Recovery Month 2005
Quote of the day

Abortion and the Chain of Life

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.

Comments

Kelly Markham

Hi Dad.

I check out your blog just about every day to see what's on your mind. Usually, I find myself agreeing with you. Today, however, not so much.

I'm pro-choice, primarily because I'm offended by the notion that anyone else should be able to dictate how I manage my fertility. I alone get to decide when and if I become a mother. Not the State. Not the Supreme Court. Not the church. Personally, I'm hoping that I'll never have to exercise my right to an abortion, and just about every woman I know would tell you the same thing. But accidental pregnancies do happen despite our best efforts to prevent them, and coerced motherhood has no place in a democratic society.

I also want to take issue with some of the language you used in your post: "In fact, at a deeper level, women are being exploited because they are being deprived of their biological potential ... " This suggests that any woman who chooses to not carry a child is enduring a form deprivation, that building a fulfilling life and achieving one's biological potential is defined by motherhood. I disagree. An ability to do something is not a mandate to do it, and choosing not to do it is not necessarily a form of deprivation.

You also say ask, "How many women choose abortion because of the period of economic dependence that pregnancy and child rearing may require?" No doubt some women do choose abortion to avoid economic dependence. But among women I know in committed, caring relationships, the decision to abort isn't rooted in a fear of economic dependency. Money isn't the issue. It's a far more nuanced and complex analysis of who they are and what they want their lives to be about. And again, that's something THEY get to decide. We pro-choicers don't tell other women when and how many children they should have. So you're an alcoholic narcissist in an imploding marriage and you want to have kid number four in a misguided attempt to save your doomed relationship? Fine. Knock yourself out. You're a grown woman; you get to decide what's right for you. I only wish the pro-life contingent would exhibit a similar respect for the decisions of their pro-choice sisters. They don't have to like it, but they don't get to interfere. It's called pluralism.

I'm also wondering how many of those abortion protesters in the Chain of Life would display similar zeal in an anti-war protest. Funny thing about the pro-life movement is that although they can't bear the thought of killing a clump of cells, they generally have no qualms about watching thousands of fully formed 20-year-olds die in a ludicrous war. Not that all pro-lifers feel this way, but there's a frightening intersection between the pro-life movement and Bush supporters who believe that killing Iraqis is patriotic. I marvel at the mental gymnastics that must be required to negate the hypocrisy of these competing positions. Pro-life killers. Astonishing.

Keep them posts coming! I absolutely love your blog -- even when I disagree.

Love,

Kelly

butterstar

Do you know how rare it is to find someone who seems to be quite the liberal but yet is no-doubt-about-it pro-life?

My long-lost twin! I've found you!

As far as I'm concerned, people who have abortions are extremely selfish. They allow themselves to think that unborn babies are not babies because that allows them to kill them without guilt. Because a baby would be a messy complication they don't want to deal with, whether it be money, single-parent difficulties, or simply screwing up their perfectly planned-out lives. And I'm not even going to get into the travesty of a woman killing her child without letting the father have a say. Hell, are nine months really that long? Can't you just give it up for adoption in the end? Plenty of people want to adopt newborns. Unless it's life-threatening, why should a woman be allowed to just erase a life as if it were a data-entry mistake or something? Why can't people be held accountable for their bad choices? She had a choice before conception. Why should her child pay for her mistakes? Too many people use abortion as a form of birth control. And that is unacceptable.

I know of plenty of women who seriously regretted aborting their babies. To the point of mental breakdown. The guilt got to them, anyway, despite their best efforts to convince themselves it wasn't really a child.

I can't change the minds of the ones who truly believe that, so as much as I'd like to see abortion be illegal, I know it's not the right time for it. What I would like to see is for people to start believing a human life is worth something, whether it be inside or outside someone's body. And that goes for the ghastly war in Iraq, too.

I am digging your blog, dude.

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