Apparently our government wants smoking to decline to 12% of the population instead of 22%. How, you may ask, do they propose to make smoking rare? Utah, the only state to meet the goal, holds a clue or two:
1. strong social prohibitions
2. ban it in some places
3. hike up the price
Though America seems to be lagging behind its goal of making smoking rare, since 1998 the rate has steadily dropped. The CDC attributes the decline to:
1. media campaigns against smoking
2. banning the practice in some areas
3. hiking up the price
4. providing positive alternatives (insurance coverage for kick-the-habit-programs)
I read over this issue, and I have questions. Why is the government so concerned with smoking? First of all, it's bad for the body of the smoker. Smokers get sick and die, and that costs money, makes them sad, and can make others sad. Next, secondhand smoke disturbs others, threatens their health and causes, on occasion, life-threatening asthma attacks in children. So it's a good idea to ban smoking in places where others, who do not choose to smoke, would otherwise be exposed to it.
I am aware that some people feel that they need to smoke. My uncle, an alcoholic, feels that smoking helps him not to drink, a worse habit. He also feels that it relieves a tremendous amount of stress. He knows it's not good for him, but feels that life would be much worse without it and so it's worth the risk. Still the government dissuades him.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
There's much talk of "common ground" between liberals who are for abortion and conservatives who are not. In the midst of the bickering, there seems to be a consensus that abortion should at least be reduced. After all, abortion supporters are quick to remind, abortion is not a happy thing or even a good thing, but a necessary thing, so they are supposedly all for making it rare. So, abortion supporters, I appeal to you to follow the model the country is using to make smoking rare. That way, we all get what we want.
First, let's begin a public campaign against abortion. Newspapers, TV, radio, etc., should all be blitzed with the message that abortion is bad for women and children. Breast cancer and other abortion-related risks can be discussed along with the fact that abortion kills children.
Second, overturn Roe v. Wade. Many states will vote to ban abortion. This is OK for the abortion supporters, because they know Kerry-voting states like California and New York, to name a few, will remain open for abortion business like they did before Roe v. Wade. So, people who want to kill their children can still kill their children. Local government will just make it inconvenient.
Third, abortion should be extremely financially expensive. It wouldn't affect the affluent, but the middle class would think twice about repeat abortions, and the underprivileged might be discouraged altogether.
Finally, the government would have to provide positive alternatives to abortion. They would have to increase family and child welfare services and make them more visible/available than they are today. Where would the money for all that come from? They could take the funds from all the breast cancer cases that won't develop and won't need treating. They could pull the money from all the cancer-related funerals that won't take place. They could use the money from all the psychological appointments and associated pharmaceuticals that won't be necessary. Etc. In addition, going back to the first suggestion, the media could present the daily abortion tragedy in the same way that they presented the September 11th tragedy, and the Red Cross would be brimming with green, so much so, that they would have to stop accepting donations.
There you have it folks. The way to make abortion rare is to diss it publicly, reduce abortion access (ban it in some places and hike up the price), and increase access to better alternatives. I am 100% confident that every abortion advocate who says they want abortion to be rare will support these measures... unless, of course, they're lying.