Tag Archives: abortion

Murky Certitudes

Abortion is no different than clipping fingernails. At least that was what my mother and I believed in the early 1970s.

At the time, the debate raged on as to whether to legalize abortion or not. Pro-choice and pro-life were not, as of yet, the labels for opposing movements on this issue.

In 1969, NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) organized. I think NARAL sponsored the pro-abortion booth that I volunteered at the State Fairgrounds one year. Among the prized livestock and blue-ribbon winning homemade jams, I passed out this radical literature to the fair-going public. The anti-abortion people had their own booth and ventured near us with their bloody photos of aborted fetuses. We just shrugged and kept on distributing our NARAL pamphlets.

Years later I thought about my carefree stance on abortion. I should have known not to align myself with my mother’s point of view. At times my mother would tell her friends and relatives that she had a right to kill me since she gave birth to me. I was eleven at the time and I protested this proclamation. She told me to shut up since she can say what she wants to say.

If a fetus/baby can be aborted at 8 months, is it murder when the mother kills the baby shortly after its birth? Maybe you can push the issue and kill the kid well after a decade of her life. I had to live with a whole lot of crazy so my brain works in weird ways.

But if a woman’s life is in danger during pregnancy, even a late-term one, the American medical community can and will save the mother’s life before the baby. A reversal of this position would be unwelcomed. If a radical pro-life agenda is capable of eliminating all abortions, I’d be working in a booth at the fairgrounds again.

The very liberal and very conservative in this country are disingenuous. They can’t talk to each other and only want to divide and humiliate each other. You can be against abortion, but don’t chase women back into dangerous back-alley abortions. You can be for abortion, but don’t be so flippant about the gut-wrenching feelings others have on the issue.

Today the medical community keeps formerly unviable fetuses alive. But desperate women will seek out abortions legal or not for a number of personal reasons. Compassion must encircle this difficult topic. A safe abortion is far more than a clipped nail, but sadly it is necessary and I hope as rare as possible.

Woman Evolves

Baby-making tool,

Before Equality’s Crown—

Turn — stem-cell machine.

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.