Abort, Retry, Fail … Kill?

Back in February 2006, in only my second month as an addict a member of the blogosphere, I wrote something that I called, with great hubris and naïveté, “My Last Ever Post on Abortion”.

Its main point remains, in my mind, valid. Which is why I thought I’d never be writing on this subject again:

If we truly had concern for each other as people, we would recognize that abortion is a tool, available if it is needed. We would educate ourselves, long before the occasion arises, of what the tool is and what it represents. We would educate ourselves as to the costs and responsibilities associated with childbirth and child rearing, and realize that the cheapest and easiest way to manage those costs and responsibilities is to keep yourself, whatever gender you are, off the couch and out of the bedroom until you have the maturity, the social network, and (above all) the funds, to support them. Or are sure of your tools and strategies for avoiding fertilization. In other words, proper and thorough sex education.

I have caught some heat for this viewpoint, most often from women who tell me, “if we had to wait until men were ready to have children, there would be no children.” A moment’s reflection on the current human population crisis, and my response options to this critique shrink to one. “This is bad how?

From commercial and religious interests, silence. Beneath their notice, I suppose:

But no. Sex sells. We have to have the right to live dangerously, or how would we ever get that SUV marketed? And we always have demagogues who are prepared to convince you, for their profit, that you can do whatever you want. Or to argue, for their profit, that their God is the sole repository of ethics in the world, and anyone who disagrees is automatically Satan, and oughta be dead.

Like George Tiller. Who, in case you didn’t know, was [sic] a physician who specialized in women’s health services. Including late-term abortions. Who survived several challenges to his perfectly-legal operations (abort, retry, fail …).

And who was murdered this morning (31 May 2009). While he was serving as an usher at a church service, for Christ’s sake!

Heinous as the murder was, it takes second place to the comments published by one of Tiller’s opponents in Kansas, which all but confess to ordering the hit.

I’ve come to see that the main point of my “last ever post on abortion” is flawed. Fatally flawed. It requires reason, a disinterested (to the degree that that is possible within the human condition) evaluation of the relevant information leading to a conclusion that is, in the light of that evidence, the best answer for all parties.

We the People do not want to suppress our emotions. We want, we demand, the right to feel, to act and respond according to our passions. That those passions can be manipulated, Adolph, does not occur to us. We will slam dunk over your puny little head, and chest-bump in celebration afterward. We will blockade your abortion clinic, and celebrate the resulting additions to the welfare rolls – or the suicide roster. If that humiliates you, tough shit. And if you try to do anything about it, we will take you out.

Perhaps you don’t care for this picture. So what will you do about it?

MURDER, n. What happens to human embryos that are subjected to abortion – and, what happens to those that are carried to term and born into this world unwanted and without adequate provision for their support. Most civilized societies profess to prefer quick, relatively painless means of dispatch to slow ones with torture. But then, this is America. See GUANTANAMO, ABU GHRAIB.

Thanks, Cooper, for the heads-up. I think.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. I knew a woman once… had lupus. For her, pregnancies were dangerous. The first worked out okay. The second did not.

    Her options were limited. She could go thru the birth, but the fetus’ skull was empty and the child that would be born would die shortly after she did. Or, she could have the late-term abortion and live.

    Either way, her fetus was going to die.

    Randall Terry and his domestic terrorists apparently want every woman to go thru every pregnancy no matter how dangerous to the woman or how dead the fetus. Yet they call themselves pro-lifers.

    What a bunch of &$%#@& as *#^$oles.

  2. Sauerkraut, the world is full of stories like this, stories of people for whom the only sensible treatment should be (have been) based on the specifics of the case as informed by the medical evidence available. Not on dogma informed by (literally) Stone Age technologies.

    Practically the entire left half of the blogosphere has labelled the anti-abortion movement “domestic terrorists”. This will make the Randolph Terrys of the world no less a pack of martyrs, at least in their own minds and those of their adherents, than George Tiller. Perhaps there’s no help for this: we are so polarized, and so addicted to living our lives in Emotional Reaction, that We can find no other way to respond. I hope this is not so – for if it is, we will devour ourselves, and our demise as a Great Nation (whatever that is) is, I think, assured.

  3. Ah! But we do judge. We know what is right.
    You know that abortion is right as opposed to social problems caused by the pregnancy.
    People who disagree with you are judged unreasonable or not open to reason.
    Christians who hold a pro-life viewpoint and didn’t want to argue with you are judged as seeing you as beneath their notice.
    You make a good case for reason as did Obama but when you’re right you’re right.

  4. Abortion should be legally available until the 46th trimester. I’m pretty sure that no children whatsoever would leave us with plenty of whining.

  5. If that’s the post I think it is, I’d like for you to reprint it. It was one of your best ones, IMO.

    And I would argue that probably a good 97% of the time, your main points are flawed for exactly that same reason. That’s not necessarily a problem. Certainly, you often present the best, most reasonable solution. And yet, we don’t want to suppress our emotions. Often, and especially as part of a group mind, we don’t want to act reasonably.

  6. No one gets out of here alive. I think it matters not how old we are when we leave but that we make the time of those here as pleasant as possible by preventing the slow death of starvation, abuse, and ravages of war…but hey that is just me, at this small moment in time.

    You are an addict so don’t be so coy.

  7. hey, I agree with you. Doesn’t seem to stop people, though. Including me, though when I catch myself at it I’m ashamed. To say nothing about when others catch me …

    Except when you’re left, of course, Dr. John. 😉 Your post on the subject is essential reading.

    Dawg, you remind me of a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, some decades(!) ago now, where the menu featured an argument between a King and his vizier over the meaning of w(h)ine list.

    I considered linking to that post, Lisa, but decided that enough of my thought had moved on from that long-ago day that I decided to excerpt rather than reprint. I think you’re right about the “reason” bit (to the extent that I can claim any such thing for myself); what’s more, either Quilly agrees with you or she’s changed her mind about my posts in the last fifteen minutes and hasn’t told me about it. Which brings me back to the point: what shall we do about it? How shall we act reasonably in a culture that expects us to react as we are told, and how shall we get others to do so?

    You told Sauerkraut the same “addict” thing, cooper. Have you got a watch on the poor guy? But your take on life strikes me as wise. Thanks for the stumble on this post.

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