The formerly very liberal and very pro-choice Bookworm is thinking long and hard about abortion arguments in the 21st Century:
I dreamed last night about the first ultrasound I had when I was pregnant with my daughter. I was sixteen weeks pregnant, and had been throwing up non-stop for 15 1/2 of those sixteen weeks. I was not happy. I resented the parasite within me. And then I saw the sonogram image and discovered that the parasite had a little round head, two arms and two legs, and an incredible spinal cord that looked like the most exquisite string of pearls. That image did not instantly reconcile me to the next 26 weeks of non-stop vomiting, but it made me aware that “the fetus” is not simply an aggregation of cells, or a thing indistinguishable from a dog or a chicken fetus. It’s a baby.
This is a long and thoughtful piece that I urge everyone to read and contemplate. Catholics may not agree with everything she writes, but they’ll agree with lots of it; I was surprised and gratified to see Bookie express the often-controversial idea that a baby conceived in rape is an innocent life, undeserving of dismemberment and death.
That is an issue that demands a genuine bit of social research; do post-rape abortions heal, or do the women who get them feel further violated and harmed? What do the women who have chosen to let such babies live have to say about it? I suspect the answers are themselves keeping the questions from being asked.
Another question I would like to see brought into the public square -and bear with me, for a moment, as I play Devil’s Advocate: if pro-life advocates (like me) object to their tax dollars being used to fund abortions under Obamacare (and I do), and if they want their objections to be seriously considered, then why shouldn’t those who are anti-war object to their tax dollars being used to fund the effort in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the multi-fronted war on terror?
Now, the argument will be made that a strong national defense is necessary to the survival of a nation, while legal abortions are not, strictly speaking, “necessary,” (except, for some, to the survival of a mother). But if the pro-lifers manage to keep their tax monies out of the reach of the abortion industry, they can expect to see a similar effort made about funding the “military-industrial complex.”
Although it will be very interesting to see under what sort of president, and what sort of congress, such arguments are made.
Perhaps we will have to establish some sort of “public conscience escrow account” into which taxpayers can assign a proportionate percentage of their taxes, to insure that those monies are not contributing to acts and policies which they find objectionable?
Of course, that will open a huge can of worms; those against performance art may say they don’t want their taxes to fund the NEA. Those who dislike green research may demand that their money be held in escrow until such time as we begin drilling for oil in ANWR.
A Public Conscience Escrow Fund could quickly turn into the biggest pot o’cash in the US Government Coffers! And since its funding would be tax-payer directed, it would seem only right that the taxpayers themselves get to determine how these enormous held-in-suspense funds could finally be used.
I suggest these funds be used to build parks and playgrounds, establish scholarship funds primarily meant for music and art lessons, small-group (home and neighborhood) schooling and scholarships for un-outsourceable, bluecollar vo-tech training and the study of hard sciences.
I mean it for the children who will get to be born because their abortions were not publicly funded, but whose cities were not destroyed due to (unfortunately necessary) publicly-funded self-defense. Perhaps they will be the ones who will -through the universal languages of music, art, industry and discovery- convince some to stop strapping bombs to themselves, so that others need not arm drones and men.
Yes, it is too peacenik-y. But isn’t it nice to dream, even for a few minutes, that all of our passionate and clashing differences can be put to rest in a human (and therefore ultimately faulty, ultimately imperfect) world? The truth is, however, that we will never be at rest, until we rest in a Peace that is beyond all understanding.
This post, and my Devil’s Advocacy is not meant to offend, merely to illustrate how complicated things get, practically all by themselves.
I’ve got a project to work on, and I confess I am terribly “blocked” with regards to it; blogging may become lightish. For those inclined to prayer (and who may already be praying for Sweetie) if you could whisper up one for my Elder Son’s job intention? He may have a line on something after being unemployed for much too long; I would be so grateful for your prayers! Thanks.
UPDATE: Bookworm has posted a response to this blurb expounding further on what we’re discussing here. You’ll want to read it.