Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mawwage

Well, every marriage has its issues, and now you know what one of ours is.

The management would like to request that if Homer is going to leave epic comments, that he should get his own blog!

I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader whether I mean Homer, as in the Odyssey, or Homer as in the Simpson. D'oh!

It's rather remarkable, actually, that in 7 years of marriage, plus 4 years of dating, plus 10 years of knowing each other before that, we've only found two or three issues on which we really vehemently disagree. We're fortunate that in our situation, they're more philosophical than practical, so I'll just leave that there...

Erin, I'm really sorry that you aren't pregnant (and I'm exciting that you're working on a little brother or sister!!). But the feelings that you're experiencing aren't the same feelings that a woman experiencing an unexpected pregnancy (or an unexpected pregnancy scare) would have. Of course. I didn't mean to lump all pro-lifers into the clinic bombing group. But it bothers me that the pro-life group, in general, is trying to impose its moral/religious perspective onto every woman, regardless of her beliefs. Even if the Bible said, "Life begins at conception. Period. Love, God," that wouldn't end the argument, because not everyone believes in the Bible.

Since there is no clear medical answer (after all, a blastocyst can't live outside of the womb - it's a parasitic relationship), we must leave it up to each individual woman to make her choices, because it's her body, and if she doesn't want, and therefore doesn't take care of that little parasite, the consequences can be disastrous. I used to work with kids who had been born with fetal alcohol syndrome, drug addiction, etc. It wasn't pretty. Would those kids have preferred to not exist? I can't answer that. I can tell you that in the situation they were in - institutionalized and living in the most restrictive environment possible, their lives didn't have much happiness. They didn't have much liberty. They will never be able to live on their own, or take care of themselves. It was very sad.

Personally, I could never choose an abortion, but that doesn't mean that I feel qualified to make that decision for all 160 million or so American women. BJ thinks that since we've agreed, as a society, that murder is unacceptable, that it's no big deal to extend the same right to life to a fetus. I disagree. I think that the difference is that a fetus affects my right to liberty in a way that another fully-grown person can't, because it is inside my body for 9 months. Someone's rights have to take precedence over someone else's in that situation, and I believe that my rights, as a fully independent human adult take precedence over the rights of a not-yet-independent human. I don't think that late-term abortions should be done lightly, nor do I think that they are done, generally, unless the mother's life is seriously at risk. I think once the fetus has a heartbeat, you have a different set of circumstances entirely.

Oh we could go around and around about this... But I would never hate you (Erin, or BJ) for disagreeing with me. I have some pretty wild world views, and if I hated everyone who disagreed with me, I'd be a really lonely girl. The ability - the responsibility, even - to disagree is a part of living in a free, democratic society. And as an alumna of the Grammaland High School Debate Team (see the big "L" in the middle of my forehead?) I can promise you that I love a good debate!

In other news....... We are going up to Grammaland today to ride horses with Jenny! We may also hit the candy factory, or the County Fair, depending on the weather and how hot and stinky we are.

It's Justine's last day with us. She and Tim and Fran are headed to France tomorrow for Tim's sister's wedding. I'm trying to think of a place where I can hide Justine until after Tim and Fran leave, so I can keep her. If there are any tall skinny blond teenagers out there who would like to impersonate Justine and take an indefinitely long trip to France, so that she can stay here, e-mail me!! We're really going to miss her. I'm glad that we're able to have a fun outing on her last day. Pictures to come.

6 comments:

B.J. said...

A couple of clarifications and then I'll shut the Hell up about the topic (you're welcome).

"I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader whether I mean Homer, as in the Odyssey, or Homer as in the Simpson. D'oh!" Sorry, I didn't have time to put it in iambic pentameter.

"But it bothers me that the pro-life group, in general, is trying to impose its moral/religious perspective onto every woman..." Like it or not a society is the imposition of rules on the group as a whole so there is plenty of precedent of society deciding what is right and what is wrong and we're not talking about trivial things like wearing white after Labor Day. How is the Pro-Life attempt to outlaw abortion any different than the Pro-Choice movement imposing its notion that abortion should be legal and available on those that find it reprehensible?

"BJ thinks that since we've agreed, as a society, that murder is unacceptable, that it's no big deal to extend the same right to life to a fetus." No, that's not what I think. On the contrary I think outlawing abortion would be a massive undertaking but I also know that it would be worth the trouble (finding the balance between a legitimate concern over a woman's health and a doctor simply sympathetic to a woman with an unwanted pregnancy) to do so. My point about society and murder is in contradiction to the statement that not everyone in this country believes in the Christian god. Not only do I recognize that not everyone is Christian, I celebrate everyone's freedom to worship, or not, as they choose. Nonetheless, we as a society have agreed that murder is wrong and it's probably fair to say that the majority of the Pro-Life movement see abortion as murder.

We could debate when life begins and come to no definitive conclusion (and I promised to keep this short). Without having something that says 100% for certain "this is life" and "this is not life", I see erring on the side of caution and not ending what may or may not be life as the only responsible choice if for no other reason than it almost certainly would grow to meet the irrefutable definition of life if allowed to continue.

"Would those kids have preferred to not exist? I can't answer that." Of course not because that would be judging the quality of someone else's life. Talk about your slippery slopes.

I think Erin put it very well in saying that your right to liberty (and, trust me, I'm a huge fan of liberty) doesn't trump someone else's right to life. Doing so values one person's life over another person's, and as I see it, we're talking about another person's convenience.

"The ability - the responsibility, even - to disagree is a part of living in a free, democratic society." I guess that's how you see it when the current interruptions of the laws support your side. I don't think Pro-Life people would generally agree that the protracted debate is healthy.

Narg.

Erin said...

I agree not everyone believes in the Bible. Point well taken and they are free to choose to believe or not. I will defend your right to worship however you want or to not worship at all as long as you do the same for me. However, we can't deny that there's a moral law written on our hearts. For example (I would never do this...this is illustration purposes only), if I kicked you in the shins you would know that's wrong. What religious text did you consult to know that? I'm guessing none.

All laws legislate morality. That's what laws do. It's a question of whose morality will you legislate and what will those laws protect? The pro-life group is not trying to legislate religion. They should not be anyway! They are not telling women what, when or how to practice religion. They are saying that since we have outlawed murder as a society, it should be extended to all human beings, regardless of where they are on the life spectrum.

Deep down inside we know taking innocent life is wrong. We may surpress that thought, but it still gnaws at us.

Some of us make decisions based on feelings (me) and others make decision based on thinking (engineers). I think that line of thinking is at the heart of the debate and the debators tend to take themselves out of the equation. "It's okay for you, but not for me" line of reasoning. Truth is truth across all times and all cultures, otherwise it wouldn't be truth. I find it poor logic to say that it's okay for me to have the feelings I do regarding a potentially failed pregnancy because I wanted to become pregnant. And at the same time to say it's okay for another woman who does not want a pregnancy for whatever reason, to terminate it because it's not...fill in the blank.

Has it ever happened that something occurred that you did ask for? In fact you were extremely upset that such and such was happening to you? But later on, after accepting it, you realized that even though the experience was painful, unwanted or inconvenient at the time, it really was something good or for your own good?

I can think of countless examples in my own life that make me thankful I did not refuse the hardship that was set before me. I am very thankful for my mother.

Mom had a difficult pregnancy with me and anyone in their right mind could have told her to end it. Dare I say it could have sounded reasonable to? Unplanned, already on birth control, a fifth pregnancy, complications...then she had me 14 weeks early spontaneously. My parents didn't know for years if I would be normal. (Apparently that's up for debate with my brothers & sister. ha!)

I can't bring myself to say that even the person born with FAS or some other handicap has no value and that it would have been better to have that pregnancy terminated. I heard it said once that if you create something, then you have the right to destroy it. Women carry life, we do not create it. It happens within us when we engage in the act to bring it about.

Okay. Stepping off soapbox. I'll be quiet in the corner over here. :)

Don Mills Diva said...

I believe a woman has a right to choose what happens inside her own body. Period.

Anonymous said...

It should continue to be a woman's right to make the decision about whether or not to have an abortion. Women can and will continue to make that decision all on their own without the help of the government!

Jen said...

Oh geez... I'm going to stay completely out of this one except to say, Amy, you're totally right...
hee hee...
jen

Jeana said...

"I believe that my rights, as a fully independent human adult take precedence over the rights of a not-yet-independent human."

I have trouble with the concept that the value of a person's life is defined by how independent they are. By this logic an adult's life would be deemed more valuable than a child's, handicapped and elderly are less valuable, if you break you leg you are temporarily less valuable but there's hope for you if you heal, and in any given dire emergency precedence should be given to the healthy and able over the sick or disabled because the rights of the more independent person take precedence.

Also, by this logic, the lives of the working class take precedence over those on welfare (they're more independent, remember?) but their own lives are trumped by he who is independently wealthy. It seems the person whose life is the most valuable and should take precedence over all others is the self-sufficient farmer.

My children have put a huge dent in my liberty, but I don't think that gives me the right to terminate their lives. A newborn is just as dependent on--and requires even more sacrifice from--the mother as when he or she was still in utero.

I see what you're saying, but the logic your using doesn't extend to any other circumstances other than this one. That, in my opinion, makes it poor logic.