There has been a bit of a back and forth between Newsweek writer George F. Will and Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer recently.
It began when George stated that, “It is theoretically impossible to fashion an abortion position more extreme than Boxer’s, which is slightly modified infanticide.” (Click here for full article) He contends that her support of “partial birth abortions” also known as “late-term abortions” in cases where it would save the life or health of the mother is really just white washed support of infanticide.
Barbara wrote a polite letter in to Newsweek objecting to this projection, and stating that her words had been taken out of context.
Now, George is back, and this time he is waging a full on frontal assault, complete with a YouTube clip of Barbara’s words, in context and the proclamation that, “Her dilemma derives from the Supreme Court’s squeamishness in Roe V. Wade about a stark fact: Abortion Kills.”
But does it? And isn’t this really at the heart of the whole abortion debate? George states that every high school biology student knows when life begins. Which is funny, because I firmly believe it happens after birth. Before that, I agree with the Supreme Court of 1973, that it is only potential life. Between conception and delivery a thousand things could happen, miscarriages, strangulation by the umbilical cord, drug overdose (yes, there are still crack, meth and heroin mommies out there), random fetal death, abusive boyfriends/husbands, premature birth resulting in an infant that is not viable, etc.
I don’t tell my kids we are having chicken for breakfast when I realize I’ve cracked a fertilized egg into the omelette. It’s still just an egg. Sure, it could have been a chicken, but, it isn’t.
When we go fishing and I catch a pregnant trout, I don’t go home boasting that I caught 100 fish. Those other 99 were just potential fish.
When I think about abortions and pregnancy and choice and the “pro-life” team, I always come back to the idea that a fetus is really a lot like cancer. It’s a cluster of rapidly dividing parasitic cells that feed off the woman’s body depleting her of vital nutrients and putting her life at risk. Luckily, for most people it is not a terminal cancer – instead it ends in the cancer expelling itself in the form of a viable human being.
So what about these controversial “partial birth abortions” that the “pro-lifers” are so up in arms about?
First, there are only about 5 doctors left in the country who will even perform these abortions (One of them having recently been assassinated by a “pro-lifer”, please excuse me while I choke on the irony…) Second, about the only time these abortions take place is when the mother’s life or health is in serious jeopardy. This type of abortion is not something that is taken lightly by anyone. Are they killing infants? NO! They are saving women.
In fact, despite the “pro-life” rantings to the contrary, I don’t know anyone who takes the idea of abortion lightly at all. It’s not something people use as birth control. It’s a very emotional and difficult decision. But is it murder? No, it’s not. And that was the whole point of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and the supposed “squeamishness” of their argument. They didn’t call it death, or killing, or murder, because it isn’t.
And that, fundamentally, is why women have the right to choose. They have the right to choose how they want to live their lives and with how many children. If we have to give up that right, then I say any man who gets a woman pregnant without her consent and then insists that she “suffer the consequences of HER irresponsible actions” should have his balls cut off to prevent future accidents.
See, men always seem to forget that women don’t just “get” pregnant. Someone else makes them pregnant, and they are not always willing participants. So, until the consequences of an unintended pregnancy are just as drastic for men as they are for women, the debate is rigged.
I am a happily married mother of two. I have never had an abortion. I got lucky. Though I did use birth control until I was ready to have a kid, birth control is NOT 100% effective. (And, not everyone has access to it.) Now that I have my two kids, I’m done. My husband got his vasectomy when I was still 7 months pregnant with our 2nd child. I do not plan on getting pregnant again, EVER. So, if I do get pregnant, it will not be because of any irresponsibility on my part. It will either be an act of nature finding a way (my husband’s vasectomy reversing itself), or the result of rape. Either way, I will have an abortion. I have made my choice. I will not be ending a life, I will be preserving one.
It’s time we focused on the women who already exist and who are facing tough choices with or without an unplanned pregnancy, and less on the potential lives that may or not become people.
As my new favorite bumper sticker says, “If the fetus you save is gay, will you still support its rights?”