Monday, October 29, 2007

The Question

Andrew Sullivan, the conservative blogger for the Atlantic Monthly, and author of the book “The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It and How To Get It Back” apparently pondered an interesting question for the GOP presidential candidates that was mentioned by Bill Maher on his show, “Reel Time”. The question is worth repeating and thinking about.

The question Sullivan wanted to pose went something like this: “If you could go back in time and abort Osama bin Laden, would you do it?" What if the candidates answer, “no” all fetuses have the right to be born, even those who kill thousands and disrupt our world, as we know it; it’s still life and it is precious? Would you, the voter, agree that there could never be exceptions to complicated issues about life in general and pregnancies in particular?

Is it not reasonable or even logical to postulate further that perhaps it is erroneous to assume every pregnancy will in turn result in a wonderful gift to the world and enrich all our lives and the planet? Of course this is exactly the reality that Operation Knuckleheads ignore just as they ignore all the valid and important reasons why women should control their own reproductive decisions.

Perhaps some people’s God might teach the fetus of Osama Bin Laden is just as worthy as any other fetus, but others could logically argue that it is impossible to determine what a new life will bring to the world. It might be a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer like BTK. No one can knows for sure and it is dishonest to act as if all pregnancies are created equal and wonderful.

When Operation Knuckleheads use their propaganda to state that “all life is precious” they are ignoring the reality that not every child born into this world is mentally whole or grows up to be productive, loved, and well schooled enough to be a good citizen of the world. If all life were precious, there would be no war and there would certainly be no toleration for abused and neglected children in society. Children would all have healthcare and wonderful schools without whining from the taxpayer about paying for public schools. We know in reality, only “some lives are precious.”

I’m not advocating that women abort their fetus because they might be growing something like Rosemary’s Baby inside their womb, but merely to explain Sullivan’s question. He raises the dilemma that if we assume every abortion is killing the next Einstein we must also consider its opposite: abortion might be killing the next Frankenstein. When the anti-abortion crew stands on their soapbox about the sanctity of life, Sullivan’s question should haunt their certainty.

It is pompous and arrogant to assume that all pregnancies are a joyful gift from heaven when you consider such circumstances as rape or incest. There is little joy carrying a fetus to term with severe abnormalities causing permanent health issues for either mother or child. Joy is not a word to describe what most girls and women feel in these cases. Operation Knuckleheads do not care about these realities but continue the mantra “all life is precious”.

As a society we have to ask ourselves what do we value more? The rationale decision to control our destiny’s as much as possible, or to hope lady luck is on our side as we give parenthood a whirl on the Wheel of Fortune?

Being pro-choice means you support women in all their choices; including the decision to carry a baby to term under all the circumstances listed above or the decision not to do so.

In a perfect world we would like all babies to be born brilliant, and pregnant women to be capable and healthy for motherhood, but conditions are not always in the cards to produce such outcomes.

Whose to say that the woman who has made the choice to end her pregnancy has just saved the world from a monster? If that sounds ridiculous, it is just as ridiculous to assume the pregnancy ended was the end of a potential Saint.

Vickie Sandell Stangl

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