Texas Legislator Would Pay Women Who Pick Adoption Over Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 23
, 2007

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — A Texas state legislator has an idea on how to reduce the number of abortions in the state. Under his legislative proposal, the state would pay women $500 apiece who choose adoption over abortion.

Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, says the proposal would provide more incentive for women to opt against an abortion but criticism call Senate Bill 1567 a baby selling scheme.

"We want that lady to have an incentive that makes her stop and think about having an abortion and that gives her a reason to put her baby up for adoption," Patrick told AP. "My goal is to save as many babies as we possibly can."

"We’re just giving someone an incentive to put your baby up for adoption," he said. "Then the baby goes through the normal adoptive process."

Fran Hagerty, of the pro-abortion Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, doesn’t like the idea and says it oversimplifies the abortion decision process.

"This is insulting to women and also insulting to all the great charitable organizations out there that do wonderful work finding adoptive parents and taking care of the birth mother," she told AP.

However, pro-life groups say they favor the concept as long as it doesn’t appear to violate a state law prohibiting giving anything in exchange for acquiring a child for adoption.

"We just need to make sure there isn’t even the perception of baby buying going on," Joe Pojman, the director of Texas Alliance for Life, said.

This isn’t the first time governments have considered giving women money not to have abortions.

China’s population control program, which has resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations has caused an epidemic of familles seeking to give birth to a baby boy, instituted a program in August 2004 paying couples to have female babies.

China offered free schooling and better housing for families with girls and gave families with girls preferential treatment in welfare allowances and employment.

Also, last year, lawmakers in the Italian parliament considered a proposal to pay pregnant women with unplanned pregnancies to avoid abortions.

The center-left opposition Margherita party proposed giving poor single women more than $400 a month from the third month of pregnancy until birth.

Since legalizing abortion, the European nation has seen falling birth rates and underpopulation since then. Some officials are concerned that the birth rate is below replacement level.