While SCOTUS considers abortion, permit me to suggest that it’s past time we do too.
I’m not talking about trumpeting loudly your positions and the hills you’ll die on. I said “consider” and I mean it. Either it’s important or it’s not; and if it’s important, it demands your attention and honest thought — however painful thinking might be, much less honesty.
When I report on these things, I do my best to keep any personal bias out of the mix. The editorial stance of The Not Fake News is that the abortion discussion is complete, that Roe v. Wade is settled law, and that the public demands certain not-unreasonable restrictions. That’s the present state of political reality regardless of the Texas boondoggle, and it’s fraudulent for any political party to suggest that the next election could possibly change it more than the merest trifle. It’s not a topic that exists in the public eye for anything other than political grandstanding and fundraising with a price tag measured in human suffering — and that goes for both sides. The Texas law is a stunt and a harmful one; the thought that it might stand is an attractive fiction, and the absence of substantive challenges is politically motivated.
That’s our official position, and I’m not discussing it further today because, like all political positions, it’s a load of crap.
If pro-lifers actually care about saving lives, they should put their money into charitable foundations to help single and/or teen mothers, pre-natal care, daycare, diapers, formula, vitamins, and so on.
What’s the political party of most vegans? How can a person who won’t eat eggs on moral grounds support abortion? (Rhetorical question; I really don’t want an answer.)
How is it that Democrats hate guns for self-defense, stand-your-ground and the Castle Doctrine, but love abortion? Privacy starts at the skin and works inward? How is it that Republicans can possibly demand access to combat weapons regardless of lives lost yet the moment the life involved is that of a fetus it’s suddenly sacred and outweighs the mother’s own freedom? There is no political party in the right here; hypocrisy is on all sides.
And there are precious few persons, political affiliation notwithstanding, who have honestly considered the issue.
Is a fetus alive, a living human? And none of this cavilling over Black’s Law Dictionary’s definition of “person”; that’s the merest technicality. We can make what laws we like; where do we choose to draw the line? Does life begin at sex, conception, implantation, heartbeat, brain activity, the ability to feel pain? Is an 8-month fetus a human child? Morally, there’s a vast range of opinions; I’ve been studying the question closely for three decades and I have few certain answers. What I know absolutely is this:
- Life does not begin at ejaculation.
- The only difference between a fully-grown fetus and a child is a matter of geography, not morality.
I’m morally certain that a fertilized egg shouldn’t have the rights of a human adult, and that any question of the welfare of the unborn needs to be intertwined with the welfare of the mother. Beyond that, I’m absolutely positive that there is very little certainty available to anyone — and I hold this position because so very many people, highly educated in the field, have such different opinions of what exactly life means.
When we take an action that may, but does not necessarily, end a human life, in most areas of the law that’s known as “endangerment”. If I close my eyes and fire a shotgun into Beltway traffic, it’s possible all I’ll do is endanger lobbyists (which might be considered a public service), but actual human beings would be put at risk too. The law generally frowns on doing things that might kill people, like speeding, adding poison to Tylenol bottles, and packing peanut butter sandwiches in your kid’s lunch box. So why, when we quite evidently cannot know when a fetus is equivalent to a child, do we not treat it as seriously as what we pack for lunch?
Having said that: Sometimes, the rights of the potential mother absolutely and inarguably outweigh those of even a definite child she’s carrying. Pregnancy is not risk-free; the outcome is never assured, and birth never guarantees life for both parties. Who am I, and in a broader sense Who is the government to make a blanket decision that mandates compliance from everyone? I assert without fear of contradiction that there are times — rare, yes, and tragic, but they exist — when a nine-month pregnancy must be aborted for medical reasons.
This is not a simple question, and anyone who says otherwise is lying — to you, and probably to themselves.
The Texas law is a ludicrous perversion of justice. (Arguably, so is our entire structure of civil litigation, but let’s not go there.) It weaponizes a court system designed to collect credit card debt into a political fundraiser and an electioneering tool at vast cost of human misery. There is no way any Supreme Court imaginable, and certainly not this one, could let it stand. The present challenge might possibly fail, but even if it does the next one won’t.
It would be idiocy to let that govern your vote in the next election — mainly because, if Democratic politicians were willing to make Roe v Wade impossible to challenge, they could have done it long ago by codifying it into law; if Republicans were honest about abortion, they’d be in favor of increasing welfare programs across the board. They’re all feckless hypocrites. That’s no reason for you to be one too.
One last note: I almost didn’t address this, because I view the argument as beneath contempt, but it’s sure to be mentioned. It goes like this: What right have I, a male, without eggs, ovaries, or the ability to even become pregnant, to even have an opinion on abortion? What right have you to stop me? It’s an illogical objection, one that doesn’t withstand analysis, but even ignoring its flimsiness the fact remains that I do have the right to an opinion and to vote based on it. That right equals power, and with power comes the responsibility to use it wisely. I have not merely the right but a positive duty to reach the best decision that I possibly can on the issue and act accordingly. The same goes for you. Don’t ever let anyone disempower you.
Historically, disenfranchisement is far worse for women and minorities. That never makes it a good thing for anyone.
I don’t do this for fun, people, and I certainly don’t do it for my health. I write because, having a voice and a mind, I cannot stay silent on topics of importance. I publish because a few people still read what I write. Support, however, has dwindled in recent months, and the time is soon coming when I will stop writing for an audience that quite evidently no longer cares to listen.
If that possibility bothers you, you have two options: You can send cash to PayPal in order to help support The Not Fake News, or you can buy me a coffee. PayPal’s fees are lower, but they don’t have that nice friendly button.