Friday, December 03, 2021

But What About . . .

A long time ago, about 2005, I think, for we were at war in Iraq at the time, my husband and I went to Myrtle Beach for our vacation.

Being a news reporter and somewhat gregarious when I'm in public, even though I'm more reclusive and introverted than most folks, I tend to strike up conversations with people as we stand in line or sit and wait for tables or whatever. It's the Gemini in me.

That year, I struck a conversation with a nice couple. They were a little older than we were, and we were talking congenially about the weather and the beach, the things that had changed over the years, and this and that.

Suddenly, abruptly and bristly, and frankly out of nowhere, the man spoke up and said that his wife's cancer, which we'd not even mentioned, would not be cured because of abortion.

"Excuse me?" I said.

"We've let so many people die, probably the one who would have invented the cure for cancer has been aborted. The people who could make the best inventions are the ones women are killing off for their own personal perversions." The man's face reddened. He was nearly apoplectic, and my initial thought was something along the lines of, Holy shit, he's a nut and we're trapped in a line here.

But I also am not one to back to down. And abortion, my dear reader, is a touchy issue. I'd never have had one myself, but I don't think it's my place to tell anyone what they must do, even if it is only for 9 months and they can give the child away after they pop it out, as a Supreme Court Justice recently noted. 

After all, pregnancy carries great risks, emotional, physical, and financial, to the pregnant woman, and who I am to force gestational diabetes on someone, or to make a 12-year-old give birth to her half-sister conceived through incest with her father? Or force a woman to lose her job, or possibly her life, carrying a child she doesn't want?

That was not the tact I took, however. As I am a pacifist, the current war was a better target.

"Could be that we've just murdered the child who could cure cancer in the war in Iraq," I responded. "Or the mother who would have had that child. We're killing so many."

His wife gave the slightest of nods of her agreement with me but said nothing.

"The child who could cure cancer would have come from the United States," he retorted. I raised my eyebrows at that.

"You mean a white child, I suppose."

He nodded.

Fortunately, my husband, ever nonconfrontational, grabbed me by the arm and said, "They've got us a table," and dragged me away before I could become embroiled in an argument with a bigoted white supremacist.

I report this memory because it came to mind as I have read about the recent Supreme Court hearing on a southern state law that basically stops abortion. Many more laws will follow regardless of what the Supreme Court rules, but I write about this because it is a great illustration of what the abortion argument is really about.

It is not about women of color having abortions, or about killing women of color overseas in stupid wars that are for rich men and have nothing to do with protecting this country. 

It is about white women having abortions. It is about racism, it is about misogynistic ideas, it is about control. 

It is not about saving children so they can grow up to cure cancer. Because in order for a child, any child and every child, to grow up to cure cancer, that child must first have opportunity - the opportunity to be fed nutritious food, to live in a loving and supporting home, to have a quality education, to move about unburdened by depression or any other mental illness and be physically fit and appropriately raised.

We don't ensure any of that. In fact, the people who want abortion go to great lengths to ensure that children are not raised with such security.

Until we ensure that every single child born in this country has every opportunity to be the child who can grow up to cure cancer, and we ensure that the women we're forcing to have babies receive prompt, appropriate care, both mentally and physically, paid for and supported with tax dollars, then I support the right of women to choose whether or not to have a child.

1 comment:

  1. This is very powerful and well writteen. I wish everyone would read it.

    I personally could never have an abortion. (I don't think.) As a rape survivor, it is something I thought about seriously but never had to face. Still, I believe abortion is every woman's right.

    1) Resistance is based on religion. This country is based on freedom of/freedom from religion.
    2) Every baby should be wanted. Every mother should be safe.

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