Tuesday, July 5

I help or do politics for the unborn

To embrace life and not abortion. The president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, says that her help of 500 euros a month for two years for women who have a child “is better” than abortion, “the easy resource that the left always puts up every time something is left over “, so that those women” who are thinking of taking a step forward, or not, have the opportunity to embrace life. ” The fine print is important: it will only be for people under 30 years of age who have been registered in the community for at least ten years and with an income threshold of 30,000 euros, requirements that will exclude thousands of women from this aid.

Betting on the direct check for such a suspiciously delimited target audience instead of a more ambitious plan does not seem like a coincidence. Isabel Díaz Ayuso, then candidate of the PP to the Community of Madrid, said in April 2019 that she wanted “the conceived unborn” to count as a member of the family unit when requesting a place in schools or accessing the family card numerous. When criticism comes to measures like these, then the right – in this case Ayuso – accuses their ideological opponents of going against life or against the family, or of taking the easy route (abortion, according to them).

500 euros a month for two years does not change the certainty that if you go to a job interview with a big belly, your chances of getting it are exponentially reduced. It will not eliminate the questions’ do you have children? How old are they? or ‘do you want to have them?’ from those same interviews. It won’t make men suddenly turn their life projects around and decide it’s time to care, even if it means giving up money or promotions or saying ‘I can’t’ to meetings.

You will not create a network of free, quality nursery schools from scratch. Nor will it make collective agreements leave behind salary supplements that reward mobility, time arrangements or any other characteristic at odds with privacy and care. 500 euros per month will not serve to stop being frowned upon to leave your job once the day is over. They will not create subsidies for dependent children that are maintained over time, nor paid leave due to descendant illness, nor schedules compatible with life nor work days of 35 hours.

Taking refuge in life is what we who already live here want. To a life that is more than just producing and running around while we feel like an asshole listening to the word ‘conciliation’. The opportunity cost of having a child is very high for women today and cannot be solved with a check for a few thousand euros. The aid is welcome, but always better if it has a meaning within a broader and transformative framework and does not remain in mere claims, blows of effect, policies for the unborn while those already born continue to endure an inequality that is not tackled and that prevents them from deciding about their lives, including their possible motherhood. 500 euros if you have been in your mother’s womb for five months, McDonald’s if you have a dining grant and you have to take the food home.

Ayuso says that he does not know any woman who has regretted having children. From here I recommend Orna Donath’s book ‘Repentant Mothers’, in which the author talks to quite a few. It is not that they do not love their children, it is that the cost that motherhood has entailed, in many different senses and intensities, has made them question whether their decision to be a mother was the right one. Maternity should not be an individual act but a collective one. It shouldn’t be about sacrifices or at odds with equal opportunities or ambition. The birth rate should not go from a check to the bearer, but from a social investment in a much broader sense. And then, let each woman decide.