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A Modest Proposal (Abortion Edition)

Posted on the 14 July 2011 by Danielleb
Last year in class we read A Modest Proposal (1729) by Jonathan Swift. It's a satirical piece in which Swift suggests that the Irish should eat their own babies rather than tackle problems of overpopulation and poverty head-on. We were asked to write a similarly satirical piece about an impassioned issue, so I chose abortion rights. [WARNING: The keyword here is "satire," people!]

A Modest Proposal (Abortion Edition)

Which side am I really on?

Written October 9, 2010

Abortion has been one of the most fiercely debated topics of the 21st century, and frankly, I’m tired of hearing about it. If right-wingers truly believe abortion is a sin, and the women who choose to abort are evil, heartless murderers, it’s time to do something rather than settle for bad picket signs and expect anything to happen. What, are we just going to say “no more abortions!” and wait for them to disappear like rats up a drain pipe? We need to get to the root of the problem.
First, we need to ask ourselves: what drives women to have abortions? Are these women simply born with demonic souls, or are they driven to kill after years of reckless partying, drinking, and hardcore drugs (because obviously, any woman callous enough to get an abortion must be sniffing the Big H)? 

Some will have you believe that the decision has less to do with a woman’s lifestyle, and more with what she can expect for the future of her baby. If a woman becomes pregnant, these pro-choicers cry, and her partner is irresponsible, refuses to pay child support, or just gets up and leaves, she may not have the means to provide for a child. Pro-choicers want us to think that if a woman has a dead-end job, absolutely no support, and struggles just to find her next meal, it’s okay for her to choose an abortion rather than let her child suffer. 

Evil, right?I propose three solutions to the abortion epidemic in this country. First, we must outlaw condoms and sex education. By exposing children to the mechanics of sex and pregnancy prevention as early as middle school, we’re basically telling them (a) it’s okay to “get jiggy with it,” and (b) there are ultimately no consequences because any mistake (i.e. pregnancy) can simply be undone (i.e. abortion). By outlawing condoms, couples will know that their actions may result in an unwanted pregnancy, and they’ll refrain from doing the deed in the first place.Next, we must set up a national fund to pay women for choosing life over murder. If a poverty-stricken woman is given a choice between having an abortion or receiving a lump sum and letting her baby live, she’ll definitely choose the money. Thus, dinner is served and she can live happily ever after — guilt and problem free — with her bouncing bundle of joy.Finally, we must make it illegal for two people to have “relations” without first signing mutual contracts in which they provide vital information, including (but not limited to): their name, age, sex, complete medical history, social security number, financial records, and high school transcript. By making the intimate details of our medical histories accessible to the public, we will know at once who has heart conditions, bladder control problems, hemorrhoids, STDs, clinical baldness, etc. and can thus make better decisions about our sexual partners. Not to mention, women will never be in the position of deciding whether or not to keep her child because of an irresponsible partner  she will already have access to his bank account! It’s the perfect solution!As long as we’re willing to give up any shred of privacy whatsoever and allow the government to have free reign over our personal lives, we can eradicate abortion in America once and for all.

Sure, we could take the easy route and assume women are intelligent and conscientious enough to make their own decisions about their own bodies; we could have faith in the fact that women don’t take abortion lightly, that they think about it long and hard, and are affected by it each and every day for the rest of their lives; we could even focus on better sex education and allow free access to birth control to lessen the chance that couples would have to face an unplanned pregnancy in the first place.
But we’re Americans, and we don’t like to take the easy route.

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