Family bonus to cause abortion "epidemic"?

Plus, the return of "baby machines" rhetoric!

Published February 27, 2007 12:50AM (EST)

Legislation meant to address a birthrate decline in Cyprus could lead to an abortion "epidemic," says M.P. Maria Kyriacou. A boon of £23,000 -- equal to $44,642 -- would be handed out to families "for every third child born and thereafter," reports the BBC. Kyriacou says pregnant women have asked her when the proposal will be considered. "I have had questions from ladies in the earliest stages of pregnancy considering whether they can afford to have a baby [at the present time]," she said. "They could better afford it with a lump sum of thousands of pounds."

Kyriacou also added, "A baby's life is very important. It's wrong even to discuss killing a baby." Right, well, setting aside the political rhetoric for a moment, there is one very simple (though partial) solution here: Make a provision in the legislation that, if passed, would apply the bonus retroactively to all families with three or more children under their care. And, of course, if Kyriacou's concerns are justifiable -- if the bonus really makes the difference between whether a woman can afford to have a child -- that would seem as strong an indication as ever that the legislation is a good idea!

In other crazy-making repro news (via Feministing), a German bishop announced that government-supported day care turns women into "birthing machines" (yep, it's the return of that beloved concept). In Bishop Walter Mixa's either-or world, such programs encourage women to hurry back to work and neglect their role as mothers. To his credit, Mixa does suggest that the workplace needs to become more family-friendly. But, until that happens, removing women's ability to balance work and family with the help of day-care initiatives, thus treating them as "mothering machines," hardly seems a better alternative.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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