Showing posts with label abortion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label abortion. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2024

Abortion and Minority Rule

 Greetings and Salutations From France! 
Image by Thomas Staub from Pixabay

This weekly column consists of letters written to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now and haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device

"There are no solutions, only trade-offs." -Dr. Thomas Sowell

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

Yes, I'm still here, In France I mean. Please see the intro to this column if you're unaware as to the how/why I'm spending the month of May here. 

Collette and I are thinking about overnighting in Paris next week because I'd really like to visit the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa (among other things) but she's trying to talk me out of it; I guess it can get a bit crowded. I'll let you know if we went and how it went. 

Turns out you can arrange early morning private tours before the museum opens. I went a-googlin' and discovered this service is provided by a bunch of privately owned firms and that all sorts of options are available.

The average price is about $250 per adult. A bit pricy but that's for 2-3 hours, and it includes admission.

{A bit pricey?}  

Have you ever been to one of the Disney theme parks, Dana? Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

I have the pallet of an American little boy... Well, an American little boy born in the 1950s, the Stickies are now all at least 18 and eat all sorts of sophisticated stuff that my parents, and most of their contemporaries, had never even heard of. 

I'll wager there's no shortage of my fellow American old cranks who fear traveling to Europe for fear of the food. 

However, I had heard that McDonald's can be found everywhere in Europe. I verified this before I left and it turns out France has the most. Who would've guessed? No wonder they love Americans so much.

“Lafayette, we are here!” -Colonel Charles Stanton (not General Pershing).

{I heard they serve breaded deep-fried snail tenders...but what's any of this got to do with abortion, and/or minority rule?}

Nothing really, Dana, this is me avoiding the subject by doing what I'm famous for, entertaining my hordes of readers via the wit and wisdom of a garrulous geezer. 

I have only one thing in common with the late, great Isac Asimov, I often think with my fingers. Sometimes, often actually, I have to wait for my muse to reveal what I should write. You'll no doubt be relieved to know I've figured it out.  

As I explained in my first summer rerun column, I thought I could republish some old columns with minimal editing while on vacation but my writing style, some quoted statistics, and some of my opinions have shifted anywhere from a little to a lot.

That column required massive rewriting, but this week's column was supposed to be a piece of croissant. The first time I wrote about abortion, in 2015, I came down decisively on neither side of this never-ending debate. I still feel the same way. 

How about a compromise wherein neither side gets what they want? Permit me to sum up my position and move on to what's really bothering me. 

{We can't wait!}

What if abortion was banned, everywhere, with or without common sense exceptions (incest, rape, or likely death of the woman involved immediately spring to mind), would there be no more abortions? 

Obviously not. A rich and well-connected woman would still be able to get one in relative comfort and safety. Anyone else who thought they had a compelling reason to seek an abortion would be forced to take the "back alley" route and no shortage of women would be killed or physically/emotionally damaged. 

So what if there were no restrictions? It's a free country, it's your body, do what you want! 

I'm not going to go looking for statistics as I can confidently state two things. First, nearly all of even the most radical pro-choice advocates are revolted by the idea of aborting a viable baby no matter what they say. 

Second, there's a tiny minority that are comfortable with absolutely no restrictions right up to and including infanticide and if you don't understand why they should be denied this right I have nothing to say to you that's going to make a difference. 

I have kept an eye on the relevant polling before and since I first wrote about abortion and the results have been consistent. 

Gallup, 7 July 2023 (that's how we say the date on the Continent):

"When asked about the legality of abortion at different stages of pregnancy, about two-thirds of Americans say it should be legal in the first trimester (69%)...the majority oppose laws that would “ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected [about 6 weeks]...63% favor allowing the abortion pill mifepristone to be available in the U.S. as a prescription drug." (My emphasises.) 

So what's the problem? This is a democratic republic so I'm sure Congress will write some sort of clearly worded law to put an end to this, compromise on the details, and tell the extremists on both sides to go pound sand so we can concentrate on worrying about AI and robots destroying everyone's job. 

{Sarcasm isn't always appropriate.}

Wait, I've got an idea! What if we relitigate the issue? Maybe the Supremes will decide that since there's nothing in the Constitution to base a decision on, the individual states should decide?      

{More sarcasm? Seriously dude? About such an important issue? I suppose now we're going to be subjected to what's "really" bothering you.}

You betcha. 

The Founding Pasty Patriarchs were well aware of an ever-looming danger of democracy, a tyranny of the majority. That is to say, what if 51% of us agree that killing the other 49% of us would be best for all involved.

{That's a goofy, vast oversimplification of the subject!"}

"Hyperbole in the defense of a valid point is no vice!" -me  

Anyway, Socrates, murdered by his fellow citizens in the city often credited with inventing and implementing a democratic system of government might disagree. 

America is a democratic republic. The Founding Pasty Patriarchs, aware of the potential downsides of democracy, set up a system in which we choose which weasels we want to represent us in the Swamp so that we can devote our time and energy to important things like making a living, and making and trading Taylor Swift friendship bracelets. 

Unfortunately, they had no way of knowing how effectively relatively tiny minorities would eventually be able to easily mess with majorities thanks to the onset of the Dizzinromation Age and the rapid subsequent spread of the WWCK (worldwide web of contradictory knowledge). 

We're at the mercy of motivated minorities cheered on by a rabid media that actively/deliberately promotes controversy to keep the money flowing.

No form of democracy can survive without rational compromise. 
Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, October 27, 2023

The Buckeye State

Image by Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now, haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

"The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." -P.J. O'rourke 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

It occurred to me that it has been quite a while since I have written much, if anything, about my tired little town, one of many in a tired little valley that doesn't look like a valley.  

{Tired? A valley that doesn't look like one?}

As to tired, Dana, Hooterville is in the heart of the rustbelt, and despite heroic efforts to revive it and the valley in which it's located, it remains rather rusty overall.

As to the valley thing, if you found yourself passing through, particularly if you were a Yinzer (a native of Pittsburgh like me), you'd be unlikely to notice that you were technically in a valley. 

The 'Burgh is in a clearly defined, deep valley that conforms to the definition of a valley that I learned in geography class under the tutelage of Sister Mary McGillicuddy. I wonder if there's a commonly used word for a very shallow valley? 

Just a second, I'll be right back. 

Huh, according to Google/Generative AI (Generative AI is experimental. Info quality may vary.) there are a ton of names for shallow valleys including dingle, bunny, thrutch, etceterutch. My personal favorite is cwm, a Welsh word pronounced kuum. I caught a rabbit in the cwm, so we had a Welsh rabbit for dinner. 

And now that I think about it, isn't there a tiny town in West Virginia called Dingle Bunny?

{There's something really wrong with you, you know that, right?}

Living in the Rustbelt ain't all bad. For example, recently our three-burner stove--which I bought new down at the BestBuy 16 years ago, the one near damall?--which originally had four burners transformed, literally overnight, into a two-burner, both of which were clearly not long for this world. 

Not good, particularly given the current cash flow crunch here at Casa de Chaos. However, in short order, we secured a surprisingly decent one from the next tired town over for $100, and the old one vanished the next day.

{A hundred bucks! Vanished?}
As to the price... it's better not to ask any questions. Pay the money, load up the stove, say thanks, and get out of Dodge. As to vanished, we have a very dedicated and discrete group of voluntary recyclers in the area who are happy to deal with anything made of metal left out on the curb.

We once shoved a very large, very dead air conditioner out of a first-floor window and into the yard, intending to drag it to the curb the next day. In about an hour, a very polite, if somewhat disheveled gentleman knocked on the front door to inquire if we had made funeral arrangements yet for the dead appliance in question. 

He recycled it quickly and efficiently with our blessing and our thanks.

There's an off-year election coming up, (11/7),  in which the good citizens of the Buckeye State will decide if, going forward, weed, with the requisite sin tax and no shortage of silly Rules&Regs, will be recreationally legal, not just medically legal as it is now.


Well, after all, it is a weed, and I'm led to believe it's not difficult to grow, particularly since instructions, advice, and equipment are easily acquired. My favorite caveat? You can legally grow your own, as long as you don't have more than six plants, 12 if there are at least two adults in the household that are 21 or older. 

After all, like tobacco, you're not allowed to use it till you're 21. However, it's still legal to join the military or star in a porno if you're at least 18.  

Also, possessing more than 2.5 ounces is illegal, but that's not silly. That's just Ohio trying to make sure that sin and state and local sales taxes are being collected, and that the shady-looking dude that hangs out in front of the 7-Eleven and his colleagues aren't dodging both sales and income taxes and underselling their legal competitors. 

This might seem odd given that the Republicrats, the party of small government, currently have an iron grip on most of our carefully gerrymandered state, but maintaining a full-time, two-house legislature, 24x7 x365 ain't cheap. Neither is maintaining numerous tired, tiny towns that all have their own government employees, school systems, police departments, zoning boards, etc. 

Having friends in low places, I could have weed delivered to my front door, with no delivery charge, by making a phone call. I haven't been a regular user in decades but I'm voting yes so that those who do choose to indulge can do so knowing the source of the product and know that nothing dangerous/crazy has been added to tweak its potency. 

There's another issue to vote on this year, a proposed constitutional amendment no less, that guarantees abortion rights to the women of Ohio. This, as you might imagine, has generated endless Sturm und Drang... all of it unnecessary. 

Long story short:

Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supremes but Ohio already has a law in place restricting abortion (21 weeks and 6 days), a law the majority of its citizens support.

The masters of morality in control of the Ohio Legislature pass a law that limits abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest, that is promptly, and currently, blocked by an injunction. 

A ballot initiative, a broadly worded amendment (thus guaranteeing endless litigation if it passes) to amend the Ohio Constitution to include abortion rights is added to the ballot. 

Money is pouring in from outside Ohio by people and organizations on both sides of the issue to fund information/disinformation campaigns. 

Our 76-year-old, five-foot-tall governor (whose son is an Ohio Supreme Court justice) and his wife have released their own ad. They both look right into the camera and lie their bums off, stating that if the amendment passes partial-birth abortion will be legal in Ohio. 

They neglect to mention that there's a federal law in place that bans that barbaric procedure nationwide.   

{Ain't it cool that the German phrase Sturm und Drang sounds like what it means in English? Is Mike Dewine really five feet tall?}

Nah, I lied. Go Buckeyes!

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, April 21, 2023

It Never Ends

Image by 1035352 from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device  

"...democracy is the worst form of government - except for all the others that have been tried..." -Winston Churchill 

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

It's never going to end, is it? 

This issue serves as a perfect illustration of one of the downsides of democracy, the ability of a small, noisy, dedicated group of citizens — endlessly energized by their belief that they're on the side of the angels — willing to hold the rest of the country hostage.

In fact, it's easier to do nowadays than it was in ancient Athens. Back then you had to round up the boys and have 'em all meet at the Pnyx. Since boys will be boys, they would've just as soon been home chillin' out on the klinē, drinking lite-wine, and watching ΈΣΡΝ. 

{Why easier these days?}

The internet, social media, the purple press, etc.

{Point taken... hey, misogyny alert! What about the women of ancient Athens?} 

Only the male citizens of Athens were eligible to debate and vote. 

Since ancient Athenian men were openly sexist and owned literally thousands of slaves (and for all intents and purposes, their wives and daughters), I wonder why the Wokies haven't trashed all their leftover statues. 

{I'll bet that's how the Venus de Milo lost her arms, ancient Wokies! But we drift.} 

Yes, we do, Dana. Back to abortion. 

I refuse to quote specific poll results because many of the articles I found about the subject reported the poll results of various organizations, which of course, varied, but more importantly the context and narratives within which the results were reported varied wildly. 

{Welcome to the Information Age.}  

But that's not going to keep me from declaring that a comfortable majority of my fellow Citizens of the Republic support legal, unrestricted abortion up to about 16 weeks or so with exceptions after that for rape, incest, and health problems.  

I checked out European abortion laws because my left-leaning friends often point out how much more liberal and civilized life in Europe is. I found an article from March of last year on the website of the left-leaning Human Rights Watch lauding France for extending their 12-week limit to 14 weeks, the same as Spain. 

{Where, as we all know, the rain falls mainly... why are you looking at me like that?}  

Before I go on permit me to state for the record, I tend to lean right and I fully support the Supremes, well, the majority of them anyway, relatively recently ruling that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to get an abortion.

{I think I've relatively recently come to hate alliteration as much as you love it.}

If they had ruled that way on 1/22/73 we might have moved on by now. I hope when the smoke clears, well, dissipates, people will settle down and decide to live and let live. 

So, what's the problem? The majority of Americans (and our European friends and frenemies) have maintained, more or less, the same opinion for decades, let's compromise. Say, 12 to 16 weeks, with appropriate exceptions?

Even Congress should be able to hammer something out. 

{Yeah, right. Hey, I thought you wanted the states to decide individually?}

What I said was that the Supremes were wrong when they decided Roe v. Wade way back when by finding a right in the Constitution that wasn't/isn't there, resolving nothing. 

Instead, the people opposed to most, or even all forms of abortion went to war (occasionally literally) with the folks that wanted few to no restrictions and the majority that wanted/want a rational compromise. 

Many members of the rational majority believe that abortion should be safe and legal, but, rare and practice what they preach, which results in a lot of unplanned babies being born anyway. 

It also results, unfortunately, in a lot of babies not being born, but it also, fortunately, results in a lot of women staying safe, legal, and out of "back alleys." 

{Do you have the statistics to back up your claims?}

Nope. All I have to offer is 70 years of living in the real world and a modicum of common sense. 

Finally, since controversy is all the rage, let me finish by expressing my sympathy to the radical pro-life people but respectfully suggest you channel your outrage into promoting adoption and even orphanages run by religious organizations (gasp!) where kids are allowed, even encouraged, to pray. 

Gentlemen: Saying that only a woman should decide if she should have an abortion since it's her body (pulling a Pontius Pilate) is pure bonkercockie. Immaculate conceptions are exceedingly rare. 

Gentlewomen: Pink pussycat hats are offensive at worst, and tacky at best.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, May 13, 2022

The Never Ending Abortion Debate

Howsabout a compromise?

Image by Augusto Ordóñez from Pixabay 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted. Best perused on a screen large enough for even your parents to see and navigate easily.   

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  

Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device

"Wait a minute! Perhaps we should hold off on deciding this [issue] until cheap birth control is available at every convenience store and science develops a morning-after pill that’s available over the counter." -me

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

This is the third time I've written a column about abortion, "but I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude..." -Paul Simon, from the song 50 Ways to Love Your Lever.

{Wait-wait-wait. It's leave your lover not love your lever, and there's no such word as howsabout.}

Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. 

{And I only recall one column.}

Well, the first was written in 2015, and you hadn't been born yet, Dana. It was the first time I suggested that perhaps a civilized compromise was the best way to resolve a controversy that's been raging since 1973 when the Supremes, invoking pretzel logic, declared that the Constitution guaranteed a woman's birthing person's right to have an abortion. 

{Well, it's obvious where you stand on the matter.} 

Yes, obviously the Constitution doesn't guarantee the right for birthing persons to have an abortion any more than it guarantees the right for gay Homo sapiens to get married. 

{I meant that you're obviously pro-life.}

I mean that I'm pro-Constitution. 

The founding pasty patriarchs codified the fundamental Rules&Regs — including a bill of rights — that apply to all the kids on the playground and that can't be altered without going to a great deal of trouble. 

They were aware of the power of the K.I.S.S principle (keep it simple stupid) more than 150 years before the late, great engineer Kelly Johnson named it and applied it masterfully in the middle of the last century before America started losing its mojo. 

The unspecified details were left up to the individual states, where the people actually lived, for the sake of what nowadays might be called that liberty thing. But I drift.

{Goes without saying. Hey, what do have against gay people?}

Nothing, and I don't care if gay H. sapiens get married. In fact, if I were king, I'd authorize generous (means-tested) tax deductions for every child gay couples were willing to adopt that had been created by illegitimate parents and/or were innocent victims of circumstance. 


And what?

{This is where you would normally mention that you had a gay roommate back in the late 70s long before having gay friends was officially cool, a fact which you never seem to tire of mentioning.} 

I don't know what you're talking about.

I'd also proclaim that unrestricted abortion be available for the first trimester, with exceptions for rape, incest, and health problems beyond that. It just so happens that a majority of my future royal subjects feel the same way, and I'm a very responsive and benevolent monarch. 

{But meanwhile, back in the real world...} 

Let the people decide, state by state. 

{But the pollsters say most people don't want Roe v. Wade overturned.}

Well, then the people's representatives to the Swamp are going to have to pass a law. But given that Congress these days tends to be more performative than productive, don't hold your breath. Twice a year, year after year, they threaten to decide whether to make daylight savings time permanent or get rid of it and save us all a lot of unnecessary trouble and aggravation.  

So far, no good. And speaking of threatening...   

{I knew it! You're an alt-right extremist!}

Nah, just a center-right, slightly cranky (more or less) Normie endlessly striving to keep my epigenetic mordancy under control so as to retain some semblance of the cardinal virtues — as passed on to me by the late, great Sister Mary McGillicuddy  — in the midst of a culture currently in decline.

{Doesn't Pfizer make a pill for that?}

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, speaking of threatening, Uncle Joe has recently announced his support for pro-choice members of the IUPPPP&PPVTTOT (International Union of Professional Perpetually Protesting Protestors & Perpetual Victims of This, That, and the Other Thing) taking it to the streets. 

The streets where the judges and families of the Supreme Court of the United States of America live — as long as the protests are peaceful.

However, according to federal law...

"Whoever...with the intent of influencing any judge...pickets or or near...a residence occupied or used by such judge...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."

It would appear that Uncle Joe has encouraged people to break the law.

{That sounds eerily familiar... Maybe Congress should launch an open-ended investigation.}

I just hope that the protesters are more peaceful than the mostly peaceful protesters of 2020.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Saturday, October 13, 2018


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.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse 
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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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Why I'm Not Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

“The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of person-hood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in mother’s stomach.” This is a quote from a recent George Will column about the gruesome secretly recorded videos of abortion doctors negotiating the price for pieces/parts of aborted fetuses.  

I wish to make two points before getting to the subject at hand. First, I am an old crank from Flyoverland and I apologize if what follows is not your cup of tea. It’s just not possible to always keep it light in this world, although it is a noble goal. Second, I’m sorry but I just can’t bring myself to use the word one in this or anything I write as in, “If one is pro-abortion.” You are, you’re not, or you're indifferent to the issue.

One is inclined to feel as if one is a pompous ass if one uses the word one in this context. Hey, I didn’t say there wouldn’t be attempts at humor, however lame. Humor is another noble goal.   

Let me begin by announcing my firm support for neither faction.

They've been at each other for 42 years (and counting). I don’t even care for the politically correct labels that they use. Pro-choice? This phrase sounds as if it refers to supporting the right of coffee shops to have as many different versions of coffee that they can dream up (and sell at ridiculous prices).

If you’re pro-abortion you don’t like the term because it rightly provokes a certain squeamishness in many people, perhaps even yourself. “I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-abortion rights.” Whatever. The simple fact is that the later the abortion occurs the better the chances this potential little mammal with a big brain will have become a person, and since it’s not possible to determine exactly when a fetus becomes a person, it’s easier to try to not think about it and hide behind the term pro-choice.  

Certain organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, take the position that no restrictions should be placed on a woman's right to have an abortion at any stage of her pregnancy. The supreme court has ruled that a given state has the right to ban abortions once a fetus is determined to be viable, that is, can survive outside the uterus, and 43 out of 50 states have done so. Why?

Because post-viability abortion may be infanticide. I don’t pretend to know when a fetus becomes a person, but I think a civilized society should err on the side of caution. If I were king (the reader groans...) I’d limit abortion to the first trimester for the simple reason that by twelve weeks the fetus looks like a baby, Works for me.

Wait a minute! 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.     

Pro-life? The vast majority of us are pro-life. Most of us also love mom, apple pie, and Fords. You’re anti-abortion, but you say you’re pro-life because it sounds nobler. Yeah, I understand how passionate you may be about this, I’m a grandfather. However, many of you are even more rigid in your beliefs than your opponents.

Note to your movement: stating that abortion is always wrong, even if rape or incest is involved, may make you feel righteous, or get you votes if you’re a politician, but it causes a lot of folks to think you’re nuts.

Again, I don’t have any idea when a fetus becomes a person. I do know that people, with the best of intentions, screw up. I’m a living embodiment of this fact. I also know that desperate people do desperate things. I know, and so do you, that just because something is illegal it doesn’t prevent someone from seeking out a given product or service, and that there’s always someone willing to provide it if the price is right, no matter the danger to all involved. Do we really want to return to the days of women skulking down a proverbial back alley?

The bottom line is that without a compromise this controversy will never end. It's unlikely there ever will be a compromise because both sides are equally sure they are right, passionate about it, and equally unwilling to back down. The tendency of our absurd media culture to promote controversy and oversimplify for the sake of their bottom line or agenda makes everything worse.  

In the meantime, as the CSNY song says, “teach your children well.” Teach them abstinence, promiscuity or something in between, it’s your job. Regardless of what you believe it’s also your job, no, it’s your duty, to explain that a condom not only prevents pregnancy it may also save their life. 

 Have an OK day.

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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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