Friday, December 7, 2007

You're so lucky I'm pro-choice!

I took my daughter to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) a couple weeks ago. They have the biological life science displays back in place. In that section is an amazing display of the embryo development in the womb. All stages are represented. These displays are not wax mock ups - they're the real thing. These little clumps of preserved flesh represent contributions from hospitals and labs where a mother and/or her unborn met with an unfortunate end. Their end offers the opportunity for all to see what that amazing transformation within the womb looks like.

There are so many emotions surrounding the concept of innocence captured and floating in these jars. I couldn't help but wonder if they were the wanted or the unwanted, the loved or the hated. The pro-life advocates would insist that each of these jars were lost potential, worth more by far than the female host that carried them. And yet, when an unloved and unwanted child misbehaves or ends up in juvenile hall, these same prudent judges turn their vicious eyes of blame again to that woman. She is not only to carry the child to term, but then expected to bond with it and love it more than life itself. But the reality is that the female animal, human or otherwise, that is living under duress will not love it's offspring, but will abandon it. In nature a stressed mother will even eat her newborns. We suspect it's because she is herself starving, but maybe she is attempting to end their suffering the quickest way possible. But when a human mother is starving or scared she finds a toilet, dumpster or slave trader to rid herself of the unloved child. Or worse yet, she turns on the child and inflicts her own pain in very physical ways. Which animal is more compassionate?

Pro-lifers want to force life, no matter its level of suffering, on every human. If one is on life support they refuse to terminate it. You can beg for mercy but the pro-lifer will insist that you endure your evil fate. I used to watch the pro-life demonstrators at an abortion clinic in Florida and I noticed that they were always women and none of their faces looked like it had felt the grace of a smile in centuries. They were hard, angry women who seemed hell bent on punishing any woman that thought she might cheat God's punishment of Eve. I felt pity for them and anger at the same time. I recognized these women. It was the same face I'd seen in my childhood. My Mother.

My Mom is pro-life. One day in an argument she told me how I'd ruined her life. Years later as we talked about abortion she told me that I was "lucky she wasn't pro-choice". Hmmm. Lucky. How lucky was I to be reminded throughout my life that I was the unwanted, the unloved? I contemplated suicide from the time I was seven years old. Until I left home I didn't know that life could be good and full of joy. But I survived, and I found that there were better ways to live, joyful ways. But if it would have brought a better life to her, I'd have gladly given my life in a quick and painless abortion. It wasn't my choice, it was hers.

One day I will look into the beautiful, loving, blue eyes of my daughter and I will proudly say to her, "you're so lucky that I'm pro-choice" because I've loved you since the moment I felt your gentle spirit move with mine.

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