Is Thinking What Makes Babies? Harris Perry Says So – UPDATED

Is Thinking What Makes Babies? Harris Perry Says So – UPDATED July 23, 2013

I’m sorry, but something about this woman just creeps me out. Perhaps it is because her beauty seems incongruous to her person, which screams “perpetual 14 year old”.

You have to go here to watch her and hear her. It’s so bizarre:

“When a pregnancy is wanted…it is easy to think of the bump as a baby.”

As opposed, I guess to something vegetative, or lupine?

I’m perfectly aware that “the bump” is a trendy bit of word-play — the first (and necessary) step toward dehumanizing a pregnancy and turning it into a “thing” that is easy to think of a baby, if one wishes to. Apparently, in Melissa Harris-Perry’s world, thinking is what makes a baby a baby! If you don’t want to think it’s a baby, it can be anything!

Magical thinking! I thought that was habit of religious people. But this issue is sort of a religion for some, isn’t it? A Strange God at which to bow?

More pearls:

“But not every pregnancy is a fairy tale. There are other stories. An ultrasound reveals severe birth defects.” (So, once that challenging information is ascertained, the baby instantly becomes not a baby? Is there a special chant or incantation for that?) UPDATE: Hey, Ms. Harris-Perry, watch this!)

“A child is raped, and becomes pregnant.”

(Pregnant with what, Ma’am? With a non-baby? Wouldn’t you also make that argument if a grown woman was raped and became pregnant? Did you specifically say “a child” in order to manipulate your audience? How old is “a child”? In some states a 13 year-old girl is considered sufficiently adult to not require parental consent while having a vacuum introduced into an already-violated vagina, bringing additional violence into her very womb. Does the sufficiently adult 13 year-old suddenly become “a child” depending on the circumstances? I’m so confused! What about a 17 year-old? Trayvon Martin was a 17 year-old young man, who was referred to, repeatedly, as “a child.” We need to get clear on a basic question, anymore, of what constitutes “a child” and whether one exists in the womb.)

“Another baby would jeopardize a mother’s ability to feed her living children.”

(Wait! So, you’re saying it is a baby — another child for the mother — but it should just be a dead child having no place among her living children. Because…let me think this through now…it’s better to kill the baby [your word!] than to allow families and churches and faith communities and duly-funded government agencies to intervene and give assistance [which is a good thing that you say you endorse] so the mother can love (and be loved by) all of her children, and help them to grow?)

“A woman decides she does not want a child at all.”

(Ah, now we come to the heart of the matter. Tug all the heartstrings you want, honey, but eventually you have to spell it out: reasons and excuses are just necessary evils offered for the sake of appearances, to make the heart of your philosophy seem less ghastly: that a woman should not need a reason for an abortion at all. “My body, my choice!” “Abortion on demand, without apology.” Why didn’t you just say that from the start and stow the fake hand-wringing? What are you aborting, by the way, I forget.)

“These are different pregnancies.”

(Not really. They’re the same as other pregnancies.)

“They’re reminders that an unwanted pregnancy can be biologically the same as a wanted one.”

(Can be? They are biologically, scientifically, cellularly, atomically, materially, the same. Why do you hate science?)

“But the experience can be entirely different. Eggs are fertilized; embryos implant; cells divide and multiply; fetus’ grow. But when does life begin?”

(Dead things can’t grow. Only living things can grow. So, if its cells are dividing and multiplying it’s growing. Because its alive. An entity with its own DNA, its own fingerprints, haircolor, and blood-type grows because the fetus (the “unborn young”) is alive. Life has begun.)

“I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling – but not science.”

(And we’re back to feelings and magical thinking, and a complete disregard for science. But wait, the answer depends “an awful lot” on the “powerful feeling” of the parents (you mean, the woman) but not wholly? If that’s true then who else gets a say? The church? The government? Are you making an argument for personal, bodily autonomy or not?)

“The problem is that many of our policymakers want to base sweeping laws on those feelings.”

Which feelings? I’m so confused. Up until now you’ve appeared to make an argument that a baby is not a baby unless feelings and thinking make it so; that the “powerful feeling” of a parent is what makes a “bump” into a baby, or renders it into mere bloody waste to be captured in jars and toilets. And you’ve seemed to argue that those feelings matter. But now you’re saying that there is a “problem” — which certainly sounds negative — with policymakers creating law based on feelings. So, are you arguing that policy should not be written based on feelings at all, but should be based on science? Even if, in your world, the answer as to when life begins remains nebulous and hinges on those feelings?

That sounds good to me. Bring on the ultrasounds.

Honestly, though, this clip is so convoluted and confusing, I feel like I need to see more of it — like she must have said something after the clip ends that brings it back around to making sense. Does anyone have a transcript?

Once more, in case you missed it in the body of the post, watch this. Harris-Perry mentions ultrasounds showing “severe defects.” What is the measure of severe, anyway? Who decides what constitutes a good quality of life?

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