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Who? Declares What?
PAGE ONE
January 2003

Normally, my babblings here are about relatively harmless subject matter. You know, dumb TV shows and dolls and boybands and sparkly things. Silliness and self-deprecation. Foof and fondue. Sometimes there’re undercurrents of seriousness, of course… I certainly have my hot-button issues about sexism and child abuse and racial stereotypes. But I’ve never fooled myself that I could deal with contemporary issues and/or politics like some of my more informed and intelligent web neighbors; that’s generally not what dwanollah.com’s all about.

But right now, I’m pissed. Beyond pissed. Incensed. FUCKING FURIOUS.

I was checking the latest headlines on CNN.com. What happened to the bubonic plague vials? Is there more anthrax at post offices? Has Robert Blake learned to shut up already? And then I saw this:

Bush declares National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Um.

Yes, I hate Dubya. He could walk on water and shit gold bars, and I’d still hate his guts. So no, I’m not necessarily objective. However.

THE FUCK?!

Does the irony of this not strike ANYONE?

Yes, Dubya, the gun-slingin’ old west hero who is out to avenge “the man who tried to kill my Daddy” by forcing (oil-related) war with Iraq rather than, oh, I don’t know, FINDING OSAMA BIN LADEN, and is making all sorts of pushy and, yes, terrorist threats on Middle East and Asian countries akin to what terrorist organizations have been threatening America with, and is telling other nations who should and who shouldn’t have “weapons of mass destruction” even though I’m sure this country also has a stockpile of nukes aimed at six different global “evildoers,” yes, George “Hang ‘em High” Death Penalty Dubya Bush, yes, THAT man HAS DECLARED NATIONAL SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE DAY?!?

I. Am. GOBSMACKED.

Does “sanctity of human life” mean he’s going to abolish the death penalty? Promote peach in the Middle East and diplomatic dialogue instead of heavy-handed military action? Do a little work on the economy so the average family can afford food and school for their 2.5 red-blooded ‘Merkin children? Make health-care affordable? Reinstate funding for education and women's health services and the like? No. According to the article: “Bush, who has supported various abortion restrictions, called on all Americans on Sunday to ‘reaffirm the value of human life and renew our dedication to ensuring that every American has access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.” Yeah. “Every child is a priority and a blessing, and I believe that all should be welcomed in life and protected by law.”

Admittedly, abortion is one of my major hot-button issues. (On the other hand, I continue to struggle with my own feelings about the death penalty.) But that aside, how can Dubya have a leg to stand on with an argument like “reaffirming the value of human life”? I guess the key should be “every AMERICAN child,” because God knows those heathen towel-heads don’t deserve access to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” especially if it affects the pursuit of happiness by Americans. For God’s sweet sake, how can we even attempt to fulfill every American’s Constitutional RIGHT to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? What if it makes you happy to have sex with children and farm animals? To do drugs? To beat up those evil, sinning faggots because they’re a threat to this God-fearin’ country? How on EARTH is it even possible to have such a right? Seriously.

But, according to Dubya’s language, even asking questions like this is an “act of terrah.”

The CNN article continues with “praise” from Pro-Lifers for “the president's proclamation”: “ ‘It's a wonderful statement of what the pro-life movement is really all about,’ said Darla St. Martin, associate executive director of the National Right to Life organization. ‘President Bush's pro-life view is clearly grounded in his respect and concern for all people,’ she added.”

HIS RESPECT AND CONCERN FOR ALL PEOPLE?! ‘Scuse my prejudicial language and all that, but does this idiot have NO critical thinking skills? Has she never heard a speech by or read an article about Dubya? Is anyone naïve – nay, brainless – enough to think that George Dubya Bush has RESPECT AND CONCERN FOR ALL PEOPLE? Look at his actions in even the last week, not to mention the entirety of his occupation of the Oval Office (and yes, that includes September 11), and try to convince me that the man has “respect and concern for all people.”

Bullshit. Unless by “all people” you mean generally white American people of a certain class and financial position and sexual orientation.

And fetuses, whether wanted or not.

Dubya, despite being one of the strongest proponents of the death penalty, and despite being clearly ready and rarin’ to send troops with guns and bombs and other “weapons of mass destruction” into Iraq and Korea and wherever else he’s decided the “evildoers” are, supposedly has “respect and concern for all people?” No fucking way. Boy am I glad to know that the man making all of this country’s major decisions is more concerned about the “sanctity of life” of an unborn fetus than the sanctity of life of a child in Iraq or Korea, or that one guy in Nacogdoches, Texas or the mother of the criminal on death row, or, hell, EVEN THE PARENTS OF THE UNBORN FETUS ITSELF!

Yes, I’ve said before, I am adamantly for a woman’s right to choose. Arguments like “it’s not a choice, it’s a child” or “if Mary was pro-choice, there would be no Christmas” are ludicrous and illogical. If you don’t believe in abortion, fine. Good for you. Then don’t have one.

But when dealing with a potential child, a potential new person, there is so much more to take into consideration, and most pro-life (and even a lot of pro-choice) rhetoric tends to absurdly simplify the arguments.

Many “sanctity of life” arguments also tend to lose interest right around the child’s birth. If life is so “sanctified,” then why aren’t more people concerned about what happens AFTER the child is born? Has anyone seen what happens to children who are born into families or to mothers who don’t want them? Go to a prison. Look at welfare statistics. Go to a foster home. Talk to abused children. Find out how many of those people were planned, wanted pregnancies. Having a child is irrevocable, and effects countless people. Should anyone be/feel FORCED to have a child? How is that for the good of the child? The family? The community? The country? What if you’re only seventeen? Fifteen? Twelve? Forty-eight? Terminally ill? What if you don’t have a job, or can’t support yourself, much less a child? What if you just aren’t ready to have a child? “But abortion is wrong/bad/a sin!” pro-lifers say. But isn’t it wrong/bad/a sin to bring an unwanted child into the world? It’s not a fucking goldfish! It’s a CHILD. A PERSON. It will take up all your emotional energy. Your whole life will have to change, in every way; from now on, that child is the first priority. It HAS to be. You don’t have a child in hopes that “maybe this will work out” or “we’ll see what happens”! It’s a commitment. It’s final. No do-overs. No backsies.

“Give it up for adoption,” many argue. Yeah, like it’s that simple. Could YOU carry a child for nine months, give birth, and then give it up for adoption? I can’t tell you how much respect and admiration I have for the people who can and do, because I sure as hell couldn’t! Adoption is a wonderful option, but it’s not the answer for everyone. Just ask the friend of mine who gave up her daughter ten years ago in an open adoption, and still often can’t bring herself to open up the annual envelopes with pictures of and letters about Kathryn for weeks and months. Sure, Katy’s being raised to know her birth mother, and her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, but that doesn’t mean my friend’s choice was easy and solved all her problems just like that. For the rest of her life, she has to live with knowing that her child isn’t really HER child. That’s hard.

“Well, then, use birth control!” I couldn’t agree more. But unfortunately, birth control sometimes fails. My mom got pregnant with me while she was on the pill, and with my brother when she had an IUD. I got pregnant after a one-nighter WITH a condom. Birth control is wonderful, but not 100% effective 100% of the time. (Which is why the morning-after pill should be readily available as well, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

“Then don’t have sex!” How realistic is that? It’s easy to say to a 14-year-old… but is it realistic? Should everyone who has sex only do so if they want to have a child? Of course, all people who’re sexually active need to be PREPARED for the possibility of pregnancy… that’s one thing…. But to say you shouldn’t have sex unless you want/plan to have a child is highly implausible. Having a child should not be the punishment for having sex, no matter what the circumstance. Because how is that going to benefit the child?

Abortion is also an option, and no, it’s not for everyone. But it needs to be there. I’m not just talking for the extreme circumstances – rape, incest, tubal pregnancies or other conditions that could be life-threatening to the mother. Abortion needs to be an option for those conditions as well. But what if every pregnant teen didn’t have that option? What if every single woman who got pregnant was forced – FORCED – to have that child, no matter what the personal circumstances, because a blanket law has been passed that assumes that all pregnancies and all fetuses are sacred, therefore simplifying an incredibly complicated issue to an ironically inhumane scale? Really. What would happen to those children after they were born? What would their lives be like?

So, it’s “not a choice, it’s a child”…? What about the woman who was pregnant as a result of rape? The married couple that already have three/six/eleven children? The girl still in high school? The woman who doesn’t want to have children, ever, because her own parents were such fuck-ups? The woman who receives test results that the pregnancy is going to threaten her life? The woman who receives test results that the fetus is severely physically and/or mentally deformed? The girl in college? The woman who stupidly had sex without birth control? The woman whose birth control failed? The mildly-retarded 13-year-old who didn’t understand. Extreme or banal, each is an individual situation; you can’t just make one moral statement about their pregnancies being “sacred” and expect it to apply equally! What would happen to those children after they were born?

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