Ah, coincidence… That most powerful of random flukes that convinces people that Things Happen For A Reason. I made a post about The Lovely Lady and my recent experience having a civil and rational discussion with an Anti-Choicer (“YOU ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO YOUR GENDER! I DRIVE OVER BABIES!”), and then I read a post on Black Skeptics from the day before yesterday entitled Abortion on Demand and Without Apology that I think coincides nicely with my own thoughts. I encourage you to read it
But now, I’m going to express my own response to the questions that they usually ask, because I’m feeling pissy and wanting to vent some spleen, and the thing I really want to vent my spleen about I can’t, because it would violate the privacy of one of my children.
Do you think it’s okay to kill babies?
It is absolutely not okay to kill babies, and that is a bullshit question. It’s a bullshit question because it purposely frames the discussion. Either the person is okay with killing babies (which means anything under a year of age) or a person is against killing babies. Without serious psychological issues, most people would have no possible answer to this other than “No”.
But we’re not talking about killing babies. We’re talking about killing fetuses. A fetus is a thing that grows inside a woman to eventually become a baby. A fertilized egg, even a fertilized egg that has grown into a bunch of cells, is not a baby. Babies crawl, and they think, and they learn, and they breath with lungs. Where does that line exist? Ultimately, I couldn’t say. What I can say is that the rights of a clump of cells that are human in nature do not outweigh the rights of a fully grown person. End of story. Bringing a child into the world is a decision, sometimes one that is presented unexpectedly, and that decision has lasting ramifications for many people. The cell clump has no rights in the matter.
Well then, maybe you should have not had sex
This is far and away the worst argument ever. People have sex. We have a biological drive to do so. Completely removing rape from the equation and focussing solely on consensual sex, people are going to have it. They may or may not use birth control (not, if their religious “sensibilities” preclude it), and no matter what, there is the possibility with every sexual encounter to have a baby. There is always a chance, and that’s just facts.
The potential for a child comes from sex, but why are we even considering looking at a human life as punishment for a bad decision? Let’s take an example, and admittedly, one framed to my point. You’re a teen girl named Gloria. You’re out one night with a few friends, and you have some drinks. You start fooling around with Greg, the captain of the school football team. He’s a tender, kindly soul with big blue eyes, and his daddy owns the local scuba store. Greg wants to take your relationship to the next level. You’re racing with biological urges that are utterly craving Greg’s manly love, your resolve is weakened by alcohol and desire, and you realize that this beautiful moment under the trees in the garden of the Old Jenkins Place is when you want to give Greg your innocence. Seven seconds later, as you light a cigarette and enjoy the cool breeze on your adolescent skin, pressed against Greg’s muscular frame, you notice that Greg’s condom has a hole in it.
Saying that you shouldn’t have had sex is like saying fat people are fat because they lack self control. Yes, a lot of the sex that results in aborted babies should probably not have happened, but it did. The question, then, is what do we do about it. Do we allow one night in Greg’s muscly arms to forever change Gloria’s life whether she likes it or not? What if she doesn’t want kids? What if she just isn’t in the place in her life to be able to properly care for a child? What if the developing fetus would endanger her life? What if it turns out Greg is an abusive drunk, and she wants nothing more to do with him, but having a kid with him means that she’ll be stuck in this small town with him a looming and dreaded presence in her life forever? Is that really how we want children to be raised?
I’m against using abortions as birth control
So am I. People have, do, and will continue to abuse the system to their own detriment, and I find it patently disgusting that anyone would consider abortion to be better than using a condom. That’s just weird and gross, and asking for some real trouble. But because some people abuse a system, do you remove the system? I hope not. People will abuse any social system, and they’re kind of important things to keep around for those who need them.
What about people selectively aborting babies with abnormalities
This is the slippery slopiest argument. If someone found out that their unborn child had Down’s Syndrome, for example, and would require life-long care, I think they should have the right to decide if they want to take on that level of responsibility. But then we move into the gray area or selecting for things like eye color or gender. And frankly, I do see a difference. If you think about a society like China’s with the single kid rule mixed with their cultural ideas about the importance of boys over girls, then you run into a very ugly scenario where there are just too many boys being born. It may not sound particularly ugly, but wait until you have a nation of eighteen year old boys chock full of testosterone and lacking the healthy outlet of sexuality to cope with it. Bad things will happen, I assure you.
Why can’t you just put the baby up for adoption
You could, and that is certainly another option. But it may not be an option that the woman wishes to take. She’s going to have to go through the process of having this fetus grow inside of her, not to mention the disruption in her life, and she’s going to have to go through the emotionally awful process of giving her baby away. Yes, in a perfect world, every baby would be warmly welcomed and handed over to a happy family to raise and love as their own, but it isn’t a perfect world.
The reality, though, is that women should have the right to determine their destiny just the same as a man. It is absolutely acceptable that you choose to view that a baby is a miracle placed in a mommy’s tummy by God, but that hardly means the rest of us have to follow your dogma on the issue.