A non-angry, non-barby comment on the prochoice vs. prolife issue

Pro-Choice author Katie Roiphe being blunt:

“The idea that “life begins at birth” is useful politically, but as many have pointed out, in the age of sonograms, of cloudy little hands and feet coming into focus at nine weeks, how many people actually believe it?

Our language betrays our desire. A cluster of cells that is wanted is a “baby,” and one that is unwanted is a “fetus.” One never hears excited parents-to-be referring to the “fetus”; the leap of imagination from fetus to baby is so ordinary, so automatic, so universal that we cannot pretend, even in the realm of political expediency, that it is not so. We can’t try to argue that some clusters of cells are not “life” if we are, say, busy calling our own cluster of cells a baby….

Let’s imagine a scenario in which we admit that abortions may involve an obliteration of something that could legitimately be called life but that they are done to protect something that could also be called life. Planned Parenthood is, after all, in the business of protecting women’s lives, their futures, their ability to pursue education, to establish security, to have homes filled with future children, and their freedom to decide how best to use their short time on earth.”

–Katie Roiphe “Good Riddance, “Pro-Choice” Slate JAN. 16 2013

–quote accessed from here http://www.lifenews.com/2017/04/07/pro-abortion-writer-admits-human-life-begins-before-birth/

This is the idea: what matters more? A half-formed baby life, or a woman’s life (including future lives she can bring into the world under arguably better circumstances)? And they go with one over the other.

This is calm and rational.

And in most of history (and in every pre-Christian European or Asian society I can think of), people agree. They have condoned infanticide under special circumstances, with different rules, as a sad necessity. So we have to mentally think about it in a certain way, to do what we have to do, to have what we have to have, in “our short time on this earth.”

But what if it doesn’t need to be this way? What if we don’t actually live in this dog-eat-dog world of realpolitik and hardnosed practicalities? What if there is a way to honor as sacred every little squalling thing under these stars?

What if….the universe isn’t a cold and brutal place, with the gods feckless and distant, leaving us humans to do the sad and terrible thing to survive, like shipwreck survivors on a fraying raft? What if it doesn’t have to be this way? What if we have miscalculated the universe, like scared children hiding under a bridge, while the the sun shines on the fields outside? What if we are terribly mistaken?

What if the heavens really are on our side, loving each and every one of us needy and pathetic human creatures? What if  it really is, a voice gently saying, “Do not hurt them. Let the little children come to me

 

 

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