Less fun than the Meatbeat Manifesto
Less insane than the Unibomber’s Manifesto
More cogent than the Communist Manifesto or Earth in the Balance
It’s the first part of the SCSIwuzzy Manifesto.
Originally this was a posting on my (now defunct) blog, “A Planet Where Apes Evolved From Man!?!”. I had started a completely new post for Wizbang, but life has conspired to keep me away from my computer. I tired to get something wholly new written but trying to fit 2 weeks of work into 4 days so I could join my wife on a business trip in Denver before taking a much needed vacation back in NJ was cut short by a funeral and all free time dried up in short order. So here I sit in a Denver hotel room, trying to expand and clarify my earlier posting on abortion in America. I suppose this answers the question Warren asked us, regarding things to do in Denver when you’re dead.
So, back to the topic of abortion: Why? One, to point back to when commenters and other bloggers question where I am coming from and/or call me a hypocrite for a position I am taking on a given day, second, as a means of crystallizing how I feel. Sometimes, until you really think about it, and either lay it out in text or talk it out, you may not spot the inconsistencies inherent in your mind and heart. Blogging is cheaper than a therapist 🙂 Third, the general ego stroke that this kind of blogging provides us; MoDo has the Times Op-ed pages, I have you, the blogosphere.
First, let me lay out some basics so y’all can follow along. Some of my thoughts are already fact or law in some states, so nobody get pissy if it is, or isn’t. You can disagree with it, but don’t whine “that’s already how it is, dumbass” to me. These points are how I feel it ought to be.
——-the rest, blow the fold————-
• Abortions have their place in medicine and society
Some children need not be born, plain and simple. A child that will likely kill the mother (in the course of pregnancy or birth), or the child of incest, rape etc. However, the rape issue to me is not a sure fire reason to abort a child. If a woman can find it in herself to raise this child, or give it up for adoption, God bless her.
• The primary choice to have an abortion, or not, lies with the pregnant woman (notice the word woman, not girl or child)
Look, a woman that doesn’t want the child is a lot less likely to be a good mother, in nearly all dimensions. If she is having the baby only because she cannot get an abortion, she’s more likely to try something drastic, like taking something to kill the child or the infamous coat hanger abortion. Failing that (from apathy or fear) she may just not care, and do things like drink, smoke (tobacco, meth, crack, weed), snort cocaine or a host of other abusive things that she may enjoy but can kill or maim the child. Short of strapping a woman to a bed and feeding her through tubes for nine months, you cannot force someone to be a healthy and caring mother. If her first instinct is to kill the child, I don’t hold out much hope for her as a mother.
• Abortion is a surgical procedure
And as such, it caries risks to the mother. This needs to be understood by the mother to be. And I mean in the short and long term arenas. I am talking about the risks of infection, permanent damage preventing further children and possible psychological problems, such as depression. I know women that have had abortions at reputable clinics in the 1990s and 2000s and later discovered they could never conceive or bring a child to term again. It is more common than the folks at NARAL and related groups would have us believe. I also know other women who fell into deep depression, once the full weight of what had happened set in.
• Life begins shortly at conception
So yes, I think abortion is killing a human. The further along things are, the worse I think it is. That any children are conceived and unwanted is saddening to me. But I cannot change that fact, any more than I think I can force people to want to see things my way.
• The doctors should also be able to choose whether or not they will perform an abortion, unless the mother’s life is in clear peril (what I would call the emergency room clause)
Simply put, if a doctor has moral objections to the procedures, they should not have to perform them. They should refer the patient on to another doctor without the same scruples. If a doctor feels a fetus is a person, I don’t see how they can honor the hypocratic oath and perform an abortion. If they don’t see the fetus as anything but a bloody mass of tissue, then the oath isn’t an obstruction (if you don’t see it as your patient, you can’t very well see you actions as causing harm).
• The moral, psychological and spiritual repercussions are borne by those involved
If there is an afterlife and we are judged, then yes, we will all face the consequences of our choices. I don’t claim to know what God wants. Or to know that the God I believe in is truly the final arbiter of our souls (I believe, but don’t have the audacity to think that the feeble human mind can really understand the grand design of creation. I hope a fraction of that understanding is waiting for us in the next world). The point is that abortion is about as final a thing as we humans can do. A tattoo can be removed. Breast implants removed. Apologies made, angry words forgiven. But taking a life is final. I don’t think it is my place to add to the burden in this life, or the next, that must be shouldered by a woman who chooses to abort her child.
• Third, but liable, parties should be informed.
Here’s the thing. If I father a child, and the mother decides to keep it, I am liable to support this child legally, and in my opinion, morally. If the mother chooses to abort the child, I should also know. Why? How is it my business? Well for one, if we are still together and she kept it from me, we wouldn’t be together any longer. Shouldn’t I have the right to know that the woman I think I love decided to kill our child? I may not have a legal or binding voice in the choice, but I should know the outcome. I think part of consenting to having a sexual relationship with someone also means telling them something like this. Now, some guys would be glad to hear she chose to abort. They’d keep going with her as a result. But that’s not me. Oh, and I think legally, only husbands (by marriage or common law) need to be informed. Morally, I think the woman should do so regardless of the law. But, not everyone is me.
In the same light, I think parents of minors should be informed as well. Parents have a legal and moral responsibility for their daughters’ health and welfare. This is a surgical procedure that carries risks and can have some very nasty complications or repercussions. The (grand)parents will be on the hook for dealing with them. A daughter that hides the pregnancy and the abortion is also likely to hide any ill effects as well. And these hidden problems can quickly grow into serious issues, perhaps life threatening.
The exception, of course, is when the parents or father are demonstrably a danger to the mother if they learn the truth. A judge should be able to determine whether the liable parties can be kept in the dark.
• Abortion should never be the first recourse. It may be birth control, but it should not be the primary means of birth prevention
Condoms, chemical contraceptives, diaphragms… these are means of prevention. They are not hard to get in this day and age, in America. Which, by the way, is all I am talking about; any attempt to apply this to other societies will be met with a rude gesture. You cannot see it, from your side of the screen, but I will be making it, be sure.
• If the State is going to subsidize abortions, there should be a mandatory waiting period and counseling.
So, to buy a gun in many states, and a handgun in all of the US, you need to wait a few days (or in places like NJ, a month) for the transaction to be completed. The primary reason is to cut down on crimes of passion. The notion is that if I am forced to wait, I will have time to calm down and then may realize that killing someone is a bad idea, and not go through with a very stupid course of action. So why not apply similar logic for abortion? The action is irrevocable, and will be with the woman all of her life. What would the harm be in requiring that she wait 5 or 7 days from the day she announces that she wants an abortion (to the doctor/clinic) and the day the procedure is performed? I’ve known more than a few women over the years that said that between fear and pressure (from friends, the father, a professor) and general confusion they rushed into an abortion. Some came to regret the choice at once, some not for months or years. But all wished they had spent a little more time thinking about it, and maybe would have chosen differently. Or at least been able to live with the choice better, knowing it was properly deliberated upon.
In a similar fashion, why not have some free and mandatory counseling as part of the waiting period? Make sure the woman knows the ups and downs of everything she is about to do before she makes a choice she cannot take back? At the very least, it would provide a neutral party to talk things out with, who should have no vested interest in seeing the child live or be aborted. NARAL and Planned Parenthood should have no objection if their goals really are about preserving a woman’s right to choose. Maybe this could help them put to bed the suspicions some have that the only choice they support is abortion.
• Abortion providers should be fully licensed, and subject to regular inspections.
This is just common sense.
• Opposing abortion is not contrary with support of the death penalty
OK, so oftentimes when I say I oppose abortion a pro-abortion type will ask if I support the death penalty, with the “ah-hah!” twinkle in her or his eyes. The answer is that yes, I do support the notion of the death penalty. However, it is so poorly implemented and prosecutions so shoddy in much of the world, I would not miss it. There needs to be an ultimate punishment for the ultimate crimes, and whatever it is, it must be enforced and applied with all reasonable swiftness. Bring back the chain gang and penal colonies, if we must. Now, why can I support the death penalty but not abortion? A child in the womb is the very definition of innocent. The Bible (basis of my own faith) tells us via the 6th commandment that “Thou Shall Not Murder”. You will find plenty of places in the Bible where killing is sanctioned or forgiven (accidents and the like), but you’ll never see the passage that excuses killing an infant in the womb. That will always be murder.
If Jesus were to come to Earth tomorrow, or the Angel Gabriel, and tell mankind that in order to keep the death penalty we had to allow abortion (not that I think they would, mind you), there would be no hesitation on my part. Scrap the death penalty.
Anyway, boys and girls, Kevin is calling pencils down today, so I may or my not write more here later. For the moment, I think I may go visit the monkeys at the zoo, then see if any inspiration hits me before the guestposter deadline arrives.