Sunday, January 08, 2006

Decisions

JamesThis is my son. (Click to enlarge.) This ultrasound was taken in November when Red was 12-weeks pregnant (she's 22 weeks, now). He weighed less than an ounce at the time, but he still waved at us. Some people think it's OK to yank him out of the womb and kill him at this point. I'm putting him up for all the world to see because I want to put this post in context.

I'm pro-choice.

Now, hold on just second, for cryin' out loud! See, the thing is we affix labels to everything and everybody so they're easily categorized and we know what to expect. Well, you can't file every person away under some neat, easily identifiable group and assume you understand them. So let me explain.

I was bringing Red some dinner at work tonight and surfing the radio channels trying to find some talk radio that wasn't Michael Savage. I found Meet the press and listened to a good chunk of it. The second topic was a discussion between Kate Michelman, author of, "With Liberty and Justice for All: A Life Spent Protecting the Right to Choose" and Kate O'Beirne, author of "Women Who Make the World Worse and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports." You can probably guess which side is which by the book titles (I'd like to read that second one). Oh, and Tim Russert appears ready to devour your soul.

Kate MichelmanMichelman was president of NARAL Pro-Choice America for 18 years and the book she's written is her autobiography, I guess. She said something to the effect of, "we must support a woman's right to become a mother at the time of their choosing." To not force them to be a mother is they choose not to and most women want to succeed at being mothers. I agree with those statments, but not I believe she intended them. Ms. Michelman and I have a very different opinion of what a choice is.

My impression of her idea of "choice" is soley the decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy and kill a baby developing inside a woman's womb. An interesting side note, did you know that Planned Parenthood was founded by supporters of the eugenics movement at the beginning of the 20th century? As soon as Evolutionary Theory caught on, some folks came up with Social Darwinism, thinking they could breed undesirable traits out of the human species by aborting black babies and babies with birth defects.

I have a different idea of choice. As I mentioned last month, freedom of choice is the one freedom that can never be taken away; it is inherent in your existence and consciousness. You are free to choose how you will handle any given situation and how you will live your life. Michaelman thinks a woman should be able to become a mother at the time of her choosing. I believe that a woman who has unprotected sex has made that choice. Men choose to become fathers in the same way; I know, because I did it to myself nine years ago. People may make stupid choices, but they are choices nonetheless. ABORTION IS NOT A METHOD OF BIRTH CONTROL. People like this have other options.

There are exactly three cases I can think of in which I think a mother should be able to consider whether or not to have an abortion:

1) Her own life is at risk from the pregnancy and to continue would almost certainly kill her.

2) Incest. Yes, it's still a life. Should the woman (or girl) be forced to live with consequences that were not of her choosing. Assuming she didn't choose to... ugh, I can't even think of it.

3) Rape. Yes, it's still a life. Same as above, however. The woman did not choose to become impregnated, that was a situation forced upon her by an extremely evil person.

This is above and beyond bad law, legislating from the bench and the attempted Borking of the Honorable Judge Samuel Alito - which are all good topics for discussion. States should have the right to choose how to handle minutiae (oh, yes, the issue is minutiae; it's how much weight we give it that gives it... um, weight) like whether or not they will allow abortions. As it stands right now, the federal government has far too much power to dictate affairs to the States. I'm hoping with a conservative Supreme Court some of these bad laws will be overturned and the powers of the federal government will be reigned in.

As a result of our choices (Red and I), we were able to get this picture of our son three weeks ago. I'm hoping he'll live in a saner world than we live in today.

UPDATE: More on this at Crazy Politico's Rantings: Polimoronic

UPDATE II: The transcript for last night's Meet The Press is now available online, as are James Taranto's comments on Best of the Web.

20 Comments:

Blogger Gayle bloody well said...

I'm hoping he will live in a saner world than we live in today as well. It's looking rather doubtful... but we can hope, we can pray, and we can do our utmost to make in happen. All we can ever do is our best.

You are absolutely right on: "I believe that a woman who has unprotected sex has made that choice." And so do I. I'm with you on this most of the way down, although I'm still muddling around in deep waters about the rape thing. I know that to be raped is not a woman's choice (and just so you know, I have been gang raped, although I didn't get pregnant) but it's not the baby's fault either. I truly don't know what is right here. You see, a baby growing in the womb is a very special thing to me. How it happened to get there doesn't seem to be the point. That it is life seems to be the point.

I am a woman and can comment on this with some modicum of reason: I don't believe I could abort a life because I was raped. But then, I'm 65 years old. If I got pregnant it would be a miracle indeed! :)

So let me go back a bit. How would I have felt at say, 14 when I was gang raped? Ummmm. That's tough, because when I was 14 I would have been a social outcast for just having been raped, let alone having the child. I couldn't even tell anyone. The woman was always to blame. Would I have had the fortitude to put myself, and my child (who would have been considered a bastard) through that? I must answer the question I present to myself honestly, and so I must say "no", probably not. It would have been sheer hell not only for me but for the child as well. So what would I have done? I think I would have disappeared to a relative who lived a long way away and had the baby and put it up for adoption. Hard, but better than killing a life. But I could have only done that if I had a relative who wouldn't call me a whore at every turn, and I didn't have that either. Those would have been hard to find in those days.

So perhaps I'm too old to deal with this issue being that times have changed so very drastically. Girls get pregnant out of wedlock now and still finish high school. In my day you were thrown out of school for being pregnant; married or not! The standards have lowered.
Sorry... I know this is long. I'm doing introspection. This post is awesome indeed!
I suppose I have to wind this up by saying that I don't know exactly what I would do, but I don't think if I was young in today's world and became pregnant through a rape that I would kill the baby. And so I must conclude that the standards having been lowered a lot would make it much easier for me to let the baby live and adopt it out.

Wow! You've done an excellent job here of making me think! Back in 1954 when I was raped, I would have probably had to have had an abortion, and it could have easily been botched because all abortions were illegal. Nowdays they are not, yet I'm against abortion clinics! I think I may need to "rethink" this entire issue!

08 January, 2006 23:06  
Blogger Gayle bloody well said...

Also, I got a bit carried away here. I meant to tell you that the silver bar on the left, although awesome to look at, makes for a bit of difficult reading. Not everyone has 19 year old eyes, you know? :)

08 January, 2006 23:10  
Blogger Ranando bloody well said...

For what it's worth Gayle, that was quite a response and I respect you for it.

I'm Pro-Life and always have been. That's how I feel about it, what someone else does is between them and their God.

People have got to be respocible for their actions, period.

09 January, 2006 00:46  
Blogger Crazy Politico bloody well said...

Dude, we gotta get out of this cycle of hitting the same topics.

If you get a chance stop by and check out the letter I got from a moonbat.

09 January, 2006 06:53  
Blogger Rebekah bloody well said...

Wow. Gayle makes my points better than I could! I agree with you, on everything you said except... just because it wasn't a woman's choice, doesn't mean it's not a baby. The baby didn't have a choice, either.
The only situation I believe when an abortion would be acceptable is when the mother will die if the baby is to term.

09 January, 2006 11:32  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Gayle, I was hoping to coax you out of your shell eventually! Glad I was able to hit a nerve. What do you think of my son? He's a handsome fella isn't he?

Well, I'm with you guys - I said as much, just because it's rape or incest doesn't make it not a baby. Agreed, the baby didn't have a choice, but I think it should be an option in these cases. Not, "It's a child of incest, KILL IT! KILL IT!" I mean that choice should be available to the mother.

Abortion as a matter of convenience is reprehensible. (This is also my view on circumcision, by the way, which will be a topic for another day, as you can't equate the two.) But I think that in the event of a pregnancy as a result of a heinous crime, it should be on the table. Could you reasonably expect to have a daughter going through with having her father's baby? I can't get there from here.

09 January, 2006 11:45  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox bloody well said...

Awesome, awesome post. And I looove the picture of your son. It makes it much more personal and real.

I had a friend in highschool that thought about abortion until she went to a Crisis Pregnancy Center and saw the pictures and that it was really a baby.

I appreciated Gayle's comments as well. She is right that we live in a different world now.

I understand your sentiments about rape and incest and I think you have a point. But I know I could never get an abortion no matter what the circumstances. And the problem with women who get an abortion after rape & incest is it further scars them. I also think it needs to be pointed out that very few women get pregnant from rape situations.

Good post Matthew!!

09 January, 2006 11:51  
Blogger shoprat bloody well said...

I have to agree with you, but I would add one more time that I would consider it the lesser of two evils. That would be if the girl was far too young to handle pregnancy or childbirth, say 12 years old or younger. I don't like it but would consider it tolerable in such circumstances.

09 January, 2006 11:52  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

There, Shoprat, I might have to disagree. Though it is equally horrifying that children that young would decide that having sex is a good idea, dealing with what they have brought upon themselves might be the best thing for them.

They don't know any better? Maybe not, but I would hope they would know better afterward. That's a tough situation for all parties, though, I agree.

Then you also get into statutory rape where only one party can legally consent and it's a whole other can of worms. Unless you're 100% for or against something, you get into the question of where the line should be drawn. The principle that I base my stance upon is that people need to deal with the consequences of their actions.

09 January, 2006 12:01  
Blogger Corie bloody well said...

This is my first visit here...I came to it from Crazy Politico who had linked you.
This topic has alway been an important one to me, but even more so now that I have found out that I am 6 weeks pregnant. Love the pictures by the way!
I am in full agreement w/ you that women (and men) do have choices. We can CHOOSE to put ourselves in a position that could very well lead to a pregnancy. If someone CHOOSES to do that then they should have to deal w/ the consequences...take responsibilty for their actions! Don't kill an innocent life just because you made a poor CHOICE...how selfish!

09 January, 2006 13:40  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Corie, thanks for stopping by and congratulations!

Actually, I'm an advocate of selfishness, just not at others' expense.

09 January, 2006 18:49  
Blogger Crazy Politico bloody well said...

What a great debate, but on issues that make sense, not on the idea of 'abortion on demand', which to me doesn't.

Congrats Robo and Corie on your future children.

10 January, 2006 19:47  
Blogger Stephanie Rose bloody well said...

Hi Fish:

Nice post! I would also be in favor of placing strict regulations on who could and could not get an abortion. But there are so many considerations.
I noticed you spoke of making people responsible for their actions by dealing with the consequences.
I have a problem with this one, because there are SO MANY people that will NEVER be responsible NO MATTER WHAT. I have worked in health care all over the south. South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. One of the biggest health care problems in these areas is (please no name calling, ie: you racist pig. Thee are just the facts). You have probably guessed it by now...babies born to black drug addicted mothers. These mothers, and the 'johns' who provided the 'seeds', will never be responsible for their offspring. And I'm sure this doesn't come as a surpise that their extended families usually aren't either. These babies, 90% of them having physical and/or mental handicaps, in most cases, quite severe, end up in institutions, or put in foster care homes, both very expensive, due to the fact that as handicapped children they are covered by special laws, requiring lots of bureaucratic red tape monies, besides the actual amount of money needed for the special health care they require. All of this is paid for through our tax dollars. The problem is probably far worse than many people imagine...it is getting worse, not better.
Now, the grand finale. I don't have the answer just yet. But if this problem persists to grow exponentially, the way it has been, soon this country is going to be overwhelmed with these handicapped children. I know one state where within a 20 mile radius there are over 7 large institutions just for these children....and scores of people in the community are living on 6 figure incomes by taking these children in as foster children. Remember they are high risk children, so this is not the usual foster care situation, where the money isn't all that great. The money is fantastic. But, consider...these children's parent will never contribute to society, and neither will their children. Are we going to be overcome with handicapped children?
So, anyway, I do not have the answer, but I was wondering if you had any ideas, as it does seem as though you have given the abortion matter a lot of thought.
And forget about birth control responsibility...these women aren't responsible for anything. They live to get high, period. They are offered free birth control, they just don't give a crap. Many don't bother to get abortions, simply because they aren't sober long enough to realize they are even pregnant. The sort of person who would take drugs while pregnant isn't responsible for anything. But what is the answer to get them to be responsible? Mandatory abortions say... after the 2nd handicapped child? (We really can't FORCE people to be responsible.) Many of these women have 5, 6, 7, 8 babies, all handicapped. MORE free handouts, or programs? Forget that...also a dead end. Any ideas?
The ONLY idea I can think of that might work, is to make it a felony to have a child born addicted to drugs....and prosecute it very severely, and have very stiff sentencing guidelines. Currently nothing is done to correct the error of these mothers' ways.
And sure we would be forced to pay for the prison care of these felonious mothers, but at least we wouldn't be overrun with handicapped crack babies at the rate we are now. And the prisons would be much cheaper in the long run.

And OMG! I love Gayle...I've been here several times, and could barely read a thing because of that silver bar. Sometimes I just gave up. I was just too embarrassed to say anything.
Thanks to Gayle, I know I'm not the only one!
If there are any typos, sorry...this is way too long to proofread.

10 January, 2006 23:34  
Blogger Stephanie Rose bloody well said...

Oh...and I am positive that the population of children within these same types of families would be much higher, if not for the fact that some of the extended family members DO INTERVENE and INSIST on the drug addicted mother getting an abortion. The population would probably double, if not for that. See, the extended family can't babysit an adult female to make sure she takes her birth control pills, that is an impossible task, but they can drive her to the abortion clinic after the fact. So if we take away that as an option...sheesh!
Hah! That's how this all tied in to your abortion issue, and I got so long winded, (and exhausted) I forgot to mention it.
So the ONLY realistic intervention I can think of is a no nonsense prosecution.

10 January, 2006 23:46  
Blogger Stephanie Rose bloody well said...

And I called you Fish....that's the only way I can remember who you are...."the people covered in fish guy".

Sorry, I'll try to do better.

10 January, 2006 23:51  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for stopping by! My name's Matt, but a lot of folks just call me by my user name "Robosquirrel" or "Robo"

I don't think you can make anyone a responsible human being, but people can be held responsibile by having to deal with the consequences of their actions.

The issues you bring up are a heck of a can of worms. I think taking illegal drugs while pregnant should be felony child abuse, but that doesn't solve the problem. The so-called social safety net is another problem, because with as lucrative a welfare system as we have, it's ripe for people to take advantage of it. And it's getting worse, not better. I'd like to see them cut off, because that's no way for people to live.

Strictly speaking, I think most of these people, without a government to mooch off of would do one of two things: clean up their act, or contribute to the crime problem, as they already do.

Since they're already part of the problem, I don't think taking welfare benefits away will result in significant consquences aside from an increased responsibilty of law enforcement. You know, financially or governmentally. Socially the consquences of such a thing would be completely unpredictable. I hate being penalized for my ability to manage my own life by being forced to support those who can't manage theirs. Why should the successful, productive members of a society be forced to care for those who can't be bothered to care for themselves? Wouldn't it be great if our schools would teach children that if they don't get themselves financially independent and married before they have children that they are lining themselves up for a lifetime of dependence on the charity of others?

We've created this situation ourselves by refusing to allow people to take responsibility for their actions, to the point where people now believe they are not responsible for anything they do. Gone are the days of settling the frontier when you had to take care of yourself or die. I think we need a return to that sort of mentality. A nice, stiff wake-up call. It will never happen, the best I can do is raise my kids to be self-sufficient and encourage others around me to be that way as well.

I've gotten some complaints about the background and I noticed it interferes with the text if the window is anything but a full screen, so I'll be taking it down when I have a chance.

11 January, 2006 12:03  
Blogger Drew bloody well said...

I'm pro-choice, but I'll agree with you on one thing. Abortion law needs to be handled on a state level, as it was prior to Roe v. Wade. I don't think it's the Federal Government's role to be involved in the matter. I too have had a child out of wedlock, but managed to do the right thing at the time. I wed his mother and tried to be the best father I could. It may not have worked out in the end between his mom and I, but I am very happy that we didn't resort to plan B with the unwanted pregnancy. I seriously can't imagine life without him. That being said, however, until science can clear up the grey areas of whether a first trimester fetus is human, or simply potential.. whether or not it has feelings or thoughts or feels pain.. it's hard to justify, in my mind anyway, the ending of a pregnancy as out and out murder. Still, I don't think that an abortion is something that should ever be taken lightly, or as a birth control alternative.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

11 January, 2006 13:47  
Blogger NEO, SOC bloody well said...

Bravo robosquirrel; I may have issues with your 'exceptions' yet well presented post. Here is the only reason why I would disagree with the exceptions (mind you, my opinion):

You stated correct; "A life is a life!" I could never imagine what the rapee, incestee or potentially dying mother would be experiencing. Yet, we never know what the life we snuffed out could have been. A possible physician to cure cancer, aids, the common cold? A scientist who creates a manageable way of working with fission.

Your statement on the issue of "CHOICE to SEX, means OBLIGATION to PARENT" hit the loudest for me. Great post!

11 January, 2006 18:06  
Blogger NEO, SOC bloody well said...

And congrats!

11 January, 2006 18:06  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden bloody well said...

01 13 06

Good post and Congratulations Robosquirrel! Best wishes for you, Red and your son!!!:) Interesting perspective on the choice issue. I have always said that consensual sex in any capacity is a tacit endorsement for pregnancy because no method is one hundred percent effective except abstinence. But the exceptions are in really murky territory because some might say: Why should the child pay for the circumstances of its conception, if it is a life after all? And I have struggled with that question for a really long time.

I knew a gal who had been on psych meds for years (borderline personality disorder etc) and she got pregnant. She had to abruptly discontinue her meds, else the fetus could have birth defects. Yet she had been on the meds for so long that she went batty without them and was always suicidal. The doctor finally said it is either you or the kid. Turns out she was pregnant with twins and had to abort otherwise she would have committed suicide and she and the kids would've died. I think mental health is certainly a consideration, yet the innocence of the child cries out in my mind.

Good post!

13 January, 2006 07:18  

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