Putting Their Money Where Their Mouths Are–NOT

Even in Kansas–a deep-red state--voters have seen through the pious lies of the forced birth movement.

Rabid anti-abortion activists insist that they care about “both”–the woman and the fetus that they insist upon calling a baby. The New York Times recently published some data that shows just how hollow that declaration really is.

Pro-choice advocates have long emphasized that hollowness: the fact that the forced-birth movement conveniently ignores the complexities of pregnancy and its impact on women’s health, and the fact that once those little fetuses become actual babies, interest in their welfare magically evaporates. As the saying goes, the Times article brings the receipts.

The headline and sub-head really tell the story: “States With Abortion Bans Are Among Least Supportive for Mothers and Children.” “They tend to have the weakest social services and the worst results in several categories of health and well-being.” Extensive charts confirm the message that the states that are most hostile to abortion score poorly on a wide variety of health and well-being outcomes, while states supportive of abortion rights  have more generous social safety nets.

You might conclude that–in states where legislators actually give a rat’s patootie about women and babies–they pass laws that both respect female autonomy and provide support for the children of women who choose to give birth. They put their money where their mouths are.

Let’s look at Mississippi–a state Indiana seems to be trying to emulate:

In Mississippi, which brought the abortion case that ended Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court, Gov. Tate Reeves vowed that the state would now “take every step necessary to support mothers and children.”

Today, however, Mississippi fares poorly on just about any measure of that goal. Its infant and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the nation.

State leaders have rejected the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, leaving an estimated 43,000 women of reproductive age without health insurance. They have chosen not to extend Medicaid to women for a full year after giving birth. And they have a welfare program that gives some of the country’s least generous cash assistance — a maximum of $260 a month for a poor mother raising two children.

If it was only Mississippi, that would be bad enough, but the Times investigation found that in the 24 states that have banned abortion (or probably will) policies on a broad range of outcomes are substantially worse than in states where abortion will probably remain legal. The article cited policies on child and maternal mortality, teenage birthrates and the share of women and children who have no health insurance.

The majority of these states have turned down the yearlong Medicaid postpartum extension. Nine have declined the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which provides health care to the poor. None offer new parents paid leave from work to care for their newborns.

One of the charts accompanying the text lists the states that have banned or dramatically restricted abortion or are likely to, along with their ranks on lack of insurance, maternal and infant mortality, and child poverty. (They all appear to be Red states. Indiana, unsurprisingly, is toward the bottom of those categories, just as we are at the bottom of states in voter turnout–which may not be a data point as unconnected as it first appears…among other issues, gerrymandering is bad for women.)

Indiana ranks 30th in its percentage of insured women; 41st in maternal mortality; 39th in infant mortality, and 28th in child poverty.  Those rankings are likely to sink even further after our retrograde legislature’s attack on women’s autonomy.

The article also acknowledges the role of racism.

Studies have repeatedly found that states where the safety net is less generous and harder to access tend to be those with relatively more Black residents. That has further implications for Black women, who have a maternal mortality rate nationally that is nearly three times that of white women.

The article has other examples of “pro life” states’ lack of concern for those “precious babies” once they are actually born.

None of the states that have banned abortion (or are likely to) guarantee parents paid leave from work to care for and bond with their newborns. Just 11 states and the District of Columbia do. Paid leave has been shown to benefit infants’ health and mothers’ physical and mental health as well as their economic prospects.

In most states, there is no guaranteed child care for children until they enter kindergarten at age 5. Subsidies available to low-income families cover a small segment of eligible children, ranging from less than 4 percent in Arkansas (which now bans abortion) to more than 17 percent in Vermont (which passed abortion rights legislation).

I encourage you to click through. Read the statistics and peruse the charts. And the next time someone piously proclaims that they “love them both,” hand them a copy.


  1. Perhaps the Republican all out assault on women and families will get Americans to stop voting against their own best interest. Perhaps the lies and bull shit will not be gobbled up by the low information voter. Perhaps….

  2. Good luck, Patmcc, Indiana’s stats and those of other red states have been bad for a long time…does it seem to be about RACE? LOL

    Yes, yes, it does!

    It’s not “against their best interests” — they BELIEVE it hurts black women more than white women, and that’s ALL they CARE ABOUT.

    And, yes, gerrymandering locks in ignorance, and racism always wins.

    What’s hilarious is watching Republican and Democratic politicians come together to make the Red States a popular hangout for Semiconductor (chip-makers) Oligarchs looking for free government money and low, low, low wages.

    When Todd Young starts handing out free money, y’all better take notice. LOL

  3. Our new tourism slogan “Come to Indiana, where you can keep the ‘little woman’ in her place.”

    Today is a very sad day – we have fought so hard to progress and women are nearly back where we started.

    What can you do? Fight. Fight for women’s rights. Join your local chapter of NOW, write (repeatedly) your legislators, show up to protest (or donate money if you can’t physically participate) and vote. As important as you voting, get others to vote. We are a state of apathy. Especially democrats – we think our votes never count. Well, make your vote count – run for something and put people on the ballot to give everyone a choice and a reason to show up.

  4. We women should start a legislative campaign to demand legally forced castration for men who believe they have the right to control women’s bodies and lives. Extremely arrogant men who are demanding that women be forced to give birth should never be allowed to procreate and any male children they’ve already created should be castrated in order to stop passing down their extreme arrogance.

    Our country should have culled those assholes from the herd a long long time ago.

  5. Nancy may go a bit further than I would, but if a fetus is to be considered a human at conception, then child support should begin at conception as well. For underage rape victims, (who should be exempt from any and all abortion restrictions, but sadly are not in most of these laws) the rapist should first be castrated, then made to pay child support and compensatory and punitive damages that would allow that child to live a decent life, including access to mental health assistance until her death. The fact that none of these things will ever happen is clear proof that these laws are primarily anti-women laws.

  6. Peggy, how does one specify when conception occurs? Wouldn’t it make more sense to say that the state should get out of the business of regulating personal behavior, and spend more time regulating business activities that contribute to the economic conditions that contribute to an income and asset distribution that results in poverty for so many people?

  7. I recommend a recent book “Power Never Concedes” by 3 researchers/activists. The title was first spoken by Frederick Douglass. The first section records the work of multiple grassroots organizations in several states to canvass millions of voters multiple times. The activist comes to know, indeed becomes the voter’s friend. Turnout rates have risen and victories won. The groups accept help from the Party, but only after they are well established. The goal is seizing control.
    An example of building the relationship: the first knock on the door that gains entrance is followed by up to 45 minutes of getting acquainted. Multiple visits and messaging follow. Obviously this has taken years to accomplish.

  8. We now have many state and federal legislators who are enthralled to the goals of the White Nationalists — the supremacy of white CINO males who want to control women, keep the poor, poor, and make everyone accept Jesus at the point of a gun. Writing these legislators is a waste of time and energy. Would anybody here see any value in writing to Marjorie Taylor Green? How about Lauren Bobart? I live in SC. Do you think I waste anymore of my time writing to Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott?

    Sheila and the Times prove that these legislators don’t care about babies or mothers, never have. If you asked them why, they’d say if you’re too poor to have kids, don’t have them. (And now they are going after birth control!) The hardline Repubs are finally showing their true colors and a surprising number of local yokels believe the BS and go along with them.

    I will continue to vote and do some postcard writing to remind folks to get out in vote, but as Sheila mentioned the other day, I think we are doomed. Welcome to Gilead.

  9. The notion that women are all on the pro choice side have been belied by every poll ever taken. There are just as many women as men on the pro life side. In fact, many polls show that the demographic group that is the biggest supporter of abortion rights is men aged 18-25.

    For some reason, those that support abortion rights insist there must be some nefarious reason why people support abortion other than an interest in protecting unborn life. It’s racism! It’s religion! It’s a hatred of women and men who want to control their bodies! Here’s another idea….maybe they just have legitimate disagreements of opinion on the most contentious political issue of our lifetime?

    Fortunately, because of the reversal of Roe, we can start having real public policy debates about the issue and reach real compromises. The notion that the liberals need to have their public policy preferences mandated by unelected federal judges through the guise of “finding” those rights in the Constitution, instead of going through the democratic process, was proven false by what happened in Kansas. Now that the issue is being subjected to the democratic process, both sides are going to have wins and losses and we’re going to reach compromises and consensus on what the law should be. It’s called democracy and, as ugly as it sometimes appears, it works.

  10. “For some reason, those that support abortion rights insist there must be some nefarious reason why people support abortion other than an interest in protecting unborn life.” Edit: I meant to say OPPOSE abortion.

  11. Hey Paul — medical procedures shouldn’t be decided by a “democratic process”! Or, wait, maybe we SHOULD have treatments for erectile dysfunction put to a vote. And treatments for PROSTATE cancer, etc, etc.

    Get real!! How about the fanatics get out of our doctor’s offices and hospitals?

  12. You’re right, Paul Ogden. Most of the retrograde policies that hurt women, the poor and the infrastructure of our nation are favored by older, white males who simply refuse to abdicate their illusion of being in charge of everything – including women’s bodies.

    Added to this backward, mindless drive to outlaw abortion, these same muttonheads are wanting to outlaw contraception too. NO, they will NOT improve funding for poor, single moms no matter what. That’s socialism, after all. YES, these people ARE that backward, stupid and hypocritical.

    The question I have today is, “How did we allow the 25% into the tent to work ever-so-hard at destroying all the good things this country used to stand for?” Another is: “How did the United States become such a great country before we had 400 million guns floating around killing 40,000 people a year?”

    But I do go on… Don’t get me started on how humans have vacated the rules of evolution to become the most rapacious vertebrate in the planet’s history – coincident with humans being the most populous mammal on Earth. We keep finding new ways to kill each other and ourselves while we insist on perpetuating weak gene pools…like Republicans.

  13. viktor orban please..mmmm hows your state of affairs with unplanned pregnancys? seems cpac welcomed the illiterate democracy(no i didnt spell that wrong) speil his support for a authoritarian regime in America. todays subject is part of that picture. just deny any freedoms those liberals want,and mock their stand on them. like orban, hes all for,shutting you up. thats next here in America 1/22/25.. (if the right wing wins)the protests that have developed from roe,still remain a one line item for some voters. still few see how the combined denial of ones rights or freedoms have eroded and get shoved into a black hole. cpac, i watches this guy babble from bumblebee,ceo,i believe, how he was shoved off twitter for insulting someone,thing,or it wasnt proper by twitters standards, (i dont twit,) he went on to mock those who see fit to support a diffrent lifestyle, and their stand to support rather than deny ones right to be who they are. he doesnt get it,that we are tired of hate,the same hate he advances and stood on that pedistal and told live to America, we want to hate..
    i didnt watch much more,seems the status quo with republicans is just to deny a free open society so it can choose. there wasnt amessage about living wages,health care,unless its slammed for helping those who are literally denied it, (along with mental health,that they need) they just continued to slam the dems for speaking out and supporting people. viktor orban musta been giddy with the Americans/republicans who would trash their democracy to demand a authortarian regime like his. putin must be in euphoria now. all the republican party can do is muster hate and bigotry. trumps saving America floor show(dog and pony act) ,went on about how those drug dealers everyone of them, kills 500 people in a life time,we should be like china, one trial,and then death.. of course he gets to choose this, as his lackeys kneel and kiss his ass to please him.. ever think about how corp America see chinas goverment?
    im sure every one who visited the industrial china of today wet their pants seeing how dicipline the workers and supervisors are, no one speaks out, nose to the sewing machines, file out and go home,and make sure to be back on time..looks kinda like the cpac convention is making sure we the working class,,get in line,now!

  14. Hey Paul,
    Those women that are anti-abortion are speaking the same talking points that your religion teaches. Sounds like indoctrination to me. Keep these religious rules out of our uteruses. Women’s bodies are now worth less than a corpse.

  15. its about time to pass the law, and make abortions legal, federally,and not have a right wing court or its religious fanatics decide.

  16. Kathy:
    good point,i lost intrests long ago,(in NoDak,its a staright blood red line of party ass kissers)as i read only their office staff yes boying the return of your concern. i how ever receive many out of state sen/cong progsv/demo,daily/weekly mail. compare them to what you see in print from republicans,and then decide. in conversation with others,its best to relate and push someones stand on freedoms,and who doesnt.imformed,informed,informed….

  17. The “forced birth movement” is a good name for the product of Project Blitz because, indeed, that was its origin, a means to expand the number of Roman Catholic acolytes and therefore church income. Other faiths have the same problems now that the Roman Catholics had back in the day and that is competing with each other and with the faith of no formal worship. They are fighting for survival.

    Forced birth is not their only thrust. Part of the business plan of many churches is religious education of various kinds to insure that once a baby is forced to be born its soul can be aligned with church culture and income can be assured for a lifetime.

    I personally know many who take great comfort in their faith and I respect that. We had a Constitution that allowed peaceful coexistence among all religious cultures but we chose to blow up the Supreme Court by making it a political/religious/culture promoter and now peaceful coexistence seems impossible. Do you suppose those who wrote Project Blitz originally considered these impacts and the consequences were unintended or did they just not care enough about the country to worry?

  18. Indiana Women’s Action Movement has adopted a new tag line, “The Obvious Solution”. We are working with 17 outstanding Democratic, pro-choice candidates running for the Indiana State Legislature. Visit IndianaWAM.org to learn about and support these courageous women. Our mission is more vital than ever. Gerrymandering has caused Fewer Dems to run. Forty Republicans have no Dem opposition in 2022, almost twice as many as in 2020. We must get pro-choice candidates elected.

  19. General canvassing is no longer the most effective grass roots organizing tactic. People are tired/scared of routine door knocks, emails, phone calls, postcards and texts. What is effective is “peer-to-peer campaigning”. Research shows that you are at least 10 times more likely to respond to outreach from someone you know/respect. So you build a pyramid…you contact your friends and, if they respond positively, ask them to do the same contact with their friends, and….onward.

  20. Lester:
    my face to face gets you to witness jaw dropping,stares and a gaze of just blind ignorance,but when you ask a question or.have a question they do not think of,they stand and listen,like who supports a living wage,when talking to blue collars. the right isle get handed a F in any conversation,they have none,,,

  21. I just listened to a podcast by Vox called “Today Explained” about Viktor Orban’s recent speech at cpac . What I today was that to combat a seriously problem with declining (white) population Hungary has implemented a MASSIVE social welfare agenda designed to encourage marriage and having more than 2 children (2.1 is required to maintain population).

    So a couple who has a 3rd child gets a large car, a subsidy to pay their mortgage, fund savings accounts for college, free medical care, child-care and the mother never has to pay income taxes again. These subsidies account for 5% of Hungary’s GDP, or the equivalent of well over $1 Trillion in the US.

    While the program is obviously and wildly popular, it has only moved the birth rate from a pathetic 1.3 children to 1.6…not much result for all that investment. Of course, these programs are also designed to discriminate against the very poor, the majority of which are also non-white.

    So the darling of the American White Christian Nationalist movement (you always seem to forget the word “white” Sheila), is also an unapologetic socialist.

    Up is down and down is up. But just do me one favor: Never, EVER refer to our Governor Eric Holcomb as a moderate. He’s not a moderate. He’s a white christian (small c) nationalist. Period.

  22. Pascal, of course it would be better if state legislatures would get out of the business of controlling women’s uteri, but obviously that will not happen anytime soon. As for how do we know when conception is, I can’t explain the medical terminology, but if we can tell that a ten year old is 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant, it seems we can get reasonably close, wouldn’t you agree?

  23. Holcomb ought to be ashamed of himself. Karma will get him and his half cocked ideas for being man enough to control the bodies of women in Indiana. I hope the shame of his signing this frightful bill follows him forever.

  24. Paul – “Now that the issue is being subjected to the democratic process”? Please explain to me how this democratic process is working in Indiana?

  25. Todd- I figured someone would respond to my comment with a question about the women that are also pushing forced birth. Once their men are castrated those women would quickly become silent about forced birth.

    Based on his comment, Paul somehow decided that the rest of us think all women are on the pro choice bandwagon. He has a habit of referencing ‘polls’ and ‘vague statistics’, yet conveniently never cites those supposed polls he mentions. Could it be that he creates his own numbers in an attempt to back up his opinions and believes the rest of us are dumb enough to accept those ‘polls’? His comment provided the perfect example for forced castration being absolutely necessary to silence the arrogant men who believe they should be able to legislate and control women’s bodies and health.

  26. Kathy M – sorry, but I refuse to accept the proposition that only women can talk about “women’s issues”, only blacks can talk about “black issues”, etc.

    For the record – my views on abortion-
    IF the woman is in a loving relationship, the father gets INPUT
    IF the woman desires, the clergy of her choice gets INPUT
    A medical practitioner, who adheres to basing advice on scientific and medical principles gets a lot of INPUT
    The pregnant woman makes the final decision

    You will notice that I don’t include politicians in my list. I never believed that a “right” is subject to a vote.

    However, if you want to discount my views because I am a man, so be it. I have never pretended to be politically correct, just to strive to take correct politic actions.

    Also, I am sorry, but the question of “personhood” is a substitute for “when does the soul enter the body”, which is to say, a religious one, similar to the use of “creation science” to replace “creationism”.

    I think it was St. “Lord make me chaste but not yet” Augustine who said that discussions of when the soul entered the body were a waste of time. It could not be known. I know he is no longer the #1 saint in Catholic teachings and I am not a Christian, but just saying. He may have had a point on this one.

  27. New voices piping up here. Great! Vernon, another homer! (upper and lower case!) Vernon will get that. Kathy, a zinger! Keep going! Peggy, spot-on always! Aging Little Girl, great stuff ‘from a distance’, as the late Nanci Griffith sang in days gone by. And a restatement of my own stance: I am an adoptee. She was 17 in the early 1940s and he was 23-ish. Problem? Oh my, yes! Her decision (CHOICE) was to deliver and give us both a chance. We both won that day! The Supremes aren’t very ‘supreme’; at best, they are sub-par and dropping. Keep writing and calling, Indiana. It was a strange turn of events that our little pregnant 10-year-old fled to Indiana and Dr. Bernard for her health care. Thanks, Doc! Thanks, Sheila and all who had really good comments. Our bodies…our choices!

  28. Whoops! Pulling Nancy in here, too. Try making a list…I always manage to leave at least one out. Sorry, Nancy!

  29. But at least the Indiana legislature cares enought that they will now make diapers exempt from sales tax. That will save the average family with one child a whopping $80 a year (or about $250 over the course of one kid’s worth of diapers). Surely that’s enough to prove they care about the kids after they are born. If you put aside that $250 in an emergency fund, it just might get you enough gas to get you to Chicago in an “emergency”. You can’t say they don’t care!

  30. “That has further implications for Black women, who have a maternal mortality rate nationally that is nearly three times that of white women.” “Well, hey y’all, ain’t that one way to cut down on the black vote? Know what ah mean?” wink. wink.
    Let us not forget that the abortion issue started as a red herring, meant to attract evangelical types, bring them
    into the voting fold, and was, reportedly, the brainchild of Jerry Fallwell, who never had the best
    interests of anyone but himself in mind.

  31. Sheila – Thank you for this factual article. You make the points that SO irritate me with the pro-life movement. They’re pro-life until birth. If the poor mothers who already have children they can’t afford are forced to birth still more, the State of Indiana could care less about their food, shelter, healthcare, clothing, child care, pre-school, health care, and more

    We already have thousands of kids in foster care with no adoptive family awaiting them. We have GOP majorities in the legislature that DEFEATED contraceptive assistance to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions, as if everyone must be forced to abide by one religion’s opposition to contraception.

    These actions are a sentence to deeper family poverty and dysfunction, higher welfare costs, more children raising themselves because Mom is working 3 minimum wage jobs to house and feed them, and more out-of-control kids growing into out-of-control adults. What an outlook. Thank you Republican majorities for the exact future you SAY you oppose, but your actions are screaming much louder than your words. Is it any wonder that women are SO angry about this?

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