• Erica Rosi Tham

The Choice Argument in an Online World

Days after the fall of Afghanistan, we are now swiftly turning our attention to the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the abortion law in Texas. As someone who marched for choice in my twenties, I was disappointed when the movement did not accept the compromise that arrived with the day-after pill which is now available at Wal-Mart for $20 or less. In fact, almost all of the reasons we used to march for choice are no longer part of daily reality. Besides multiple forms of contraption being readily available, here is a list of reasons why the movement is outdated.

1. Education is available online. No one needs to drop out of high school when having a baby.

2. Work is available online. You can be a virtual assistant, a teacher, a software programmer and more; anyone can work online.

3. Shopping is available online, and it’s cheap. Thanks to Amazon, no one even needs to leave the home to shop. For anything.

4. Children make people feel happy and confident. Parents have bad days, certainly, but you need only look into their eyes to see a profound sense of fulfillment. For every tough moment with a child, there are many others that are wonderfully loving and often hilarious. We are social creatures, and children bring us constant companionship.

5. Adoption and other alternate forms of having children are complicated and expensive. Nine months of carrying a child is nothing compared to what my husband and I have endured while trying to adopt special needs kids from India. We were thoroughly vetted for 8 months, spent a year getting matched with children, were then vetted again, have spent over $25,000 so far, and the completion of our adoption is still uncertain.

6. Abortion adversely affects racial minorities. There is strength in numbers. Around the world, minority tribal groups have big families to increase their numbers. However, check out the statistics on numbers of abortion by race, and you will see that in 2017 there were 295,000 abortions by black non-Hispanics and $280,000 abortions by white non-Hispanics. And yet black people, including those from Africa, many of whom are less likely to get abortions for religious reasons, account for less than 14% of the entire U.S. population. This means that the black people who are descendants of slaves in America are getting abortions at an immensely higher rate than any other group.

7. The idea that each child is an additional financial burden is false. Young kids are a financial burden, but they are also an investment. Children who are ten and older become helpers to their parents. They can babysit, they can help with housework, and they can get neighborhood jobs doing extra babysitting, pet-sitting or yardwork, not to mention contributing to a family business, often with technological expertise that exceeds their parents’ knowledge. Eventually, they provide a sense of safety for their retired parents. I used to work with refugees from Africa; they believed that the poorest of the poor were those without kids.

Hopefully, this short list will help a few people to change a few minds. The youth of every generation are targeted for manipulation by political groups, but I believe that with some speaking up among ourselves, we can finally end this rather ridiculous point of contention. I have one final argument to add regarding the recent decision from the Supreme Court. We are fortunate to live in a country where states have different laws. We can choose which state we want to live in. If none of the above reasons hits home with a die-hard pro-choice supporter, then check out the proximity of Texas to California. I doubt we will ever reach the point when the pro-choice person has no state to call home.

Erica Rosi Tham

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