You know a system is truly broken when even those with unlimited resources cannot get what they need. The U.S. is dead last in the world in how it treats the parents of newborn children. With no affordable childcare options and no parental leave, our country's "leaders" have utterly abandoned those trying to raise families. Quality childcare is prohibitively expensive, where it exists at all, and forces parents –usually mothers– to either leave the workforce entirely, or rely heavily on relatives to fill the gaps. This is particularly true of single mothers.
Worse still, is that forcing women to choose between her child or her health and financial well-being often leads to another tragic choice: whether to keep the baby at all.
I am 100% pro-life; the sanctity of life is my #1 concern. But there is more to being "pro-life" than merely passing anti-abortion laws that will have zero effect on the actual number of abortions; life continues after birth, after all.
Simply put, I will help drastically reduce the number of abortions by building a comprehensive support network for expectant mothers.
This starts with increased access to better healthcare, but doesn't stop there:
Mandatory Maternal Leave on the State and Federal Level
This will prevent the too-common occurance of employers firing quality employees just because they chose to have a baby, and has the benefit of allowing mothers to nuture their newborns during those crucial first few months. This time period is absolutely critical to the mental and physical health of both mother and child, and is stressful enough without lingering financial worries.
Universal Child Care
Every other non-third world nation provides some form of child care to its citizens. Sweden, in particular, has a model system of affordable child care based on means-tested subsidies. Just having this option will allow mothers the freedom to return to work, earn their degrees, and start their own businesses. Studies repeatedly show that the community reaps seven dollars for every one dollar spent on child care. This is an investment we cannot afford to ignore.
Increased Access to Women's Health Clinics
In many rural and urban areas, quality medical care is rare, or in some cases, nonexistent. This lack of access can lead directly to complications during and after pregnancy, as well as a host of related medical, financial, and psychological issues. Placing small but well-staffed clinics in underserved areas will help prevent major issues before they happen, while also providing decent jobs in distressed communities.
Increased Access to Free Contraception and Mandatory Sex Education in High Schools
When contraception is unavailable, abortion rates skyrocket. Similiar leaps occur in schools that avoid teaching sex ed, whether they're public, charter, or private. Contraception and sex ed are inexpensive and effective ways to prevent abortions long before they occur.
These common sense solutions will help those that need it the most, and will do far more to reduce the number of abortions than the Texas GOP's ridiculous idea of forcing clinics to widen their hallways by a foot. It's high time for Texans to show what they are truly made of, and start helping this generation of parents raise the next generation of Texans.