ABORTION WARS …

It’s the blood that bothers me the most.

The fact that the mother’s blood doesn’t mingle with the child’s blood…yeah…that bothers me.

Also, whenever a woman says, “I’m eating for two, now,” I’ve always asked myself, “So, that IS a whole other person in there?”

Anyway …

We’ve all got our opinions on abortion. It’s one of the 3 or 4 primary issues with which our country grapples. And it has been since I was a child.

A lot of it sort of sprang out of the sexual revolution. Women got tired of being told what to do. They wanted the power and control over their own bodies. I totally get that. I want power and control over my own body too. I guess the only thing I would say to women, from someone with “white, male privilege” is that no matter how much power and control you think you have over your own body, it doesn’t exempt you from consequences.

With all my power and control over my own body, I can still get Herpes as easily as you can.

I know of guys who got girls pregnant and then got hit for child support after the fact, even though they didn’t want the child. If a man doesn’t want a child, he’s called a “deadbeat dad.” If a woman doesn’t want a child, she’s merely exercising her rights. But I digress …

The abortion debate is essentially a battle over who gets to live and who doesn’t. It’s no more complicated than that. And a lot of women firmly believe that until the child inside them takes its first breath of fresh, earth air, they are the sole arbiters of the child’s existence. I don’t argue this point. I never have. But if I were going to argue it, there’s a lot of science on that side of the argument.

It was once believed that people of color were inferior forms of the human race, therefore it was perfectly acceptable to use them for slave labor. This notion is so horrible and ghastly it’s hard to even process. Even if there were a lower form of human being (which there isn’t – the science is crystal clear), the idea that it somehow it gives the higher forms license to use them as slaves is still, in and of itself, nauseating. But we as a nation accepted it for centuries, then fought a whole war over it. And even as I type this, there are more slaves on earth today then there were in 1860. And yet the practice of slavery doesn’t ever, EVER make it right.

Now that we know more about the actual science of human fetuses, a lot of people compare the practice and acceptance of abortion to that of slavery; it is one person deciding life and death over another person. I suppose that is technically “murder.” But again, I digress.

I have questions for those who refuse to accept a human fetus as human life: why do we do “prenatal” care if we’re not protecting a life? Why do we discourage women from smoking or drinking or even eating tuna while they’re pregnant, if it’s not to protect a completely different, autonomous entity? That has always nagged at me. I watched a whole segment once, on Good Morning America, about prenatal care and all the things you should do to “protect” your unborn child. Then, literally as they were going to commercial break, the anchor said, “Next, the debate over abortion heats up!”

And I couldn’t help but think to myself, “so, you do all this stuff to keep your unborn baby safe …unless you decide to kill it at the last minute?”

It was hard to reconcile.

Then again, I understand the other argument. Hear me out …

My daughter has one of the rarest genetic disorders on planet earth. She cannot speak or care for herself in any way. There is an 80% molestation rate among people with disabilities. It’s completely insidious because predators know these are the weakest among us. And they act on it. And it sickens me. Still, God forbid my daughter were to get raped and pregnant, we know that she would not be able to carry a child to term. It would kill her or the baby. We know this. It has happened. And even if she were to somehow carry it to term, it would have to be adopted immediately. She would not be able to care for it. Furthermore, there is a 50% chance the baby would be born with Angelman Syndrome, making it much more difficult to adopt out.

These things keep me awake at night. And if I’m being honest, I would like to know there would be options for her, in an unthinkable situation like that. I’ve had this conversation with friends and even family members who have assured me that God would never let something happen that he didn’t have a plan for. Then, they got up and left my house and went back to their life, while I was there, still taking care of a person NO ONE ever comes to take to the mall or to the park or to a birthday party. Yeah …God takes care of it. I get it.

The harsh truth is you’re not really “pro-life” unless you have adopted children. Let me repeat that: you are not really pro-life unless you have adopted children. You may be philosophically opposed to abortion. But that is very different than being an active participant in protecting and providing for existing human life. It’s hard to listen to and face, but as long as there are orphans in the world, there aren’t enough people who actively embrace the idea of caring for all life.

Here are some other thing to think about and ask yourself:

If black women hadn’t aborted 70% of their children over the last 40 years, the black population of the United States would almost be the majority. Are you cool with that?

If abortions are made illegal in all 50 states, there will be millions more children (many of which will be children with special needs) who will need to be adopted. How many children are you prepared to adopt? How many families with multiple children with disabilities are you prepared to support?

If ALL life is precious, regardless of how it is made, how many single mothers who sleep around and get pregnant by multiple fathers, are you prepared to help support? After all, it isn’t the child’s fault how they got here.

Some liberal states are taking abortion to a grisly end; allowing for abortions right up until the due date, and even having the conversation about life being snuffed out even after the child has been born. That turns my stomach. And I’m sorry folks, but once a child is out of the womb, can you at least stop calling it “abortion?” It’s murder. Be honest

The good, white Christians on the other end of the spectrum, in the orthodox south (namely the Alabama legislature), are passing such intractable laws, even Pat Robertson is calling them “extreme.” And they are designed to rattle the Supreme Court and re-litigate Roe V. Wade.

Roe V. Wade is a flawed court decision. A lot of scholars agree on this. Still, in all this posturing and gamesmanship and in the desire to “win,” both sides often forget what the whole thing is about in the first place: a baby. And then it’s about what happens to that baby once it’s here. It’s also about what kind of society that baby will grow up in.

I’ve asked a lot of questions and provided almost no answers. Maybe that’s because the actual answers are not easy ones and they’re not ones we really want to hear. And unless we were prepared to face those answers honestly, this conversation will continue to be pointless.

R

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8 thoughts on “ABORTION WARS …

  1. I’ve never been comfortable the label “pro-life.”
    I’d like to think everyone is pro-life.
    I think a more apt term is “anti-choice.”

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  2. In Canada all the rules and regulations regarding abortion were struck down the Supreme Court. It is now regarded as medical procedure that is no one’s business, especially the government. It was a “worst case” scenario for the pro-life crowd. And what happened? First of all the number of abortions, as in the both the actual numbers and the percentage numbers, dropped dramatically. There is no political/financial incentive to get women to abort and so many ended up not being encouraged to ‘exercise their choice’ by a third party. Left to make their own choice, they will be more likely to chose to keep their baby instead. The other thing that happened is the rate of unplanned pregnancies dropped because by removing legal barriers, access to contraception dramatically improved. Furthermore, the stage at which an abortion is done also dropped dramatically so that the majority of them are now done in the very earliest days of pregnancy before there is a brain and often before there is a heart beat. By removing the politics and government, women are better able to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and end it sooner if they do “choose”. The final thing that happened is that late term abortions are basically unheard of except for those rare and special cases where the fetus has a severe anomaly or the mother’s life is truly in danger. The main reason this has happened, in my opinion, is that by removing laws and threats, doctors now make their decisions purely on a medical basis and according to their personal ethics and no doctor feels s/he MUST provide a late term abortion as a right. They just refuse do it. Most doctors will provide contraception and very early pregnancy termination but would never kill a viable fetus except to save the mother or if the fetus has severe anomalies.

    I do think it is far better for a woman to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and if she must end it, better she do it as early as possible before there is a beating heart or a little brain that registers pain. I also think there is something horribly wrong about a doctor with a patient dying from those rare medical cases where an abortion must be done to save the mother, but s/he hesitates to do the right thing for fear of legal consequences. I recall the story of one doctor who was in such a situation and the hospital lawyers told she had to let the mother die. She actually called the pro-life governor of the state and explained what was going on. No chance to saving the still alive fetus hanging by a tiny bit of placenta, plenty of chance of mother bleeding to death and dying before her baby. The governor was horrified at this unforeseen consequence of the law and he told the doctor to go ahead and do the right thing and save the mother. The problem with the abortion debate is that it is treated like a black and white issue when in fact there are multiple shades of grey. I am against abortion in principal but because I know all about those shades of grey, having rocked in the field of Human Genetics, I don’t feel it is my place to try to interfere with a woman faced with such a choice and to tell her or her doctor what to do.

    My conclusion is that we need to get government and politicians the hell out of the question. If we remove the government incentives for groups like Planned Parenthood (which in my humble opinion acts in an unethical manner encouraging and profiting from abortions) and we get government out of the doctor’s offices and delivery rooms in the USA, the same thing that happened in Canada will happen in the USA. Far fewer abortions, those that do happen will happen earlier, and late term abortions will be virtually unheard of except for the rarest of exceptions because doctors will be free to refuse to do them. That being said it is unlikely to happen because doing so would require acknowledging that abortion is not a black and white issue. It requires acknowledging it has many shades of grey. And neither the Pro-life side nor the Pro-choice side is ever going to accept that.

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    • First of all, I wouldn’t call the number of abortions in Canada “dramatically” reduced – the highest number performed, in 1997, was 111,526; in the latest year for which fully reported figures are available (12 years later, 2009), 93,755 were performed.
      As for the abortions occurring “dramatically” earlier? From 2000 to 2009, 491 live-birth abortions were performed. Guidelines were then issued to physicians performing abortions after 21 weeks, advising them to inject the fetus with digoxin or potassium chloride “to avoid having to deal with a live aborted fetus”. Not quite the wonderful solution you were referring to.

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      • I would be very curious to know a few details of your comment. 1) Who provided those figures? 2) At what stage of pregnancy were the abortions performed before and after the law was struck down? You say they are not being done earlier and I would like to know how you defined that. 3) What exactly is a “live birth” abortion? It is not a term I ever heard in my years in the field so I cannot evaluate your comment that 491 happened in Canada in those nine years. 21-26 week gestation is typically when fetal anomalies are discovered by screening in wanted pregnancies and even a normal fetus is not viable outside the mother. When I was a part of the medical system the number of abortions being done as late as 20 weeks was well under 2% of all abortions and the majority of those involved a fetus with anomalies. Abortions of any kind were simply never done beyond 25 weeks for any reason and any woman who wanted one had to go to the USA to get it. So I am at a loss to understand what a “live birth abortion” is. For the record I am not a physician and I did not do any abortions myself.

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