TO BE (BORN) OR NOT TO BE

Once again, the old chestnut, abortion, is on everyone’s front burner.

Yawn.  Surely protagonists to this continuing saga have better things to do?  Or, am I mistaken in believing our economy is in the crapper; our crime rate frighteningly, intolerably high; our education non-existent; and our children jobless?  Surely the young and pretty Lisa, who found space in her sectoral debate presentation to raise the topic, has enough troubles managing what appeared a simple portfolio to add phantom issues to her daily woes?

Here’s the thing about abortion: like homosexuality, adultery and prostitution, it’s always been and will always be with us.  Legalise it or criminalise it.  Have fun subjecting it to all sorts of religious or political dogma.  It won’t affect the abortion rate one whit.  I wish governments would stop trying to force anybody’s morals down others’ throats and get on with the task of governing which most struggle to understand or execute.

I’m against abortion.  I believe life begins at conception and any interference with that life at any stage is homicide.  I’d never knowingly participate in or consent to any abortion for any reason.  Philosophically, that’s easy for me.  I’ve never been pregnant.  None of my hundreds of baby mothers have ever, as far as I’m aware, contemplated abortion.  So, for me, it’s a no-brainer.

At the same time, I’d never condemn my neighbour for or try to prevent her from having an abortion.  Zero abortions are right for me.  I don’t presume to decide what’s right for someone else. 

So, if Adam and Eve decide on having an abortion, I’ll defend their right to abortion.  If they can’t agree, I’ll give Eve the casting vote not because I believe the feminist claptrap about the foetus being a “part of the woman’s body” (look, Ms Steinem, even Roe v Wade accepts that, at some point, arbitrarily fixed by the U.S Supreme Court in that case, the foetus becomes a separate life form) but, because the foetus develops within the woman’s body, she’s likely to suffer most of pregnancy’s practical consequences.  So, although consensus is preferable, she gets the veto power.  

If I believe all abortion to be homicide, why would I support another’s right to commit such a heinous act?  Because, in the real world, homicide is a daily way of life; often justifiable.  Religious dogma (by definition, incapable of co-existing with thought) begins and ends its argument by establishing that abortion and homicide are identical.  So what?

Nations regularly declare wars on other nations thus condemning thousands of innocent soldiers to death.  Should wars be illegal?  Maybe.  But they’re not.  So why is abortion?  Philosopher/songwriter Bob Dylan, in his 1960s peace plea, warned:

                   “How many roads most a man walk down
before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
before they’re forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind….

Many countries still practice capital punishment some for far lesser crimes than murder.  Many innocents are killed by capital punishment annually.  Should capital punishment be illegal?  Maybe.  But it’s not.  So why is abortion?

Every day, persons with political power take life and death decisions for their idea of “the greater good”.  Ask your grand-parents how the phrase “sent to Coventry” (meaning isolated; scorned; ignored) was born. Ought Churchill’s homicidal act been rendered illegal?  Maybe. But, it wasn’t.  So why is abortion illegal?

                   “Yes, how many times must a man look up
before he can see the sky ?                                                                                                       Yes, how many ears must one man have
before he can hear people cry?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
that too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
.”

Persons who decide to abort unwanted or inconvenient pregnancies all claim “the greater good”.  Foolish schoolgirls caught in the pregnancy trap believe theirs and their children’s lives doomed if they proceed.  Many face expulsion by bigoted, intolerant school administrators living in a bubble where pregnancies either don’t exist or, if inconvenient, are maliciously contrived to embarrass the school.  Panicked and frightened, some secretly abort those pregnancies, stay in school, become productive members of society and have beautiful children who grow up getting the best education and also become productive members of society. 

Is that “the greater good”?  I don’t know.  But I’m not brave enough to argue against it.  Are you?

Peace and Love

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