Random Things–The Abortion Edition

1.  Remind Me Not to Have Dinner with Campfield

The esteemed Twisty Faster over at I Blame the Patriarchy has named our beloved Stacey Campfield’s beloved death certificate nonsense the Jerkbag Legislation of the Day.

She says of the legislation, “As will surprise no inhabitant of Tennessee, the bill is sponsored by lunatic/state representative Stacey Campfield.”

Some of you may question the use of the term lunatic, but I am not so sure that it’s not inappropriate.  Check out this little bit of projection on his blog

Before the dinner I joked that one well placed bomb could have taken out most of the right wing bloggers in East Tennessee.

I’m not saying that the Left hasn’t been known to run around bombing people, but in my lifetime?  Nothing says right-wing anti-abortion nut-job more clearly than a bomb. 

I must question the judgment, if not the sanity, of a man who’s spent the week threatening someone’s job, trying to push through legislation that will allow public records to be kept of women who’ve had abortions (thus allowing their names to be collected by such charming folks as the Army of God), and now joking about someone blowing up right-wing bloggers.

2.  Thanks, Sarcastro!

Sarcastro deserves a round of applause for fighting as long as he did with the boys in the NiT thread.  I have nothing to add to it except to say that nothing tickles me more than knowing that the same crew who’s running around talking about how we can’t trust science on whatever wants to use science to prove Sarcastro wrong. 

Although, I must say, I can’t decide who I’m more embarrassed for–the people Sarcastro is fighting with who are so obviously outclassed by him or Sarcastro, for having to realize at some point that even if he whipped out a Nobel Prize, none of them would ever concede that he’s smarter than them.

3.  How to Make a Strawman

I find it really interesting how the anti-abortion folks in the NiT thread were constructing their arguments, especially by the bizarre claim they were making that pro-choice people don’t think life begins at conception.  I think some kind of life is present at conception (though aren’t an egg and a sperm also alive? So, I believe life is present even before conception); I just don’t believe that’s a legal person.

I don’t understand what’s so hard for anti-abortion folks to understand about that.

4.  My position

I think I’ve said it before, but this is what I believe.  I believe that the combination of a sperm and an egg brings forth the stirrings of a new life.  If the fertilized egg implants on the uterus and everything goes off without a hitch, the mother’s body will nurture the fertilized egg into a fetus and, eventually, into a viable fetus that will then leave her body and become a baby.

However, pregnancies often don’t go off without a hitch.  Most pregnancies end in miscarriage.  The pregnancies that are carried to term take an enormous physical and emotional toll on the women who carry them.

If a woman wants to be a mother, she’ll most often gladly bear this toll.

But no one has a right to compel her to do so–not any other individual, and not the state.  Aside from military service, I can think of no other instance in which the state can compel a citizen to do something dangerous and potentially deadly against her will. 

I think that compulsory pregnancy frames pregnancy as the proper punishment for “sluts.”  If you look at all the rhetoric among rabid anti-choice people, they’re all about how women have to take responsibility for their actions–i.e. if you’ve had sex and you get pregnant, you deserve it.  Look at how this frames pregnancy as a negative consequence of a bad behavior.

Well, I think you can see that I’d disagree with this on two levels.  Sex isn’t a bad behavior that needs to be punished.  And children are not the proper punishment for sex.

That attitude, that, if you have sex, you have to accept the consequences has got to be some of the most child-unfriendly nonsense I’ve ever heard.  Again, babies are not a punishment.

And forcing women to have babies they view as punishment is not a great way to make happy homes for babies.

For me, it seems the anti-abortion camp is split in two.  There are the folks who are genuinely motivated by their belief that an abortion is a tragedy.  I think you can tell these folks because they’re advocating for better sex ed and for dealing with rapists and child molesters.  They’re supporting research into ending birth defects.  They’re attempting to improve the lives for all mothers and children.

And then there are the folks who just hate women and cannot stand that women are out there making decisions that they don’t approve of.  Those folks are easy enough to spot. 

Home Sweet Home

When Smiley came to pick me up at the airport, I could not have been happier to see him if he were made out of chocolate and gold, and I told him so.

And, after a bit, I was in a car with my dog headed for home.

And now, here I am.