Monday, July 27, 2015

Conservatives Believe That Life Begins At $12,000 A Year

Underneath the Planned Parenthood controversy is the great and savage fight in this country over the morality of abortion itself. And we're not going to settle this easily - if we can settle it at all - because it's rooted in our most deeply-held beliefs about what makes a person and when human life begins.

Liberals like myself tend to believe personhood comes from consciousness. Until the human brain develops, which is late in the pregnancy, the thoughts that make one a human are impossible, and therefore the woman's rights over her body take precedence. We also believe people living below the poverty line exist.

Conservatives approach this differently. They believe - often for religious reasons - that human life begins at the moment of conception and after that point the woman's rights must make way for the equally valid rights of her unborn. They believe just as strongly that someone making below $12,000 a year ($11,770 to be exact, or $24,250 for a family of four) is not really a person even in the theoretical sense.

Anti-abortion activists have claimed the recent videos of Planned Parenthood officials prove they are illegally selling fetal organs and tissues for profit. The evidence is deeply suspect - taken by an extremist group that may have itself violated the law by posing as a biomedical company, the footage shows two representatives who repeatedly say the organization makes no profit on the procedure, merely recoups costs. Liberals say we'll need to know more about this situation before we cut hundreds of millions of dollars from a group that provides the poor with tests for STDs, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, as well as helping them get access to birth control and other healthcare services. Conservatives don't think cutting this out of the budget is a problem, because it simply doesn't hurt people. Not real people anyway, because to conservatives real people are in the middle or upper class, and they don't live in dirty places where they have to go to the whore-clinic.

A liberal sees a person with a pregnancy she didn't anticipate as someone whose life might well be ruined. She might lack the resources to care for a baby and forcing her to carry her child to term will be cruel to both of them. You want to be careful about denying personhood to a being who can think, but you have to weigh this concern against the very real harm that unintended pregnancy causes to people living in poverty, and that's before we even discuss issues like rape, incest, or the health risks causes by complications. A conservative, on the other hand, believes that the issue of personhood is clear. The moment a child is conceived it is a real human being with full rights. And it keeps those rights until nine months later when it's born into a home in which no one has a decent job, and it'll be beaten up or left in a dumpster or whatever, but by that point it won't matter, because there will be little chance it will grow up to work in an office and vote Republican.

The irony is that both liberals and conservatives agree on a key issue: A low-income pregnant woman represents one human being and one human being only. They just disagree on exactly which one that is. But that kind of person is going to get someone elected. Someone who counts.

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14 comments:

  1. I am always thrown by how thin either sides attempts at 'solving' the problem of abortions are.
    The right is willing to trample over personal freedom and is willing to accept women bleeding out in backrooms.
    The 'liberals' such as you advocate for the mother but take strange positions where babies are parasites, magically become human from one minute to the other at some point arbitrary point during the pregnancy or things that are only worthy ones conscious (i hope the whole thorny issue in terms of mental disability, euthanasia that stems from that strange concept of conciousness is clear to you), lifes are necessarily ruined by unforseen circumstances.
    I sometimes wonder why neither side draws the line at the fight for monetary and social assistance for mothers (single or otherwise) or the accessibility of sex-education or contraceptives.
    For some reason those seem to be minor points that neither side likes to fight for as valiantly or even consistently as the war for or against abortion is waged.
    I suppose the support or condemnation of abortion every odd month or year makes for much easier grandstanding and a much more easily achieved satisfaction of ones own righteousness for both the conservatives and the liberals than tackling any of the root causes instead of the beautiful, beautiful symptom: the abortion.

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    1. So you're neither pro-choice nor pro-life. Ok.

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    2. No, because i think the whole dichotomy is constructed.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. "Do women have the right to have abortions?"
      "Yes and no."

      "Is it a good thing or a bad thing to oppose the pro-life movement's plan to close every abortion clinic in America?"
      "It is possible and impossible. There are many paths to enlightenment."

      "Should the bodies of women be regulated by whoever is most religious?"
      "Do or do not. There is no try. Understand this you must if a Jedi you are to be."

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    5. Sorry, but the debate about abortion is really NOT about murdering babies.

      And I know this because anti-abortion nuts even oppose the use of "morning after" drugs like RU-486.

      In what sense is aborting a fertilized egg "murdering a baby"?

      None, except in the fevered imagination of religious cranks... The same kind of cranks who oppose any and all forms of contraception.

      So fuck you and your "both sides are unreasonable" BS.

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    6. Yeah. You want to know about an organization that provides contraception, which allows women to avoid abortions? That's Planned Parenthood.

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    7. But I wanted to bring Yoda into my argument, so I avoided that line.

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  2. The bonus points come from the people who would willingly shoot you before they let you interfere with their "right to privacy" to have as many firearms as will fit in a WalMart shopping cart but will shoot you if you insist that the decision to carry a child to term is for the parents to decide in privacy with their physician.

    Mote, meet beam...

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  3. Someone, probably George Carlin, said once they Republicans need live fetuses so they can grow up to be dead soldiers. Or something like that.

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    1. It was Carlin! I'm glad someone remembered that, because the thought occurred to me while I was writing...

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  4. I guess the republicons dont uderstand willingly or not that women died from botched abortions before rowe vs.wade so not only did the fetus die but the woman ..their answer is dont have sex..which is something like telling a child dont eat that delicious cookie..humans have sex and for a group of asshats oh sorry christian conservative's to say it's sinful to have sex cause you like it is an abomination ..I say I have one abomination and raise you a hot dam that feels sooooo good

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  5. Just for the record, there is no planned parenthood controversy. There are just conservative lies.

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