James Carville once quipped: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Although most of us care about things like crime, religious freedom, jobs and the ability of our elected officials to speak in coherent sentences, the thing that impacts everyone, regardless of race, gender and political ideology is the state of our collective bank balances.
Of course, I’m also keenly interested in how the candidates running in the midterms feel about abortion. To me, what’s not in my wallet is just as important as what’s not in my uterus. It was therefore delightful to see how Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was able to combine both issues in her response to a question from MSNBC host Mike Barnacle.
Barnacle asked Abrams if she really thought that abortion was going to be a motivating factor for Democrats in the election, given that “it nowhere reaches the level of interest of voters in terms of the cost of gas, food, bread, milk, things like that.”
And Abrams, who spent the last four years insisting that she was governor even though Brian Kemp actually won the last race, and even though her claims of voter fraud were thrown out of court by an Obama appointed judge, had this response:
“Having children is why you’re worried about your price for gas, it’s why you’re concerned about how much food costs. For women, this is not a reductive issue. You can’t divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child.”
The price of gas, the cost of food. Abrams placed these on the same moral plane as having a child. “The economic realities of having a child” can be distilled down to “the price of a baby.” It is the most obvious, most honest and most chilling explanation of the pro-choice position on an issue which matters to millions upon millions of women, and the men who love them.
Personally, abortion is the most important issue for me. It is the center of my moral compass, the metric by which I measure the humanity of other people. If you support abortion, even for others, you are a lesser person in my eyes.
But I think it’s important to focus on the message that Abrams is communicating in clarion terms. For many in the abortion rights movement, it is necessary to look at the unborn child as a commodity. The majority of them are good people, not sociopaths, so framing the issue as a simple medical procedure to remove an annoying fibroid – that happens to have a separate digestive system – makes it easier to sleep at night.
Abrams simply takes that next logical step, putting a price tag on the fibroid. To her, and to many who think like her, having a baby is as much about the expense as it is about the miracle.
Babies are not commodities, like food, fuel and iPhones. They are separate entities with anatomies, souls, and prospects. They are at least as valuable as our pets, although some people seem more outraged at Mehmet Oz’s alleged experiments on dogs than they are with John Fetterman’s refusal to place limits on the procedure.
The way Abrams’ mind works is reflective of the way many narcissists operate: it’s all about me, my concerns, my desires, my needs. She never stops to consider that a child in utero is no one’s property, and that the only person who has a right to put value on it is the child herself. In other words, she exists above and beyond any economic concerns of the woman whose body she happens to share for a few months.
There is a beautiful biblical verse from Jeremiah which says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” I hesitate to even quote the bible, because pro-choice activists like to paint their opponents as religious zealots. But this phrase communicates, poignantly, why people like Stacey Abrams cannot be allowed to hold positions of authority. She sees the world in terms of what it can do for her, and what it owes her.
We, on the other hand, understand that it’s not all about us. Or to paraphrase Carville, it’s the humanity, stupid.
Copyright 2022 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected]