Sunday, April 11, 2004


I'm gonna be frank here. I think a woman should be able to do whatever the hell she wants to with her body. If it's still in her body, and it's not conscious, she can get rid of it if she so feels like it. It's cruel to expect a woman to carry a baby--an enormous emotional and physical investment--against her will, and it's also cruel to force women to pay for their mistakes this way. So what if you had sex and concieved? You'll learn it's a bad idea. Next question.

(Abortion is also both costly and painful; it's undesirable. Clinton said that "abortions should be safe, legal, and rare," and I agree wholeheartedly. Family planning is the way to go.)

So! With that in mind, somebody decided to stand up in the middle of open worship today and speak on the child he never had. A long time ago, he asked his ex-wife please, please to carry his baby for nine months and then he would leave her life and take full responsibility for the baby. Just nine months. He followed her to the abortion clinic and cried. He recounted (with great satisfaction) that he convinced many women in the clinic not to have abortions or to "think about it." (It's a tough decision, yo.) He described with great pain the European colonists forcing Native American women to have abortions as a form of sterilization. (Note the word, "forced," mhm, yes...) He related to this harrowing experience of waiting for his baby to be "executed," and argued that a man should have the right to keep an abortion from taking place, as there are "DNA strands that you can't get around" (given that this baby has half his chromosomes, it's sorta half his).

Now, from a humanitarian standpoint, I can sympathize. If you knock your wife up, you're going to expect your baby to pop out (I hope). So, when your wife declines to carry your child, the one who is going to continue your legacy, it's heartbreaking, especially if she plans to divorce you.

But, y'know, deal. I think a woman's uterus is a good place to draw a legal line, and once you've gotten your come inside her, it's her business what she does with it. It's a question of bodily integrity, and a woman having sex with you does not imply a contract for her to carry your baby. If we're going to talk in legalistic, rational terms rather than emotional, we have to side with the woman, with whom the actual burden of childbirth is laid upon.

That said, abortion sucks, and we should try to reduce its occurence as much as possible. However, the alternative is worse: wire-hanger abortions done by back-alley crooks have no place in civil society, and women should not be forced to carry children that they cannot care for (most notably, and horrifyingly, in the case of rape).

So the moral of the story is WEAR A CONDOM. But also... I hate it when people bring up topics for debate during open worship. If you haven't been moved by the Spirit, hold it until you can have a discussion about it. This guy went through a very painful experience and needed healing, but it wasn't appropriate to dictate preferred talking points to Quaker associations. That's an excellent thing to bring up in a discussion on what the associations policy should be, but open worship is a time to, y'know, openly worship.

(That said, he was being much more sincere than most in the room; he felt an honest calling to say what he said, even if it was from himself and not the Spirit.)

But I won't make a fuss about it (like I am here). I sent him some motherly healing waves while he talked, he really needed it. It felt right, giving motherly healing waves to those who needed them most. I'm gonna be one hell of a mother when I grow up, right?

(By the way, the best thing to do when your friend is angry and sad and ranting is to listen and help them find their voice and make them comfortable. When I'm sad and angry and ranting, I usually don't need advice, or feedback on what I'm saying, I just needed it out of my system so that I could think rationally. That's why I didn't respond by, say, standing up and saying "The Spirit moves me to say that a woman's uterus belongs to her alone, dammit" [I'm exaggerating, but such debates have raged on during open worship before, while nobody can hear the Holy Spirit over all the damn talking]. I hope this guy heals and moves on and has a child of his own in a stable relationship with the mother some day.)

(But this is my blog, and here I can say whatever I feel like. See? Not during open worship. I feel no need to have everybody listening to me during church.)

(I just feel a need to have everybody listen to me the rest of the day, but that's an unrelated hang-up.)

(And Grand Theft Auto III grosses the hell out of me. I should have rented Pokémon Colosseum instead. Really.)
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