Opinion: After Roe v. Wade - Life and Death

Jun 28, 2022 at 01:19 pm by Chloe Cerutti

After Roe v. Wade – Life and Death

The SCOTUS’ reversal of Roe v. Wade leaves unanswered and undecided a number of important legal and financial questions affecting the rights of men as well as women.

  1. If life begins with the creation of a zygote: that moment when sperm fuses with egg – why must women wait until the actual birth before claiming the infant as a tax deduction?  And shouldn’t the father of this newly created life become financially responsible for paying child support from the aforesaid moment of conception throughout the nine-month gestation period from zygote to infancy?     
  2. Given that 47.6% of Tennessee women earn the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and the cost of raising a child to age 18 is estimated to be $272,000 (before college), it seems only fair that unwed fathers should be required to pay child support of $1,259 per month over those 18 years.
  3. And shouldn't those fathers also be required to pay for half the medical bills associated with the birth, which without complications averages around $13,000?
  4. What if there are health issues that impair a woman’s ability to work either before or after birth? Who will provide the financial support needed until she’s employable again?  
  5. The reality is that promiscuous men contribute far more to the creation of unwanted children than do their female partners; yet seldom do they bear equal accountability for their irresponsible behavior. If the real goal here is to protect the life of the unborn, why not require reversible vasectomies for those males who indiscriminately father numerous children while habitually neglecting their paternal financial responsibilities? 
  6. And since in Tennessee instances of rape or incest are no longer considered sufficient cause to terminate a pregnancy; should not those perpetrators be held to the same degree of accountability as that of any other father?    
  7. Who will be financially responsible should the pregnancy result in the death of the mother, as it does in 24 out of 100,000 births; four times that number for women of color? What provisions are being made to provide for those orphans? 
  8. As the beleaguered Department of Children’s Services can attest, Tennessee has over 8,000 children and adolescents in foster care - far more cases than can reasonably be managed. And with the birth of ever more unwanted children, those numbers will inevitably rise along with suicides and crime, the unfortunate byproducts of increased homelessness and poverty.       
  9. In a recent report from The Turnaway Study, it was determined that 60% of women seeking abortion were already mothers, about half were in their 20s, and three-quarters were already living below the federal poverty level.  It also found that 50% of all pregnancies are accidental and 1/3 of babies born are unplanned. 
  10. The average age of puberty is now 12-13. Given that Tennessee has an adolescent pregnancy rate that is 10th highest nationwide, access to affordable long-term birth control and medical abortion medication is now even more essential.  Nevertheless, Tennessee lawmakers have inexplicably decided to make it a felony for medical abortion pills to be mailed to women directly, thereby effectively raising the cost and reducing the availability of a product proven to be 99.6% safe which has effectively reduced the need for surgical abortion by half.           

The bottom line here is that for the 1,345,000+ women and children of childbearing age living in Tennessee, a small group of white, middle-aged male lawmakers with a political agenda has decreed that motherhood is mandatory and all pregnancies must result in childbirth regardless of the mother’s age, circumstances, or ultimate consequences. For those women and many men as well, this loss of reproductive freedom of choice along with our constitutional right to privacy will have far-reaching, life-changing, and life-threatening consequences.  Therefore, come election time we must exercise our remaining right, that being the right to elect those who honor, respect, and value all women as equal members of society, regardless of the role or path in life we may choose to follow. 

All is not lost. Vote accordingly.


Chloe Cerutti

Murfreesboro, TN 37128

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