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  • Reverend James Squire

The Fitch Factor

hope that many will follow the case of the examination of Roe V. Wade to see a great legal ethical debate regarding this important issue of abortion. Some things seem to be certain, both sides are not leaving much room for compromise. Each has a strongly held belief. The recent attempt of Chief Justice Roberts to test the waters of compromise received a response, that at least is seen at this point time, to have little possibility of success.

In counseling when compromise between two people seems to be impossible, the counselor listens even more closely to what is not being said as the counselor does in individual therapy. There are many issues being shaped in the abortion controversy, but there is something that has not been given the attention that I think is essential. Right now, the issue is shaped by the rights of the child vs. the rights of the woman.

Let’s examine an issue that has not been front and center and that is why Roe V. Wade came into existence in the first place. At the time of Roe V. Wade, there was much debate about the woman’s right to privacy particularly as it related to her body along with the power of the states as well as the nation to govern a response to abortion at any time in the pregnancy. At one point there was a concern that an abortion law would put undue stress on a woman to get an abortion. In addition, we had all the issues that have been percolating in discussions this time around such as what to do with women who are raped and become pregnant as well as the argument of when “life”, as we understand it, begins.

At the bottom of all of these concerns when Roe V. Wade came into existence was a concern for social justice. If you were a white middle/upper class woman, you had much greater access to abortion than someone who was in the lower socio-economic group. If we take a good whiff, we can smell the unpleasant odor of classism.

There is another subtle factor that highlights this issue and it is found in the Mississippi Attorney General herself. I call it the Fitch Factor. Attorney General Lynn Fitch brought the Mississippi Abortion Law into existence to challenge Roe . She had an agenda that ironically has less to do with the rights of the unborn and more to do with the rights of women, but it was a particular kind of woman that she had in mind. The abortion law was a direct result of how she lived her life.

It is seen in some statements that she made: “pregnancy would not doom a woman’s life to be a distressful life and future.” She claims “that sweeping policy advances now allow women to fully pursue motherhood and a career, stamping out a need for abortion.”

Fitch came to these conclusions based on her own life when she raised three children as a single parent after the divorce from her husband in 2004. She had many friends who were a great support system. Her advice to others was, “Make friends as you may need them sometime in your life.” This sounds as though she liked transactional relationships. I will help you if you help me. She also paid for day care and a nanny. She came from a privileged background where her father was a major contributor to her first campaign.

Kelly Jones, a professor of economics at American University, makes my point: “Having a child or adding an additional child may push low earning women out of the labor force and into poverty, whereas high earning women can have it all.” Fitch assumes that her privileged life surrounded by support of every kind is universal for all women in America, and no one has called her on that which relates directly to the reason for Roe V. Wade in the first place. Last time I looked many American women did not all have the means to access a nanny. Her view of women in the workplace is greatly distorted by her own life experience.

“You can have it all!” Whenever you hear those words, watch out! What is lacking on Fitch’s part is seeing life as it really is. Doesn’t everyone have a nanny? In addition, men are jumping up and down in ecstasy. If women can have it all, that is less that I have to do in our family life. They can do what they need to do while I can do what I want to do. Just look at what Fitch was able to do.

Abortions occur in the United States because women couldn’t afford to raise a child. According to Diana Greene Foster, a demographer at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, “the patient population in abortion clinics is increasingly made up of poor women.” Please don’t mention the foster care system as an answer to the abortion question. Too many poor and minority children in foster care are shuffled between multiple foster homes and institutions that further traumatizes them at each step. 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have been in the welfare system. 6% receive a college degree.

Here is something to ponder. Abortion is personal and reproductive rights are important to men as well. What if the law of the land required all men, rich and poor, to have a vasectomy before the age of 35 to keep the population down to confront the rise of people creating more challenges to climate change and food distribution? Men, you have no say. It is the law of the land. You don’t like that! Shocking! As the age of 35 approaches more and more men will be sitting with their legs crossed.

Remember, the faster a person talks to you about an important issue, the more you should worry! They usually don’t want to deal with the underlying truth of a matter.

We have fast talkers on both sides of the issue of abortion. Listen to what isn’t being said. Let’s call it the Fitch Factor.

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