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Abortion is back in the headlines, with commentators (as usual) ignoring the real problem. Imagine that having a child was cheap, safe and only took a week. No abortions, right? But having a child is incredibly expensive, dangerous, and harmful to the mother’s career. These difficulties can be mitigated by universal, free health care and mandated p/maternity leave. But anti-abortion conservatives (unlike liberal Catholics) oppose the very governmental “interference,” which, by making childbearing as attractive, enjoyable and rewarding as it could be, would best reduce the number of abortions. Eight hour work days, four weeks of holiday leave each year, nine months of maternity leave, six months of paternity leave, low-cost child care and adequate, free health care for mothers? Less abortion, right? Perhaps if we spent our time building a social democracy, instead of fighting about our rights—to religion or personal choice, depending on your point of view—abortion could just be the sad necessity it often is.

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