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Right To Live

Right To Live

Today 100,000 marched in Washington in support of abortion rights.
Last week, Dick Cheney outlined the President’s position on the issue: “Bush supports abortion only in cases of rape or incest when a woman’s life is endangered.” He said it was about protecting the weakest members of our society.
But the rationale and the ultimate position seem incompatible.
“Hello there little fetus deserving to be born, we are going to murder you because your father is also your grandfather.”
“Yeah, I know you’re an innocent little fetus, but we’ve got to execute you because your father raped your mother in an alley.”
It’s curious. Either abortion is murder of an innocent little fetus deserving of every protection or it ain’t. There’s no sometimes or exceptions. No, the only way the President’s position makes sense, or the position of many so-called pro-lifers, is if abortions are candy-colored treats to be doled out only to deserving women.
I know women who had abortions because the fertilized egg was lodged in the fallopian tubes and if left to grow, would be certain death for it and the mother. No rape, no incest, sorry no abortion. However, may I show you some lovely caskets in which you can spend the afterlife.
Contrary to the straw woman built up by the anti-abortionists, most women who have had the procedure weren’t hoping for a preganancy just so they could have an abortion.
“woo hoo, the stick is blue, now I get to have another abortion! To Planned Parenthood and step on it!)”
They are like my cousin who got preganant at 14, by her first boyfriend who threatened to dump her for her best friend if she wouldn’t sleep with him. No rape, no incest, sorry. Chin up though, you and your kid can have one of those “my mom is my best friend relationships.”
No, after weighing her options, she had an abortion.
A baby should be a welcome, wonderful experience — not some punishment devised to scare girls into abstinence. (That’s what STDs are for, Duh.)
Look, I am all for adoption and teenage moms (if that’s what they and their families want), but I don’t see how anyone can believe that women should be forced to undertake either of those huge responsibilities. I certainly don’t believe every woman pregnant by rape or incest or with a life threatening pregancy should be forced to have an abortion. That too is a great responsibility.
I don’t know if a fetus feels pain or at which point fertilized cells even become fetuses. (Does the President also oppose the morning after pill? Jury’s still out.) (FYI, the Catholic Church believes that life starts in the sperm. Think about that before casually flipping through the Victoria Secret catalog in your mom’s bathroom…) But I do know that there are lines being drawn here that seek to limit the amount and quality of health care available to women, and that is point blank unconstitional and morally wrong. The only unquestioned life in-being, that feels pain and loss and suffers, is the women in question and she should be allowed to live her life. An abortion is often necessary for the physical, if not mental, well-being of the preganant woman. She should not have to make some worthiness showing in order to get it. (Should only married men receive Viagra or Cialis?)
Women’s health care and now, criminal law are the only realms in which reasonable people endow fertilized cells with these kinds of rights (Actually, given the Bush administration’s stance on stem-cell research, the effects will be felt in all medical and scientific fields.) Airlines don’t charge preganant women for a fetus ticket. You can’t get a fetus-credit on your tax returns. Fetuses don’t have social security numbers. Even the Catholic Church will not baptize a woman’s belly. There is something about that first gulp of air, that first blood-curdling wail that tells us a new life has begun.
You want to protect the weakest members of society? Protect babies? Great, excellent. Let’s start with allowing women to have longer paid maternity leaves. Give states and cities more money for social workers to keep better track of foster children. Fully fund Head Start.
You want to prevent people from killing their babies, let’s work to remove the stigma from psychiatry and encourage anyone who needs it to get free mental health care, so that moms suffering from PPD don’t drown little ones in tubs and fathers struggling to cope with the burdens of child rearing don’t shake little Timmy to death.
Tired of babies dying?
How about paying for dedicated researchers to cure SID, juvenile diabetes, cancer, muscular dystrophy?
Too much? Too hard? Yeah, it’s much easier painting bloody fetuses on placards and screaming about the rights of the unborn.
Well, that’s life.

15 Responses to “Right To Live”

  1. Dinosaur Says:

    Karen Hughes begs to differ, and would portray you as pro-terrorist, thus putting her (Hughes) in the Olympic broad jump competition for that world record leap. See Atrios for the latest outrage.

  2. Karol Says:

    You want to protect the weakest members of society? Protect babies?

    Yes and yes.

    Let’s start with allowing women to have longer paid maternity leaves.

    Uh, I have nothing to do with that. Neither does the government, unless they are government employees.

    Give states and cities more money for social workers to keep better track of foster children.

    How is more money going to help them keep track better?

    Fully fund Head Start.

    I don’t know what ‘fully fund’ means. How is it not fully funded now?

    You want to prevent people from killing their babies, let’s work to remove the stigma from psychiatry and encourage anyone who needs it to get free mental health care, so that moms suffering from PPD don’t drown little ones in tubs and fathers struggling to cope with the burdens of child rearing don’t shake little Timmy to death.

  3. Karol Says:

    How does one ‘work to remove stigma’? And most states (or, well, the two that I’ve lived in so I’m going to assume the rest do too) have free mental health care services.

    How about paying for dedicated researchers to cure SID, juvenile diabetes, cancer, muscular dystrophy?

    Are you seriously contending these researchers aren’t there already? And, again, who are you talking to? Me? The government? Who should be doing the paying?

    I don’t paint bloody fetuses anywhere and I am pro-choice. But the pro-life position is an intelligent one and you don’t do it justice here (it’s easier to argue with the demon you think is there than with a rational, normal person who thinks differently from you). I do agree with one thing though: all the pro-lifers I know are against abortion even in the case of rape or incest. It is inconsistent otherwise. A life is a life.

  4. Dawn Summers Says:

    I have yet to hear teh rational pro-life argument. You haven’t presented here (maybe because you are pro choice, you didn’t want to do it injustice.) I took a stab at it. They think a life begins somewhere prior to the birth. I argue that where you put that point (sperm, insemination, 3 months, 6 months) has different ramafications and outcomes, which should suggest that it’s not a place for legislation.

  5. Gib Says:

    We set legislation all the time that is literally a matter of life and death. (What’s an acceptable level of air pollutants? We could reduce air pollution to the point where nobody gets cancer from airborne carcinogens, but it would cost untold billions. By setting a level higher than zero, we ensured that some people would die.)

    And I’m sorry Dawn, but you didn’t really take a stab at a “reasonable pro-life position” –

    “Contrary to the straw woman built up by the anti-abortionists, most women who have had the procedure weren’t hoping for a preganancy just so they could have an abortion.
    “woo hoo, the stick is blue, now I get to have another abortion! To Planned Parenthood and step on it!)””

    I have never heard anything even remotely close to that uttered by any prolifer anywhere near the mainstream debate. (I’ve never heard it ever, but I’m sure you could search the wacko sites and find it somewhere)

    Straw men are everywhere. Beware them.

  6. cube Says:

    The way I see it all women (and girls) have one choice (exactly one and no more). For some that choice voucher is used when they fail to practice self-control. Others never got that choice to practice self control (rape and incest) so they will get to use their choice voucher as an abortion card if they want.

    “but I don’t see how anyone can believe that women should be forced to undertake either of those huge responsibilities.”

    Central to the issue of abortion is responsibility. I believe to allow people to skip out on their responsibility, is the socially irresponsibly thing to do. Allowing irresponsibility will only encourage more irresponsibility.

  7. Dawn Summers Says:

    Gib,

    Your comparison of regulation in this area to pollution regulation is inapposite. There are no possible scenarios where inhaling pollutants is possibly beneficial to the inhaler — so the government figures out how best to minimize soemthing that is singularly harmful. Not so with abortion, I can think of a half dozen medically necessary reasons for it and an endless stream of scenarios where a woman would want an abortion. There are no medically necessity reasons for inhaling pollutants.

  8. Gib Says:

    “Inhaling pollution” may not be beneficial, but having an operating industrial factory providing jobs and producing goods and services certainly could be. So we craft regulations that balance both interests.

    “There’s no medically necessary reason for inhaling pollutants” is true, but there are other benefits to having the things that produce the pollutants around.

    If you could persuade the other side to stand aside regarding abortions that are genuinely medically necessary, would you be willing to yield on the remainder?

  9. Dawn Summers Says:

    If you mean that the decision will be left up to a patient and her doctor, fine with me. That’s how it should be.

  10. PAUL Says:

    Bush’s position is Raped, Incest AND womens life?
    I thought womens life was enough for Bush?
    I do not want a president so far to one side on an issue that he would go to the extreme of having the mother die.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    cube,
    Your position seems to be that women (and girls) should be punished for having consensual sex by having to carry to term an unwanted pregnancy. I applaud your enlightened amnesty for those who have non-consensual sex.

    But is the anti-abortion position really so trivial? It really has nothing to do with the idea that the fetus is a human life? And that’s why abortion’s OK for rape and incest survivors? Because it’s really just about castigating women who fail to uphold someone else’s puritan idea of how a woman should act? Yeah; I thought so.

  12. Ari Says:

    Damn Dawn, now I think I WANT to have your baby. Love what you wrote. How often do I have to ask Bush to crawl out of mine? Snore … leave me and my vagina alone already, go back to handing out Viagra to 74 year old men.

    Because that’s a good idea. Oy.

  13. Libby Says:

    The issue is not whether you or I or Bush thinks abortion is right or wrong. The cold, hard fact is that even if it is illegal, women will continue to attempt to have abortions or rid themselves of unwanted pregnancy in some other way. Countless women ventured down back alleys of big cities to get horrible procedures performed on them, only to develop and die from raging infections. If you don’t like the idea of abortions- don’t have one nor encourage your significant other to have one. Choice is absolutely necessary however, because if you really are “pro-life” then you must value the life of the woman at the very least! Allowing for these women to get safe, medically sound abortions is a necessity. No more coat hangers!!

  14. Hi there Says:

    Are you there?

    Beautiful

  15. Hi there Says:

    Are you there?

    As always a good post :) .

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