The Guy knows I’ve thought about abortion a couple of times this week, and he coincidentally found a pretty horrific story in the New York Times about abortions in El Savador on the same day I happened to buy the Mike Leigh film “Vera Drake” on DVD.
It’s an interesting time for abortion.
On January 22nd, 1973, Roe v. Wade was decided in the American Supreme Court, which ruled, essentially, that a woman’s right to privacy superseded a state’s law on abortion, thus legalizing the highly controversial practice.
That means, being 32, abortion has been legal for my entire life. Yet I can recall being a child and seeing the “Dr. Death” propaganda waved in front of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who was a legendary abortion activist. I was a staunch Catholic as a kid and perceived abortion to be “killing babies.”
Now, though, I perceive it as a necessary evil in a world where mistakes – and yes, crimes against women – can transpire. Should I find out I’m pregnant tomorrow, I’ll be at the clinic Monday. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve used the so-called “morning after” pill three times, the first being back when I was about 20. I even remember the condom breaking, that one catalyst that forced me into that situation. I take the birth control pill now, and use the condom as well. I’m vigilant. But if something were to happen, I’d go to a clinic and deal with it.
Because it’s my body, because it’s my choice, because it’s nine months of my life that’s at stake, because I know that my genes are likely to mean a kid may have too many medical problems in their youth, because there are too many reasons for me not to have a kid. Because.
I feel for men who believe that it’s their kid too. I feel badly that they might think they should have more of a say in the matter. But until they’re able to have a distended belly, all-over bloating, utter discomfort and unease for a nine-month period, until they’re able to “squeeze one out,” the choice needs to be that of the female.
I can say a lot of shit right now, and I’ll have many men on my ass as a result, so I’ll keep it short and not so sweet. Men have great intentions. They want to be daddies. They want to bring a kid in the world. Ultimately, the majority of them take their responsibilities too simply, and the women tend to have to do most of the cleaning, cooking, and whatever the hell else the Soccer Mom of the Year tends to do. It’s the way it’s always been, and while dads are getting more involved and taking on more, they’re kidding themselves if they think it’s all evened out now. There are exceptions, of course, and yes, I’m speaking in generalities, but generalities being “the norm,” we know this is largely true, so please spare me the arguments on this. There are exceptions, but let’s look at the norms, all right? For the sake of argument.
When some guy – a boyfriend, a lover, whatever – says he wants the kid, he’s going to take care of it, there’s not a whole lot to go on there. Intentions don’t make the world go round, and promises are made to be broken. When it’s 18 years to life, one doesn’t wish to take a gamble, not when one knows who’s to pay the price when it all goes belly up. She will.
When the religious right and all those other bubbleheads get on their soapboxes to proclaim the sanctity of sperm and the amorality of abortion, they’re forgetting that the world isn’t some idealist’s wet dream. Ideals are for fools, and reality is for the rest of us. Yes, kids can be put up for adoption, but there are already kids out there needing parents – they’re just not the cute and cuddly little things in pink bunny slippers that every yuppie this side of suburbia’s got designs on. Let’s take care of those already neglected before we bring more into the picture. Yes, there’s social assistance for mothers who can’t make the finances work, but it’s not enough. Yes, everyone claims they’ll be there for the women when the women need help, but three years down the line, she’s going to be all alone, and she essentially knows it.
The thing that makes me most mad about this whole anti-abortion thing is this: It’s Christians leading the charge against it – whether it be El Salvador, Guatemala, or here in our own backyard – and they seem to have missed that very, very important part in the book of Genesis. God allegedly put an apple on a tree, and told Adam and Eve it was there, and the choice was theirs as to whether to eat it. He said there would be consequences for their actions, the expulsion from Eden, but He chose as a Creator to give them the option to decide what they would do with their life. Consequences would be doled out in the afterlife, and purgatory would be the resting ground for debts to be paid. Them were the rules set out by the Big Cheese oh so many millennia ago.
So, here we are, thousands and thousands of years after these alleged events, and these fucking Bubbleheads have decided that God’s choice to allow us the freedom of choice just isn’t good enough for their little right wing mission.
I love how they want to adhere to the Bible when it suits them, yet throw it out the window when it means they have to live in a society that doesn’t adhere to their little cookie-cutter mentality of Utopia.
Get over it. Choice, according to your beliefs, was divinely given. Man cannot usurp it, is what the Good Book claims. Or is yours a faith of convenience after all? Oh, the hypocrisy. Fuck, I hate hypocrites.
*As for El Salvador and Vera Drake, I’ve more thoughts on those. I’ll get back to that another time. Abortion’s being messed with in a major way, and Bush is on a mission. Well, la di da. So am I.