Holy shit, what am I doing? Well, I’ve been away for a while, wrote some other blog entries which will be coming shortly, but decided I would postpone those in favor of something a little more polarizing. So yes, I’m about to talk about the right of women to choose when to reproduce, or depending on your political/religious affiliation, killing babies.
This is a difficult topic for most and people in the middle of this argument tend keep their comments to themselves because of the inflammatory nature of the debate. People feel very strongly about this topic for completely different reasons. And that’s a great place to start this entry, why do people have the opinions that they do. Where do these opinions come from?
People who are against abortions are generally described as being “Pro-Life”, while individuals who are for abortion are called, “Pro-Choice”. Both terms are designed to create a positive feeling about these individual points of view as if hearing the term itself is enough to convince some fence sitting individual to change up. The people in the Pro-Choice camp tend to believe that individuals, women in particular, should have the right to decide for themselves if they want to reproduce. After all, it’s not like it’s an easy short term process like taking your clothes to the dry cleaner and it comes with much health risk. People who are Pro-Life claim that an unborn fetus or fertilized egg is a being and not letting it eventually turn into a human is murder.
Claiming that women who don’t want to reproduce are murderers is quite the bold statement and I feel that we should investigate this claim to see if it has any merit. The claim itself is almost always a religious one. The idea is that a human soul comes from heaven or some such place and merges into the group of growing cells thereby making it a human being. The time frame for this celestial migration differs from one religious group to another and has changed throughout history. For most of history, this extra dimensional sojourn took place during the “quickening”. The quickening refers to the first time the woman feels the baby inside her move. If she felt that, she knew her unborn baby had a fresh soul. Sort of reminds me of what happened to Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters.
Other religions at various points in history have stated that the soul invades the growing egg at 120 days after conception and 40 days after conception. These souls are certainly prompt. I don’t know that I really care to know how someone came up with these figures so I’ll let you do your own research there. And of course most Pro-Lifers believe that the soul is sucked from its original realm at the very moment of conception with an uncannily Shang Tsung like ability. Like these souls are just sitting around waiting or something. Don’t they have anything better to do?
Of course science has never encountered any evidence for such a thing as a soul, let alone its average MPH. So, fortunately for the Pro-Lifers, it’s difficult to discuss this topic with any degree of intelligence or logic, letting them proclaim the magical abilities of the embryo whenever they can’t make a sensible argument. Let’s investigate where this enchanted proclamation came from.
History tells us that Pope Sixtus the 5th was the first Pope to declare that any abortion is murder. Sixtus was the Pope for five whole years from the year 1585 to 1590.
Wait a soul traveling minute now….how is it that a religious figure just decrees something about 400 years ago and now it’s taken as the gospel truth? (Pun completely intended.) Was there debate between Sixtus and his funny hat wearing friends? Where did he get this idea? It would have to have come from one of two places….the bible or his ass. Let’s look at the bible.
For the amount of hot air and actual violence the Pro-Lifers spew on this topic, the bible is surprisingly quiet. The God of Abraham and Moses sometimes kills unborn children as an act of vengeance or a punishment for being foreign but hey, he’s God, the rules don’t apply. What does the bible say about the unborn or of non-deities terminating pregnancies?
Hosea 13:16 – The Bible (You gotta read this one)
In the entire bible, the document from which all morality is supposedly derived, I can only find two versus that even come close to mentioning this topic. First let’s look at the verse that tells us what God thinks of the unborn. Open your bibles to Number chapter 3 verses 14 through 16.
The LORD said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, “Count the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more.” So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the LORD.
So what’s going on here? Well God wants Moses to take a census. Why does he want that? Perhaps he’s trying to calculate what he’s going to have to pay out in social security, who knows. But he clearly states that only people one month or older count as human beings. Ok, well maybe he has another reason for not wanting to count the unborn; after all he doesn’t even count the women. More than likely he’s planning on having his followers commit genocide on some neighboring society so lets move on to the next verse. This next delight is from Exodus 21, verse 22.
And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
So if I say…get into a bar fight and it spills into the street and in the process I knock over a pregnant woman and she loses her child, I am subject to a fine, that is if the woman’s husband presses charges. What if the woman doesn’t have a husband you might ask? Don’t be silly, such a woman would already have been stoned to death and her father compensated for the loss of property. So clearly from the picture that is being painted here, the loss of an unborn child is the equivalent of a modern day jay-walking offense…if and only if there is a male who stands to lose from not bearing a child….and by child I mean a male child. Now who can argue with that? Now that we have established that God doesn’t give a shit about unborn-unmales, where does the religious right get the notion that abortion is a crime against their superstition? Maybe from this guy.
Martin Luther, the man who bears two quite different distinctions in life. That of the leader of the great protestant reformation and that of some guy who was struck by lightning…I’m serious.
Martin Luther opposed letting women terminate their pregnancies even if there was a chance that it would kill the woman. He claimed that giving birth was a woman’s only purpose.
If women become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth–that is why they are there. –Martin Luther
What a complete and utter douche bag. But more than likely, most Christians probably don’t even know who Martin Luther was, let alone his 15th century stance on 21st century politics. They probably think he was the guy who marched with Jesse Jackson for civil rights in Memphis. Actually, strike that, they probably don’t know what civil rights are either given what seems to be their ever growing prejudice towards women based on the soul searching we’re doing today (slightly less clever pun).
Let’s bring our topic into the 20th century. Adolph Hitler banned abortion in Nazi Germany in 1935, but curiously the law only applied to the newly titled “arian” race. The law specifically allowed for non-German “stock” to have abortions. While not entirely pertaining to our line of discussion, it does illustrate how banned abortion can be used as a selective breeding process.
Let’s jump ahead about 40 years. And let’s pretend that people are still capable of manipulating the general population for personal gain. And let’s pretend these same people are American.
The Regan and Bush campaign of the early 80’s decided that if they could find a divisive enough issue that they could spin as being a religious or more specific, Christian issue that they could split close to half of the electorate in their favor in every election.
George H. W. Bush, the former representative from Texas, had been pro-choice up until this point but once he saw the hypnotizing affect it had on the Jesus lovin’ masses he changed his mind.
Regan and Bush joined forces with several prominent Christian leaders of the time and came up with abortion as their political smokescreen. And in true flock like fashion, the Christian right bought it hook line and sinker and followed exactly as they were told to. It was as if they hadn’t realized they were supposed to be upset about this issue and now they were set on making up for lost time. The church doesn’t call them their flock for nothing.
However well this worked at the polls, and it did work, the hate that grew out of it was much larger. In the time since there have been hundreds of acts of violence against clinical personnel who work at abortion clinics. There have also been several failed and successful assassination attempts on the lives of the doctors who work at these clinics. There is of course a strange and perverted irony that the Pro-Life movement feels that they must kill another human being to make their point that no one should kill another human being. As George Carlin once said, “These people aren’t Pro-Life, they’re killing doctors. What, they’ll do everything they can to save a fetus, but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it?”
Since this group of religious dick heads is the same group that generally opposes birth control (something that would reduce the number of abortions), and led by a political group that brings us some of the worst human rights for new mothers, this seems to double as an agenda for keeping women in their place. Am I wrong to suggest that the Pro-Life movement seems to be an anti-woman policy that convinces the simple minded people of the world to give more power to people who can’t earn it?
It would be great if both sides of this argument could find the middle ground. However, one side is convinced that their way is ordained by god. The other side is afraid to let these people gain anymore ground on the topic because they are capable of killing to win an argument. Like the late great Maxwell Smart said, “Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he’s a ruler.” Maybe one day we can all decide something sane and in the middle like, “no more 3rd trimester abortions.” But until one side realizes that they are being used and not getting their information from another dimension there will be no progress on this issue.