Gather ’round, Folks, the Meandering Matriarch is about to climb on her soapbox again. Not everyone will agree with me, but that’s just the point. We are all free to differ. Indeed, sometimes we even agree to differ. And that is as it should be. Those of us who live in countries where freedom is a core value are blessed, but isn’t it axiomatic that as we enjoy our own freedom, we are obliged to not trample the freedom of others? So how does it happen that in America–the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave–we are seeing a dangerous proliferation of bullying, vilifying, and menacing of people who are merely trying to live their lives as best they can, making the decisions they have to make, exercising their right to free choice. I’m talking about women who–for whatever reason–find themselves pregnant when they seriously do not want to be. Women who must make a choice from amongst three bitter options:
- they can have the baby and raise it in whatever circumstances they are in–circumstances which have already established the pregnancy as ‘unwanted;’
- they can have the pregnancy terminated, and get on with their lives;
- or they can continue the pregnancy, give birth to the baby, then give it away.
That’s it. Those are the only options, and not one of them is desirable or easy. And none is intrinsically right or wrong.
I know that there are many people who believe that is abortion is wrong, and who would never choose it for themselves, but who also are offended by the hateful tactics of the militant so-called right-to-lifers. My argument is not with those people who believe differently than I do. My beef is with those who think they have a right to prevent others from choosing their own course. The ones shouting “But what about the baby? What about his/her rights? It’s wrong to kill a baby just for the mother’s convenience. ..yada yada yada” We’ve heard all those cries ad nauseum. What we don’t hear them saying is, “I don’t agree with your decision, but it is your choice to make.” I have no problem with people holding a different view from mine. I have a BIG problem with people thinking their view entitles them to bully, threaten, intimidate, or menace women who are pregnant and in distress, or the workers trying to assist and support them.
I understand the moral conviction that values even the earliest stage of life as sacrosanct, and I respect it. I believe no one holding that belief should ever be made to take action which offends that belief. I also happen to believe that the well-being of the living pregnant woman is important, and should be protected. If so-called Christian love, and concern for innocent and helpless children were genuinely the issue, then I should think we would be seeing a great deal more time, energy, money–and placards!–addressing the plight of the millions of starving, abused, and dying children rather than so damn much attention on the comparatively small number of aborted foetuses.
If the ugly bullying tactics of the militant right-to-lifers weren’t enough to strip away any credibility, the weakness of their argument defeats them. Forget any so-called “Christian love,” folks. That went out the door when the hateful behaviour came in. Forget the protestations about the rights of the “child”–and let’s call it what it is: an embryo, or a fetus;–there are no such ‘rights.’
But that isn’t what this is really about. This is about Judgement and Punishment, dished out by people who think that if a woman is pregnant and “shouldn’t be,” then she should have to suffer the consequences. The old “She made her bed, and now she has to lie in it” argument. She–and anyone who might try to help her–is fair game. The aim is to humiliate and intimidate her into paying the price for her “sin” by not being allowed to ‘take the easy way out.’ By taking away her right to choose.
Who really believes all the nastiness and abusive behaviour is really about love for unborn foetuses?
Starving, sick, dying children — or not-yet-sentient embryos? Which cries out to you loudest? MM