Saturday, December 09, 2006

My Thoughts on The Abortion Issue.

Abortion. Now, there's a hot button topic to bring up if ever there was one. When I told a friend of mine that I would be writing about this controversial subject on my blog, he gave me a thoughtful glance and said," Joe, you're going to open up a big can of worms on this one. I can tell you that right now". But this is one subject I' ve been mulling over for quite some time and I feel now is the time to speak my piece. And I fully realize I won't be the darling of either the conservatives or the religious right. But I could give two hoots in hell.

Here's the deal: I don't think the church or the state has any right what so ever to dictate to a women what she should do when it comes to her body. You see it all the time, tv news footage of protesters throwing themselves in the way of women as they attempt to enter abortion clinics. As far as they're concerned, the pregnant women has to carry the child to term and then has to give birth. If the anti-abortionists can manage to sway any women from the idea of ending her pregnancy, they've won a moral victory in their tiny, little minds.

However, they won't be the ones to suffer from morning sickness, they won't see the stretch marks on their bodies, suffer through nine months of pregnancy(something I 'd love to see a man go through) and then finally give birth. This particular phase of the child bearing experience can last for many agonizing hours. So after all is said and done, the only chore the right to life group has is to smile in smug, self righteous satisfaction. Their job is done. However, for the women who just delivered her new born baby; her job is just beginning.

Now,I'm not pro abortion. I'm not advocating that all women go out and murder their unborn children. What I'am saying is, if a women gets pregnant and for whatever her motives are, doesn't wish to carry the fetus to full term, the decision is hers . It's not for the state decide and it's surely not the church. I have to tell you, it really rankles me to no end when conservative Christian right to life groups feel the women owes it to them to have the baby that is inside of her body in order to give them that warm and fuzzy feeling they get whenever someone falls in line with their way of thinking. The way I see it, if the women can square it with her conscience and feel perfectly justified in getting the abortion, it's her call; no one else's. No matter what you or I think is right.

Yet,there are legitimate reasons for aborting a pregnancy. My mother had been stricken with a paralyzing stroke in the mid 1960's. A year later, she became pregnant. Mother was told by her doctor that as a result of the stroke she had suffered, her body was still recuperating. The prognosis was if she gave birth to her baby, she would die. My mother had to make an extremely difficult decision, abort her unborn baby or face her own mortality. This is not a choice that can be easily made. Her dilemma was made even more difficult by a well meaning, but idiotic priest who told my mother she should have the child and die so that she would go to heaven. Stupid jerk! You call that a choice? She wanted the child to live, yet she didn't want to die either. My mother was between a rock and a hard place, that was for sure.

Let's add into the mix the sad fact that no one, and I mean not one person from either side of my miserable excuse for a family came to our aid during this time of crisis. If my mother had died giving birth, my dad would have had three children to take care of without anyone's assistance. The fact that chafes me the most is, those same relatives who were conspicuous by their absence were more than happy to come around and visit us the very minute my mothers health improved. In the end, she chose to abort the baby, although it was a choice that caused her many bouts of grief and guilt for many years to come.

On the other side of the coin, there happen to be equally frivolous and capricious justifications for ending a pregnancy too. In 1986 I was the manager of a GNC store located in Wilmington. It was there I had the misfortune of meeting Gina and Lori, two of the nastiest people it's been my displeasure to ever make the acquaintance of. Especially Gina, who was an abrasive, in your face individual. Lori's function appeared to be as her sidekick. Many was the time I was thankful when they left my store to go torment somebody else. I needed their particular brand of horseshit like I needed sack of rusty door knobs.

One Friday as I was closing up the store to go home, the terrible twosome came in to tell me that Gina was pregnant and that her deadbeat boyfriend was currently serving five years in jail for armed robbery (He was a real catch, eh?) and that she would be getting an abortion on Sunday at the local abortion clinic. I didn't want to know any more, I really didn't, but my curiosity got the better of me. So I inquired as to the reason for getting rid of her unborn child. Gina's response was that a baby was too much of a responsibility and would put a crimp in her social life.

Now, I should've known better, but again,I broached the question of what would her boyfriend think? After all, he was the baby's father. Gina contemptuously replied that he was a first class loser and she didn't give a shit what he thought anyway( is that love or what?).

Anyway, that Monday morning when Gina and Lori came barreling into my store the first words out of Gina's uncouth mouth were," Well, I finally got that piano off my back!" If you're shocked upon reading her ghastly, ugly comment, you can well imagine my reaction not only hearing the words but seeing an expression on her face of someone who just didn't care. This was followed by a series of tasteless and horribly unfunny jokes about abortion which thankfully I've permanently blocked from my memory. All I remember is wishing the two of them would just go away and never darken my store again. That someone could actually equate a human life with an inanimate musical instrument was something that I clearly found incomprehensible to my way of thinking. But again, this was Gina's choice to make. Not mine. And certainly not yours.

At the end of the day, when the votes are tallied up, a women's body belongs to her. Let her make whatever choice she sees fit to decide upon. Let her also live with the long range consequences as well.Whether we agree with her decision or not should never even enter into the equation.