I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the argument from fundamentalist right-wingers that killing abortion doctors is justified because it saves unborn babies. And yet those unborn babies’ lives — many of which aren’t even viable yet, or would be stillborn, or a danger to the mother’s life — are more valuable to these hypocrites than the lives of women who would die should they attempt to give birth to the baby naturally, or would be forced to seek a back-alley abortion illegally. Never mind what they think about sending your country’s kids off to go kill hundreds of thousands of brown people. These people are not pro-life. They are pro-fetus, then after it is born and baptized, the sprog is on its own.
Sadly, another example of this hypocrisy just happened in Kansas. Dr. George Tiller, an abortion doctor who’s saved countless women’s lives and provided a safe way for women to exercise control over their bodies in the face of years of harassment, vandalism, protests and assaults, was gunned down while ushering at his church’s service. He is remembered as being a good, kind man, and is obviously God-fearing, and yet in an effort to save more blastocysts, he was cut down for performing life-saving and completely legal medical procedures.
I want to make this perfectly clear — this is another untempered act of terrorism in a long line of such acts, fomented by the ragemongers on television and radio whipping the radical zealot remainder of the Republican base into a frenzy ever since the political landscape shifted out from under them. If you are to refer to this act, please, from now on, call it terrorism, because that’s what it is — a political assassination meant to strike terror into people who hold a particular viewpoint. The right wing may have coined the phrase “war on terror/ism” but that shouldn’t insulate them from being accused of using the same tactics to further their own political ends.
And yet, this hypocrisy is drilled into religious folks as though it was internally consistent with the religious teachings of Christians’ most holy book, despite ample evidence the Bible really considers babies to be non-persons until they reach one month old — that’s one month *after birth*. No, being anti-abortion is not a Christian value, it is a conservative value, despite religion and conservatism having a huge overlap in the Venn diagram — remember, conservatism feeds off of religious folks as much as they can manage, because they are ordinarily a credulous and “earthy” folk.
Case in point, Ronald Reagan’s son is peddling free copies of a book ostensibly written by Reagan (yeah, prove it) entitled Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation. PZ Myers suggests we should all order a copy to deprive them of some money, and while I’m tempted to do so, frankly I wouldn’t want to have the carbon used to create that copy of the book on my conscience. It could be the most brilliant and insightful book in the world on the conservative ideas about abortion, but it would still be wrong-headed and evil just by virtue of arguing that a blastocyst’s life is worth more than a doctor’s or a mother’s.
I know a few of you readers really do feel strongly that abortion is wrong. What I’d really like to know is, have you ever faced the decision yourself? And if you were forced to decide to abort despite your own moral misgivings, would you prefer to have the ability to do it safely in a medical environment, or would you prefer to use a coathanger? Also, why should your moral qualms about it affect anyone else’s decision? I know people who have had abortions and frankly, they felt horrible about it, and still bear the emotional scars from it, even though the decision was the right one for both the baby that might have ended up being another burden on the adoption system, and the mother who may not even have survived the endeavour. Abortion rights are women’s rights, and if you legislate a woman’s uterus then you are anti-women’s-rights, period.
I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I’m sick and tired of seeing people shove their moral values down everyone’s throats when the decision is already a very personal and grave one, with devastating consequences outside of hellfire and brimstone and other such imaginary punishment from an imaginary god. It’s not like we pro-choice folks go out and abort after accidentally getting impregnated after a wild weekend of debaucherous orgies. That’s why it’s pro-choice not pro-death, not just because we’d prefer not to have some stupid framing war over the issue, but because the mother, whose life the pregnancy and motherhood would affect the most, has the most right to decide what is best for her, and her potential offspring’s, life.
There’s nothing particularly sacred about life, being that it’s nothing more than a runaway chain reaction. But what makes it sacred is the personal emotional bond formed between parents and their children, a bond that’s formed before the baby is even born, and which is broken to devastating emotional consequence when an abortion is had. What these conservative and religious folks don’t seem to get is that if any particular life is sacred, then ALL life is sacred — from the tiniest single-celled organism to the majestic trees and beautiful flowers up to the most complex multicellular creatures like we humans, and that means every single one of us humans, not just the ones that happen to follow your particular religion.