But with chickens, it’s an omelet.

February 15, 2011

This is going to be one of those soapbox blog posts. So, to start, if you disagree with what I write then that’s cool, but please just move along. See, you may feel like commenting, and it would be a waste of your time and mine, what with you writing out a scathing response, and me having to push the delete button.

Dear South Dakota,
I mean…REALLY?

Opening statement of an article on Mother Jones today:

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions.

Now, to start, just from that statement alone, I have questions. Are we saying that any killing in the name of “preventing harm to a fetus” is ok? I’m not talking abortionists…I know some mothers that would argue that drinking regular milk is harmful to a fetus. Are we gonna start shooting up the Safeway??

Now that my snide, knee jerk reaction is out of the way…REALLY?!

“If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.”

Does it mean you can kill the mother, then? The woman who wanted the abortion in the first place? Oh, no, of course not, because then you would be putting the fetus in danger and be no better than…oh that’s right. You’re no better in the first place!
I was pretty certain that here in the US we kind of let the whole “eye for an eye” thing fall to the wayside.

Now the guy who’s sponsoring this bill, Rep. Phil Jensen, says it has nothing to do with abortion. He simply added

language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person ‘while resisting an attempt to harm’ that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child.

Apparently this bill did not originally include any language about unborn children, but was heavily amended last week, to the joy of many right wing and family values groups.

Side tangent: Family values groups.
Remember the election? You know, THE election, the big old Florida mess? That’s when I first really heard the term family values. They played it up a lot, even more so 4 years later. I recall that it was a topic of debate because exit polls were showing that people were voting for family values. Here’s the thing: if a pollster asked me if I were voting for family values, I would have said yes. It’s a double edged term, you see…my family values are not the same as the general populace (apparently,) but still, they are values, and they are about families, and they are important to me. For instance, I think nothing of a gay couple having or adopting a child. That’s a family. Families are good. Values are good. Ergo, family values.
Sometimes I wonder if this confusion of terms is responsible for the hullabaloo that followed, what with the pro-lifers and the anti-gayers and the turbo Christians. Typically, I have no problem accepting other people’s opinions.
I just have some rules about it.
First of all, it has to actually be YOUR opinion, not the opinion of your parents or spouse or church or local politician. You need to actually sit down and say “This makes sense to me.” If you can do that, then I respect your opinion 100%, even if I don’t agree.
Secondly, I am not going to change my mind anymore than you’re going to change yours, so calm yourself. It’s a waste of effort.
Lastly, if you can’t look at the big fat global picture and respect your neighbor, then do not expect them to return that respect, because you flat out do not deserve it.

Which brings me back to this abortion thing.
I can say that I would likely not have an abortion. Only cases in which I would consider it would be related to violence. Were I to get pregnant tomorrow, it would suck (and be some sort of medical miracle given that my beau is halfway across the state,) but I would likely keep the baby. One, I was raised Catholic, and that shit sticks even when you don’t want it to…I still remember seeing pictures of unbaptized babies in Limbo, and I don’t want to walk around with that on my conscience. Also, due to medical issues, I have always been prepared for the possibility that having children would be difficult and possibly impossible for me. So if it’s a choice of now or never, ok…I could make now work, I guess.
But you see, I came to that on my own. And while I wouldn’t get an abortion, I do not expect others to choose that based on MY beliefs.
One thing that has always riled me is that there’re two sides, with two names: Pro-Life, and Pro-Choice. As you can see, there is no Pro-Death. No person in their right mind is in front of an abortion clinic with a placard reading “DEATH TO ALL BABIES!” (That sentence is going to get me sooooooooo many hits on this blog…) The symbol of the Pro-Choice movement is not the tenth plague, people. It simply is a belief that a woman should have charge over her own body. You can actually be Pro-Life, and be Pro-Choice, too. (After all, you can CHOOSE to be pro-life. I just blew your mind, didn’t I?)
What really gets me is that every time I see legislators get up in arms about abortion, it’s always these annoying dudes who are NEVER GOING TO HAVE TO CHOOSE. Sometimes I just stare at them and think “Do you realize you just sound like you hate women? Do you realize that this has nothing to do with you?” (Honestly, as much as I think she’s a loudmouth showboat, I would rather listen to Sarah Palin discuss abortion than ANY man.)

It really outrages me that there is legislature out there that, at the very best, can be interpreted as making it okay to kill someone…when the very people who support it are supposedly so against killing someone.
I live in a city where a doctor was killed for performing abortions. And it was a tragedy. And I would challenge anyone supporting this bill to look into the face of his widow and children, and plead your case. I assure you; you will come across as an asshole.

How can people think it’s ok to kill anyone? Now, I don’t see a fetus as a person. And we can debate that all day. But I hope we can all agree on the fact that murdering anyone who has actually made it out of a womb at some point is wrong. I don’t even go in for the death sentence. (That’s another thing…they try to lump people who are for the death penalty in with people who are pro-choice. No, the death penalty is no ones choice. And why, pray tell, are we not lumping them in with the pro-lifers? I know way more religious and political groups who have those two things in common.) And if we need to bring the bible into it, what about that whole “Thou Shalt Not Kill” thing?
You can argue that you think that abortion is killing a baby. Whether or not you want to admit it or acknowledge it, it’s all still a very murky territory. And I am all for shades of gray in life. But if you kill someone who helps a woman get an abortion, you are killing someone with a soul, and an existence, and a mother, and a father, and a spouse, and a child, and a job, and a hobby, and a pet, and a car, and friends, and hopes, and dreams, and a favorite color. And I don’t know about you, but frankly, I would feel way guiltier about that.

The abortion debate will never end. If it does, it will be long after we have all shuffled off this mortal coil. And perhaps we will be judged, perhaps not.
But in any case, in EVERY case, people need to think things through for themselves. Not just abortion, everything…religion, politics, whether or not to be a decent human being. Make a decision, go with it, and have the courage not to need someone else to validate it for you.

Time to pack up the soapbox.



  1. FYI as it states right now until a baby takes a breath its not a living child and cannot be charged as a homicide, there are ways around this but you better believe if someone was trying to kill my unborn child I’d fight to the death to try to save it.

    • south dakota has some of the most stringent laws about abortion…they won’t make it illegal, but they’ll throw up road blocks in every direction. and yes, totally agreed that if someone tried to kill my unborn child i would fight to save it…but this law effectively states that if, hypothetical, you WANTED to get an abortion, someone could kill the doctor who did it. someone could kill me for driving you to the clinic.
      that’s messed up.

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