Thursday, January 23, 2003

I didn't watch or read much coverage of the Roe anniversary yesterday. It has reached the point at which I literally can't stomach the mainstream press' coverage. It is so crushingly predictable from the language to the images, all of which work to frame the story in a way that completely obliterates the point, that does nothing but repeat platitudes and slogans and resolutely refuses to ask real questions.

Refusing to ask abortion advocates to confront the reality of abortion and defend it as it is - an act in which one very large human being takes some instruments - a vacuum, perhaps, a currette, some forceps - takes these instruments and uses them to end the life of a very small human being. Refusing to push abortion advocates on the nature of preborn human life, refusing to set up the ironies - "If you're pregnant you have an obligation to take care of yourself and your unborn child" and "If you're pregnant you have the right to pay someone to kill your unborn child" and watch the abortion advocates grapple with them.

Outsiders don't understand the passion of the prolife movement. They don't understand why prolifers don't just give up, pack up, go home and leave the world alone. It is hard to understand if you see the issue as - an issue, as a set of ideas.

It's not hard to understand if you see the issue as - a person. A lot of people.

It's not hard to understand if you stand outside and abortion clinic and watch the women and girls walk in and really, truly process what is going on. If you were to stop one of those women and get an instant ultrasound, you would hear a heartbeat and see a little creature with budding, perhaps fully formed limbs, a face and a cord binding it to its mother, its source of life, its protection from danger as it grows. You would see this, and if you'd studied it even a little bit, you'd know that this little person is not the same person as its mother. He or she has its own circulatory system with its own blood and its own genetic makeup. If you would think a little further ahead, you would contemplate the ultrasound and you would see a lifetime begun.

And, standing outside the abortion facility, you watch the women walk in, their bodies pulsing with life, even in the midst of their own sorrow and confusion and anger.

In a few hours, you see the women walk out and you know that this time, they are alone.

It's not hard to understand.

Can you bear it? Can you bear to think that the most defenseless are treated so brutally? Can you bear to think that any woman at any time feels that her best choice is to pay someone to reach into her body, into a womb so finely designed to be such a sanctuary, and disturb the gentle sleep of the person who didn't, after all, ask to be conceived, who didn't mean to be a bother, who can't raise her voice in defense of her existence, whose arms are too tiny to fight off the sucking, sickening rush of air and the sharp instruments?

No, when you see it that way, we you see that this isn't about an idea, but about the deaths of real human beings with personalities, souls, bodies and futures, you can begin to understand the persistence of the prolifer.

On the other hand, to be able to bear that reality, to be able to support it and fight for it...that is something< i must say, that is beyond my understanding.

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