Whooyoo! Gipsika’s upset

It was, as usual, the Ark’s fault.

His comments to the lady called “Violet Wisp” intrigued me; I watch the Christian/Atheist debates as a spectator sport, and sometimes I put in a penny on one side or the other, being very much neither.  I find the whole debate between fundamentalists rather entertaining.  (Sorry, Ark 😉  )

So hoping for some sports, I followed her comment on Ark’s blog back to her own blog…

Reading the few posts she posted, I’m still not sure whether she’s Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, monotheist, polytheist, or without.  But I did pick up that she is a pro-choicer, in her pro-abortion posts.

A pro-choicer is a person (as opposed to a pro-lifer) who advocates that every woman should have the choice to abort an unborn baby.

A pro-lifer is the person who opposes this and defends the rights of the unborn, which the pro-choicer doesn’t acknowledge to exist.

Once again, two camps, two highly emotionally charged camps.  And as with any dogmatic view, both have their pitfalls.

Having been a genetic analyst, I was forcibly participating in the pro-choice world for nine years.  How?  Well, if a woman had a genetic test done on her unborn (and usually, these were married, middle-class women, often not the youngest), my analytical result (which I, a professional, of course kept as accurate and honest as I could, because “influencing” such a result is a white-collar crime) would determine whether this baby was going to live or die.

This does not touch one much (it’s all a matter of rhetoric) until the day you work with “foetal products”, i.e. the mortal remains of the foetus that was aborted.

And you see before you, on the dissecting tray, a tiny, perfectly formed human hand, and foot, and eye…  and you are supposed to cut them up and “process” them into a tissue culture, to confirm that this mini human was indeed abnormal when they ripped it apart.

When I studied genetics, I wanted to get into GM.  Really.  I’m still brimming with ideas in which GM can actually improve our lives instead of destroying them.  I name, as a simple example, the glow-in-the-dark orchid they cloned in Japan.  Nothing short of magic, a perfect marriage of nature and art.  If bonsai is ok, and Koi (fish) are okay, why not luminous orchids?

I did not expect to end up in human genetics, where the cancer diagnoses and prenatal testing get done.  It was where the work was; and, so I told myself, I was doing humankind a favour.  After all, with a better diagnosis a cancer can be treated better.  That much is accurate.  As for the antenatal testing…

When I conceived each of my children, they talked to me from the very first.  They visited me in my dreams, and communicated with me, also physically once they could, by means of stretching, poking my belly into funny shapes, getting the hiccups…   The pro-choicers will say that’s emotional drivel.  Of course they are right; but they are also wrong.  Communication links from baby to mother are set up right from the start, in the first place chemical and electrical.  The foetus in the womb is “intelligent” much younger than people thought traditionally (in fact traditionally people assumed a baby only started growing intelligence when it started to talk).

One of the big reasons I left genetics was this insufferably callous attitude the people expected me to develop towards other people’s unborn babies, and towards abnormal children.

I still have no official opinion about whether or not one “should” abort a Down syndrome baby.  It’s a huge burden to raise one such; but some regard it as spiritual growth.  I know two families with “damaged” children; one is coping alright, and the Down syndrome is going to school; the other family is suffering with a child so damaged at age 10 he still wears diapers.  The one was a birth defect; the other, a probable accident of medicine (immunization damage, mercury poisoning… refer to older posts if you can still find them).

If you were raped, it’s also another matter – you didn’t have a choice in the deed, so forcing you to birth the products of that criminal is raping you twice, and then continuing for life.  On the other hand some women raise their rape babies and love them dearly.  So who knows?

But to abort a baby willy-nilly because you had unpremeditated sex and are unwilling to bear the consequences, that, to me, is not “pro-choice”.  It’s simply irresponsible, and it stinks.  Why have unpremeditated sex?  If you’re such an animal that you can’t restrain yourself, why should you reward yourself by “making it go away”?  There are tons of contraceptives on the market, and one can even get a lot of them for free.  There is even the “morning after” pill for those of us who really have no planning capabilities; that pill prevents implantation.  Is that pro-choice?  It’s a grey area, because you can’t really know whether or not there was a conception.  In most cases it’s probably only a preventative.  But at least a woman can have the decency to feel guilty when using the morning-after pill; for being a lunkhead and failing to plan, and for *potentially* having stopped an implantation.  Yet seeing that many many zygotes fail to implant all by themselves, whether this counts for a “termination” is iffy.  In fact many women naturally lose their first pregnancy before they even realize they were pregnant.

Pro-choice is the sign of the times.  We live in a “me” culture.  “Me” still wants to party around, sleep around, “me” wants instant gratification (instead of getting some sort of commitment out of the guys first – and the guys are worse, they want sex and no commitment), but “me” don’t want the burden of raising a child I caused myself.  Yes, a woman going for an abortion is desperate.  The woman carrying the child to term and raising it to adulthood is also desperate, many, many times.  Parenting is a scary business.  Sometimes the father helps and sometimes he makes things worse.  Many a divorced mother I know copes better without male interference.  And sometimes there’s no food for your child.  Especially in a country like South Africa where everyone fends for themselves.

The “me” culture also supports drugs.  “Me” wants a safe drug that gives me a high but won’t kill me over time or have other bad health effects.  E and speed rode that label until they were exposed for what they are; the new fashion drug now is Ritalin (yes, for adults).  Highly traded on American campuses.  No wonder as it is a crack cocaine derivative.

Pro-choice is the choice to have it easy rather than face up to a challenge one created oneself.  It’s the shoplifter who feels it’s unfair if she gets caught.  It’s the bad driver who’d rather bribe the police than pay the traffic fine.  It’s the South African theft situation; always justified by the “unfairness” and “harshness” of life while in fact those car thieves etc make a lot more money than ordinary, hard-working citizens.

If we’re already moving in such circles, frankly I don’t care if they abort their babies (life’s cheap – they’d also murder you for the equivalent of $5 in your wallet).  But it would break my heart if my daughter did.

Instead, I taught my daughter (and will teach my younger daughter) the values I was raised by:  Abstinence is a choice, and yes, it makes you, the woman, more powerful and superior to those who “can’t”.  Everyone has a choice (with the exception of those who are raped, see above).   The choice to say “no”.  The choice to control one’s own urges.  I’d suggest that many pro-choicers would easily follow a diet if they wanted to lose weight.  They’d say “no” to chocolate and not let their drives, or peer pressure, overrule them.

Most pro-choicers use abortion simply so they can have their cake and eat it.

The argument that “parents teaching their children abstinence will have a rude awakening via a teen pregnancy” holds no water.  Sure, some children do get themselves in trouble.  But if you don’t teach them that the best way to prevent pregnancy is not to have sex, they can be much more easily pressurized into having sex by peer pressure, “everyone does it” and all that rubbish.  On the contrary, it’s the duty of every parent to teach their child (boy and girl) that, duh, sex causes babies.  So sex is for adults who are ready to have children – are you?  It will of course not prevent all “unscheduled” sex, and surely that’s not the idea either; but it does prevent the kind of mindless fornication that leads to pregnancy almost without fail.

Contraceptives do not cause the majority of unplanned pregnancies; they prevent them.  Sure, here and there a contraceptive slips up and then there is 1 case.  But most pregnancies are caused by unprotected sex.  And abstinence until you feel ready to deal with a baby, or at least the attempt at this, does not cause unplanned pregnancies; on the contrary, people who are usually abstinent will be ultra careful when engaging in sex, and they’ll be panicky to go “all the way”.  They will and do grow up with a better developed sense of responsibility towards their own lives, their own body and their partners; and they are also not the ones who will, should it go wrong, go for a quick-and-easy abortion.  Not in general.

So parents can fail to inform their children, hope for the best (and prepare for the worst); or they can raise them to have self-respect and personal values.

A man being pro-choice must be the ultimate hypocrisy.  Men cause babies; but often, they fail to take responsibility as they were only “servicing a need”.  Well, if you only want an oil-change and lube, go to a bordello, don’t abuse your girlfriend for that!  She believes you that you are going to help her if something goes wrong.  “Go for an abortion” is not helping her; it’s the ultimate in disrespect and broken promises.

In summary:

Pro-choice is not improving the general respect women get.  It does not improve a woman’s life; it adds injury to insult to previous injury.  I must presume that pro-choice is a system designed by men, to make life easier for themselves.  Because if you speak to a (normal, feeling and not callous) woman after she was pressurized into “choosing” to abort, more often than not you’ll find a deep guilt complex.  I wonder what the statistics are these days that link abortion to teen suicide?

Edit:  A word on the fundamentalism of such topics

In South Africa we have a lot of fundamentalist Christians who divide the world into two camps:  Christians (n.b. their denomination of church) and Satanists.

Yes, you read that right.  In other places, I suppose, fundamentalists will divide the world into Christians and “atheists”, labelling everyone who does not believe in their way of seeing things, an atheist.

Both these stances are simply primitive.

Not being a pro-choicer does not make me a pro-lifer, any more so than not being an atheist makes me a Christian.  That kind of division fails to acknowledge everything else that is out there.  The world is a lot more differentiated than a radical view will generally allow.

I don’t feel that every woman should have the choice and access to abortion!  I feel that each case should be evaluated individually, by the medical sorority, by the legal sorority, etc.  “Pro-choice” develops into “no-choice” too easily; you should see the pressure that is put on a woman expecting an abnormal child, to abort!  Humankind is far too socially complex to generalize this kind of system.







19 thoughts on “Whooyoo! Gipsika’s upset

  1. It gets really complex when one drags religion into it. Is human life really that much more ‘special’ than any other life? Discounting that, though, I feel that each case needs to be looked at on its own merits. The greater good of the greater number – a concept widely ignored by do-gooders – has its place in the argument.

    • That’s right, too. See it’s a far too complex topic to get into one “camp” or another over. Like for instance the case of the pregnant woman being in an accident, and her condition being critical, her survival chances based on whether or not the baby is aborted.

      Can one argue from one “camp” or another in this case?

      The slightly cynical stance to take to those teenagers in UK using multiple abortions as a contraceptive method, would be, well, it’s population control. In all probability they don’t feel emotional about it (any more after the first repeat performance).

  2. WTheck .My name gets spoken for all the wrong reasons and in a post about abortion of all things where I have hardly said 30724 words on the subject.

    Hmm. and double Hmmm.
    While I acknowledge your right to a rant and to place your wellington booted tootsies in any camp, or both while rapping naughty sexually active people for NOT utilizing contraception you seem to have missed or deftly sidestepped – the Catholic Stance, which considers ANY contraception morally wrong and the morning after pill an abortifacient, which you are tacitly encouraging.
    Aside from the religious angle, how is using the morning after pill – an abortifacient – any different from engaging the services of a clinic to perform a similar ‘job’. And where does one draw the line?
    The difficulty you must have faced is not one I would ever have willingly taken on – if it looks like a human then it is a human.

    This is one very tricky slope up the East Face of the Eiger you are attempting to negotiate and methinks any rumble and a whole pile of sh..oops snow will bury you in a deluge of vitriolic rhetoric. And maybe from all sides.

    For now, the law calls the tune, and it is my limited understanding that it generally tries to find a balance between respecting what is regarded as human life and the rights of the Woman.

    It might not be perfect, but then, humans aren’t.

    • Yes… that’s the thing. There are actually 20 different topics hidden inside this one. It’s not the fornicatory process itself I condemn (after all we are all products of one), but children not being controlled, checked, punished for doing it! Children for heavens’ sakes (wherever that be). I think if little Meggie came home pregnant, I’d flip my nut! She’s only as young as the kids in that public school I keep mentioning…

      And Catholicism is actually its own worst enemy on the subject (as one can see by the way the pro-choicers exploit the obvious gaps in the logic there). But then religion has never really been famous for being “sensible”…

      Yes I’m definitely prepared for a comment deluge. I’ll pull a rain spider and withdraw into Reality if it gets too much. 😉

      And it IS your fault! If I hadn’t read your blog comments I wouldn’t have got intrigued and hopeful of a nice Christian/atheist debate on her blog and I wouldn’t have wandered over and found… well, her opinion. She herself seems to be the mother of a little one. How does that tie in? Put her money where her mouth is?

      What the pro-choicers tend to forget is that given the amount of social pressure on a pregnant teen, the pro-choice soon becomes no choice at all. Peer pressure and the fear of parental reactions pushes her to do what she might not do if she were more mature about it.

    • You subtly moved away from your iniital hard line stance (apparent) and avoided any reference to abortifacients.

      I understand, but not from a direct involvement perspective ie being female that you might be caught up in an emotional whirlpool here, as would most women, I shouldn’t wonder, but the two main issues – being sexually active and abortion have to be tackled separately and obviously the former would come first on the list.

      I am sure it is more scary these days than when we were teens. Okay when I was a teen/young adult, I have a few years on you . HIV/AIDS was not even heard of when I was clubbing and pubbing and what have you.

      These days sex at any age, with anyone who you are not 100% sure about (marriage is NO guarantee either) is a potential death sentence.
      To my mind this is the PRIMARY target of education.
      Everything else is secondary and falls into the category of ‘Inconvenience’ by comparison.

      As for religion? Pffft. It should keep its nose OUT.

      If sex is viewed as merely another bodily function, without any stigma attached, then it can be approached in as perfunctory a fashion as learning to brush one’s teeth, and whoever got embarrassed about talking about looking after one’s teeth and comparing fillings?

      Get this area sorted , the rest -abortion, contraception etc- will, I reckon, fall into place nicely.

    • Well observed. Teen sex is the cause for abortions. (at least the ones at issue here.) I agree religion has no constructive input on any of it. But it’s alf futile to address the issue (abortion) without addressing the cause.

      Well it’s interesting, isn’t it, that in an era where “the deed” can cause not only life but death too, there’s more of that going on in schools than in a long time.

      Yes I’m emotional about the whole thing; probably to a large extent because my children go to school. There’s not much of that (not any as far as I know) going on at our primary school; but the high school is rife with sex, drugs and alcohol. I feel sad that this is the environment our children have to find themselves in and learn to cope with on a daily basis. Their values are much the same as mine (though Meggie might start smoking one day). So they themselves find all this going on, rather disgusting.

    • Oh, almost forgot: RE abortifacient, or an agent causing abortion. The morning-after pill is a grey area. Fact: if there was fertilization, it will prevent implantation (in most cases – in some it actually facilitates it, LOL!). But there is no certainty whether there was fertilization. In this way it still qualifies as a preventative. Also, an unimplanted zygote is not an embryo, therefore not a pregnancy yet. Many zygotes get lost before they can implant. The human body is quite amazing in that.

      Whether it’s morally right or wrong to use the morning-after pill has to be the decision of the person using it. Are you or aren’t you that way terminating a pregnancy? It’s a bit shady. But abortion is 100% definitely the termination of a confirmed pregnancy, in fact one that generally has already developed past the first few weeks. I’d compare it to that honesty dilemma of picking up a R200 note off the pavement and keeping it, as compared to picking the same note out of someone’s wallet and keeping it. There’s a difference.

      Most other preventatives however don’t terminate anything; they prevent fertilization. What could be morally wrong about using them, is beyond me. However, what is practically wrong about children using them (besides the fiendish side effects of the stuff, ranging from potential future sterility to cancer), is that children forget to use them at the wrong moment, and – hay! There we are back again at children having sex! You wouldn’t let your 9-year-old drive your car, would you? I think the whole debate is becoming ridiculous.

    • It most certainly is a grey area, as is the entire process of procreation and what qualifies as ‘life’ .
      It is somewhat odd that scientists looking for life on Mars, for instance, will, I am convinced,apply the term….life to something a lot less substantial than even a zygote, should they ever find any life, of course?
      Hypothetically, what would they label an alien zygote should they perchance upon one frozen in stasis in a Martian pond, I wonder?

    • Wow! I’d love for them to find one! They’d try implanting it into something so it can develop into an embryo and then… ooh! You’ve just fed my pond of ideas for the Shooting Star books! *THANKS!* 😀

      Yes it is rather ironic, but I think it’s not about what is classified as life but what is classified as human life, and in particular, human life that is on its way to becoming a complete person. Humans are funny that way. Somehow squishing a mosquito (a complete, adult, pregnant mosquito) doesn’t elicit the same emotional response. Then again (given there is no malaria) “raising” a mosquito doesn’t quite imply the same life-time commitment – or rewards. 😉

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