Abortion and the Bounty

This article concerns abortion. There's nothing about a bounty though. Nor is there anything about Roe vs. Wade. That's the most uninteresting and directionless political rhetoric in all the world. Abortion shouldn't be a political issue. It should be a private, moral issue. And that's how we will address it.

And there are two sides to it as a moral consideration: pro-choice and pro-life. Luckily, everyone on earth is both of these things. If you're currently alive, you're obviously not anti-life. I feel this is too obvious to explain. And the fact that you're reading this article through your own free will means that you're not anti-choice.

Using the term "pro" as a prefix to anything implies that there must be an "anti" as well. In this case, it's completely unfathomable that there exists a single living human being who opposes life and choices. Again, it's nothing more than ridiculous and directionless political rhetoric.

Since we're all on the same page now, and not clinging to pro and anti catch phrases, we can address this moral situation like adults. And while doing that, we get to learn that morally, both sides are 100% right.

Those who think abortion should be illegal say it's taking a human life. And it is. Granted the little human cells have no brain and consequently, no ability to know anything about life or even that it has one. But those cells from day one are instilled with the genetic information to develop into the exact child that will be born. On the day of conception, the genetic coding that will establish everything down to freckle-frequency and eye-lash-length is completely finalized. Day one. Knowing that, the argument that it's not a human being until it has functional organs is actually hysterical. That's like saying old people are no longer human beings if they lose functionality. "If we can't get grandpa a kidney transplant, he'll lose all hope of returning to mankind!" And the pumping-heart one is pretty good too: it's not a human being unless it has a heart beat. Under that logic, if someone's having a heart attack, they're instantly no longer human. If you feel so inclined to save them, realize that you're going to be performing mouth-to-mouth on a nonliving, inhuman creature. And then the brain-function excuse is equally funny because if some old guy ends up with really bad Alzheimer's, brain functionality is obviously gone, so he's no longer a person either- and Alzheimer guy has no potential in reclaiming human status, where Mr. or Ms. fetus has a really high chance.

So by all logical measures, the "abortion takes a human life away" people are unarguably 100% right. It totally does.

Here's the thing: that says nothing about a need for political and legal intervention. And when you play it out logically, the moral consideration of abortion really isn't that different than the moral consideration of the guy on dialysis with severe Alzheimer's. Life probably isn't worth it for this guy. Maybe it is, but I can't really see that being the case. What could possibly make this guy happy? When family visits him in the hospital twice per year and the kids are scared to death when the decrepit old man shouts at them because he has no idea who they are? "Oh but he still has the small things in life, like the joy of eating." People say things like ths. Big deal, all he gets is jello. He's on dialysis. And he has to eat it in his miserable hospital bed. There's no way this guy wants to live. If I were him, a noose would make me a billion times happier than another glistening square of jiggling, bright red jello.

This is the moral issue I was talking about. Taking life away is not the horrific, ghastly thing it's made out to be. In the case that the result is less pain, it's a genuine blessing. The only reason people think it's all ghastly is because of political agendas. Politicians tell you it's all demonic so that fingers can be pointed at the devilish "other party" who supports it. It's about nothing more than getting votes.

If you don't believe me, look at the 2004 presidential debates. "Partial birth abortion." Do you remember this? It was a huge topic, and the Republicans used it to tag horrible connotations onto abortion, and then assert that the Democrats supported this horrible act of inhumanity. It went something like this: "Partial Birth Abortion is the taking of a lively and jovial Christian child very late in pregnancy, such the baby even has cute Christ-like facial features, and then reaching up inside the mother and smashing the Christian baby's face in before pulling it out as a limp, smashed-face corpse. Democrats support this!" That was me paraphrasing. And my paraphrasing surprisingly wasn't all that different from what is actually said. It's described as exceedingly horrific and ghastly, and then fingers are pointed at its supporters. That's the standard political move I was talking about just a moment ago, and it totally worked. Republicans repeated this over and over, people were appropriately horrified, and the vote-getting-stunt totally paid off.

Here's the problem: actually read the "Partial Birth Abortion" legislation. It's the most ridiculous thing ever penned, completely absent of even the slightest vestigial trace of rationality. And I'm saying this because it's the sole conclusion one can come to upon reading it. The actual text is funnier than anything I can come up with, so if you want to stop reading here and read that instead, I won't be offended. But for those of you who stick around, here's what partial birth abortion actually is: once a fetus hits a certain stage of prenatal development, if complications arise, like it has no brain, or won't survive birth, or the mother won't survive the birth, etc., the size of the fetus's head makes it dangerous to perform a standard abortion. Because this was a problem, a pretty clever surgeon back in the 70's came up with a procedure (this) and called it dilation and extraction, so that if the mother decided against maintaining the rest of the 9 months just to shoot out a crippled and probably dead fetus, she could safely terminate the pregnancy early. The fetus feels no pain, it's over quickly, and it's the safest possible route the mother can take. Dilation and extraction is actually quite pleasant and relieving, considering the awful scenario that calls for its use.

But pleasant and relieving are unlikely descriptions from the Republicans in their misleading use of it as political ammunition. They wrote a really bizarre legislation, chalked full of adjectives (gruesome, etc), and phrases like "baby brains" and tried to call it "brain suction abortion." That was their first attempt at renaming dilation and extraction. Obviously that title didn't catch on because it didn't sound medical enough, so the next attempt was "partial birth abortion" which did eventually, and unfortunately, catch on.

In reality, it's nothing more than super, super, super weasely (and successful) attempt to surprise-attack Democrats with something they could in no way be prepared to defend against. Not even the doctors who perform abortions knew what "partial birth abortion" was when Republicans first brought it to the media in an attack against Democrats. So obviously the Democrats had no idea what was going on.

But for some reason, everyone went along with it. Honestly think it through: it's not like women are routinely having so much sex and cupcakes that they're repeatedly becoming unknowingly pregnant until the baby is totally developed- and then deciding to smash the baby's face in so that the sex-and-cupcake lifestyle can be continued. This doesn't happen. First off, no doctor would do that procedure. And second, I don't know any human who would want it done. When it comes to dilation and extraction, it's no different than regular abortions. It's a complete moral decision. "What if the doctor is wrong and the baby has a chance after all? Is it worth risking my safety to take that chance?" This was me playing the role of the mother making her personal decision given her personal moral dilemma.

The decision she comes to is hers. The decision is no different than that made over a version of a person who's still a couple of microscopic cells. These cells will develop into a functional child, and in order for this child to develop into a functional adult, he or she has to be raised with love and care, food, a suitable and temperate environment, an education, and so on. If these things cannot be provided based on finances, location, and any other number of factors, a moral decision has to be made on behalf of that child.

The Republican Party routinely capitalizes on this unfortunate and regrettable scenario in order to get votes. No human being wants to be in that dilemma. Nobody wants to have to make that decision, and nobody wants to experience aborting a child. The Republican Party says otherwise however. Republicans have repeatedly criticized Democrats as "being eager" and "wanting babies to be aborted." It's actually probably funnier than it is sick, but it's a lot of both. And when it comes down to reality, it's not even about the babies. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, all these guys- the ones who have unquestionably killed thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians for personal profit- do you really, honest to God, think they care about baby cells? I promise they don't. If they actually did, it would contradict every political move they've ever made since they were in high school.

In the partial birth abortion case, once the political goal was attained, the legislation was rendered useless. Yes, dilation and extraction is still illegal, but guess what makes it legal? Injecting the fetus's face with chemicals before you crush it. Totally legal. Not a single half-dead baby was saved by this measure. The only thing that happened was that the mothers who were already devastated that their child didn't have a vital organ, had to endure dangerous, toxic chemicals as well. That was the only effect of the legislation. Once again, it's not about the babies, it's about the politics. And it worked, because the Republican architects of this scam who should burn in hell for it were publicly glorified while the Democrats were demonized.

The underlying point, is that politics need to be removed from all types of abortion. The utterly personal and moral dilemma is the only thing that matters- and it's dependent on the safety and well-being of both the mother and the child. If the child's needs cannot be met, an appropriate and ethical decision has to be made. This decision is 100% moral, 0% political. Given this, abortion must not be compromised by law, and should also be much more seldom in practice.

This is the only decision one can come to both logically and ethically, knowing that every living person is both pro-life and pro-choice.