Welfare Caps and Abortion: Pro

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The opinions in this article are those of the writer, and not necessarily of Pregnant Pause. As the writer points out, pro-lifers come down on both sides of this issue. For an opposing view, see Welfare Caps and Abortion: Con.

Does a cap on welfare cause an increase in abortions, or will it not? The controversy still rages. The latest major input on this is from New Jersey State Assemblyman from Camden, Wayne Bryant, a liberal Democrat. He is quoted in a three-column article in Human Events 2/14/97. It is entitled, "New Jersey Caps Welfare For Moms, But Abortions Do Not Increase." As a black, he himself, early on recognized that the "vicious cycle of poverty" affecting his district was caused "by a welfare system predicated on perverse economic incentives that subsidized illegitimacy and moral failure." His bill, which was passed, was a radical break "from the dependency-oriented welfare state of the past 40 years." It stipulates that women who have already received AFDC benefits for 10 months will not receive an increase in monthly benefits if they have additional children. They can, however, get Medicaid and extra food stamps for the newborn. The feminists excoriated him for restricting women's reproductive choices.

The figures quoted by Mr. Bryant from the New Jersey Health Department now show a decline in the number of births since the welfare cap has gone into effect, while the change in abortions is statistically insignificant. Previously, the monthly average of abortions was 984. Since the cap, the average has been 991. A New Jersey Department of Health spokeswoman stated that the number of abortions "has bcen virtually unchanged," while an analysis by the Heritage Foundation said, "New Jersey has not substantiated any claim that there has been an increase in abortions". It is suggested that if the present trend continues, and if government subsidies to the abortion industry were to be terminated, there would not just be a stasis, but a real decline in the number of abortions.

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Posted 14 Sep 2000.

Copyright 1997 by Cincinnati Right to Life.
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