Home | About | Donate

An Anti-Poverty Agenda That Excludes Access to Reproductive Healthcare is Woefully Incomplete


An Anti-Poverty Agenda That Excludes Access to Reproductive Healthcare is Woefully Incomplete

Jared Bernstein

I’ve written extensively in this column about anti-poverty policy. I’ve underscored the importance of minimum wages, work supports including child care and wage subsidies, SNAP (food stamps), housing and health care. I’ve often stressed the critical role for criminal justice reform. I never shut up about the benefits of full employment.

But I’ve never said a word about reproductive rights.


We've got a war on drugs, a war on women's rights, a war on public education, a battle royal brewing over institutionalized racism, and an economy rigged to ensure growing inequality and poverty. This isn't happenstance, but the neoliberal/neoconservative doctrine of modern manifest destiny that leaves all but the wealthiest of sociopaths chained to a diminishing quality of life. There simply is no anti-poverty agenda. The elite running this country won't be happy until there is no middle class.


An eminently sane, logical, and humane prescription, Mr. Bernstein.

The real question is why so many people--many of them single mothers--face job options that keep them poor and thus impose a "Sophie's Choice" like decision when it comes to whether another child can be afforded on economic (and other) levels.

The emphasis on "right to life" is really a means of projecting the Shadow of the Military State onto vulnerable young women.

Without ever questioning the kind of money that goes into the world's most efficient and pervasive Killing Machine, the religious elites turn the matter of morality onto women and those who conceive children without a support system.

The support system has largely broken down. I think that's why the Evangelicals have such a huge following. They do grant some cover to "their own."

When entire cities experience poisoned water, and when entire communities must fight that outcome (by keeping out the Fracking companies), and when entire regions are left to fend for themselves after giant storms... then there is no moral high-ground held by those who wish to chastise women who cannot afford another mouth to feed.

Better that the society spread its resources around to GENEROUSLY feed those mouths than punish those who know they are in no position to do so.

But patriarchy and its angry father god work on the presumption of guilt (Original Sin) and keep on Punishing from there. THAT is its ethos. Ultimately, without the blame-meme so deeply embedded into persons, it would be more difficulty to conjure the next enemy for the military state to pursue (and through endless pursuit, justify its own dark existence).


What anti-poverty agenda? We haven't had one in years. We do have a distinct anti-poor agenda.


Liberal media have done their part by maintaining a pep rally for the middle class for years. Meanwhile, back in the real world, not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren't jobs for all. We have a generation trained since birth to believe that only those who are of current use to employers/the corporate state deserve to survive.


The author supposes that america is a compassionate country in which everyone, or at least most people, want the best for the biggest number. The reality is that screwing over women is advantageous to certain powerful segments of society making any progress on the reproductive front unlikely, and at best tenuous. In other words the fight for more logical and compassionate reproductive rights belongs on the cultural front. Only by changing peoples prejudices on the topic is likely to further change.


Under Capitalism, the value of a person outside the capitalist ruling class is entirely measured on that person's ability to produce profit (additional capital to the ruling class) either through production or consumption.

When a person can no longer produce due to age, disability, etc. or consume due to being poor, then the capitalist ruling class deems that life to be of no value and must be treated and dealt with accordingly. As such, social benefits and safety nets are increasingly being underfunded or completely eliminated in order to assure and expedite that person's ultimate demise ... death.

Capitalism, by its inherent nature, creates and enforces class warfare.

Poverty is the absolute worst form of violence as its victims are subject to this violence every day of their lives!