Saturday, October 13, 2018

Abortion

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.


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Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse and back scratcher 
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer." -Robert Louis Stevenson


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

When I set out to become a self-taught wordsmith, prior to adopting my current blogging format (letters to yinz guys), I wrote as if I were a syndicated columnist addressing the world.

Early on in those early days, I wrote a "column" about abortion titled Why I'm Not Pro-Choice or Pro-Life.

[Gentlereaders, FYI. My website now includes a button labeled Blast From the Past. Clicking on it will bring up a previously written column that usually has some relation to my current column. For example, this week clicking on the button brings up the same column as the hyperlink in the previous paragraph.]

The recent Kavanaugh Kerfuffle, which will hopefully be mentioned in future history textbooks (maybe not if academia continues to cultivate its version of Newspeak) reminded me of this.

One of the oft-heard concerns of the Antikavanaughts was that if Judge K. was confirmed as the newest Supreme he would, inevitably, join with the other four more or less conservative Supremes and repeal Roe v. Wade and America would descend into chaos.

After all, as I mentioned the first time I wrote about abortion "... perhaps we should hold off on deciding this until cheap birth control is available at every convenience store and science develops a morning-after pill that’s available over the counter." -me


In my original column I wrote that if I were king, I'd decree a compromise. Abortion is legal for the first trimester. That's it, that's my royal compromise.

After all, there's no possible way to satisfy both sides, three months is enough time, and outlawed or not, someone(s) will always be available to provide abortions (or anything else...) at maximum cost, minimum safety. Thus has it ever been, thus shall it ever be.


When I recently reread the original column I was surprised to note that I had neglected to mention that according to Gallup, the majority of Americans have supported legal abortion ("when asked to evaluate it on a trimester basis") in the first trimester dating back to 1996. I went looking for the latest numbers and discovered that support for this position has never fallen below 60%.

It would seem that great minds do think alike. Well, at least the minds of me and most of my fellow Americans. I wonder, but I'll bet there's no accurate way to measure it, how many of those 6 out 10 do so reluctantly, as I do.

I wonder how many of those people think that an abortion is a RBFD that requires careful consideration. That maybe it's even the choice of last resort. That regardless, abortion should be, as Slick Willy declared in 1996, "safe, legal, and rare." "...for the first trimester anyway." -King Crank


Now, I can't predict what the Supremes will or won't do about abortion, or anything else for that matter. Were I clairvoyant I'd have been obscenely rich at a tender age and probably dead from dissipation by the age of thirty.

[On a vaguely related note: ever notice that the "words of the prophets," the perennially popular Nostradamus comes immediately to mind, are usually "proven" to be true after the fact? I'm just sayin'...]

However, suppose a majority of the Supremes decide to go nuts and overturn Roe v. Wade based on the bizarro notion that the Gummit, as it says in the Constitution, only has the power to create and enforce the sort of laws that the Constitution says they can. That otherwise, it's up to the individual states to do so (or not do so). What would happen?

Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist, recently pointed out on his video blog that obviously some states would permit abortion, others would not. He also pointed out that if someone wanted an abortion but lived in the wrong state, they could travel to a state where abortion is legal and take care of business.

[But how could an impoverished _______ (please insert the name of the relevant social/economic/racial/sexual/etceteral group victimized and oppressed by the White Hetero-Patriarchy, or WHP, here) afford to get an abortion?]

Well, Dana, as Mr. Adams points out, via crowdfunding and/or people offering temporary space in their homes and/or charities. There'll be apps for that.

To which I would add, California might be willing to subsidize an abortion travel package. They could easily pay for it with a special levy on the entertainment industry. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day.


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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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