Picture this. You are sitting in PSY210 (Human Growth and Development) and the teacher is going over everything you need to know for the test, which includes an entire chapter she didn’t go over because of a family emergency. You are exhausted because you stayed up way too late writing your blog and doing homework and stuff. You are not in any way in the mood to eff around. You are frantically trying to write down everything the teacher is saying as she wobbles unsteadily from one topic to the next without any coherent direction. Then someone interrupts the review on the periods of gestation with the comment, “I don’t understand how it’s legal to murder babies,” or something similar (I can’t exactly remember because I didn’t write it down at the time. I was a little shocked.)
Now, it’s not that I don’t love me an ethical debate. I am quite fond of taking up the opposition on anything regardless of my actual views. It’s something I’m good at. What I don’t love is when someone makes a blatant comment that simply dares you to disagree (and the tone she used strongly suggested that no argument was expected and anyone who disagreed was a witch). It wasn’t a question. It was a demand to agree with her or be brutalized for being absolutely, unequivocally wrong. What, pray tell, is the teacher, to whom this woman was addressing her “question,” supposed to say? “Yes, of course you are right. Let’s go henceforth to Washington and declare this profound truth to those stupid politicians so that they may reverse this evil!” The teacher did try to deflect the question and get back to the topic, which had nothing to do with abortion (nowhere in our review was a section called “When to abort your unborn child). But the woman would not be deterred and continued on for a few minutes, speaking over anyone who tried to offer an opinion on the topic and generally, pissing off those around me who were actually hoping to glean some useful information out of the class.
What did I say, (mostly to myself)? “Are you effing serious?” There is a time and a place to bring up deeply controversial topics for open discussion. In the middle of a test review is not one of them. There is also a way to open a discussion that doesn’t involve blurting out something in a confrontational tone to a classroom full of people who don’t necessarily disagree with you. And if you are going to start a discussion, maybe pretending like there is a counter argument will facilitate conversation rather than making everyone feel awkward because you asked a question that doesn’t have a straight forward answer in a tone that demanded just that. What she wanted to hear was her own opinion obediently recited back at her to reaffirm her own self-righteousness. And that kind of attitude is one of the best ways to make me angry.
Now, had she been actually asking a question in a civilized manner and with an open mind, I could have given her several answers. A) Science is unable to determine when life actually starts (meaning, not just fertilization but when a being becomes sentient). I do not like this argument really because it’s weak, to be frank, and it contradicts my personal beliefs. B) There are plenty of incidents when abortion is the better option. When the pregnancy is a threat to the life of the mother and/or the child, for instance. Some might argue that you should try to have the child anyway, but I think that should be up to the parents (not just the mother). Again, that is my opinion. I don’t think abortion should be used just because the mother is unfit (mentally insane or a drug addict, etc) since the child can always be put up for adoption (though from what I hear about the system, they might be better off with their druggie mom). C) It’s the mother’s body and she can do with it what she will. I don’t like this argument either (as it clashes with my beliefs). However, not everyone is of my beliefs. That’s not to excuse them, but merely to point out that there are other ways of thinking. The thing of it is, if a woman doesn’t want her baby, she will find a way not to have it. That means everything from a rusty coat hanger to a dumpster behind the school to selling it for more drugs. I would rather have to child humanely euthanized (I hate using that phrase here) by a trained physician than suffocating to death in a dumpster. And there’s the added bonus that for those idiots who think abortion is birth control, they’ll probably be unable to carry a child to term when they do feel it’s the right time.
I’m putting myself in the path of some pretty severe criticism with this, I know. The fact of the matter is, I don’t like abortion. I know it is necessary in extreme cases (medical emergencies), but that doesn’t mean I condone it’s use. I think it is an appalling practice that I will never resort to (unless it is an extreme case, which I pray to God never happens). However, like many things in life (just about everything, in fact) I can only speak for myself. I cannot make you think like I do or believe what I believe and I wouldn’t want to. Making someone do something is just delaying the inevitable moment when they rebound in the opposite direction because it is in our natures to rebel. Which is why, when someone asks a question which isn’t a question in a tone that demands compliance, I end up square on the other side defending a woman’s right to slaughter her unborn progeny.
Interesting side note: Anyone ever notice how the strongest opponents to abortion are also the strongest supporters of the death penalty?