" through whatever means, as it certainly seems to be, then why not tax abortions??!!

If abortion is made more expensive, obviously it will become more difficult to obtain one, and therefore become less common!

A modest tax would have the real effect of reducing the number of abortions. We will have successfully "saved some babies!!!"

For that matter, why be modest? An even higher tax would surely have a greater impact, and would save even more babies!

Only the rich would be able to afford them! Abortion might even become a symbol of status... But I'm wandering from my point, aren't I?

There's plenty of precedent for this kind of tax. It's called a "sin tax." You pick a social behavior you don't like and you impose a tax upon it.

A sin tax has the added side benefit of generating tax revenue. The higher the tax, the more the revenue!

In fact, in many cases that's become the point of the tax. Here in Colorado, for instance, there's a tax on smoking which is used to fund state parks and public schools. God knows what the parks and schools would do if people actually stopped smoking, but...

You may also be aware of Colorado's marijuana industry (fully legal now) and the taxes which have been levied upon that. Many people are lauding Colorado's legalization of marijuana as a smart move, because of all the tax revenue and "economic vitality" it's brought...

I'm wandering from my point again, aren't I?

I guess there's a danger that our state will become too dependent upon revenue from the abortion tax. There's got to be a way around that.

Maybe we could use the money for "abortion awareness" - show people how awful abortion is, using TV advertisements funded by the abortion tax!!

For that matter, if we really started pulling in revenue, we could have a full-fledged offensive against abortion in the media! It could start funding the whole pro-life movement!

At least, until the number of abortions really started to go down. Then maybe we could increase the tax. But that would just reduce the number of abortions again. Hmm... How can we keep this going?

Maybe, so that we don't completely lose out on all this funding, we could stick with just the modest abortion tax. That way we split the difference in a way that'll be more productive. A moderate number of anti-abortion ads, and a moderate number of "saved babies" could balance out so that we have a sustainable equilibrium.

We could keep this going decades into the future!

I guess this seems at cross-purposes with the idea of ending abortion. But the good thing is we'll be educating the public long-term about how awful abortion is.

Forget Personhood! Forget abolishing abortion!

Even if abortion never ends, at least we will have saved some babies, and at least we'll still have our funding, and a modest anti-abortion awareness campaign. In the end, maybe the government will even subsidize it.

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan