It’s been quite a week. On Sunday there was a "Chain of Life" stretching down Route 19 in Anytown and for a ways west on Rt. 31 up by the plaza. Scores of people stood about 10 feet apart, holding white signs with blue lettering that said, "Abortion kills children."
I was thinking, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." People kill children through the procedure that is called abortion. Anyway, I was feeling a little bit guilty because I am pro-life, and I thought that I should be standing with them struggling to define the cultural norm by taking a stand against this deviant practice, which is driving our society and culture right to hell. When babies are expendable, we are all vulnerable.
We have children killing children in the ghettos of America and who cares? They should have been abortions anyway, right? Those ghetto kids are unproductive, unsocialized psychopaths raised by single teenage mothers in poverty. When one dies, that's one more off the welfare roles and out of the criminal justice system. If kids were killing each other this way in middle class suburbs, don't you think something different would be done? But life is cheap nowadays. We can't be burdened and inconvenienced.
I asked some of the folks in our area what they thought of this public demonstration
"My gawd," said Jennifer Goldigger. "Who do these people think they are? They have no business imposing their religion on other people.Women ought to have say over what happens to their bodies. They should be able to get an abortion if they want one. I'm pro-choice all the way. If they're against abortion, then don't have one, but leave me alone."
"What's this country coming to?" asked Elmer Sandbagger. " It's a sad day when babies aren't safe in their own mother's womb. A woman's place is in the home taking care of the kids. Like Dr. James Dobson says, the major source of problems in this country today is the breakdown of the family.
"Where would we be if Mary had had an abortion?" said Roy Christian. "Y'know she wasn't married to Joseph when she turned up pregnant. Immaculate conception aside, essentially she was just another cheap hussy. Kinda fit the profile of a welfare mother. She had no husband -- couldn't even give a definitive answer on who the father was. Jesus was an illegitimate child until Joseph finally married her and made a respectable woman out of her."
"The symbolism is nice," said Ted Marketer, "but it's completely ineffective. Chain of Life demonstrations, candlelight vigils, prayer services -- they just don't work. If pro-lifers really want to advance their agenda, I've got three words for them: money, media and lobbyists. I'm sympathetic to the cause, and I'd offer my own consulting services gratis, but let's face it, most people associate pro-lifers with fundamentalist Christian doctor murderers. I can't afford to be connected with them. It'll kill my business, if you'll pardon the pun. It's an image thing. You understand."
Abortion is one of those emotional issues that will be debated for decades to come. At a natural level though, it's crystal clear that children in our society are an economic liability and not an economic asset. The world is becoming overpopulated, and the survival of the species no longer depends on maximizing procreation, but on balancing our planetary resources and the needs of the population. We don't need "good breeders" anymore. On the contrary, infertile and gay couples don't contribute to the crowding that is now reaching crisis proportions in some areas. In agricultural societies of the past, abortion was not even an issue. Children provided cheap labor and were a sign of wealth. Moreover, polygamy was sometimes encouraged, and the more children produced the better. My, how times have changed
So it seems that abortion comes down to money and economics. We try as individuals and organizations to minimize the overhead. From this point of view, abortion makes perfect economic sense for the individual and for society. Therefore, we tolerate it, if not encourage it.
Some women think that abortion is a feminist issue, arguing that it frees them from the burdens of fertility and gives them freedom. In fact, at a deeper level, women are being exploited because they are being deprived of their biological potential so that the patriarchal economic structures can continue undiminished. How many men encourage their girlfriends to have abortions because it's easier on them? And how many women choose abortion because of the period of economic dependence that pregnancy and child rearing may require?
And so the Chain of Life stretched along our highways trying to make a point. I think that point was probably lost on most people. This public stand by some courageous souls is laudatory, and yet probably ineffective in the long run. I still feel guilty, though, for not being there. Abortion is wrong. It does kill children. And we have an obligation to say so. It diminishes us all because we value money, convenience, and "freedom" more than we do life. And that is frightening.
I too am pro-choice. I say choose life and not death, life and not money, life and not a promotion, life and not saving face, life and not convenience. We would all be better off if we made the hard choice, and not take the easy way out.
And that's how it's been this week in Anytown, where Jennifer wants to be left alone to do her own thing, Roy is glad that there are bastard saviors in the world, Ted thinks speaking out is too risky, and the Chain of Life folks are trying to make this a better world.