So today I found out that Mississippi state House, on Nov. 8th, is voting on a bill that would grant “personhood” to human embryos. And I realized that despite years and years of education in Why Abortion is Bad and When Life Starts and a gazillion other things my good Christian parents have educated me about, despite being a dedicated Christian (with kinks) and a Republican (technically) I really don't like this. Having this pass and set precedent for other states would be a really bad thing for me. You know, because I'm one of those “woman” things with ovaries and a uterus.
And no. I’m not saying this because limitations on birth control, which is what this group is advocating, would limit my happy fun sexy times. I don’t have happy fun sexy times. I have not had sex. Ever. And I don’t plan on having sex in the immediate future, partially because me having a baby right now would be a really bad thing. Even if I were on birth control I probably wouldn’t be having sex, because I have some really good evidence that the pill doesn’t always work.
Yep. I’m a pill baby, folks. Not only that, but Mom was on the pill because her doctor told her it’d be a really BAD idea for her to ever get pregnant again. She’d lost two babies before she had me, and when she did get pregnant with me, the first time she went in for a checkup the doctor could feel my head.
And you know, maybe it’s me shoving my head up my own ass here, but that tells me that God really wanted me here. Enough to bypass every safety mechanism my parents put in place because Mom having babies was Not A Good Thing according to everyone. And this leads me to why this bill pisses me off.
Point the First: I am poor. Anyone I marry is likely to be poor. Therefore, if within the next ten years or so I decide to get married, it probably will not be “right” for me to have a baby. Note that I am considering this in the relm of “marry” because, religious leanings aside, given how often birth control has failed in my family if you want to get in my pants you’d better fucking be ready to marry me before you cross the finish line, so to speak, because I cannot afford to have a baby if and when I get married right now, let alone if I’m on my own. In fact, every other consideration off the table, under every conceivable set of probable circumstances shows me that I probably will not ever be able to afford a baby and provide the level of care and life the child would need.
With "good of the child" as my primary concern, it's a bad idea for me to have kids. So who the hell are you to take this decision away from me? To tell me that if I want to have a relationship with someone I’d better have a baby plan in place first? I’m already paranoid about having a kid, in or out of wedlock, before I’m ready to raise and care for that kid. And I want to have a kid! I just know me having babies right now is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea. This is a decision I’ve made carefully and soberly, and to have somebody tell me “tough luck” and take the few, unreliable tools I DO have for managing my future away from me is not fair. If I can’t afford a fucking CAR, sir, I can’t afford a baby. And you’re telling me that I also can’t afford to have a relationship, MARRIED OR NOT, because I can’t even have birth control?
And hey? Pro-life people? Did you see that place above where I said “Even if I’m on the pill, I probably wouldn’t have sex”? Does it not occur to you that some people use hormonal birth control for something OTHER than not making babies? That maybe us women people need to be able to function and not be incapacitated with cramps? Or deal with the anemia that comes with excessively heavy periods? That being able to predict when the monthly gift deposits itself on our door might be a good thing? Oh, and you know the mood swings that come with? Do you want to combine brittle emotional states with chronic depression? You want to know what a fucking funhouse it is to have S/I issues and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that once a month I get to hold on to my sanity by the skin of my teeth? Because I sure as fuck didn't, and I got to anyway.
You want to control crime? Make sure you don’t have poor families with sixteen mouths to feed. Make sure women don’t have to fucking sterilize themselves to ensure that “woopsie daisy, there’s a baby” doesn’t get in the way of feeding their other children. Make sure that the family a person has is the family they can afford to feed. Want to prevent abortions? See above.
And that brings me to Point number two. This is aimed at the religious people. The people who want to do God’s will in life, who think that preventing abortions is it.
Who the BLAZING BLUE FUCK do you think you are? How DARE you shove your head so far up your own ass that you think anyone can abort something God wants to have happen? Do you see that part above me? The part where I said I’m a pill baby? Do you think that one single person God wants in this world hasn’t been born? Do you think we really have that much power? Really? You really want to think that human beings have more power than God?
Do you think God is so weak that a surgeon with a scalpel and a vacuum can undo something he wants done? Is your God so powerless that he can’t secure the birth of every child he desires?
Judge not, lest you be judged, sir. And you’re judging. You’ve decided that every teenager who gets pregnant is a careless sex fiend. You’ve decided that every career woman who decides to go on the pill is a feminazi ice bitch. Every poor person who visits planned parenthood is someone getting an abortion, and every woman who gets an abortion is a whore.
In your world, there are no rape victims.
In your world, biology is perfect.
In your world, everyone can scrape together the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to bring a single healthy baby into the world.
You don’t see the pain.
You don’t see the desperation.
You have the compassion of a jar of mayonnaise.
You know that part in the bible? Splinter in your friend’s eye? BIG FUCKING LOG in yours? Abortion is a splinter. Abortion is a matter between the individual WOMAN faced with that choice and God. So is birth control. So is everything else in a WOMAN’S life. May I emphasize that again? If I decide that I am neither financially nor emotionally nor physically stable enough to have a baby it should be my fucking choice. You cannot tell me what I am capable of. It is my body, and I’d rather become a nun than bring a child into the world when I cannot provide a stable, healthy home for it. Children, marriage and sex are decisions that are between ME and GOD, and not some rich politician who probably spends twice my monthly rent on BOOZE, or gas, or electricity for his air conditioning, who doesn’t see things from my perspective, who has never seen things from my perspective, who, if he did see me, would see me as a waitress and would ogle my boobs and cut my tip in half if I protested.
In short, sir:
And yes, that’s me judging too. And I’ll apologize to both you and God for it when I’m less pissed off.
C.S. Lewis, the great theologian and fantasy writer, said two things in passing that apply here. The first was in his biography, where he discusses the massive amount of pediastry that happened in his prep school (aka boys screwing other boys). He said that he never felt it his place to judge because he never experienced that particular temptation. Then, in The Horse and his Boy, there is a place where Aslan tells a character why it was necessary for him to scar the character across the back: the girl needed to know what she had carelessly done to her faithful servant. When the girl, now humble, asks what happened to the servant, Aslan replies that that is not the girl’s story. We each may only know our own stories.
You might believe that birth, not abortion is the morally right choice. This is great. I believe that too. But, and this is the key, you will never have to make that choice. I will. You will never have to decide between buying food and buying diapers. Between having a romantic life and having stability. And constricting my freedom just so that you can sleep at night is not and cannot be God’s will. And to think that you have any control over God’s will, in a positive or negative sense?
Look up megalomania in the dictionary. I think you’ll see your picture right next to it.