Republican’s Idea to Fix Economy: Outlaw Abortion

Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN) is running for Governor of the state this year.

He spoke at a Tea Party convention in Gatlinburg recently and explained why his hometown city of Chattanooga has a booming economy:

“Let me tell you one of the reasons why Chattanooga is a very blessed city today, why we have so much new economic development and why we’re really an anointed city… There are no abortion clinics in Chattanooga. We made a decision. We made a decision a long time ago that we were going to work as a community to not allow abortion clinics in our city, and I got to tell you we’re trying to be after God’s own heart. I mean it’s hard to say that. Lincoln said, we don’t claim to have God on our side but we strive to be on his. And that’s the deal here. People who seek righteousness and the right thing are blessed and anointed. Our city is blessed. Our state will be blessed as we remove this scourge and plague of killing innocent children in the womb.”

Right. That’s all it takes.

If only we stopped abortions, everyone would have jobs, and the stock prices would go up, and the oil spill would be cleaned, and the angels would sing.

But you can’t just bar abortion clinics. That would be illegal. So how are there no clinics in Chattanooga?

We phoned [Planned Parenthood's Jeff] Teague and read Wamp’s remarks to him. Indeed, Teague says, there are no abortion clinics in Chattanooga. We asked how Chattanooga legally could bar them from the city. “Oh, they can’t,” Teague says. When Wamp says the city decided not to allow clinics, he probably means Chattanooga’s abortion opponents vowed to intimidate any physician who tried to open one.

“He’s probably talking about the usual intimidation and terrorist tactics” employed by abortion foes all over the country, Teague says.

Fear and threats against doctors providing abortion services. That’s what Wamp thinks more cities need if they want to improve.

Hmm… Washington D.C. has plenty of abortion providers and BusinessWeek named it one of “The Best Cities for Riding Out a Recession.” In fact, a number of cities on the list have several abortion clinics.

What say you, Wamp?

(Thanks to Stephen for the link)

  • Chip Jordan

    *sigh*

    Sincerely,

    An embarrassed atheist in Tennessee

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    I’m nominally pro-life (AND an atheist, yes we exist!), but this makes no sense. I’m not seeing any logical causal argument here.

  • http://southnashvillelife.com Jen

    Me too, Chip!

    Although, I do have to say, I have serious doubts that Wamp will be elected Governor.

  • Jen

    The sad thing is, the worse the economy, the more women need access to family planning services. By forbidding (or “forbidding” as the case may be) abortion clinics, you are creating undo hardships for women already in terrible positions. I wonder if the economic prosperity in Chattanooga means that all these low income women are swimming in money (and birth control pills) or if the prosperity is not evenly distributed.

  • Kevin Wolf

    All 3 of the major republican candidates for governor here in TN are vehement anti abortion bible thumpers :(

  • JD

    Much of the Pro-Life lobby (for that matter, probably most people in general) really doesn’t seem to be interested in acknowledging or dealing with many of the underlying problems. Hiding the symptoms with a ban is only going to cause other problems.

  • Epistaxis

    Actually, that’s interesting, because some sociologists have argued that legalized abortion is responsible for the decreasing crime rate in the United States.

  • Samiimas

    “He’s probably talking about the usual intimidation and terrorist tactics” employed by abortion foes all over the country, Teague says.

    They don’t think women have any right to their bodies and should be jailed or executed if they object to a rapist using them as a baby factory, is it a surprise the pro-’lifers’ also don’t give a shit about doctor’s rights?

  • Jeannette

    I doubt Wamp wins the primary against Bill Haslam, who has actually done some positive things for Knoxville, despite being a Republican. He seems to be a little more open minded than most. Not sure where he stands on abortion, but I would hate for point of view on that topic to win or lose the race.

  • Iason Ouabache

    It’s magical thinking. :D

  • http://www.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    So if nobody has abortions and instead has kids, that just means there will be that many more people looking for jobs. How does that help anything when we already have double-digit unemployment? (Don’t even get me started on the issues of finding $$$ to bear and raise those kids, which is one of the main reasons women have abortions in the first place.)

  • gski

    I wish we knew how many of the god fearing women folk of Chattanooga travel outside the city for an abortion.

  • Jonas

    “I wish we knew how many of the god fearing women folk of Chattanooga travel outside the city for an abortion.”

    That’s it : The travel industry is booming. As to Washington DC riding out the recession, maybe we need corrupt lawmakers as well. (Larry Craig types)

  • http://findingmyfeminism.blogspot.com/ Not Guilty

    Well Canada is a far better place to live: low crime rates, healthy population, etc. and we have no restrictions on abortions. Funny, seems like MORE abortions would be better for that town. Stupid misogynists, religious and atheist alike!

  • littlejohn

    Didn’t this just put some abortionists out of work?

  • http://jackhudson.wordpress.com JHudson

    I would think any place that doesn’t kill it’s own citizens (current or future) is blessed by definition.

  • Wendy

    … I thought the Tea Party was about LESS government involvement in our lives… I guess not when it comes to forcing their religious doctrine on others.

  • Neon Genesis

    As an atheist in Chattanooga, I’m especially embarrassed by this. I’m surprised Zac Wamp is running again after getting involved in the C Street scandal.

  • Dan W

    Wait… lack of abortion clinics equals a better economy? What? Epic logic fail.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Beth

    Brilliant plan! Jeopardize women’s health care and family planning services–clearly that will fix the economy.

    Seriously, why are these always the first rights to be trampled upon?

  • http://how-to-blogg.blogspot.com/ Hubert

    A well known theorem in neo-classical economics is that prices aren’t determined by an equilibrium of supply and demand but the number of locally preformed abortions.

  • jcm

    Legalize gay marriage instead!

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    Actually, that’s interesting, because some sociologists have argued that legalized abortion is responsible for the decreasing crime rate in the United States.

    Dubious claim though it makes some sense. Te real reason is higher incarceration rates:

    http://onestdv.blogspot.com/2010/03/crime-rates-and-increase-in-prison.html

  • Michael

    I vote for having this guy’s balls ripped off!

  • muggle

    What a totally illogical assumption to make! Wondering, do they also drive gays out of the city? Geeze, wonderful place to live. I feel for those of you who do.

    So is Planned Parenthood confirming that there are no abortion clinics? If so, whatever tactics employed — legal or illegal — he’s sadly correct in stating that they managed to not allow any in the city limits.

    I know one place I definitely won’t be retiring to. (Though I admit, I’ll avoid the Bible Belt altogether anyway.)

  • Siobhan in Vermont

    Just a note here. I’m willing to bet there’s at least one doctor who quietly provides abortions there. Just everyone is afraid to mention it (for good reason, it appears).

    The failure of logic here isn’t that not allowing abortion clinics has somehow blessed the economy. It’s the assumption that their actions to prevent such clinics has actually worked and kept there from being any abortions in Chattanooga.

    If I had any spare money (damn economy up here in the liberal North East) I’d be willing to put down a lot on the claim that there actually are abortions happening in Chattanooga.

    Last thing *I* would be doing is TELLING anyone there if I had one, simply because I’d fear for my safety and that of my doctor.

  • blueridgelady

    “Go after God’s own heart” by “not killing babies”? Has this genius actually READ any of the Old Testament? Like that verse where they actually talk about cutting women open and their fetuses falling out? Maybe that’s acceptable because they weren’t worshiping the “right” invisible dude? (Funny enough, all Biblical mention of life begins at first breath and punishment for a man hitting a woman and making her miscarry-but not killing the woman-was to pay a fine to her owne- uh, husband.)

    And if “God” is pro life, then why does 1 of 3-4 technical pregnancies end in miscarriage, sometimes w/o the woman even knowing she’s pregnant? Pretty crappy track record for someone so concerned with teh babiez.

  • Neon Genesis

    I did a Google search for abortion clinics in Chattanooga and lo and behold, I find one: http://www.aaawomen.org/ Not only does Zac Wamp not know what he’s talking about, he’s also lying as anyone who did a five second Google search can find out.

  • Aj

    OneSTDV,

    Dubious claim though it makes some sense. Te real reason is higher incarceration rates:

    a) Correlation does not imply causation.
    b) Fallacy of the single cause.

    There’s not even a correlation between crime and incarceration rates internationally. So if it is the real reason, it’s not a simple relationship.

  • Andrew Morgan

    More interesting than the question of whether or not abortion decreases crime is whether or not abortion decreases the number of Democratic voters, a theory which James Taranto of the WSJ dubbed “The Roe Effect”:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122695016603334449.html?mod=djemBestOfTheWeb_h

    It is a statement of fact, not a moral judgment, to observe that every pregnancy aborted today results in one fewer eligible voter 18 years from now. More than 40 million legal abortions have occurred in the United States since 1973, and these are not randomly distributed across the population. Black women, for example, have a higher abortion ratio (percentage of pregnancies aborted) than Hispanic women, whose abortion ratio in turn is higher than that of non-Hispanic whites. Since blacks vote Democratic in far greater proportions than Hispanics, and whites are more Republican than Hispanics or blacks, ethnic disparities in abortion ratios would be sufficient to give the GOP a significant boost–surely enough to account for George W. Bush’s razor-thin Florida victory in 2000.

    Anyway, this guy is pretty dumb (read: religious) if he thinks not having abortion clinics is responsible for prosperity. I do wish we had a viable, non-stupid conservative party in this country.

  • Robert

    blueridgelady,

    What verses are you referring to? The Bible actually mentions that God knew us in the womb before we were born. Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-16

    You are free to have your opinions to be pro choice, but I don’t think you will find support for it in the Bible

  • Nerdette

    @ Andrew

    the question of whether or not abortion decreases crime is whether or not abortion decreases the number of Democratic voters

    There is no way that is a simple correlation. Black women have more abortions because an disproportional number of black families in low-income situations. I would like to see that redone holding income constant, and see if you get the same result. Not to mention, what percentage of low-income families vote? There are too many questions and not enough analysis to call that a concrete effect.

  • Michela

    @ Neon Genesis

    I did a Google search for abortion clinics in Chattanooga and lo and behold, I find one: http://www.aaawomen.org/ Not only does Zac Wamp not know what he’s talking about, he’s also lying as anyone who did a five second Google search can find out.

    Do the Google search again. The text under the link says that it’s a “Non-medical, non-profit, Christian organization.”

    You might have been fooled by the name (I was once fooled by a crisis pregnancy center’s name, too), but at least you weren’t pregnant and scared when you found them.

  • Andrew Morgan

    @Nerdette

    I never said I knew the answer, only that it was interesting to think about. :)

  • blueridgelady

    Robert- Good thing I don’t base my morals on the Bible, because brutality and mass death and suffering seem to be cool with God. Anyhow, the Bible is brimming with contradictory statements so I am sure you can find something saying the polar opposite. That’s why quoting Bible verses seems useless to me, but if you are interested…

    If the Bible considered a fetus to be equal to a born live person, the punishment for causing a miscarriage by force to a woman should equal death, not money payment, as death is required if the woman were to be killed. (See following link, and Exodus 21:22-23

    Cutting women open and killing infants by “dashing them to pieces”- Hosea 13:16

    Life being considered after the first breath- Genesis 2:7

    A bunch of verses about fetus right (lack thereof)
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/abortion.html

    Like I said, I don’t take stock in that but there you go.

  • Robert

    Blueridgelady,

    Without understanding the nature and purpose of the complete Bible it is easy to take certain passages out of context. However, the passages you cite do not support the conclusion that the Bible or God stand for the notion that life begins at birth and that it is okay to abort babies by choice.

    In fact the moral code of the Bible is beautiful, based upon grace and loving. I aspire to live by it and suggest it to all I meet. The fact that some religions or denominations have warped this message is truly sad and a disgrace to the tenets of Christianity. God Bless you.

  • blueridgelady

    Robert, I’m always kind of disgusted when men like to wax poetic about the sanctity of life when they aren’t the ones who have to carry pregnancies. It’s not really something I feel your opinion should be relevant to unless you are the person who is the potential father, and even then it’s still not your body. I’m not really interested in an abortion debate with you, a man, online. It isn’t really set up to be a productive discussion, especially noting your language use.
    I disagree that the moral code of the Bible is beautiful. You can love it all you wish but I’m not interested in a god who would ask someone to murder their own (actual, born) child to test their faith, then allow the poor sap a scapegoat as god supposedly did to Abraham.
    Maybe you truly mean your “god bless you” in love, but in my experience, it’s been a smug response to those who aren’t believers. I apologize if this is not the case (consider me jaded).

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    you know ive always thought what summed up pro-life people at least over there in the US was somthing that reached the news here in the UK (i forget exactly which story) although it did prove that some people are teh living inbodyment of irony, in this case it was some protesters chucking eggs at an abotion clinic, yet the irony was indeed lost on them ^_^

  • http://codemonkeybryan.com Bryan Elliott

    Zach, I hate to break it to you, but the reason your region is generally prosperous is that it lay in the shadow of the Sequoyah 1 and 2 nuclear power plants.

    Utility cost has been shown to be a major indicator of homelessness in an area, and in the ability for a region to roll with economic punches. Nuclear power plants reduce the overall cost of energy in an area. The reduction in overhead is marginal, but it’s to everyone – businesses, individuals, government. Additionally, most states tax nuclear power more than other sources – and why not? The stuff is damned near free, and far more abundant than we can actually use (which is actually a bit of an aid to local recovery, but at cost to those around you – if your state’s nuke plant sells power to another state, your state reaps the taxes from that transaction).

    It’s the same reason that Philadelphia has been among the large cities at the head of the recovery: cheap energy from the Limerick nuclear power plant.

    Now we just need to push for they types of reprocessing that don’t separate out plutonium to be legal again, so we can properly recycle our spent fuel (as was planned before Carter got all freaked out).

  • Robert

    Blueridgelady,

    I fully understand that biology dictates that the ladies carry the baby through the pregnancy, but I don’t think that it follows to say that as a result a man can’t understand or have an opinion about the sanctity of life, both born and unborn. I just have the opinion that the body growing inside of you for nine months has the right to be protected because it is just as precious as your life, not less.

    Ad for the story of Abraham, it was a prophecy of the eventual sacrifice of Jesus as the son of God. It was a clear example of God’s plan for salvation. As such I do believe that it is a beautiful and remarkable story.

    And yes , my blessing to you was sincere. I am sorry you are jaded and i am sure there are some unfortunate events that led you to feel that way.


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