Monday, August 27, 2012

Here comes the politics....

Okay, I have to get this blog out of my head because I need room for more fun subjects.

First I am going to start out with letting you know that as political season heats up there will be more and more political blogs. Can't help it. It's what will start to take up more and more of my mind space because it will take up more and more of what is being presented in the news. Now I also know that no matter what I say if you disagree with me you won't "hear" me. I've linked it before and I will link it again, political bias breaks your brain.  So I know that most of what I post will be met with either nods from the people who agree with me or head shakes from those that don't. And that's okay. I will post because I need to get the argument out of my head to make room for other things.

Now all of that aside, we get to today's blog. And in this one I will actually make both the right and the left shake their heads. It's part of the joy of being an independent. Sometimes just when you have me all figured out, you find out you don't. Or even if you know my stance on an issue you don't fully understand why that's my stance. This is one of those issues. And because I always like to start out with why I take the position I take before I post the rest I will do that now.

I am pro-choice. Strongly, staunchly pro-choice. It's one of my cornerstone issues and I have changed my mind on who I will and will not vote for based on this fact. But I am also very much anti-abortion. I believe that it's amazing each and every time a woman gets pregnant. If you ever read the biology on all of the pieces that have to work together just exactly right in just exactly the right time window and then keep on working just exactly the right way for the child to make it to delivery, well it amazes me that babies are born at all. Let alone so many of them!

My own history is tied to the debate. If I had stayed in the church it would be part of my "inspirational story" and as it is it's part of my mother's. My mother should not have had me. The birth control failed or I wouldn't have been conceived. Once I was conceived the doctors warned her that carrying me to term would surely end up with my death and her death as well. And it almost did. The amount of blood my mother lost while delivering me put her right in the path of dying. But she didn't. And I didn't. Doctors are sometimes wrong. But for my mother having an abortion, even though her life was as risk, wasn't an option. It just wasn't something she was willing to do. And I would be insane to say I wish she had made a different decision. Because I'm here. And she turned 80 this year. We both came through in the end.

When I became pregnant with C I knew from the very start, before the test, that I was pregnant. And I knew that I was having a boy long before the results from the ultrasound came in. I just knew these things. And I would sit in the rocking chair in what would become his room and rock and sing and read to him long before he made his appearance in to the world. I felt that he was a child, my child, from the start. And I loved him. When he was 2 we decided that we didn't want any more children. That one was good. About 6 months later my period was late. Then it was later. Then later still. I started to have all of the symptoms I did when I was pregnant with C. So I took a test. It came back with a light pink wash over the positive side instead of a clear pink line like a positive would be or a white pane like a negative would be. So we waited another week and I took another test. Same result. It was a weekend and I decided that I would go in to the doctor on Monday for a blood test but sort of reached the conclusion that I was pregnant. Didn't matter that we had decided we wanted one child looked like we were having two. Then the cramping started and I miscarried. But if I hadn't, even though we knew we only wanted one child, we would have had two. There wouldn't have even been a question to ask, we just would have gone forward with the new plan. The same way we would have if C had come when we were 18 and not ready for kids instead of 24 and fully planned for him. It's what I feel is the right thing to do.

So now you ask, why am I pro-choice, and staunchly pro-choice after all of that? Because I feel like abortion is the wrong thing to do. I feel that way. Science doesn't back up my feelings. The science is very clear. What I miscarried was a clump of cells that had just started on their pathway to eventually becoming a child. Maybe. If everything worked out exactly right. We didn't lose a baby that weekend, we lost a clump of cells. That's the science. I might have cried over the potential. We might have had another discussion on if we really did only want one child after that, but there was never a second baby. I wasn't that far along. And I cannot justify voting for laws on what I feel instead of what I know. Abortion isn't murder. That clump of cells cannot exist as a person on their own even with breathing tubes and feeding tubes and the fullest advances of our medical science. Just because the potential for a human life begins at conception doesn't make it a human life at the moment of conception.

And what I know is that what I feel isn't what everyone feels. And it shouldn't be. But what I know is that I should vote based on the facts. Laws should be made based on facts. Not on feelings. Feelings vary from person to person, facts are facts.

Okay, so where is this blog going then? It's about the abortion debate and the piece that makes me absolutely bonkers. The exception for rape, incest and the life of the mother clause that gets added in to legislation. It's a complete piece of bullshit. It is. And anytime either side uses it someone should point out that it's a complete piece of bullshit. So here I am pointing it out.

If you believe, truly believe, that abortion is murder then you do not believe in those exceptions. You can't. Paul Ryan said in an interview that the method of conception doesn't matter when asked about the rape exception specifically. This is what he truly believes. And if you believe, truly believe, that a life is a life at the moment of conception you have to agree with him. You have to say that you cannot punish a child for the crime of the parent. Incest is the same. Potential death of the mother? Tricky. But do you trade the murder (remember if you are in this camp this is how you think of it) of a child to save the mother or do you put your faith in your God that he will deliver you and the child through the pregnancy safely? You know the choice my mother made. And it worked out for us. You hear about those stories, the ones like mine, where it was the right call. you don't hear as many of the ones where it wasn't. But they are out there as well. Sometimes the doctor is wrong, but more often they are right.

If you believe, truly believe, in choice then you have to hate the rape, incest, safety exception discussion because it doesn't make sense. If you think abortion should be legal and the choice of the woman who is pregnant than saying that's it okay to have it be illegal except in those cases means that you are saying it's not okay. Why? Because you are not going to find a doctor that is willing to take the chance on performing an illegal abortion. In states where it is pretty much illegal (except for the big three exceptions) you would be hard pressed to find a doctor who will do the procedure. This is the way it works. You say you are pregnant due to a rape, but do you have a rape conviction yet? And what are the odds that the justice system will move quickly enough to find your rapist guilty in time for you to have an abortion? And incest? You say that's how you are pregnant but we need to make sure we do screening and how far along do you have to be before that would be conclusive? And can you get a DNA sample from the relative? How long would that court order take? Safety of the mother? How many doctors do you have to get to say that you would die before you can get an abortion? It's considered a victory for the anti-abortion group to get legislation passed that makes abortion illegal even with the three exceptions because they know that it makes it illegal in point of fact.

The reason why it even gets brought up is because it makes people feel better. You can take a stance against abortion but still feel like you aren't punishing the woman who has to carry her rapist's baby. You can take the stance that abortion needs to be kept legal in the case of rape, incest or health of the mother and feel like you are really doing something for the pro-choice movement. But it's bullshit. No matter which side you take, it's bullshit. And it drives me crazy when people harp on it. When it's pointed out that though Ryan doesn't believe in the exceptions Romney does so we should all feel better about that position.

Big picture time again. Just using the abortion debate as the canvas for the discussion. What I feel is that I would carry a baby to term no matter what. It's what I feel is the right decision for me. For me. But what is the right decision for you? That's up to what you feel about it. That's what feelings are for. To drive personal choices. I feel this way so I do this thing. You feel that way so you do that thing. But when you vote, when you make laws, when you are making decisions that affect everyone? Then you need to step away from what you feel and find out what you can know. Facts. Science. Rational Thoughts. It's hard. I know it is. It's much easier to make your decisions based strictly on what you feel. But it's bullshit. You know it and I know it.

Feelings are different than facts. Please oh please, try and keep that in mind when looking at all of the political debate this year and all of the issues. And please oh please, make sure you are voting based on facts not on feelings this Fall.


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