A child should be a choice 5

Today I hung my No On 62 sign on my patio door. I don’t actually have a yard, so yard signs aren’t really possible. I also got my Blue Book today, which I tore in to immediately. Mostly because I was curious about what the Blue Book had to say about Amendment 62, since the proponents of the measure tried to sue over it a couple weeks ago.

“They have not included a single word — not a single word — of our arguments,” Garcia-Jones said.

Likely because the arguments of the proponents are either filled with emotionally charged language, which has no place in the exceptionally dry and matter-of-fact style of the Blue Book, or because the arguments were patently untrue.

Garcia-Jones said that the Blue Book’s arguments against Amendment 62 are false because it could never, as the booklet states, cause women to be denied medical treatment for a miscarriage. The amendment could not, he said, put doctors and other health professionals at risk of legal action for providing medical care to women of childbearing age.

I will Give Garcia-Jones the benefit of the doubt and not accuse him of lying in this case. I think he simply does not understand the unintended consequences of banning abortion absolutely. Take a look at what’s happened in El Salvador; doctors become reluctant to give care for miscarriages, since they may be afraid that they will be accused of causing the miscarriage, or the miscarriage itself might be the result of an illegal abortion. And frankly, I think if abortion were made absolutely illegal, doctors might very well not want to treat women of childbearing age because they may become pregnant at any time and not necessarily realize it. If you want to define a fertilized egg as a person, well, last I checked even if you accidentally kill a person, you don’t just get a pat on the head and a wave to go on your merry way.

Of course, I’m naughty for even using the phrase “fertilized egg.” One of the proponents said:

“I think it’s important to note with the term fertilized egg, that’s the same thing as using the N word for an African American,” said Mason. “Because it’s a dehumanizing term and it’s not based in science. The term would be a zygote, or an embryo, speaking of a unique individual.”

A fertilized egg is a zygote is a fertilized egg. ACOG certainly uses the term “fertilized egg” without blushing. I think it’s really an attempt by the 62 proponents to up the emotional charge on the language, because they know that they can’t win with either logic or science. I’m actually quite surprised Mason isn’t insisting on calling it a baby from the instant of conception onward, but that’s probably a little too extreme.

I’d like to throw one more quote at you, where the proponents try to squirm out of the fact that the amendment would ban many extremely popular forms of birth control, including my favorite, the pill:

True contraception prevents fertilization and personhood for pre-born babies will legally protect every baby from the beginning of his or her biological development,” said Hanks in an e-mail. “Only those forms of “birth control” that extinguish a life that has already begun will be impacted. Many of the oral “contraceptives” have an action that makes the womb inhospitable to a developing embryo and hence, the new living, growing baby is prevented from residing where his or her Creator intended until birth.”

This quote characterizes everything that is wrong with the position of the Amendment 62 proponents – and delineates why I don’t just think they’re idiots, I actively hate them.

To begin with, Hanks brings up the “Creator” and the Creator’s intentions as a means to justify banning birth control. For those of us that don’t believe in gods, this is an argument that holds no water. It makes the point very clear that Amendment 62 is about making a personal religious belief into a law that would control the lives of all women that live in Colorado.

But even more to the point, everything in that quote is about the baby. The woman is reduced to a womb, to “where his or her Creator” intends the baby to reside. In their efforts to grant “personhood” to a fertilized egg, they simultaneously remove “personhood” from the woman involved.

That is what makes me angry, and filled with hate, and very afraid. Since I first became aware of the abortion debate, I honed in immediately on the fact that efforts to ban abortion reduce women to less than full citizens, chattel who do not truly own and control their own bodies and can be forced by the state to complete a pregnancy. I don’t appreciate my rights, my life, my existence being reduced to the state of one organ within my body.

And perhaps that’s the cruelest joke of this horrible debate. These people have made me resent the very idea of being pregnant, have made me resent babies. Because I can’t help but resent anything and anyone that would reduce my life from a glorious adventure that I (mostly) direct to an existence that is wholly outside of my own control.

I often see bumper stickers around here, that say: “It’s a child, not a choice.” I could not disagree more. It is a choice. It should be a choice. It must be a choice.

I have several friends that have children, who they love very much. Each and every one of these amazing women, whether the pregnancy was intentional or not, ultimately chose to change the course of her life and become a mother. That choice made the baby a cherished and loved member of the family, rather than a burden forced on the mother by the state.

I don’t want to be a mother right now. I may never want to be. But I want that chance, to decide for myself. I want that choice. I want all women to have that choice. In the future, I want my niece to have that choice.

No on 62.

5 thoughts on “A child should be a choice

  1. Reply Anonymous Oct 2,2010 23:02

    Two thumbs up. Very well said.

  2. Reply Mom Oct 2,2010 23:26

    And just to further bolster your argument, I can attest that both you and your brother were planned pregnancies and very much anticipated offspring!

  3. Reply Anonymous Oct 4,2010 03:39

    Two additional points (and this is from a Christian, also a mom of two, one of whom has Down syndrome, and yes, we knew ahead and CHOSE to continue and have never regretted it) — most zygote/blastocysts/whatever they are at that point don’t even implant all on their own… So God must not be intending for every single one to stay there until a baby is successfully born (never mind all the fatally flawed zygote/embryos that miscarry or are stillborn…)

    Also, any government that can decree that one MUST carry a pregnancy to term can also reserve the power to itself in another time to FORCE one to NOT carry pregnancies to term (e.g., China).

    I hope if you do decide to have children (and if you don’t, that’s a perfectly valid choice too) that your experience with it is all that you want it to be.

    Great post.

  4. Reply Rachael Oct 4,2010 03:46

    Thank you so much for your kind comment. And thank you as well for the reminder that there are Christians out there that support the ideal of choice. Reminders like this keep me honest. :)

  5. Reply Kat Oct 6,2010 04:18

    Definitely agreed. Having been pregnant, it’s an intense experience for your body, often one that changes it permanently. I also lost work due to complications, and despite decent insurance and a very accomodating boss, it cost an absolute fortune. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make and have never regretted–my daughter is the most amazing gift–but no one should ever have to endure it who hasn’t chosen to.

    Also, having worked extensively with unwanted children and our hideous, broken foster care system, we don’t need any more unwanted babies. I just can’t understand why people are pushing so hard to ensure that every baby is born, only to completely abandon them all immediately afterward. Until we as a society are able to properly take care of them, abortion is necessary.

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