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Jan 04 2012

Two Poems by Atheist Edwin Kagin on Abortion and the Anti-Choice Movement

THE RIGHTS OF THE UNCONCEIVED

 

Let’s add to irrationality

To nonsense unbelieved

And urge, against free human choice,

The rights of the unconceived

 

The unborn, however unwanted,

Have protestors who defend

Who will not take their misery home

But make sure their paths begin

 

The maimed, the pained, the hopeless

Have rights of tragedy unrelieved

Yet we ignore a great moral sore

The plight of the unconceived

 

We must have laws with iron braced jaws

To insure new lives are received

It should be a crime at any time

To deny life to the unconceived

 

Should fertile lad and fertile lass

Henceforth with any passion pass

Consummation must be achieved

To insure the rights of the unconceived.

 

 

Edwin F. Kagin (c)

THE CASE OF THE FROZEN EMBRYO

Bye baby banting

Soon you’ll need decanting

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

 

A biology student named Delf

 Scientifically played with himself

And when he was done

He labeled it “Son”

And filed it away on the shelf. 

 

Anon

 

Nonsense struck another blow

In the case of the frozen embryo

A Judge has ruled them human life

And awarded custody to the wife

In the divorce it was her wish

To get the goo from the petri dish

Where the little ones were conceived

Where marital passion was relieved

The children went to a frozen tomb

To await resurrection in some womb

There will have to be child support

Ordered by paternity court

To keep the frozen kids alive

Until it’s time they should revive

But it really must be nice

To keep your babies lives on ice

Frozen solid until you say

You are ready to let them play

But there must be other fears

For those who wipe their icy tears

If they should be flushed away

Or allowed to thaw and rot one day

Would a murder charge obtain

Against the one who sent them down the drain

And what should their birthday be

Those conceived in petri

Do the cold days of gestation count

For little souls who just want out

Of a limbo that won’t start

The beating of a little heart

Of course there is no heart to beat

Or even tiny fetus feet

There are no bitsy toes on embryos

And what sex nobody knows

So you cannot even name

Those cells that all look just the same

Ah, the problems that occur

When rational thought and reason err.

Edwin F. Kagin (c)

 

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Rizdek

    Notwithstanding the cleverly worded verse, it seems odd to me that folks would so easily want to dispose of their potential offspring and speak so easily about others doing the same.

    I am pro-choice from a “law of the land” perspective. And I’m not in favor of granting “rights” to embryos in the sense that born children have legal rights. But why are some folks so cavalier in their views of their own and other’s unborn children? I’m an atheist who is appalled at the thought of aborting a embryo/fetus for ANY reason other than danger to the women’s life and perhaps in the case of rape and incest. It is because of my uncertainty in some cases that causes me to be pro-choice. It SHOULD be the woman’s right to choose, but except in extreme cases, why would any woman want to destroy her unborn child?

    It isn’t immoral, and it shouldn’t be illegal, but abortion in anything but the most extreme cases just doesn’t make sense.

    I guess I find it odd that in the atheist/ [Christian] theist camp, the concept of abortion has sided up the way it has. I could just as easily see the Christian theist being more prone to abortion, since the unborn “soul” gets ushered unscathed into heaven thus avoiding even the possibility of eternity in hell. And I could just as easily see the humanist/atheist/naturalist view the unborn fetus as extremely precious and valuable, since it is the ONLY life it’ll have and to destroy it might be considered an unpardonable trangression against nature. Not that it should be that way, but I could hypothetically see it happen that way. I mean, humans grant other things rights, not any god. So humans, and atheist humans, could just as easily grant the unborn fetus rights as not.

    Oh well, I’m sure I’ll get lots of attacks because of this, but that’s how I see it.

    1. 1.1
      Twist

      Rizdek, I’ve sincerely tried not to phrase this as an ‘attack’, but I’m sick to death of “I’m pro-choice BUT…” arguments.

      It SHOULD be the woman’s right to choose, but except in extreme cases, why would any woman want to destroy her unborn child?

      Because it isn’t a child? Because she didn’t intend to become pregnant and has no plans to have a child? Because a pregnancy and a baby would ruin whatever other plans she has for her life? Because she’s decided that it’s better to have an abortion than bring an unwanted baby into the world? Because she can’t take care of it? Because she doesn’t want to take care of it? Because she doesn’t want to go through nine months of pregnancy? These aren’t really extreme cases, it’s not like anyone is going to terminate a wanted, planned, healthy pregnancy just for the hell of it.

      It doesn’t make sense? How does a woman getting rid of a pregnancy that SHE DOES NOT WANT not make sense? How does it not make sense for a woman to take steps to avert something that will change her life forever in ways that she does not want? It’s not like armies of us are getting pregnant for kicks just so we can get abortions.

      Not all women will go all gooey at the idea of pregnancy and babies. I know for a fact all I wanted was to get that unwanted bunch of cells out of my body as fast as I could so I could get on with my life. I was 17 and my partner had deliberately sabotaged our contraceptives. Is that a good enough reason, do you think? Do you think that makes sense? Clearly not, from what I can tell from this bit:

      I’m an atheist who is appalled at the thought of aborting a embryo/fetus for ANY reason other than danger to the women’s life and perhaps in the case of rape and incest.

      Newsflash: You don’t get to decide. If a woman wants an abortion, then that alone is a good enough reason to have one. If you don’t want to have one, then don’t. Nobody is making you. But quit trying to tell others that their choices don’t make sense. It’s dismissive, it’s patronizing and it’s damaging. You’re saying that the fetal cells inside me were more important than my right to not have to give up my life to raising an unwanted baby with an abusive fuckwit at seventeen. You’re saying that fetuses are more important than the bodily autonomy of the women in which they reside. Fetuses are more important than women. By extension, women are not really people, just walking incubators.

      Also, embryo =/= child. Zygote =/= child. Blastocyst =/= child. Fetus =/= child.

      I’m sick of feeling like I have to justify my abortion to anyone, and until “I’m pro-choice BUT…” arguments stop, I will continue to have to do that. You’re either pro-choice or you’re not. You either support the bodily autonomy of women or you don’t. There isn’t a middle ground.

      1. Rizdek

        It seems Rick Santorum and his wife are of your opinion, despite his claims otherwise. She had a “second term” induced delivery where the child died a few hours after the birth. He calls it an early delivery for the protection of the women’s life and not an abortion. Seems like semantics to me. Under a law that would satisfy him, he (well his wife) would likely have to go to some sort of hearing to justify their action and I don’t think that kind of law is practical.

        1. twist

          It seems Rick Santorum and his wife are of your opinion

          Um, I really don’t think they are.

          Under a law that would satisfy him, he (well his wife) would likely have to go to some sort of hearing to justify their action and I don’t think that kind of law is practical.

          I certainly am not of the opinion that one should have to justify their abortion to a hearing. I am of the opinion that any reason that a woman chooses to terminate is a good enough reason and we should never be asked to justify the choices that we make. I’m also of the opinion that to suggest that we should have to justify them is damaging to women’s bodily autonomy.

          I realize that you don’t think abortion should be illegal, but you have also stated that you find it ‘appauling’ except in cases where the mothers life in danger or perhaps (only perhaps?!) in cases of rape and incest. That’s not really a pro-choice position. Sure, you don’t think I should be prosecuted, but I’m fairly sure that you look down on me for my choice, since my abortion doesn’t meet your standards. Of course you are free to look down on me for having an abortion in a situation in which my life wasn’t endangered, but I’m also free to think that it’s misogynistic, judgemental, damaging and generally asshole-ish for you to do so.

  2. 2
    Rizdek

    “Sure, you don’t think I should be prosecuted, but I’m fairly sure that you look down on me for my choice, since my abortion doesn’t meet your standards. Of course you are free to look down on me for having an abortion in a situation in which my life wasn’t endangered, but I’m also free to think that it’s misogynistic, judgemental, damaging and generally asshole-ish for you to do so.”

    Never thought of it that way…like I’d “look down on a woman for having an abortion.” I have known some who have and I don’t look down on them. So maybe I’m not as appalled as I think I am.

    I am curious why you feel you have to justify your position so strongly to a random person on the internet who doesn’t know you and didn’t attack you personally. What is it about abortion that’s different than some other more mundane thing that one person exchews but another thinks nothing of doing?

    Now to address something you mentioned in your earlier response. You said I can’t have it both ways, I’m either pro-choice or I’m not. Interesting, because I certainly don’t agree with the conservative pro-lifers who want roe vs wade overturned and want to change the laws to make it illegal to have an abortion…like perhaps Rick Santorum. I certainly don’t consider a candidates position on abortion when I vote. I don’t want to impose my views on anyone else. So what am I (besides an asshole in your opinion)? I don’t think I fit the description of what most folks think of when they use the term pro-life.

  3. 3
    Lahoma

    There seems to be a lot of people within the Republican Party that are not very fond of Santorum. It is going to be hard for him to secure the nomination, much less the presidency, without more support from within his own party.

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