I don’t disagree with the rest of the paragraph, but honestly [emphasis added]:

The elitism is a big part of this, but so is the sex part. As Franke-Ruta notes, the only other coverage point that has created as much conservative ire is the contraception benefit. What do contraception and maternity coverage have in common? Both imply that the woman who is using the benefit willingly chose to have sex. It really isn’t much more complicated than that. Which is why Mankiw insists that having children is a “choice”, even though it’s not that simple. Half of pregnancies in this country are unintended. Of those, not an insignificant number result in childbirth because the woman felt that abortion was not really a choice, either because she’s been guilt-tripped by anti-choice propaganda, bullied by family members, or simply couldn’t afford to jump through the rapidly expanding number of hoops that Republicans are putting in place to keep women from abortion. When conservatives say it’s a “choice”, they are pretending that abstaining from sex is a realistic expectation to place on the majority of American women who are not members of the economic elite, full stop. That’s what this is about.

Shorter Amanda Marcotte: no woman acting according to her own free will and moral compass would ever feel that abortion was an unacceptable choice for her in the event of unintended pregnancy.

Mankiw, in the blog post Marcotte quoted, was pretty repulsive himself:

But having children is more a choice than a random act of nature. People who drive a new Porsche pay more for car insurance than those who drive an old Chevy. We consider that fair because which car you drive is a choice.  Why isn’t having children viewed in the same way?

Because a child isn’t a consumer good, he or she is a human being who both needs and deserves care. Because none of that is any less true if that child’s mother could have had an abortion and didn’t. And because parenthood shouldn’t be a luxury reserved for the well-off.

Comments

  1. Pablo Matías says:

    It´s very interesting to see how prochoicers dismiss the moral agency of women when they make the ‘wrong’ choice (l.e. carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term). In fact, the text suggests that abortion should be promoted, not only allowed. That’s the outcome of treating abortion as another family planning method. Obviously, it could better for women and children that all pregnancies were intended. But women choosing life for her unborn children are not ‘guilt-tripped by anti-choice propaganda’ (reversing this reasoning, it could be said that women having abortions are ‘poisoned by antilife propaganda’), they simply want to carry their unintended pregnancies to term, something that some prochoicers seem not to like.

  2. Well, in fairness, pro-choicers aren’t all like Marcotte. But there’s definitely a faction who believe abortion is no different from having one’s appendix removed. From that standpoint, her remark makes sense: why wouldn’t a person have their appendix out if it was causing them problems, unless they were prevented from doing so by outside forces?