At the end of this week in which we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the dubious Roe v. Wade decision, I have had some musings about abortion and the efforts we undertake to eradicate it. This is a little like a quick takes, but I'm too much of a non-conformist to do it on the right day, in the right number, or in some clever deviation from the norms. Sorry.
Musing the First
I admit that there is a time and place to use graphic images and descriptions of abortion. Many people are truly ignorant of the reality that is the murder of a living person in the womb which should be the safest place of all, and seeing the aftermath, hearing the grisly narration, sometimes this is necessary to break through the shell of that ignorance. Maybe.
However, in our gore-soaked culture, how often does another graphic image simply shut us down? How often does a gruesome description make us simply stop listening?
Let me put it this way. Do you think that showing images - or even videos - of the execution of convicts would convert an ardent supporter of current law concerning the death penalty? Or that the same from the aftermath of a drone strike would convince a supporter of our current military engagements contrary to just war doctrine?
The evil is important to remember, but better still to focus on the beauty to be preserved.
Musing the Second
Regarding the gore, it gets us focused on a particular set of circumstances. Yes, later term abortions are more gruesome, but our indignation, our outrage at the loss of life cannot be tied to the gruesomeness. Being pro-life in the context of conception to birth means that we will not stand for the violation of human dignity, whether it is a child with a heartbeat, or minutes after conception, or discarded in the process of IVF, no matter how gruesome the procedure.
It is easier to handle the murder of life that doesn't even look like life yet than it is when there are toes and a heartbeat. I know, losing Gabriel was harder than losing Angelica or Jeremy to miscarriage. But all three are my children. Every last child thrown away in "fertility therapy," or who cannot find safe refuge in the womb due to an abortifacient contraceptive or morning after pill, should grieve us.
A person's a person, no matter how small, and the death of an innocent is tragic, no matter how "clean".
Musing the Third
Pope Francis has spoken of our "throwaway" culture. Over 50 Million abortions in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade. Over 3,000 today. So many lives just thrown away, and here I sit. I would give anything to hold Gabriel for one more minute. So many children discarded and here I sit wishing I could hold him again. I just... I cannot wrap my head around that reality.
I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.
Or maybe this is an opportunity to contemplate that-which-is vs. that-which-should-be.
Musing the Fourth
I was trying to contemplate that dichotomy and got a 503: Literally Can't Even error. I don't get abortion. It is unthinkable to me.
Hey, that sounds like a segue!
No, it didn't. I'm tired. So sue me.
Even if abortion is made illegal tomorrow, they’re still going to be happening, so we really have to make abortion unthinkable.
Thank you. Couldn't have said it better. You are awesome. Erin agrees.
Musing the FifthFrom the... article...
Much media attention focused on the annual March for Life, when tens of thousands of anti-abortion protesters converged Thursday on the National Mall.
The Guardian is even more adorable with the headline "Thousands gather in 'March for Life'."
Yes, technically this is true. There were thousands. Tens of thousands, even. About 50 tens of thousands. For those of you playing the home game, we typically refer to numbers of that magnitude as "hundreds of thousands," but who's counting? I mean, surely no journalist with integrity would intentionally misrepresent the size of an event because of their politics, right?
Must be that new math.
Musing the Sixth
Our president commemorated the anniversary by making this statement:
Forty-two years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade, a decision that protects a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health, and reaffirms a fundamental American value: that government should not intrude in our most private and personal family matters.
I am deeply committed to protecting this core constitutional right, and I believe that efforts like H.R. 7, the bill the House considered today, would intrude on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today. The federal government should not be injecting itself into decisions best made between women, their families, and their doctors. I am also deeply committed to continuing our work to reduce unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, promote adoptions, and minimize the need for abortion.
Today, as we reflect on this critical moment in our history, may we all rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons.
Except the over 50 Million citizens - the missing 1/3 - that aren't here because of this "freedom." The 25 Million (statistically speaking) girls and women who don't have any rights because they were denied the first and most fundamental right - to life.
Must be more of that new math. Forgot to carry the 1 or something.
Musing the Seventh
Huh, I made this a list of seven after all, in a self referential way, but I'll mark it in the win column anyway. My blog, my rules.
Also, life is pretty grand, when you give it a chance. Let's try a little harder on that "making abortion unthinkable" bit this year, shall we? Support a pregnant single mother, love some people and show how awesome the joy is that comes from loving people, be excellent to each other, you know, all that jazz.
Because I don't want us to need a 43rd March for Life.