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Trying to take care of my little piece of the planet

#vaginamotorcycles – My Two Cents

Pirsig2

Earlier today on Facebook, I made the following comment in response to this: “When our satire makes the front page on CNN.com,
the NC GOP is losing the messaging war. Badly.”

My comment elicited the following response:

“A fetus at week 20 per WedMD (sic): Development at 20 Weeks. The baby weighs about 10 ounces and is a little more than 6 inches long. Your uterus should be at the level of your belly button. The baby can suck a thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces. Soon — if you haven’t already — you’ll feel your baby move, which is called “quickening.” TO HELL with your CHOICE to rip your baby apart. You people are winning the PR war because you own the media. I will never get you people, you bend over backwards to allow people not to work but will not lift a hand to help the ones are are truly in need of help.”

That was five hours ago. Now that a previously scheduled business meeting and dinner obligations have been met, it’s time for a reply.

It is difficult to respond to individuals for whom the fetus card trumps all others in the game of life. Because, after a career of teaching young men and women whose age ranged from 15-35, I certainly regard them as individuals. Individuals who have made a space for themselves in the world, such that people depend on them, have built lives around them, would be devastated by the loss of them. (Yes, miscarriage is devastating, but that is vastly different than a deliberate termination of an unwanted pregnancy, which is the legal issue here.) For me, those young adults, with names, faces, personalities, accomplishments, and visceral connections with their loved ones based on years of shared experiences are not the same as a “ten inch, six ounce fetus”. They are so much more. A 20 week fetus, which has zero chance of survival, outside of a woman’s womb, has the potential to be a member of society. However, it is not a member, and never has been in the annals of history. Given historical levels of infant mortality, many cultures never even named infants until their first or second birthday. The idea that a fetus is on equal footing with a young woman, who our legislators want to legally mandate to carry such a fetus against her will, would have been mind boggling to our ancestors, as it is to many of us. Yes, the fetus has potential. The chance to be the next Einstein. Or the next serial killer. There is no way to determine if society will benefit or suffer by its survival, (though we can certainly agree that it has a better chance of being a contributing member of society, IF it is raised in a loving home that desires it). So it is crucial to remember that the mother has the right, so far guaranteed by law, to decide if she is prepared to assume the role of mother, and thus take on that responsibility. If she decides otherwise, then it is she alone who should make that choice. Not politicians.

Especially not politicians. Because, like my commenter above, though they call themselves ‘pro-life’, they are better described as ‘pro-birth’. (Agreed, I’m not the first to make that comparison.) But my commenter above states: ‘I will never get you people, you bend over backwards to allow people not to work but will not lift a hand to help the ones are are truly in need of help.’ (referring to the ten ounce fetus)….wow. Frankly, I would have less issue with the ‘pro-life’ crowd if they actually gave more than lip service to actual children in poverty (and their mothers). As Sheria says: ‘The same legislators have enthusiastically denied Medicaid expansion, made cuts to the food stamp program, made a 33% cut to unemployment benefits, cut the maximum number of weeks to receive those benefits from 26 to 20, and rejected, via these actions, extended federal unemployment benefits for 70,000+ North Carolinians. The message appears clear, the state is very interested in a woman and the fetus until after she actually births a baby, then like Prissy, our state legislature suddenly knows nothing about birthing babies!’

I am truly at a loss to see how someone can be so determined to increase the number of babies (wanted or otherwise) that they would sneak legislation designed to close women’s heath clinics into motorcycle safety legislation, yet those same politicians (and their supporters) are simultaneously shredding the safety net on which many of those same children depend. Where is the Christianity in that? My commenter says ‘TO HELL with your CHOICE’….and there you have it. This is not a rational debate. This isn’t even a debate about Christian principles, which as a non-believer I’m largely fine with. This is about a cult of fetus worship, to the detriment of women, denying them their due as sentient beings. Because mistakes happen. Condoms fail, promises fall short, rhythms become erratic, and even ‘good’ ideas look different in the light of day. And NO child deserves to be brought to term in anything less than a home that joyously awaits their birth.

So, send me to your HELL. But in the meanwhile, let me ‘help the ones are are truly in need of help’.

5 Responses to “#vaginamotorcycles – My Two Cents”

  1. I’m glad that my visit to Facebook on Thursday was brief. I only had time to read the article that you posted and your comment, and to leave a comment of my own. I’m grateful that I missed the comment that inspired this blog post. I’ve been trying to be a kinder, gentler me and I fear that I may have tap danced on this disturbed individual’s head, which would have served no purpose except to raise my blood pressure.

    It’s the blind sincerity of these members of the “cult of the fetus” (like that term) that inures them against all reason and makes them incapable of rational analysis when it comes to abortion. Unfortunately, the concern does not extend to the baby born into this world but is reserved for the fetus whom they have mythologized into a symbol that must be protected at all cost.

  2. I hear you on the complaints about many conservatives really only caring about restricting the choices of women. For many, this issue is about control.

    I hear you about how many conservatives won’t lift a finger to help a woman with a young child. For instance, in Canada, every child under 6 is sent $100 a month from the government. These kinds of programs would reduce abortions (and Canada with free abortions has a lower rate than we do) by reducing demand, not supply.

    But I still object to abortion. At what point does the fetus have life? If viability, then 20 weeks is very close, and with medical technology improving, that limit is going to get lower.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_viability#Limit_of_viability

    But that’s not the argument you made. Your case was that a mother had more right to live than an unborn baby. That her financial or emotion state was worth the fetus’s existence. That’s the disagreement for me.

    But a 6 month old isn’t really viable on it’s own either. Not really, it might be able to crawl, but it won’t survive without an adult. It has no memories and experiences (from which you establish a way to evaluate the value of life). So if a mother decides that having a 6 month old is just too hard on her finances, why can’t she just expose it? Why does the law limit that?

    If she did, we’d all agree that she was cold or unbalanced or in some way wrong. What mother kills her young child? There would be national judgement against the woman. But your argument would defend her. Not only say that she shouldn’t be imprisoned or at least treated for mental issues, but that what she had done was justified.

    I might be a member of this cult of the fetus. In my cult, we only ask that fetus’s not be intentionally destroyed. I think that if we are really anti-abortion we first look at policies to reduce abortion by reducing demand. Yes these are free government handouts. I don’t care. If someone is about to murder my friend over $500. I’d just give the guy $500.

    The flip side is another cult. The cult that says it doesn’t matter if you kill a person in the womb, as long as their are no restrictions on your choices. This argument worships choice. This side celebrates abortions because this legalized murder proves that they have volition over all else.

    And that’s why this position is extreme. A life is valuable. Ending one in the name of financial need condemns us as a society. Ending one because you aren’t ready to have a kid is simply selfish. In no other situation do we do that.

    For what reason do you need to wait until 20 weeks to have an abortion? I’m not talking crazy situation abortion. This isn’t about rape or life of the mother or any other reasonable situation to justify the taking of a life. I’m talking about the 99% of the millions that occur every year. Where it’s simply birth restriction.

    So in conclusion, shame to the liberals for embracing death as a solution. And shame on the conservatives for building a culture where helping an unwed young mother is somehow considered a bad thing. And shame on both for trying to use the force of government to solve this issue instead of realizing that everyone involved suffers as real people not just statistics.

  3. Why would a woman wait till after 20 weeks to have an abortion?

    “The way the Catholic Association mentions “late-term” abortions, you might think the only women who had them were lazy and callous, just waiting around until the last second for no good reason.

    But as Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, told me in an email, nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks; abortions later on often involve rare, severe fetal abnormalities and real threats to a woman’s health. In many cases, women are facing the need to terminate a desired pregnancy, not an unwanted one.” ~ Andrew Rosenthal
    http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/10/whats-wrong-with-a-20-week-abortion-ban/

    So yes, everyone involved with a decision or need to abort after 20 weeks is truly suffering as a “real person”and not just statistics. And it’s none of our business.

  4. “Of the roughly 7 million American pregnancies each year, about 1 million end in abortion. However, almost all of the procedures are performed early in pregnancy. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only about 1 percent of abortions are performed after 20 weeks of gestation (a normal pregnancy is 40 weeks), which are those banned by the proposed Texas law.

    Why do some women wait so long? The answer is that comprehensive fetal testing, such as anatomical sonograms and ultrasounds of the heart, are typically performed just before 20 weeks of gestation. Such scans are critical for uncovering major birth defects, such as anencephaly (severe brain malformations), major heart defects, missing organs and limbs, and other severe birth defects. Fetal development is a complex process that often goes awry. Roughly 2 percent of all pregnancies are complicated by a major birth defect, and of those about 0.5 percent have a chromosomal defect, such as an extra or missing segment of normal DNA. Birth defects are a leading cause of infant mortality, and in many cases of severe birth defects, no medical treatment can salvage a fetus’s life or result in any measure of normal future health.” ~ Darshak Sanghavi, pediatric cardiologist working in a tertiary care center specializing in high-risk pregnancies

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/07/texas_abortion_ban_after_20_weeks_prenatal_testing_reveals_birth_defects.html

    Some women may not have been able to obtain an earlier abortion due to a lack of money, difficulty finding a provider, or delays caused by parental consent or slut-shaming waiting requirements. Really, a simple google search of “reasons for abortion after 20 weeks” brings up a whole slew of heartbreaking reasons why women NEED access to safe termination after 20 weeks. I have yet to see one that said she got bored with being pregnant.

  5. This is a well-written argument, that really gives cohesion to all the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head the past few weeks. After attending the House Health and Human Services’ commmittee meeting on Tuesday, I realized that the need for scientific discussion about safety – not emotional projections about “life” – is most important. Thank you for this. As a woman, it’s great to have yet another strong advocate for rights as a North Carolinian.

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