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You can’t have it both ways

This week there has been much talk about abortion in the news and on social media. I really should steer clear of reading the latest because as a woman who had an abortion 32 years ago, I still get triggered. I would never presume that all women had the same experience as I did, but it was not something I would ever do again and it was extremely unpleasant and anxiety-provoking.

Those who call themselves pro-choice state that it’s a woman’s choice what to do with her body. I don’t completely buy that argument because even though I agree that it’s her body, it’s not just her body. Usually, abortions are performed sometime after 8 weeks and before 20 weeks gestation. At that point, science determines that the mother and the fetus are separate entities. It’s not just a “part of the woman’s body”, it’s a separate life. By acknowledging that, I’m not changing my pro-choice stance because there are some instances in which the mother’s life and ability to continue functioning in the world will be seriously jeopardized if the fetus is carried to term. It’s not a perfect world. Circumstances sometimes suck. Adoption is not always a choice that can be made.

It’s important for pro-choice people to back up their positions with rational conclusions. If you cannot accept the fact that the fetus is a “life”, separate and apart from its mother, then perhaps you need to go back and reread some scientific literature.  If that fact makes you squeamish about abortion, hey, I understand. However, please do not resort to the christian bible to back up your claims. The god of the christian bible, if you believe it literally, was a cruel man who routinely killed his people and ordered born and unborn children to be slain. There are also passages in the bible that (wrongly, because science) suggest that life isn’t life until the baby is out of the womb. That’s bullshit, sorry.  You can use the bible, cherry-pick it to death, to back up your opinions on any number of subjects. Please don’t do that, atheists and others who are pro-choice. Otherwise, the battle for choice becomes a scripture shouting match and you lose your credibility.

None of that matters. If you cannot justify your position without using a fictional text which was never meant to be a guide for health and science, you need to change your argument. This goes for all medical decisions. An abortion is more than a talking point for politicians. It’s more than a bumper sticker. This is a woman’s life and the life of a fetus we’re talking about and most often, the decision is not made lightly. Support the women in your life by recognizing that they should make important decisions based on reality, not what was written in a religious text.

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America’s Lower Class

The boy who was in the car with the passed out heroin addicts is now in the custody of relatives in another state.  This, after being born to a woman (with the help of a sperm donor, no doubt) who could not care for him properly and then given over to his addicted grandmother.  He is four years old and has been passed around like a Christmas fruitcake that nobody wants.  Hopefully he will finally be given some stability and a proper home in which to grow up.  And counseling.  Lots of counseling.

I would bet that he was propped in front of a television instead of having books read to him.  I would also bet that his nutrition was lacking and has been witness to things no child should have to endure.  What does that do to a child?  What does this mean for our society?  Children are growing up in broken homes with stressed out, chemically dependent, distracted parents who don’t teach them how to behave, how to learn or how to function in society.  Crimes are being committed by children as young as 9 years old.  My son, an elementary school teacher, says that a student in his school set fire to a playground with a group of 11 year old boys.

Picture this.  It’s 1970 or 1980 and you are in a public place, maybe a grocery store or a doctor’s waiting room.  Look around.  What you may notice is an absence of out of control children.  You may notice parents (yes, a mother AND a father) paying attention.  The child is expected to behave a certain way because the parents have set limits.  The child knows he or she is cared for because the parents take the time and energy it takes to speak to them, to feed them properly, ask questions, soothe them, and monitor what they do.  I’m not saying the child always appreciates this attention, but there is ample evidence that shows that children need the basics in order to grow up and function in our society.

There were the anomalies back then.  There were single mothers who did terrific jobs raising their children and children of divorce who turned out just fine.  There were poor children who made their way and are productive members of society.  That is not the case anymore.

15 year olds are having children and the fathers often impregnate many girls or women without taking the responsibility for what they are doing.  The girls are not seeking abortions.  (another WTF question for another post)

The worst thing about this is that the irresponsible behavior of the young people in our society is creating an uneducated, dependent, helpless, violent underclass.  It’s a phenomenon that is not limited to the inner cities.  It’s in rural America New White Underclass and to a lesser degree, has spread to the suburbs.

Low wages, disappearing jobs for the middle class and unaffordable housing have all negatively affected our culture in America.  Who is to blame when unemployment rates in a once thriving small town force the majority of its residents on welfare?  This is a political issue which has caused a moral problem.  When circumstances change, we have to adapt. The government cannot be held responsible for paying for the upbringing of children.  The government can offer assistance to make sure that the children have food to eat, but the government cannot parent and it cannot provide love, safety and security for those children. The new underclass is frightening.   My grown children are not parents yet and if they choose not to bring children into the world, I would not blame them.