There are some questions that are difficult to ask and answer. Because there a lot of people in this world who don't like questions.
Me, I love questions. They are the door to knowledge and the catalyst of liberty.
My intent when I write about explosive topics is to encourage those women and girls (and men and boys too) who are asking questions. Yes, there are those who want to hear unedited and reasonable discourse on the unpopular, less PC, less "hollywooded", side of an issue - and that can be astonishingly difficult to find. Sometimes the narrative is so controlled, so limited, that disagreeing with even a part of it makes you a social/cultural heretic.
Hello, I'm Ginger, the social/cultural heretic.
The heretics of olden days were painted as Godless crazies, and perhaps some of them were. But they were the ones who were asking questions, and the questions then were as necessary as they are now. Heretics don't get hysterical if someone raises their hand in class; they cannot be offended, don't share a tearful or hateful testimonial in answer to every challenge and don't shut down debate with accusations of bigotry or misogyny. They allow you to take a step back and form an opinion without automatically being crucified for threatening the status quo.
The last few weeks have been a turbulent time for those who are invested in the issue of abortion. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to reconsider your news sources - the media overlords don't like stories that prompt questions. I won't go into the details here because I already have a lot I want to say on the subject and the burden of keeping yourself informed ultimately must reside with you. Just Google "Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts" and educate yourself, I beg you.
Minus the details, the crux of the matter at hand is that once you allow for the de-humanization of a human being, all bets are off and the slippery slope gets awful steep. We've gone to a very bad place as a society, even many abortion advocates are saying so, and we now have the opportunity to start an entirely new discussion on abortion and how we as nations measure the value of human life.
I am clearly pro-life, I won't deny it. But I was never satisfied with the old abortion arguments, even those I agree with. It's not enough that God says don't do it. It's not enough that a woman wants to do it. It's not enough to argue that a soul is in peril. It's not enough to claim that it's just a lump of tissue. A life and death issue cannot be decided by anything so arbitrary. We need something more.
So this is my argument for life. It is the product of a great many questions and while personal experience and emotion were the catalysts, the architecture is purely reasonable. Regardless of your opinion, I want you to "get" mine. It's important to genuinely understand people, even if you will never agree.
My mom was seventeen when she got pregnant. Seventeen.
She was a naive, highschool drop-out who thought she and her boyfriend would live happily ever after because, oh my gosh, they were in love. And while my parents did succeed where most others fail, staying together for over thirty years, they endured the dirty, hungry, angry, and brokenhearted dips and falls of a couple of uneducated teens, trying to raise a child. And I was there through it all.
I don't know what it's like to be pregnant with an "unwanted" baby. But I sure as hell know what it's like to be the baby. Because it wasn't all about my mom. I was there too. Her decisions may have changed her life, but they created mine.
I once watched a Canadian Prime Minister running for a second term in office appear on tv with an army of women at his back and insist that the women of Canada do not want to re-open the abortion issue. In confirmation, the women behind him shook their heads in eerie, sycophantic unison. There are plenty of women in Canada wanting to re-open the abortion issue. I know this for a fact. But the government and media resist at every turn. Why aren't we allowed to question?
And why is today the crucial moment to demand a discussion?
The first fact of vital import is that society was never able to form an agreement on this issue...ever. The fact is, the people who ushered in the age of elective abortion are getting old and dying. And the new generations are finally being allowed for the first time in decades to revisit the issue honestly, due in large measure to free exchange of information and opinion online. Thank you internet.
The old debate is half a century old! We are in desperate need of an update. A 2.0 if you will. The old science and political interpretations surrounding abortion don't hold up under today's scrutiny, and it is our duty to scrutinize. People want to tap the brakes and talk about humanity. We've been hit in the gut repeatedly with war and terrorism and we need to talk about life.
The gruesome crimes perpetrated in Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic opened many eyes to the grim reality of the "procedure" and the victimization of women based on race and socio-economics. The under-shared videos revealing Planned Parenthood execs and doctors discussing the procurement and sale of baby parts (even harvested from whole babies as they lay dying) opened many eyes to the exploitation, manipulation, and callous greed of the abortion industry and its champions. It's a nasty business indeed and we now have the means to examine it for what it is.
But is there a prettier side to the coin? One to use in its defense? I'm being serious. The question must be answered.
If you want to know why I'm pro-life, then let's look at the tired arguments for abortion that are still being made. Pro-abortion lobbyists have endlessly argued that a baby is not a baby until birth, or as Hillary Clinton puts it, not until the baby leaves the hospital. They claim it doesn't think or feel pain. That it doesn't resemble mom and dad. We know those things are simply not true. Because science.
With technological developments in ultrasound in particular, we know much more about the baby in utero than ever before. The foetus does live and it is already growing, learning, and feeling. The DNA is formed. The biological life of this person is mapped. It is a human being.
The old radical feminist guard also claim that women have a right to abortion because of some vague notion of dignity within the constitution (US). And we all want dignity. But my super smart readers know a thing or two about true human rights and they know that no government can ensure that a woman lives dignified, especially when she makes undignified choices. This idea that "dignity" means to never be embarrassed or ashamed or caught in a big old mess of your own making is just faux human rights mumbo jumbo. No state could ever assure such a thing in its wildest dreams.
The next item on the list of reasons to support abortion is the idea that unplanned pregnancies result in children who's lives are not worth living and that termination is a kindness. It is altruistic to "kill the spare" so that families are better able to enjoy their income. I kind of take issue with that. Actually, as a gal who grew up in poverty, I really take issue with that. I would have had a lot more stuff in life if my three younger siblings had never been born - and let's be honest, my parents couldn't afford to have two kids, let alone four. But I look at my life now and I don't need stuff - I never needed stuff - I need my family. And anyway, most people do recognize that our lives can become anything, despite hard beginnings. And if we justify terminating a woman's pregnancy because she is poor and uneducated, what does that say about the way we see the millions of people in this world who live in poverty? There are many, many girls who are completely unprepared and even unfit to be mothers. But that fact does not change the nature of the child growing inside of her. Money makes the world go round, but it does not define life or even determine its future.
And of course there are children with disorders and deformities. But can we honestly claim that there is value to a disabled person's life while denying value in a disabled foetus? How can we say it's a kindness to prevent a disabled person from being born?
As far as harvesting baby parts is concerned, the abortion lobby insists that the research being done on this tissue is saving lives. That's probably true. But does that justify the unethical practises in obtaining the tissue? Remember, the world was gifted a great deal of medical research, some of it in use by doctors today, from the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. It sounds dramatic, but it's not an unreasonable comparison. Those victims were declared unwanted by the state. Those victims were undeniably human, but deemed a societal burden by the guys wielding the scalpels.
Lastly, the abortion lobby insists that at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that it's a woman's body and she can do what she wants with it. But does that make sense? I mean it's true to a point - right up until that woman's body ends and a new one begins. But what makes up a body? We're all just lumps of tissue if you want to get technical, but you can't keep claiming that an unborn child has no body when Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts. No one is selling your parts. It's not your tiny heart lined up for a lab experiment. It was a part of an organized being. Lumps don't have beating hearts, people do. And can we say that a woman has an extra heart? Or are we required to admit that what beats inside her womb is housed in a dependent but separate body?
Do you see why so many continue to question elective abortion? The old platform is basically a slab of swiss cheese. And no new arguments have been made.
We know that an unborn child is alive and growing and human. Undeniable. We know that being unsaddled with children is a lifestyle choice, not a right. We know that there are couples lining up in droves to adopt and that these new babies are very much wanted by somebody. These are facts and no one can refute them, even those so committed to controlling the narrative, they can't let us consider these things.
You can support abortion if you want to, just know that you need a NEW platform. The debate has to change because our world has changed.
But in the end, facts haven't mattered as much as they should.
You see, in our society, we don't rely on facts to define human life. We never have. We pretend to consult science, but we don't. Because when a woman wants the child she's carrying, we call it a baby. We name it. We buy it gifts. We talk to it. We play it music. We celebrate. If a woman doesn't want the child, we call it a foetus, a blank lump of tissue, a source of shame. But those unborn children are exactly the same. We only perceive them differently as a matter of circumstance.
And our attitudes with regards to sex rely heavily on the fact that we have all these so called "safety nets" in place to cover up our mistakes. We actually take greater risks because we think we've been provided with easy remedies, from abortion to welfare. As a societal ill, unplanned pregnancy just keeps getting worse. Because abortion doesn't teach self respect.
Abortion laws are based on human perception, not fact, not science, and most importantly, not human rights, which is what makes them unjust and faulty. Understanding this is key. Because laws in a free society MUST be created in deference to inalienable human rights.
So let's leave culture and ethics behind and get political. Because you know that this is the heart of the reason that Ginger is pro-life.
Elective abortion is granted by the state. It is a civil liberty that directly contradicts an inalienable human right. It is a legal practise that is morally wrong because it disregards a human right. The American civil war was fought on such an issue, and rightly so. Those who defended slavery were the masters. Those who defend abortion were born. It would be nice if we could give an unborn child a call and say hey, you're soon to be delivered to a teen with no money. Give us a thumbs up if you still want to go through with it. But they have no say. If they have human rights, then someone has to speak up for them. And of the few jobs that government should actually have, protecting our inalienable human rights is the most important.
If I only have human rights because my mom decided that I do under the law, then she and the government granted them to me by choice. And if I have no inalienable human rights (rights that cannot be taken away), then can I ever be truly free? Every instance of slavery and genocide in our world history began with the ruling class determining another class of human being to be less worthy and expendable for the good of the whole.
It's that slippery slope of de-humanization. And on that note, here's a heavy hitter for all the feminists out there.
What is the worth of a woman?
For ten years I walked the halls of the United Nations, listening to both men and women refuse to discuss women's education and literacy, participation in politics, access to the labour force, etc...because all they could talk about was a woman's uterus. The women's rights narrative was almost exclusively about reproduction, as if women are merely inconvenient baby factories; a roadblock to the UN's over-arching population control agenda. This is objectification in the true sense.
And I found it patronizing and disingenuous.
Education was continually lauded as a method of birth control rather than a vehicle for personal improvement and liberation. Healthcare was diminished to gynecology and obstetrics - even pushing out the important subjects of sanitation and immunization. It reeked of ancient patriarchy and the desire to keep women and children in check, with an added modern agenda of providing ample opportunity for men to have more and more inconsequential sex.
You want to discuss a real women's issue...there it is!
And there's also the argument, made by pro-abortion feminists, that it's morally wrong to abort a baby just because it's a girl. Of course it is! Most people would be quick to condemn sex-selective abortion. But then doesn't that mean it's wrong to abort a baby just because it's a boy? And then couldn't we say that it's wrong to abort a baby just because it's unwanted?
Wrap your mind around that one for a moment.
Also, it's maddening to hear people claim that I ruined my mother's life by existing, destroying her hopes and dreams and crippling her future. Well, they severely underestimated my mother. Would my mother's life have been better if I had never been born? Of course not. She would have had a different life, that's for sure. But it still would have been hard at times, still magnificent at times. There are things she might have gained, but many things she would have lost.
If you get pregnant and choose to keep that child, are you choosing a single vocation to the exclusion of all else? I ask this to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes. I ask this because we have this idea that we have all these choices if our kids were planned and no choices if they were not. And may I point out that many poor women choose to have kids and many rich women choose to abort. Many bad mothers chose to have kids and many excellent mothers got pregnant without intent. There is no one-plus-one-makes-two here.
But what I really hate is that we treat women as victims of circumstance who are imposed upon rather than thinking, feeling, self-determining people. My mom didn't set out to get pregnant at seventeen. But she did get pregnant. She wanted to have sex and felt the risk was worth the reward. I didn't want to be born to a teenager. But I was. And unlike my mom, I had no choice. But the point is that we both lived.
It isn't my position that there aren't serious dilemmas staring down these women and men who "accidentally" or casually create a new life. It is my position that once a new life is created, these dilemmas are secondary to human rights, as all things must be. Because really, what are these tiny lives being sacrificed for?
The only advantage of not being pregnant is for sexually active men and women to carry on as they were. There is no other end game. No health benefits other than the possible prolonging of the pre-stretch mark years. No monetary gain, unless you work for the abortion industry. And then there's the fact that while women still have to go through the physical and emotional pain of the abortion itself, men can forget the whole thing and move on to the next score. Of course, most men are not so shallow as that, but you must see that abortion is a handy back door for the non-committal and the predatory.
We keep propping up this toxic idea that consequence-free sex is necessary for happiness, when it's a complete myth. There're always consequences and we must be prepared to accept what comes, the good, the bad and the life altering. And that holds true whether you're seventeen or thirty seven. Perhaps you believe that the natural consequences to having sex ought to be avoidable and that's totally fine. Have kids when and with whom you want - it's a grand theory. I hope the odds are ever in your favor.
But unlike contraception, human rights aren't left to chance. We fight for them all or we lose them all.
We've erroneously weighed the choices we have every right to make against the choices we cannot be allowed to make on behalf of someone else. Convenience, fear, reputation, career...all stacked up against a human being. A human being.
That's what makes this issue so hard to discuss dispassionately. We value life. But we don't like that men and women have different reproductive roles. We WANT sex to be consequence-free. We WANT biology to switch on and off. We WANT to use self-discipline and foresight for some parts of life, but not others. We WANT to erase hurtful and embarrassing mistakes. We WANT all babies to be born at the right time and to the right people.
But with all our knowledge and technology, it still doesn't work that way.
If it did, we would never have allowed a medical procedure that rips unborn children to pieces. If we as women didn't fear for ourselves from a position of weakness, we would never look at abortion with anything other than complete abhorrence. The feminist movement embraced abortion out of fear. Fear of losing out, of falling behind, of struggling too much, of being seen as less than. Too bad they stopped being fearful of being sexually exploited by men they don't want to end up with.
This is what children die for.
I have only one last question. Why were you born?
What the hell makes you so much better than someone else that you get to live and they don't?
Is it because your parents were financially and emotionally stable? Or married? Does your life matter because your family had money and the right kind of character? Did you get to live because your mother was done with college? Or didn't fancy going? Or maybe she went to church every Sunday and was taught her whole life that abortion is wrong. Did you rank higher in importance than another child because your dad didn't run away? Or because your grandparents stepped in to help raise you?
As you can see, these circumstances are not of your making and completely out of your control. So is the right to life simply the luck of the draw? Or is it the ultimate human right, the foundation of all humanity, which we should be eager to defend and protect, no matter the sacrifice? No matter the fear?
This is why the issue of elective abortion was never laid to rest.
This is why we need a new abortion debate.
Our humanity demands that we ask these questions until we are satisfied with the answers.
*The baby pictured is
my beautiful niece, Coco,
who is now two and fiercely loved
because of her nature as a human being
and not as a matter of convenience.
because of her nature as a human being
and not as a matter of convenience.
*As always, feel free to retort on your own blog. If you can't respect my position, you must at least respect my liberty. Thank you.