Friday, June 12, 2009

Abortion, Fertility and Kids... Oh my...

Abortion has been in the news due to the murder of Dr Tiller in Kansas by an anti-abortion activist and this has got me thinking about ... abortion and about kids. The truth is, anti-abortionists aren't thinking about what's best for kids and most abortion rights supporters actually really like kids. It's so complicated but the media wants to paint it all in black and white. You can't do that.

The decision to have (or not have) a child is quite possibly the most complicated decision of one's life. (Assuming you are sane) If you marry the wrong spouse, you can divorce. If you choose the wrong career, you can quit your job and find a new one. If you chose the wrong major in college, you can go back to college. If you buy the wrong house, assuming the economy hasn't totally tanked, you can sell it and buy another one. But if you have a child you aren't ready for, you're stuck with it. Forever. Yes, you can give it up in its first year when it's cute and looks at you adoringly and doesn't amazing things like sit up, crawl, stand and walk for the first time and you're all hopped up on oxytocin (not to be confused with oxycontin may also be helpful, but isn't recommended) and not thinking clearly anyway. But after that, when the little beast starts talking back, breaking your crap, embarrassing you in public, biting his teachers, skipping school, fighting, lying, cheating, stealing and bringing unsavory characters into your home- he's all yours. No matter what. Unless of course he breaks the law and then you get to send him to Juvey and spend sleepless nights wondering if he's okay, if he's eating right, if the other delinquents are nice to him. And of course, whatever happens, it will be your fault entirely.

Furthermore, you will sink more money into this giant mess-making, stuff "borrowing", back talking garbage disposal than anything else in your whole life- ever. He will cost more than your house, your car, your college education and all the clothes you've ever bought in your life combined. And that's not the worst of it, this ungrateful being that burst forth from your loins (Never asking to be born she will remind you later) has the power in her breast to cause you more emotional pain and trauma than any other being you will ever encounter.

This you must bear all the while keeping in mind that this monster who has taken over your entire life and puked, peed or pooped on all the best parts of it is a child with a delicate psyche and a mind like a sponge that you must not pollute with your own angst but instead allow to grow and expand, to learn about the world, to develop self-discipline, values, and dreams all its own (to be crushed by your grandchildren, of course). You must strive every day give this beautiful, perfect gift from the Goddess all of the things we wish our parents could have given us. Every decision that you make must be weighed against how it will affect the dear gift's feelings, living situation, education, health, security, and the amount of time you have to spend indoctrinating him.

So if you're going to have a kid, you better damn well be ready.

There are many reasons for having a kid. I can't think of a good one. I know I had my first child because I wanted something of my own that would love me. I should've gotten a dog. I had my second because I thought my first should have a sibling. I actually hold by that decision and think it was a good one, but if I'd gotten a dog in the first place, I could've just gotten another dog. Not long ago, when I got married I decided I wanted to have a child with my husband as a symbol of our love... or something. He got me a ring and told me to get over it. Thank Goodness!

Some other very bad reasons to have children:

  • To "save" your relationship (It won't. It'll just make it worse.) or to make someone love you more (If he doesn't love you now do you think he's going to love you when you're bloated and sleepless? Hah.)

  • Because your mother or father wants grandchildren (it's probably out of spite)

  • The Quiverfull movement, otherwise known as Clowncar Vaginas for Jesus, is all about having as many children as you can so that you can indoctrinate them with Christianity, thus building up the ranks of Christians. This seems like child exploitation to me. (Didn't the Nazis have a similar plan? Does that creep anyone else out?)

    Of course there's the Duggar Family who have elevated this concept to a very public art and are all about showing off the efficacy of their gonads for the glory of the Lord- but at least they have them naturally.
  • The latest and greatest, Nadya Suleman who, despite the fact that she was broke and on disability somehow managed to have herself repeatedly implanted with dozens of embryos on her way to fame. Her reason seems to be simply that she's nuts and she's looking for a book deal.

    Of course, it's not new or unique in our day and age when the exploitation of huge amounts of children is fashionable. Take TLC's Jon & Kate Make 8 which not only exploits children but publically embarrasses them by splattering the exploits of their idiot parents all over the tabloids.



Children are much like pets. If you have more than two or three, you start running into problems paying for their food and medical care. It helps, I suppose, to become a reality TV show so you can afford all your cute funny pets. Of course, if I had that many dogs in my house, and was planning to continue to breed indiscriminately, my neighbors would complain (with good reason), the dogs would be seized and I'd likely be the subject of the next town hall meeting.

There are so few good reasons to have children and so many good reasons to keep your family sizes small:

  • If you give birth to large litters of children (which rarely happens without the help of modern science) how are you supposed to breast feed those kids? If you don't breast feed them, you know you're not giving them the best start and you're not getting those hormones the Goddess in Her wisdom provided us to prevent infanticide.
  • The more kids you have, the less individual attention you can provide each one. The less you can spend on things like tutors, lessons, vacations, summer camp, school field trips, etc. for each one.
  • The carbon footprint of the average American is 20 metric tons. Every child that is born represents a new footprint. Consider.


But there are no marches on Washington to end this ridiculous rash of reproduction. No. Instead people are marching to make abortion illegal. Nobody shoots fertility doctors. They shoot abortion doctors. (Not that I advocate shooting anyone, mind you) While I realize not all fertility doctors encourage people to give birth to ridiculous amounts of infants at a time but each child that a fertility doctor helps produce represents not only that 20 metric ton carbon footprint, but another child languishing in foster care somewhere. Think about it. If Jon and Kate had adopted 8 kids instead of given birth to 8, sure they might not be getting the TLC paycheck right now, but they'd be more worthy of respect.

Now nobody likes abortion and nobody likes the idea of abortion- including abortion doctors, I am sure. But abortion doctors provide necessary services to adults and children alike:

  • Since so many people would rather turn to fertility treatments than adoption to get their "Hey look this creature has no choice but to love me" fix, abortion doctors provide a valuable service helping to keep our foster care system from being even more over crowded than it already is.
  • Since many abusive men will use pregnancy as a means to control the women they have chosen to victimize, abortion doctors serve a valuable role in the fight against domestic violence.
  • Since sexual crimes against women and children still run rampant through our culture, abortion doctors help victims of rape and incest to heal by taking away one worry, so they can focus on the rest.
  • Since the occasional woman who already has enough kids and can't afford anymore or can't take time off to have another child has an accidental pregnancy, abortion doctors help keep existing families together and functioning.
  • Since many low-income women are cognizant of the fact that having a child may require them to seek public assistance to continue to survive, abortion doctors help keep taxes from being raised even more.
  • Since women and girls facing unwanted pregnancies will continue to seek abortions by whatever means available to them, whether they be herbal means, coathangers or so-called backalley abortions if safe abortion services are not available to them abortion doctors save lives.



Do I think everyone should go run out and have an abortion? No. Do I think abortion should be used as a means for birth control? No. Do I hate fertility doctors? No. I don't think laws restricting abortion or fertility treatments are appropriate but I can't get my brain around a society that celebrates the clown car vagina while while tearing itself apart over the abortion issue. What we need is some common sense and some responsibility.

I don't believe in abortion, I think it's a terrible thing. That's why I use condoms and I teach my children to use condoms every time- so that my family never has to deal with that decision. That's why I tell them condoms aren't enough and teach them about various methods available to them and how their bodies work all the while trying to instill that sex is sacred, that sex is divine union, that reproduction is the most fabulous power given to mankind and that it must be wielded responsibly.

I love my children and I am amazed every day that they came from me, these fabulous fascinating (and at times cruel) beings that have shaped my world for the last 16 years and will continue to do so till I die. I want them to feel that same fascination and I don't want it to be cheapened because they are overwhelmed with a litter of 6 or riddled with guilt over an abortion. But if it comes down to it, it's not my decision, it's my daughter's or that of my son's partner. It is they that must think on how a new little life that they create will affect their life- until death- and whether or not they can deal with it. Because frankly, if a woman isn't ready to be a mother, she shouldn't have a child.