Subsidizing Bad Behaviour, And Other Tales Of Irrational Thinking.

It occurred to me after reading this, that groups like the Guttenamacher Institute seem to draw conclusions between minorities and what they call access to women’s health care, (which those of us not trying to pull a fast one know as government subsidised access to birth control and abortion).

abortion rates among racial and ethnic minorities—especially blacks and Hispanics—are directly linked to their higher rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn reflect pervasive health disparities more generally.

In an August 2008 opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Guttmacher Institute Board Chair Melissa Gilliam said of the high unintended pregnancy and abortion rates among African Americans: “The root causes are manifold: a long history of discrimination; lack of access to high-quality, affordable health care; too few educational and professional opportunities; unequal access to safe, clean neighborhoods; and, for some African Americans, a lingering mistrust of the medical community.”

Here’s the thing. Unwanted pregnancies are the result of individual’s behaviour. Guttenmacher seems to be implying that a civil rights wrong is being committed because unwanted pregnancies are happening disproportionately among minorities. It’s not a reproductive rights argument at all. It’s a behavioural problem.

Instead of addressing the behavioural problem Guttenmacher insists that we subsidize it. According to them, the argument must be something like this: “Pay for us to have birth control or we’re going to overpopulate the less productive segments of society, or worse, we’ll have abortions, which we want you to pay for also!” Note, I am not saying minorities are less productive, it is tax-exempt groups like the Guttenmacher who are doing these studies.

I don’t really know if that’s the logic, or not. But whatever it is, there seems to be a lot of people who buy into the idea that instead of educating people about the consequences of their bad behaviour, we develop multi-billion dollar industries surrounding, and encouraging that bad behaviour.


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