Q&A Friday #36: How Can You Be Against Abortion And Not Favor A Nannystate?

Question: “Can someone please explain something to me? I am hearing alot about the abortion issue and how each fetus deserves life.

What confuses me, however, is how can conservatives be pro-birth, and yet anti-programs to help children? It seems that conservatives strongly dislike “entitlement” programs for needy citizens (most of whom are children). The idea is that it’s just giving handouts to undeserving, lazy people who “love” to live “lavishly” on welfare. How can conservatives fight so hard for the life of an unborn fetus, and then abandon them at birth? It’s like saying “We’ll fight for your right to be alive, but after that–don’t come to me looking for a handout!”

Wouldn’t the more caring, life-promoting idea be to help children that are born? Why not lobby for affordable child care for parents that DO keep their babies? Do all anti-abortioners volunteer to help out struggling parents? Are they willing to adopt the unwanted children they’re fighting for? What about all the children NOW, right NOW, what about their lives? Are they on their own?

Also….Why support cutting child support enforcement when this was designed to make sure parents are supporting their children, and helping the parent that DID choose to have the baby?” — rightwrong

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Answer: First of all, in this country, needy children are not abandoned at birth by any stretch of the imagination. We have welfare, food stamps, public education, free lunch at schools, and countless other programs and agencies designed to make sure that the needs of children are met and that they’re protected. If anything, we go way overboard on these sort of programs because all common sense seems to go right out the window for a lot of people when the words, “for the children,” are used.

The reality is that the government, by its very nature, is clumsy, slow, stupid, and is institutionally ill-suited to become heavily involved in the lives of children. That’s why the government’s goal should be to simply enforce the rule of law and create an environment that makes it easier for children and their parents to succeed on their own, instead of trying to micromanage their lives.

The sort of smothering nanny state that some people seem to be enamored with — where big government is always staring over the shoulders of children and their families and butting into their daily lives — is something to be dreaded, not to be desired, because it is enormously expensive, creates dependency, and teaches people to wait for the government to take care of their problems. That’s why we should work to save children from being killed by abortionists, but allow them to live their own lives.

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