Warren Buffett Broke Out His Checkbook, Made Christian Conservatives Really Mad

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One of the world’s richest men has broken out his checkbook to support women’s right to choose, and it has sent Christian conservatives hopping mad with rage.

On news that Buffett has signed over checks to family planning organizations such as Planned Parenthood amounting to $1.2bn since 2001, the media hoards of the Christian right have gone into overdrive.

Newsbusters became near-hysterical with this rabid sentence:

“In 2013 alone, Buffett donated $99,809,148 to abortion groups including $62 million to Planned Parenthood. The additional $37.7 million to five other pro-abortion organizations. That’s enough money to kill 221,306 babies through first trimester abortions, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.”
But while the Christian right bellows from the wings – what did Buffett’s money really pay for? And what did spending that money ultimately save us?

When abortion is criminalized, women go to jail. In El Salvador, the constitution stipulates that life begins at the point of conception. As a result, women’s rights advocates say 17 women were unjustly imprisoned after experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, and other obstetric complications. Amnesty International has reported the case of one of those 17 woman, Maria Teresa Rivera. They write:

“María Teresa Rivera, who already had a five-year-old child, did not know she had fallen pregnant again until she was taken ill at the garment factory where she worked. She was found by her mother-in-law, bleeding on the bathroom floor and was rushed to hospital where a member of staff reported her to the police. Police officers arrived and began questioning her without a lawyer present.”

She was later jailed for 40 years. Is this what we want in America?

Amnesty also estimates that more than 1 in 10 women who endure illegal abortions die. They list common methods of terminating a pregnancy:

“Ingesting rat poison or other pesticides, and thrusting knitting needles, pieces of wood and other sharp objects into the cervix, and the use of the ulcer treatment drug misoprostol, which has become widely used to induce abortions.”

In countries that don’t allow abortions like El Salvador the combination of illegal abortion, stigma, and sexual violence means pregnant teenage girls, many of them rape victims, commit suicide in large numbers. In that country, more than a third of maternal deaths are pregnant teenagers who kill themselves.

Even with suicide and self-harm taken out of the equation – there are still myriad medical reasons for abortion. In fact, a colleague of mine wouldn’t be alive today without Roe v. Wade. His mother had a malformed cervix. She was told at the age of 12 that her fertility was a potential death sentence. Pregnancy would have a 50/50 shot of killing her if she carried a child to term, and if she did, it would render her infertile. During her first pregnancy, the fetus failed to thrive, had no heartbeat, but still was growing and would have eventually been a stillbirth. Under pre-Roe laws, she would have been forced to carry to term, with a 50% chance of dying in the process, and a guarantee she would wind up infertile.

She was able to have an abortion instead, conceive a healthy child next time around (which rendered her infertile) and my colleague is here to tell me this story today. He would never have existed if Republicans had prioritized the “right to life” of the nonviable fetus.

Is this avoidable death what we want in America?

The opportunity to abort an unwanted pregnancy can often serve as a lifeline for women trapped in poverty, or in abusive relationships. During the “Turnaway Study”, researchers found that women who were turned away from abortion centers were more likely to be in the same or worse levels of poverty a year later than women who had an abortion.

  • The women turned away were far more likely to be on public assistance (76% of the turnaways were on welfare, as opposed to 44% of those who got abortions).
  • 67% of the turnaways were below the poverty line (vs. 56% of the women who got abortions), and
  • Only 48% had a full time job (vs. 58% of the women who got abortions).

And when it comes to domestic violence, being denied an abortion makes a huge difference. Turnaways were more likely to stay in a relationship with an abusive partner than women who got abortions. A year after being denied an abortion, 7% reported an incident of domestic violence in the last six months versus just 3% of women who received abortions.

Women forced to stay with abusive partners, and children raised in violent domestic environments – is this what we want for America?

If the answer is no – then money put forward by Buffett, governments, and anyone else to ensure that women can apply their right to choose in a safe environment is the best thing for America, however loud Christian conservatives huff and puff.

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info

 

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