Archive for October 2010

How I Became Pro-Life

October 22, 2010

I AM PRO-LIFE!  There I said it. It’s scary these days to be a Pro-Life.  Don’t you know that only religious kooks are Pro-Life? Any “rational” person knows that a woman has the right to do with her body whatever she damn well pleases, even if it is not in her own best interest or that of those around her. It’s not really a baby; it’s a fetus. People shouldn’t have to be burdened with a child if they don’t want one and they especially shouldn’t be forced to accept a child that isn’t “perfect” in every way.  They’d probably make crappy parents anyway.  Isn’t it amazing what people can convince themselves of when they want to have their own way?

I started out as one of those people who personally thinks that abortion is wrong, but “I don’t have the right to tell other people what to believe or how to act.” Now I never approved of late-term abortion, so people who aborted for eugenic reasons were always low in my estimation.  I was less hesitant about abortion during the first four months of pregnancy, though, and I believed that it was somewhat justifiable in instances of rape or incest.

There were always things that bothered me about the concept of abortion, though. Even as a teen I believed that sex should never and could never be a casual thing. It should be between two people in a committed relationship. At first I didn’t think that marriage was necessary, but now I do for a variety of social and psychological reasons in addition to religious ones. I always felt that abortion was a way for irresponsible people to do as they pleased without having to accept the consequences. Anytime someone says, “You can’t force a woman to have a baby”, I think to myself, “Well, probably no one forced her to have sex yet she knew that this was a possible outcome.” It’s like saying, “How dare that knife slice off my finger when I swung it down on my hand.”

The second thing that always bothered me, even though I considered myself Pro-Choice, was how people seemed to con themselves with the semantics game depending on their personal desires. If someone is happy to be pregnant, they tell everyone they know “I’m having a baby”. If someone wants an abortion, then they like to pull out the term “fetus”. When it’s a cute little bovine, we call it a “cow”. When we want to kill the cow and eat, it suddenly becomes “beef”.

Once I became pregnant with my first child my perceptions about abortion began to shift even more. At your first trip to the doctor, you normally have an ultrasound these days. Even early on, you can see the head and body forming and the little heart beating. And as the months roll on, you start to feel the little flutters and movements like kicks and even hiccups, and at the 20-week ultrasound you can see all of the bones and organs. They can even identify if it is a boy or a girl in there. Anyone who aborts at that point must really be conning themselves that there is not a living human being in there. In fact, babies in utero sometimes have a better quality of life than some people outside of the womb. And what’s really amazing is that doctors are becoming able to save babies that are born more and more premature every year. (Again, the semantics game. If the baby is wanted, then it is “born premature” at 22 weeks; if the baby is not wanted then the “fetus is aborted”.)

So, I pretty much concluded that abortion even in early months was wrong. But when does life really begin: fertilization or implantation? If the fetus does not implant or implants improperly, the baby can not survive. I was tempted to believe that life begins at implantation.  Therefore the morning-after pill was ok, especially after rape. This made birth control pills ok as well, since they often prevent implantation from occurring.

Then when you look at all of the physical side effects associated with birth control pills (cancer risks, blood clots, changes to brain chemistry), and you can’t help wonder if taking those might not be worse for you than an unplanned pregnancy. Then they started lobbying to make the morning-after pill available without a prescription. The morning-after pill is basically a heavy-duty birth control pill with a very high dose of hormones that could really mess up someone who popped them like candy. Internally, I used to kind of debate the whole fertilization/implantation thing, but I decided to have faith in the Catholic Church on this one and go with fertilization.

How does this translate into “telling other women what to do with their bodies”? Once you sweep away all of the false rationalizations, you can’t get over the fact that it is not just a woman’s body anymore. There is another body in there, too. The owner of a building can tear it down if he wants to, but not while there is a person inside it. Whether you call it an embryo, a fetus, a baby, a child, a teenager, an adult, or an old fart, it’s still a person. So, if no one has the right to tell anyone what to do with their bodies, then why do women have the right to force a person growing inside them to die?

If it is not a human being from conception, then when does it magically become a human being?  When it passes through the birth canal or Cesarean incision?  When it is capable of living outside the womb with minimal medical intervention?  When it is capable of living outside the womb even with a lot of medical intervention?  When it is capable of feeling pain?  When it has a body and a beating heart?  How can we logically and honestly assign an arbitrary line between “a fetus” and a “human baby”?  It’s either a human being in there from conception or it’s not.

And if it’s a human being in there from conception then it doesn’t matter how it was made…whether by two people having a good time without thinking about the consequences, a married couple renewing their marriage covenant through the conjugal act, a scientist  putting an egg and a sperm together in a petri dish, a father abusing his daughter, or a woman being violently forced.  It’s either a human being in there from conception or it’s not.

The only rational, honest, and scientific conclusion that I can come to is that IT IS A HUMAN BEING IN THERE FROM CONCEPTION.  Therefore, elective abortion can not be defined as anything less than murder.  That is why I am Pro-Life.

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September 2010 Reading List

October 21, 2010

So, I am REALLY late posting this, but…

1.  Street Gang by Michael Davis:  I really only read about half of this.  My husband picked it up in a bargain bin for me.  It quickly became apparent while it was in the bargain bin.  It’s about the people who created Sesame Street, and I swear I learned more about Captain Kangaroo than I did about Sesame Street.  It did give me a hankering to read more about Jim Henson and reread The Tipping Point–have to add that to my reading list.

2.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:  I hadn’t read this book since the 8th grade (according to the notes on the inside cover of my copy).  While I remembered the gist of the story, I think this is the first time I really appreciated why it is considered a classic.

3. A Miracle for St. Cecilia’s by Katherine Valentine:  This a sweet book about a small town praying for a variety of miracles and how God answers their prayers in unexpected ways.

7 Things…I Love About Piper

October 6, 2010

1.  Piper is always just herself.  She’s not concerned about what others will think about her.  She doesn’t pander or show off.  She’s just Piper.

2.  Piper is decisive.  She knows what she likes and what she wants and what she doesn’t.  There’s no agonizing.  She just wants to get ‘er done and move on to the next thing.

3.  Piper makes the funniest faces and voices.  It’s all in those big blue eyes.  Sometimes she’s like a cartoon character.  She loves to make people laugh with her silliness.

4.  Piper likes to snuggle.  Even when she went through a three-year period of not wanting any kisses or hugs or “I love you”s, she still liked to snuggle up with Mommy and/or Daddy.  Now she likes to snuggle with her two younger sisters.

5.  Piper is very smart.  Or, as she often says, she has lots of “thinking places in her brain”.  She loves to memorize math facts and how to spell words.  She doesn’t get overwhelmed with new challenges.  When there’s something that she wants to do, she figures out a way to do it herself.

6.  Piper is up for anything.  When life has unexpected twists and turns, she just rolls with the punches and sees it as a new adventure.

7.  Piper is a wonderful dancer.  I think that part of this goes back to item #1.  She’s not concerned about what others will think and dances from the heart.  Even though formal dance classes weren’t her thing, she has a natural grace about her.  And she loves great disco/techno music and the way it makes her want to move her body and have fun.

Happy 5th Birthday, Piper!!!