Originally published as:
Blog for Choice 2011, Here we are again January 19th, 2011
I’m sick of writing about Choice in a country that guarantees its citizens the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You’d think that by this point in the 21st century, people would understand what that means, but they don’t because we are becoming the most ignorant developed nation in the world.
A little education would go a long, long way in this culture. There is ZERO scriptural basis to oppose abortion. In the Old Testament, the death of a baby over one month old was worth 5 shekels for a boy, 3 for a girl. Abortion and infanticide were common. And then we have passages in the bible like Psalm 137 where people wax rhapsodic about dashing the babies of their enemies against the stones. That “god” was never concerned with the disposition of fetuses, except when encouraging genocide.
Moving forward, Jesus, if he ever lived, never said a word about abortion. He talked about slavery and war and giving your wealth to the poor and caring for the sick, but not one word attributed to him was about abortion. Such glaring omission leads me to believe he wasn’t overly concerned with it.
The Christian hierarchy changed their minds about abortion every hundred years or so, and their lurid imaginations varied from group to group, but when you get right down to it, the opposition to abortion on religious grounds is a fiction perpetuated by priests who know full well that there’s power and profit in numbers. Zero. religious. grounds.
Until it has a fully functioning brain, in about the 5th month of gestation, a fetus is only potential life. It may theoretically become a living being, but it isn’t one yet. That’s why you get a birth certificate when you are born – that’s when you become an actual person.
Now, a young, fertile, sexually active woman is ACTUAL life. She’s a person. She has dreams and memories, feelings and ideas, and a kind of value that is not limited to the function of her genitalia. She lives, she breathes, she probably works and owns things, she might even practice a religion, or none, as she so chooses.
Now here’s where we run into that disconnect created by the sorry state of sex education in this country. ACTUAL life trumps theoretical life. An adult woman with a functioning brain and uterus has 100% discretion as to what she does and does not do with her own fucking uterus. She may choose to lend it to the cause of creating life, or she may not. That’s her choice because that’s her uterus. We call that “autonomy” and adult humans everywhere are assumed to have a right to it.
Now, sometimes, things around a birth go wrong. That’s Nature, and destiny and it’s sad and tragic, but should terminating a pregnancy be required to sustain that woman’s ACTUAL life, that is NOT a choice, because as human beings, we have a social contract to keep each other alive if we can. Survival is not a choice. It’s a given.
I know I’m being exceptionally nasty in my tone, because I have this image in my mind that won’t go away. It’s a photograph of a nude woman who bled to death after a botched abortion in unsafe conditions, and you know what? I want us to raise generation after generation of free, autonomous daughters who never have to see that horrific image again, and it is completely possible for us to do it.
You can believe ANYTHING you want and I’ll defend your right to do it. You have NO RIGHT, however, to make law based on anything but reason, compassion and common sense because that’s the way the United States of America is deliberately, thoughtfully, designed. You believe what you want, I’ll believe what I want, and we’ll make sound medical decisions and personal life choices privately and according to our own consciences, just as free, autonomous adults in an industrialized nation do.