Half-Baked Ramblings on Abortion

The Zero Population Growth (ZPG) meeting I attended, circa 1972, had all participants agreeing that the United States needed to control its population growth before natural resources become depleted. Birth control was imperative to this goal. Abortion remained controversial when it was brought up.

This was before abortion became legalized. The people at the ZPG meeting had strong opinions on abortion; some for and some against. It wasn’t a violent division at this point. They decided to talk about it again at another meeting since no resolution could be reached.

ZPG bumper stickers were handed out at this meeting and I plastered one on my old car. I saw one person rant and rave a little when he saw the sticker on my parked car. Maybe others were unaware of the acronym’s meaning.

I owned a copy of Paul Ehrlich’s popular book, The Population Bomb. I wrote a high school report on the subject for a teacher that was strongly in favor of population control and refused to have children. He bickered with another teacher of mine that had five children. I got an A on the pro-Ehrlich report, more due to the subject matter, I believe, than the quality of the paper.

I spent a day volunteering at the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) booth at the State Fair. People from the anti-abortion booth came by to try to convince us of the error of our ways. I was unfazed by the dialog and pictures.

Yet later on, when I tried to imagine what I would do if I needed an abortion for whatever reason, it was heart-wrenching to think of it.

The pro-life movement believes that abortion is murder. Viewed this way, I empathize with their inability to condone it. Yet the inability to obtain a legal abortion, will not stop abortion.

If history can be trusted, women will continue to seek abortions no matter what its legal status is. I don’t want women to die or become injured due to a return of dangerous, back-alley abortions. That, too, is heart-wrenching.

Women comedians joke about wishing they were pregnant just so they could piss off pro-lifers by getting an abortion. Behind the dark humor lies the fear that all abortions will be outlawed by pro-life groups if given a chance. Jokes don’t take the pain out of the issue.

Doctor Kermit Gosnell performed legal abortions in dangerous conditions. Can’t we put safeguards on legal abortions without fear of closing down all abortions?

When pressed, even the most pro-life people are often willing to see the necessity of abortion in some cases. And I can’t believe that pro-choice people truly celebrate partial-birth abortions across the board.

Abortion remains controversial. So far, no number of meetings have reached a resolution.

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