Monday, January 24, 2011

Crowded Train: Oh Yeah, The Big Protest

The ride into the city on the Red Line this morning was a nightmare. First, it was seven degrees outside when I left the house. Then there were track problems at Rockville station and a train broken down at Medical Center. A nearly-empty train pulled up just as I ascended to the platform at Twinbrook, three or four sleepy looking people in each car -- the train stopped, sat there, never opened its doors, and it left again. The next train was a classic rush hour sardine can, as I tried to get toward the center of the car a guy standing at the door coughed all over me. He coughed all the way to Metro Center. There was a backpack jammed into my side and people jockeyed for a grip on the overhead support rails, too close for comfort.

After a few stops the familiar sound of chattering tourists out of season made me remember, oh yeah, today's the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They're having their big protest on the mall. I didn't see any signs this year, not one, but there were excited teenagers on the platforms and you could tell they were from out of town. If you live here you know the sound of it.

It is intriguing to me that abortion, of all things, is the most emotional issue, the one they kill over. It is estimated that forty percent of American women have had an abortion, this isn't something obscure or rare, it's something that happens every day. Conservative women have abortions, liberal women, white and black, religious women and nonbelievers.

I think almost everyone would agree that preventing an unwanted pregnancy is better than terminating it. That's one reason it is important to teach young people how to properly use contraceptives. But the fact remains, approximately half of pregnancies are unintended, and sometimes life's circumstances lead a woman to decide to end the pregnancy.

The idea that an embryo is a person from the moment of conception is unnecessarily absolute. For simple minds that can only consider black-and-white truths, this may be a useful heuristic, but I don't believe that anyone in their right mind really believes that the expulsion of a pinpoint ball of cells from the uterus is equivalent to killing a real baby. If you believe that a deity introjects a soul into some biological material at the moment of the union of a sperm and ovum, then fine, you have the right to believe that. If your religious beliefs teach you that aborting a fetus is a kind of murder, then again, good for you, nobody minds if you think that. The appropriate response then is for your religious leaders to promote practices that result in live births for members of your religious group. It doesn't matter how right you think you are, not everybody agrees with you, and they also have the right to their beliefs.

When it comes down to it, the only person who can decide if a woman will have an abortion is the woman herself. The father can offer his input, he may have an opinion, but in the end she is the one who will decide. It's just the way nature created us, the developing fetus resides inside the body of the female of the species, and she's the one with the final word on how that body will be treated. She may be intimidated or even forced to choose one way or the other, but a civil society should respect the fact that it is ultimately her decision.

The idea that government should force women to have babies seems entirely un-conservative to me. The decision to abort is perhaps the most private decision anyone can make, you are choosing whether to bring life into the world, and no one makes that decision capriciously. And yet the trains are crowded today with excited conservative people, conservative leaders will speak to the crowds, insisting that the government is better suited to make that decision than the woman herself.

If these people want to meet to show their support for pregnant women, in other words if they were really "pro-life," then there would be no controversy. They can rally to support live birth, encourage women to prevent unwanted pregnancy and provide assistance to those who are not sure they can handle the responsibility of a child. But I have the feeling we are not going to see a lot of people promoting birth-control pills and condoms on the Mall today, I am pretty sure we are not going to hear a lot of cheers for welfare and other assistance for impoverished mothers. No the subtext today will be about the irresponsible inferiority of women and minorities.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Why is it better to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than to terminate it? If we're not talking about a baby, then who cares?

January 24, 2011 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great research project: identify and track all of those "chattering tourists" and "excited teenagers" to determine how many of them will become pregnant, perhaps by mistake, perhaps by violent force, and for whatever reason, will have to make a decision to abort or not.

Those who choose not to abort should, of course, know the consequences of that decision, i.e. an unwanted child, having to turn the child over to an adoption agency, having to care for and nurture a possibly fatherless child at an age of 15, or 17, or maybe even younger. Talk about a life of dreams and hopes aborted!

Yes there are those who can successfully surmount the mountain of difficulties; but for every one of them, there are hundreds more who will have consigned a child/adult to a life of loveless misery.

How loving! How thoughtless!
Not My Decision

January 25, 2011 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great art project:

build on life-size Chinese-warrior-type statue for every child murdered by their mother since Roe v Wade made it legal

place them all on the National Mall between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial

then, throw a party for those mothers where they can celebrate their "life of dreams and hopes"

January 25, 2011 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, I think it's good that women have a choice, but I'll meet you halfway. How about we get the GOP to propose a law that will impose a penalty for "mothers who kill their [unborn] babies." Throw the murderesses in jail -- it's murder, so throw 'em in there for a long time! Hell yeah! Punish them! Make them pay!

What do you think, have we found a position we can agree on?

January 25, 2011 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Other murderers go to jail, so why not ones who kill their children?

January 25, 2011 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go, anon, you should encourage the GOP to make this part of their platform -- I'm so glad we have something we can agree on! Punish the mothers! Yeah! Jail time for moms! I love it, the new GOP hardline approach to stopping abortion.

High five, anon, we agree.

January 25, 2011 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An abortionist in Pennsylvania was arrested for killing one mother and eight babies. His name was Gosnell, I believe.

January 25, 2011 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abortionists are only providing a service to meet the demand of killer mothers. They shouldn't be punished for that. We can catch the murderous moms coming out of the abortion clinics, just arrest them and take them right to jail.

January 25, 2011 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself."

--Quote from Mother Theresa

January 26, 2011 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon I hate to tell you this but Mother Theresa was not a real mother.

You're changing the subject - how are we going to get a law to start arresting those mothers who have their babies killed?

January 26, 2011 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Squatters who move into someone else's property without permission get arrested and sent to jail. Maybe that's what should happen to all unwanted fetuses.

January 26, 2011 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most fetuses don't break in

there are invited in or are smuggled in against their will

hard to see why they deserve the death penalty for being an inconvenience to someone's "life of dreams and hopes"

January 26, 2011 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my sister was a teenager, a sneaky little fetus crept right in and threatened to ruin her hopes and dreams!

Miraculously, that fetus turned out to be a - gasp! ----a human!

Do you know that sly fetus is now a sly lawyer and her mother couldn't be prouder?

January 26, 2011 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's awesome! I'm so glad your sister's CHOICE worked out well for her.

January 26, 2011 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We could all go around, patting ourselves each day on the back, because we didn't knife another person in the neck or suck them up in a vacuum.

It's not a choice. She simply had a baby.

January 26, 2011 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If something "turns out to be a human", what is it before it is a human, "Anonymous"?

January 27, 2011 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rolling my eyes. I was being sarcastic. I guess the pro-aborts don't get that a fetus is human from its inception.

January 27, 2011 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not that anybody "doesn't get" it. It's a stupid idea. A fertilized ovum is not a human being. An embryo is not a human being.

The fact is, no mother has asked you to judge whether what is in her uterus is a person or not, and she just might not agree with you. You also don't know the circumstances of her pregnancy, her health, her economic condition, the situation that led to her impregnation, the suitability of the father, anything. You don't know anything and nobody asked you to comment on anyone's pregnancy and their choice to carry it to term or terminate it.

January 27, 2011 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter how long and hard a mother might wish, she cannot control whether her baby is or is not a human.

January 27, 2011 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"nobody asked you to comment on anyone's pregnancy and their choice to carry it to term or terminate it"

someone has to stand up for those to weak to ask for help

let them be born and then ask if they appreciate the help

let's see if you can find someone who is ane and wishes they were aborted by their mother

January 28, 2011 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

One of the CRG petition gatherers told Andrea her mother should have aborted her.

Does that make him "ane" or "in ane" to you?

January 28, 2011 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't believe that you were a baby or a human in your mother's womb, then why in the world would you care if someone says you should have been aborted? Why would you care if your mother aborted you?

That statement should have meant absolutely nothing to an abortion supporter.

The inconsistency is mind boggling.

January 28, 2011 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

What makes no sense is a pro-lifer telling someone they should have been aborted, but then it is well known that lots of pro-lifers have abortions when it's the best choice for them.

January 28, 2011 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And "Anonymous" many of those unwanted children have you adopted lately?

January 28, 2011 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh? Who can adopt an aborted baby?

January 28, 2011 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are thousands of unwanted humans in orphanages and the foster care system. What are you waiting for? Don't you want to save them or is it only fetuses in someone else's womb you want to save?

January 28, 2011 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, by your apparent reasoning that children who have broken families of difficulties should have been aborted....should everyone with problems, or who have lives that don't live up to certain standards, be exterminated?

January 29, 2011 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look who is stooping to use Nazi imagery. Do you think it's right for the government dictate to women what they must do when faced with unwanted unplanned pregnancies? Does that sound like liberty or totalitarianism to you?

Each woman has her own reasons for the choice she makes when facing unplanned pregnancy and her choice is no one else's business but her own. If you want to stand up for unwanted children, get active in the foster care program and provide for unwanted childrens' welfare.

January 30, 2011 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fifty million children have been killed in the United States alone since Roe v. Wade.

January 30, 2011 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about your numbers, but more than a third of American women do choose to have abortions at some time in their lives. it is an important and valuable procedure that needs to be protected and offered in a safe, sterile medical environment.

January 30, 2011 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. Women have the right to choose which people will live and which will die.


January 30, 2011 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abortion stats come from the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), which is a special research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which is an agency of the U.S. government.

January 30, 2011 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good enough, Those statistics demonstrate how important it is to protect a woman's right to choose.

January 30, 2011 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, so 50 million sounds like a good number to you, eh?

I see.

January 30, 2011 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a big number, which tells me that it is important to keep abortion services available, affordable, and safe for women who need them.

January 30, 2011 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Safe"? Safe for who? Not safe for the sacrificed baby.

January 30, 2011 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, you might choose not to abort when somebody else would, and it is just as possible that faced with a situation you would choose to. It's not your place to say what somebody else should decide.

January 30, 2011 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With that logic, why do we have any laws against killing anyone?

With that logic, the killer is always the one with the "choice" and the victim has no rights.

January 30, 2011 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have laws against killing people because people are part of society, they have personalities and are productive, there is an implicit contract among individuals that we will take care of one another. Embryos do not meet the most minimal definition of a human being, they are "potential" human beings but after a miscarriage or abortion they are not that any more. No human being is harmed during an abortion, only a potential human being.

January 30, 2011 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right -- after a miscarriage or abortion, they are no longer living.

January 30, 2011 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abortion and miscarriage eliminate the possibility of the embryo becoming a person.

January 30, 2011 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Five, six, seven and eight-month-old fetuses are no longer living either after a partial birth abortion. They're not embryos at that point.

January 30, 2011 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the US about 1.4% of abortions are conducted after 21 weeks of a 38-week pregnancy. There is usually a good reason, for instance the fetus is deformed, etc. That means 98.6% of abortions are done before the 21st week. You might be able to make a case that the mother should have a special authorization late in pregnancy, but it won't affect the great majority of cases.

January 30, 2011 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, let's see....1.4 percent of 50 million is approximately 750,000 babies killed.

But that's just fine, eh?

January 30, 2011 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, by the way, most partial birth abortions are done on healthy mothers of healthy babies.

January 30, 2011 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 1.4% are the most vivid case, but very rare. Sometimes abortion is necessary, it is not your job to decide when someone else needs it, or to judge if their decision is correct.

January 30, 2011 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, so society shouldn't have a say into who gets killed and who doesn't?

Let's just empty the prisons right now then.

January 31, 2011 7:26 AM  

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