Curmudgeon: – a crusty, irascible, cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas. (The Free Dictionary)
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell
I normally don’t respond to stupid things people post on Facebook, because I would rather have a genuine discussion than a name-calling, salvation-questioning argument in hastily crafted mini-thoughts. On this occasion, however, there was a local political candidate who somehow managed to find his way to my feed with a promise to “stand up for women and their reproductive rights.” For some reason, the double-speaking disingenuousness of that term just irked me. I responded, “Let me clarify. By “reproductive rights,” do you mean the right to have an abortion at any time and for any reason, then expect me to pay for it?” No one ever answered my question.
The last time I looked, the right to reproduce was intact. In fact, maybe a little too much so in some instances. Folks are reproducing just fine, whether they can afford it or not, whether they are emotionally prepared for it or not, and whether they have a suitable co-parent or not. (Notice I am not even demanding a father, just some reliable help) You see, reproduction is not the issue. Abortion is the issue. Sadly, for the majority of abortion supporters, the real issue is sex. Abortion provides the out for those who want to be free to have intercourse without fear of consequences, or the weight of responsibility.
I would argue that when the time comes to decide about abortion, reproduction has already taken place. No one is seriously doubting the right of a female to have sex outside of marriage, to conceive a child in any way she chooses, or to use birth control measures to prevent said conception. The only “right” at issue is her right to end the life of the child in her womb at any time and for any reason, and in many cases expect the tax-paying public to fund the procedure. Whether I agree with that position or not, I at least want to be clear as to the meaning of the term.
My concern extends to the due process rights of the pre-born child. I get that the child is currently living in the body of its mom. (Who invited the child in in the vast majority of cases) But does that disqualify him or her from having a hearing before having his or her life terminated by force. Is it justice to allow a woman in great stress to unilaterally decide the issue? Under what circumstances is the taking of life justified? There may be some. I don’t know. But we can’t have the conversation if we continue to rely on Orwellian doublespeak. Reproductive rights? I don’t think so.
You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb.
(Psalms 139:13 GNB)