Monday, June 01, 2009

death to those who deny the right to life! no, wait.....

I wonder if it's perhaps possible to see some good coming out of the horrific murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas yesterday.

Obviously it's mainly bad, though - leave aside the obvious trauma to his friends and family, it is now even more difficult to obtain a late-term abortion in the USA should you need one - 33% more difficult in fact, as there were only three clinics in the USA specialising in this difficult treatment, and a similarly small number of medical professionals with the experience, expertise and bravery to carry them out. And this isn't bravery in the vague woolly moral courage sort of sense, but actual physical bravery; Tiller had been attacked twice before, once in 1986 when a bomb was detonated on the roof of his clinic, and once in 1993 when he was shot in both arms by an anti-abortion protester. His death brings the number of abortion-providing doctors murdered in the USA since 1977 to eight. The number of women who will now die, as a direct result of Tiller's murder, as a result of not being able to obtain safe and timely abortions from a competent practitioner is less easy to gauge (but it will not be zero).

On the other hand, I wonder if the focus on late-term abortions is indicative of a tacit admission by the religious nutters (and it is overwhelmingly religious nutters) that they've lost the argument over abortions at an earlier stage of gestation. Maybe so - if so it's indicative of their either not understanding how rare and difficult to obtain late-term abortions are, or (more likely) of their simply choosing to lie about it.

For the record, just reading the fairly blunt statistics in the Wikipedia page I linked to above reveals that, regardless of which country you're in, well over 90% of abortions are performed before 13 weeks, and typically under 1% after 20 weeks. 22 weeks is the cut-off point in the USA after which the doctor has to seek the advice of an independent physician to verify that there is either some gross developmental abnormality in the foetus or a genuine danger to the health of the mother before the procedure can go ahead. Apart from anything else at this stage it's a difficult and dangerous procedure requiring great skill and experience, which is why there are so few prepared to do it. Understandable fear of being shot dead by raving lunatics is another factor, of course. No-one is swanning in Sex And The City style to have their 22+ week pregnancy terminated on a whim and then swanning back out again to chill out with a mochaccino at Starbuck's.

The other bright spot is that the backlash against the ironically-named "pro-life" movement might include the newly elected President, who is apparently reputed to be broadly "pro-choice" (another horrible phrase, but there it is) in his views. His words today were pretty anodyne, but no doubt carefully chosen so as not to whip up any further hysteria.

The religious angle is the key here. Let's not imagine that these people actually have any opinion on when life begins, or "personhood" begins if you assert that that is different (and let's not forget cancers are alive by most rational definitions of the word), nor even that they base their thinking (such as it is) on anything the bible tells them (and just as well, frankly, given the Bible's dubious moral compass on killing-related issues). No, this is about one thing and one thing only: PUNISHING THE SLUTS. Oh yes. How can the hallowed balance of the sexes be maintained if women are just willy-nilly granted CONTROL over their own REPRODUCTION? Why, some of them might get it into their heads that once granted sexual freedom and autonomy they can just FUCK who they LIKE, WHEN they LIKE, utilising whatever BESTIAL POSITIONS and GREASED UTENSILS they LIKE, without the grinding shame, physical hardship and economic doom of a FORCED PREGNANCY. NOOOO, I tell you, they must be punished, the FILTHY WHORES. Otherwise how can we men be said, in any real sense, to OWN THEM LIKE CATTLE as the scriptures tell us?

If you're ever sidetracked into a discussion about foetal viability, suction vs. D&C, etc. etc., give yourself a slap round the head and focus. The debate is not about that. It is about PUNISHING WOMEN FOR HAVING SEX.

I seem to have gone on, and indeed off, a bit there. I'll finish by reminding you that, firstly, even those who purport to believe in abortion as the ultimate evil actually haven't really thought their position through at all, and secondly, when presented with an actual real-life situation requiring a choice, choose to exercise that choice in precisely the way they seek to deny to others, thus revealing themselves as massive hypocrites, as if that were any sort of surprise.

If you're all riled up by this - and you should be - consider giving these guys some money.

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