A guy once asked me if I thought the abortion of a human fetus was morally deleterious. He asked me if I thought a woman should have the right to end the existence of the embryo growing in her uterus. I asked him if it was any of his concern what goes on inside the organs of a perfect stranger and that seemed to shut him up for a while. But minutes later he pointed out that I had never really answered his question. Personally, I thought I had rendered him a perfectly good answer, but he seemed to think otherwise. So I gave it another go-round in my head and decided that it was none of his damn business what my opinions were. And I told him so with a few more colorful metaphors thrown in to shut him up for good. But after a few minutes of thinking and rolling it around my noggin some more, I came to my conclusions about this whole abortion enterprise. I turned around to let the guy have it, but my inquisitor disappeared in search of more prey (actually he went to get lunch, but prey is far more dramatic). But so enthused was I about my revelation, I had to spill it.
First though, let me say this: Whatever the opinion of the United States Government, or even the people of this nation as a whole, I feel that congress should make no law concerning abortion. It is not the business of the State to decide the inter-workings of a woman’s reproductive organs. Remember, this is a stoic Republican talking here. I realize that it is good ol’ big brother’s job to promote the general welfare, but it also has the task of ensuring domestic tranquillity. And a car bomb in front of an abortion clinic is surely not the way to assist in this. Now pay attention.
The first question that I must address is the “When Life Begins” palaver. Some people say that life tends to begin at some point several weeks after conception, and some argue that it begins at the moment of conception. Now I’m no scientist, but I do tend to go about things in an empirical manner. So I agree with the latter; that life begins at conception. The fetus eats (absorbs nutrients), it reproduces (cellular mitosis), it metabolizes it’s intake of food in a crude fashion, and most importantly, it responds to stimulus. These are the classifications that wiser heads than mine have determined constitutes life. So, by following these classifications, that pencil dot of an embryo is alive.
The next part is tricky. Why does society get to decide about one woman’s uterus? And I think they shouldn’t. This is probably one of my life guidelines that I will never change. If a woman decides to have an abortion, there isn’t a yes or no question that gets applied to me. It is entirely up to that woman and the partner (if there is one). And it is not my business, it’s not your business, or that guy’s business, or anybody’s. It is the sole choice of the two genetic donors. That’s it. Abortion should remain legal so that any woman, who decides to, can have the procedure performed. The fact of the matter is that humans are stubborn bastards. If the group says no, there will undoubtedly be a hand full of people who say yes. And just for all you kids out there: Raise your hand if you know how abortions were performed before it was legal? With coat hangers in a back alley. Now I leave it to you to figure out how that went. The fetus was destroyed all right and usually so was the mother. Abortion, no matter what I think of the people involved or the tools used or the politician on his or her soapbox, should remain legal. Since it’s gonna happen anyway, why not let it happen in a clinical setting. It becomes safe, anodyne, and humane.
Now I explained this to a few people, all female, who were already on the side of the patient. And the general consensus was that I was against the illegalization of abortion for all the wrong reasons. And maybe they were right. But recently, I realized, while there was an amount of truth to what they told me, I had a damn good reason for taking the stance I have on the subject. First off, I’m no activist. But second, I’m a man. I can never understand what it would be like to go through the procedure, or carry a child or be denied the right for personal happiness (pertaining to child rearing anyway. I work for the government, I know all about being denied personal happiness). I think that only a woman can feel those emotions and only a woman could be strong enough to weather that kind of mental torture. The best I can do is come up with an opinion that reflects my attitude on the world in general, not on just one of the many facets of human existence, especially one where I am only, at best, an observing party. All of the pain, joy, grief and ecstasy that comes with carrying a child, I will never experience. Ahh, but now I’m rambling.
I guess I’m done now.