Provide half the raw materials: get $10,000. Provide the finished product: get $500.

Doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, does it?

But wait until you hear what the payments are for:

$10,000: ova.

$500: a baby.

Yes, a bill introduced in the Texas Senate by State Sen. Dan Patrick puts a price on infants:

department shall develop a program to encourage pregnant women to
place their children for adoption rather than have an abortion.
(b) The program must include a $500 payment to each woman
who is a resident of this state and a citizen of the United States*
who places a child for adoption rather than have an abortion.

Note the catch: the child must be placed for adoption instead of being aborted. How to make sure that the filthy little slut really was going to abort before that $500 payment caught her eye?

Sec. 50.002. APPLICATION FORM. (a) The department shall
develop an application form to be used by a woman who applies for
funds under this chapter.
(b) The department may only distribute the application
forms to abortion providers.

And how to make sure the baby butchers give the applications to women instead of just taking their money and their fetuses and rubbing their hands together with glee that they’ve dashed the hopes of yet another set of adoptive parents who are facing the cold reality of a vanished healthy white infant supply?

Notification of the program under this chapter is required as part
of the informed consent requirements under Chapter 171.
(b) An abortion provider shall distribute a copy of the
funds application form to each woman who comes to the provider
seeking an abortion.

But, Sen. Patrick, isn’t selling babies kind of illegal?

(b) Section 25.08, Penal Code, does not apply to the grant
or acceptance of money under this section.

I see.

As others have pointed out, $500 is remarkably cheap for a fully-cooked baby, and doesn’t even come close to covering the cost of extra groceries consumed during pregnancy, let alone prenatal health care. Moreover, if we’re using the legal fiction of being compensated for time and effort rather than the actual baby,** then the actual compensation works out to 7 cents an hour. You read right: seven cents. I believe that we can agree that those are slave wages.

According to Texas lawyer Norbizness over at Prof. B’s, this guy is a joke, and the bill has no hope of passing, even in Texas. But the anti-choicers are nothing if not both creative and persistent in their efforts to water down abortion rights (and provide a steady supply of white babies for adoption, like in the old days).

h/t Lorraine Berry.

* Can’t have any Mexicans dragging themselves across the border for the big bucks! Interestingly, as Egalia notes, the citizenship of the father (or, indeed of the baby itself) isn’t mentioned. She posits that it’s because Dan Patrick Hates American Men and doesn’t their American Babies are worth $500. I suspect it’s because Patrick can’t conceive of a situation in which a woman with a man in her life would abort, let alone give a child up for adoption. Though in most cases, both parents, if the father is known, have to sign away their parental rights.

** Very much a fiction in the case of egg donation, in which your fee ultimately depends on how many eggs you produce. The investment of time, effort, Big Honkin’ Needles and physical discomfort is exactly the same, but whether you get $6000 or $10000 depends on your output. Of course, you won’t get in the door as an anonymous donor unless you’re healthy, well-educated, good-looking and, in most cases, white.

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16 comments for “Provide half the raw materials: get $10,000. Provide the finished product: get $500.

  1. ACS
    March 23, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    While the public policy is questionable — why encourage more children, and why avoid abortion? — it at least gets the right idea, in that abortion is frequently the best option to avoid having a child once you’re pregnant, and that if you believe that discouraging (not banning) abortion is a legitimate public policy goal, it should involve state compensation for the extra time and medical risk.

    — ACS

  2. Regina
    March 23, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    ick. I don’t like it, and ACS, I don’t think it “gets the right idea” at all. State compensation for having a baby is completely different from policy decisions like investing in affordable health and child care. For starters, it begs the question of whether the state should have any say in whether one has a baby in the first place, and I think that is a huge concession to make.

  3. Tiny
    March 23, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    The difference between the pay for eggs and the pay for pregnancy (face it, it’s the pregnanc/punishmenty, not the child they want) is the classic difference in the way we (hmmph) capitalists value capital (eggs) and labor (pregnancy). The workers always get shafted.

  4. preying mantis
    March 23, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    So, it’s not selling babies because the bill says it’s not? Good to know.

  5. vulture
    March 23, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Here’s my question — what happens in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth? The woman will have invested an enormous amount of physical and psychic capital in the fetus, but, through no fault of her own, won’t be able to provide “the finished product.”

    Not that I really wonder what will happen, of course. The woman will be shit out of luck, because these bastards don’t actually give a flying fuck about her or her well-being or her humanity.

    But you knew that already.

  6. zuzu
    March 23, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Here’s my question — what happens in the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth? The woman will have invested an enormous amount of physical and psychic capital in the fetus, but, through no fault of her own, won’t be able to provide “the finished product.”

    The bill provides that the baby must be turned over and parental rights terminated before payment can be made. So, dead baby=no payment.

  7. balsemon
    March 23, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Here’s my comment to his lordship:

    If you’re really serious about paying women to keep a baby to term rather than abort, you might want to consider upping the payment to them from $500 (which is beyond laughable) to something more on the order of $250,000. After all, if a stockbroker is worth 7-8 figures A YEAR, a baby, that commodity more precious than anything on earth, should be worth at least a middling 6 figures. Don’t you think?

    PS – Who’s running against you next term and where do I donate to that person?

  8. March 23, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    There’s no point in debating hypotheticals on this bill. In addition, I’m relatively surprised that both abortion repeal trigger-bills have apparently died in committee (HB 175, SB 186). In fact, none of the bills related to abortion have made it out of committee, but there’s still time.

  9. zuzu
    March 23, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    I always suspect that the Republicans aren’t really serious about actually banning abortion, since it’s such a great way to get the base all stirred up.

  10. March 23, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Well, trigger bills have been passed in apparently less progressive states than Texas. I wasn’t aware such states existed and will do my best to avoid them, although I suspect that in the case of North Dakota that’s like giving up buying Caribbean islands for Lent.

  11. March 23, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Actually, I think it’s .07 cents an hour. EVEN WORSE!!!

  12. Jess
    March 23, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    This is actually really good news for women. Just stop and think about it for a moment.
    It’s truely wonderful news for the upwardly mobile profesional ladies of the world. Why take the time off work and ravage that hard-earned body when you can just go out and buy a baby for next to nothing.

    This could actually help women get hired for high power jobs since the bosses won’t have to worry about us taking time off of work to have families/lives.

    Besides, the basic principals of capitalism beg that we ask why use six figure earners for breading when all those unemployed, unmotivated hussies have nothing worthwhile to do with their lives anyways?
    I’m sure this will be of great benefit to those who have found themselves pregnant and facing very real health risks, huge costs, and lost income. If nothing else it really demonstrates to these women how much they are valued by their govt.

    Not to mention the positive effect that this will have on global overpopulation. If there are more local babies available and less demand for foreign babies maybe all those empowered third world ladies will quit choosing to get raped by their husbands and other men from their communities.

    This kind of absurd thinking by people in power severely erodes my hope for humankind!

  13. exangelena
    March 23, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Zuzu – yeah, for all the hue and cry about pro-life policies, Republicans in the judiciary committees, during the twelve years they controlled Congress 1994-2006, could have, at any time, brought up a pro-life amendment to the constitution.

  14. TomCody
    March 23, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Well, if this is truly for *all* babies and they want them to be put up for adoption, what about the Black/Latino/Asian babies that no one really adopts anyway? What happens to the the welfare for those kids?

  15. March 23, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Sounds like those with permanent-resident status would be out of luck under the propsed bill, too…a minor distinction, but something that always bugs me because I myself was a U.S. permanent resident until age 28 and my parents still are (though even back then I had lived in the U.S. for over 25 years and had been a taxpayer for the latter 10 ). That little fillip proves to me it’s not about the precious life of “the babies,” but rather only about the “real American (read: most likely white) babies.” Sen. Patrick apparently could give a rat’s rectum about the rest.

  16. March 23, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    fully-cooked baby! the image that comes to mind is a large kettle over a campfire, boiling merrily, containing fully-cooked babies ready for adoption.

    that article that jessica linked to, about south carolina trying to force women wanting abortions to view ultrasounds of their fetuses, has a sidebar with a poll “Should women be required to look at an ultrasound of their fetus before getting an abortion?” i think we should all go vote NO. vote early and often.

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