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’.