Thursday, March 6, 2008

Continuing the Sidewalk Abortion Argument

Waiting after school I found blue pamphlets littered over the grass. On the covers was a picture of a frightened woman desperately trying to escape from the inside of an hourglass; big letters spelled out “trapped…” It was anti-abortion propaganda. I was curious – where was this from? I turned to my left and a massive poster of an aborted fetus caught my eyes; it was part of a display that featured statistics, diagrams, and two brave and indignant youths willing to verbally clarify the horrors of the image and the “murdering of children.”

And so I approached them to see if they had anything logical to say about their argument. They didn’t. It was all the same emotionally driven rhetoric you hear all the time. Their organization, the “Human Life Alliance,” is also big fans of abstinence and vegetative existence.

If it weren’t for time, our argument could have gone on for hours. What kept us from finalizing results was due to the fact that they, like all abortion protesters, were driven by sentiment. The problem with the valiantly dubbed pro-life campaign is that its followers saw images of aborted fetuses, heard the words “murder” and “babies,” and decided to act upon their initial response: terror. They stopped right before the part where you think about the situation logically.

It is an evolutionary adaptation that a human being be sympathetic toward its young. If it weren’t for our emotional attachment to babies, then they’d never be cared for, and they’d never survive to grow old. In fact, psychological studies have proven that we usually consider anything with big eyes and a big head to be “cute.” This quirk about humans, derived from the evolutionary adaptation of mammals and long-term childcare, is evident as it applies even to other baby animals and caricatures. Why else are cartoons drawn the way they are, and why else are there so many baby animal documentaries? Have you ever had a sympathetic connection with a grotesque insect, a faceless jellyfish, or a head of lettuce that was mutilated to make your salad? These are all organic, living organisms.

This fact is the whole reason people are so unbelievably appalled by these grotesque and graphic images. I am too. But I don’t get carried away in my emotion; I think about it twice, rationally, reasonably.

Most of the debate on abortion revolves around the definition of a human being. At what point after sex does tissue become considered alive and a person? One of the youths I argued with repeatedly tried to make the point that after the sperm reaches the egg, the resulting formation has 46 human chromosomes, and thus constitutes a human being; his argument was: after that point on, killing this tissue would be the same awful crime as murdering a baby.

There is a difference between new fetal tissue and a breathing baby. The former has no nervous system, no brain, and no conscience. It takes months for these to develop, and considering that most people can barely even remember anything before they were toddlers, then it would be safe to assume that this nervous system, this brain, and this conscience are not very strong. If it dies, it will never know it ever existed. This is the cruel and logical truth. No matter how ugly or bloody. In fact, it is highly unlikely that fetuses can even sense pain before the third trimester*.

The justification for the cruelty of an abortion is the claim that when you abort a fetus, you’ve taken away someone’s chance to be born and to live fully. (Who knows, this aborted fetus could have grown up to cure cancer!) I then wonder: in this context, what is the difference between abortion and choosing to not have kids? Aren’t you taking away someone’s chance to live every second you’re not pregnant or getting someone pregnant?

And in a world ridden with an exponentially growing 6.5-billion human population, is it really wise to allow millions more to crowd and poison this Earth? We’d be setting ourselves up with the disaster of overpopulation. We must level out our birth and death rates. And if you want to consider the fact that some developed states are offering government incentives to promote childbearing, first consider the millions of children born into undeveloped states, with no parents, and that definitely haven’t been adopted yet. (The aforementioned blue pamphlet makes the ridiculous claim that overpopulation is a myth).

You wouldn’t believe the absurd statements these youths and their leaflets make. When I told that kid that newly developed fetuses have undeveloped consciences, he somehow related that remark to me “judging” people based on their size! He then went on relating the attitude of my remark to being the cause of racism! In fact, their pamphlet calls abortion “a form of discrimination against disabled people.” Their use of words is so creative and twisted that it’s appalling! You cannot listen to these people when they refer to unconscious and undeveloped fetuses as “babies” and “children”! They are human. Yes. But they wouldn’t be any more alive and human than a severed human finger!

The pro-life campaign is purely emotionally driven. It has no logical basis. It is why those youths’ display features a five-foot tall image of an aborted fetus – to attract more emotion, to collect more sympathy! There was a man standing next to me eating it all up, shocked and terrified. Do not allow yourself to be overcome with irrational terror. Do not listen to them when they relate abortion with “genocide” and “racism.”

The pro-life campaign is the reason that clinics are being firebombed, and doctors willing to perform abortions are having their lives threatened by angry mobs. The pro-life campaign is the reason that these doctors must resort to so-called “Back-Alley” abortions, so they can perform their duty as servants of their patents, without risking their lives and careers by infuriated pro-life proponents. Women who have gone through this process must live with a guilt they don't deserve when this campaign screams "Murder!" in their faces.

Rethink your stance on abortion, right now.


p.s. Please, if you’ve read this, write a comment. If you are “pro-life” and have read this entry and are still “pro-life,” tell me why. Whatever your stance is, let me know and let me know why. If you are part of the Human Life Alliance, or one of the sidewalk leaflet vendors that visited James Monroe High School around 3pm on Thursday, March 06, 2008, please respond so we can finish that interrupted discussion of ours. “No hard feelings.”

Links, sources, notes:
The Human Life Alliance - http://www.humanlife.org/index.php
A PDF version of the pamphlet mentioned in the entry - http://www.humanlife.org/trapped.php
*“…fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester” Source: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/294/8/947

If you’d like to see some of the graphic images of aborted fetuses, just turn off your safe filter and google (image) “abortion.” Remember to think twice. http://images.google.com/

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Depend On You

What is it about the gratification of a good conversation? The excitement of interaction? Why is it so interesting "figuring" people out, and what parts are the interesting parts? Perhaps it's the things that people have in common; perhaps it's the things that no other people do. Have you ever thought about the process of developing a relationship? Some folk end up in the socially awkward category; few the close friends; all the subconscious influence. What about those you love? Why is it easier telling a friend "I love you" than a lover? "Love" is so sacred in the context of romance. Why is it obligatorily acceptable to "love" relatives? When you tell your parents you love them, it's undoubtedly because they've dedicated extreme amounts of time and effort to care for you; but there are hundreds of millions of people who would have too had you been their child. Why not love them too? If you met your brother for the first time on the street, not knowing you were related, would you love him? Would it be easier to once you find out you're kin? Why? What makes us "click"? Who are your friends, and why are they your friends? Define friend. What do I like about you? What do you like about me?

I depend on you.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Please, Don't Vote

A forty-something-year-old lady was watching the New Hampshire debates; intrigued, I sat next to her to listen to the discord. Naturally, I asked the obligatory "Do you like any candidates?" and she responded with the "I kind of like him": "him" referring to the super-suave multimillionaire former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. She made sure to mention that she didn't like Giuliani, however, along with a sort of "euhw" sound to express her discontent of his candidacy/existence. "So what about the Democrats?" Allow me to paraphrase the lady's words: "I don't know, I'm a Republican." I inquired. "You know, they're more about protecting the country and, I don't know. I've never watched the Democrats." I left it at that.

My vote will only be good enough to make up for one of these people.

No matter how much time and effort I put into making sure that my vote is the best decision, it won't be worth any more than anyone else's. But of course! This is a democracy, this is rule of the people, and thus the people are equal. But perhaps one of the biggest corruptions of American politics is the movement to get these people to "Vote or Die," "Choose or Lose." People are given the idea that if they don't vote, then they won't be good Americans. The media constantly points out the fact that voting rates of eligible citizens are in the low 60s; that our forefathers dedicated their lives to forming our voter-based government; that the heroes of the American Revolution gave their lives to give us this right and privilege to vote. If we don't vote we're unappreciative, un-American, or a Jehovah's Witness.

Thus people treat voting like they treat anything else they have to do. It's these impulsive voters with badly thought out ballots that are getting horrible people into our highest offices.

So to those of you who aren't voting because you don't care or you're too lazy to: I salute you. I wouldn't want you voting anyway. And to those of you who are planning to vote, but don't know anything about who you're not voting for (and maybe even who you are voting for), then please: reconsider your lifestyle. But if you do have the mental capacity to think for yourself, ignore the baby-kissing and baseless rhetoric, then please, go out and vote. And if you can't, just stay home. Don't worry, you won't "Die." You won't "Lose."


p.s. Visit DontVote.org to see if you should vote in the 2008 Presidential Elections. And if you feel you should, then Project Vote Smart is where you can conveniently learn more about the candidates, their backgrounds and positions on issues from a non-partisan perspective.