The Baser Side of Me

j0313972I’m still grieving.  I have read many things in lefty blogs about Dr. Tiller’s murder, and I can’t seem to shake it.  Partly because I was lulled into thinking that this kind of violence was in the past.  Partly because I am just so damn discouraged at how the GOP still gets to define how we debate issues and with what terminology.  Whatever the reason, I’m still saddened.  However, a thin thread of anger is beginning to worm its way through the pain.  

So, just for this post, I am giving in to the baser side of me.  I need to vent.

Dear Religious Right,

Listen up.  For far too long you have gotten to choose how to frame the debate around abortion, gay rights, and other things which, quite frankly, are none of your damn business.  I am not talking about Christians in general here, but the wingnutters who are the extremists to the right.  I am not pretending that you are anything more than what you really are–domestic terrorists.  If you had brown skin instead of pale, pasty white skin, you would be known as a terrorist cell.  

I did not know that the last doctor murder was while Clinton was president.  In fact, there were none during the Bush years, despite the fact that abortions rose during Bush’s reign as Decider-in-Chief.  By the way, per that article I just linked, here’s a little fun fact for ya.  Abortions were at 24-year low when W. took office.  Gee, who was prez before him?  Why, one Bill Clinton.  Anyway, as the right gets out of political power, it appears that the batshitcrazyinsane portion of their party feels hopeless and helpless and shoots people to feel better about themselves.  They don’t give a shit that it’s the Dem presidents who actually do things to improve conditions so less abortions are obtained, because really, who needs facts to get in the way of a good hard-on for hate?  

Let me interject with two points.  One, fuck the false equivalency.  I am tired of the right saying, “But, but, but you have crazies on the left, too!”  Damn right we do.  You know the difference, though?  Our crazies don’t go out and fucking kill people with whom they disagree in order to get the opposition to comply with their wishes.  You know why?  Because that’s fucking terrorism.  Most of the lefty loonies smoke pot and wander nekkid through the meadow, all the better to commune with the Goddess of Life.  They don’t pick up an pistol or a revolver or an AK-47 and blow away people in righteous indignation.  So, fuck the false equivalency.  Your loonies are far more despicable than are ours. 

Second point of interjection:  Fuck Sully and Frank Schaeffer and their moral superiority/squeamishness.  While they both condemn the murder of Dr. Tiller and are pro-choice–it’s only to a point.  Both of them are opposed to late-term abortion for moral reasons.  Here is Sully:

 I want to reiterate my personal moral opposition to legal late term abortions. I understand the awful tragedies and complexities involved. I know too that most of these children would die soon anyway – or be subject to grueling operations with many risks. I just find the ending of human life to be something we avoid as much as we possibly can. And we need to find many more ways to facilitate contraception, the morning-after pill, and adoption to make these tragedies much rarer than they are.

Do you see what he did there?  He acknowledged that there may be great problems with letting these pregnancies continue (though he did not acknowledege that many times, the woman’s life is in danger), but hey, we’ll just, you know, get the morning-after pill and better education because…because what?  How in hell will the morning-after pill help a woman who is going to die from her pregnancy if the fetus is not aborted?  

His maddening logic (if you can call it that) is one reason I no longer read him.  The boys over at Balloon Juice are enthralled with him, but I find that he’s much too conservative for me.  And, he’s going to be on Olbermann tonight, damn it.  He was an ass on Maher, and I don’t expect any differently from him on Olbermann.  Let’s face it.  He’s a privileged white guy who, if he were not gay, would never have questioned being a conservative or the conservative party.  He is against universal healthcare because of the Brit system, and he is against progressive taxes.  

At any rate, I find his reasoning above specious, but he is obviously very comfortable hanging out in moral superiority.  Next, is Mr. Schaeffer, who used to be a rightwingnut and now is a kinder, gentler, centrist.  He apologizes for his role in the Tiller murder, which is commendable.  However, he slips in the following paragraph, which incensed me;

But the reason this issue will never go away is that the Roe ruling was an over broad court decision that makes abortion legal even in the last weeks of pregnancy. Take away the pictures of all those dead late term fetuses and everything changes emotionally. Democracy and civil debate is messy but if abortion had been argued state-by-state abortion would be legal in almost all our states today and probably the laws would be written more like those of Europe, where late-term abortions (of the kind Dr. Tiller specialized in performing) are illegal and/or highly discouraged.

See what he did there?  Oh, if we didn’t have the kind of abortions that Dr. Tiller provided, then he wouldn’t be dead because the right is so reasonable on other kinds of abortions.  Yeah, right.  Oh, if only they were illegal and/or highly discouraged, these late-term abortions.  You know what?  They are highly discouraged, and functionally illegal in many states.  

I was told, on Washington Monthly, by a troll that I was “naive” if I believed that Dr. Tiller performed all of his late-term abortions to save the life of the mother.  As I wrote yesterday, he also performed them for women (or girls) who found out they were pregnant much too late and for women (or girls) who had been raped and didn’t have earlier access to a doctor.  However, you read the story I just linked and tell me, does that sound like the woman just woke up and said, “Gee, I’m 27 weeks preggers and it’s ruining my figure.  I think I’ll go get me one of them quick ‘n easy abortions!  Just in time for bikini season.”

Look, assholes, I’m going to make this simple for you.  Anyone who gets an abortion in the third trimester is making a gut-wrenching, horrific decision that is one she would much, much, much rather not be making.  You think the right answer is to FORCE her to have the baby so you can be easy in your morality?  Well, fuck you.

I’m about to get personal here.  I don’t want kids.  I never have, and I don’t think I ever will.  I also have a history of serious depression.  I have been suicidal, and it’s only because of supreme inertia (thanks to said depression) that I have not offed myself.  So.  Let’s say I were to get pregnant when I was in one of my depressive abysses, and I didn’t realize it for some reason until the third trimester.  I am very erratic in menstruating, so it’s possible.  Moral men like Sully and Frank Schaeffer (and, indeed, many men who consider themselves feminists) would have me have the baby because of the potential of said baby.

Now, I’ve never been pregnant, but I have heard from pregnant women that your body is not your own when you are pregnant.  There is another being inside that takes over.  Men such as O’Reilly sneer at the idea that a woman might have an abortion because she’s “depressed” or a little blue, but as control is a very big thing with me, I would go slowly out of my mind if I had something inside of me that I didn’t want, and I was forced to carry it to term.  Then, I would most likely kill myself and the baby, anyway.

You want to know why I am not a parent?  One big reason is because I know I am capable of abusing a child.  Well, the biggest reason is because I don’t want them, but the capacity to inflict great pain on a smaller being is another reason.  I am not comfortable stating this, but I know it to be true.  So.  These men would force me to have the child because of their moral squeamishness at abortion, and then what?  Well, there is no life after birth, is there?  Because, as I said, Sully is not for universal healthcare, and we have some of the shittiest child death rates in the world.

Plus, I can’t get over the fact that most of these men just shrug at the idea of a woman dying in childbirth.  People, it’s real.  It happens.  So why doesn’t the mother’s life count as much as the fetus’s?  Oh, and if the mother dies, the baby will most likely die, too.  If not, often times, it lives in excruciating pain for a few days or weeks or months and dies, anyway.  In addition, why then, do these very same people not give a shit once the baby is born?  Most rightwingnutters (Christian in name only) don’t believe in social safety nets or anything like that.  

So.  We have come full circle to my point of framing the debate.  The pro-life people have called us pro-abortion for years and have called us murderers, baby-killers and much worse.  They demand to be called pro-life, but from the comments I’ve seen concerning Dr. Tiller’s murder, they have no right to the label.  Well, ok, some of the saner ones do, but I’m referring to the hardcore ones who don’t see anything wrong with gunning down a doctor in church.

So.  From hence on, I will call them one of the following:  

Anti-choice.  Because they are.

Anti-abortion.  Because they are.

Pro-birth.  Because they don’t give a shit what happens afterwards.

Pro-forced-birth.  Because, really, what is the antithesis of choice?

In addition, I would like to say that it’s pretty disturbing to listen to rightwingnuts talk about a woman being punished for not keeping her legs shut.  Seriously.  The way they talk ominously about slutty, out-of-control women who should just not have sex until they are ready to have children (saw that one on Balloon Juice today) makes me ill.  Not only are they grossly oversimplifying the complex issue of abortion, they are viewing children as a punishment for perceived sins.  Nice.

This started as on open letter, but now I’m ending with a warning.  This shit has got to stop.  Enough is enough with your misogynistic crap.  I am so fucking tired of your sense of religious righteousness.  I am awakening and emerging from the cocoon in which I’ve been hiding for the last fifteen years.  I am a staunch pacifist, but I am an angry one.  You need to be very afraid.  I will do what it takes, short of violence, to put an end to this culture war once and for all.

4 Responses to The Baser Side of Me

  1. Way to tell it! This back-handed clucking about this act of terror, followed by statements that read as tacit approval of the views that led to said terror, only fools the ignorant, or the willfully ignorant. These people want to force women to carry all pregnancies to full term no matter what happens to the mother. No matter what happens to the baby. They don’t REALLY care about either, just about forcing their political and religious views down everyone’s throats.

    I know extremists that think outlawing abortion will force women to stop having sex outside of marriage. In fact, I am acquainted a particular extremist that believes if there was never any mention of sex in public, no abortion, and no birth control, then people would stop having sex outside of marriage. This person believes in a mythical past where this was the case. Before you shoot your drink out through your nose laughing, know this: I’m serious.

    These terrorists must be publicly named, castigated, and prosecuted for their behavior. No more hiding behind “morality.” It’s a LIE.

  2. Choolie, damn right. In addition, extramarital sex has held at a pretty steady rate throughout history. I believe you’re serious about the ‘don’t talk about it and they won’t do it’ person. Sad.

    I read a great old diary on GOS (Great Orange Satan, AKA The Daily Kos) that talked about abortion being crucial to a woman’s autonomy. She was right. Without abortion, we (women) are all just vessels, really. I am seriously considering getting my tubes tied so I don’t personally have to deal with this shit.

  3. A girlfriend of mine who was seriously abused by almost every fucking male member of her family stated at 19 she wanted her tubes tied. She simply did NOT WANT children because to her childhood meant much pain and suffering if you were born a girl. She did not want to offer up another victim to her family.
    For the next ELEVEN years, every single doctor she saw between Seattle and Hawaii refused to allow her to have the surgery because she didn’t have a husband and someday if she did, HE might want babies or she might change her mind. Then what?
    Five abortions later, she turned 30 and found a doctor to tie her tubes.
    Nice how a group of people could turn a woman into exactly what they despise. A repeat offender who appeared to use abortion for birth control.
    My abortion… A condom broke in Alaska. I didn’t want a baby with a summer fling that was nothing more than a nail in the coffin of the relationship I ran from back home. I didn’t want another baby after what I went through with Jack, as in Ass.
    I like telling people that I had a miscarriage on the way to my abortion. What really happened was I had a 6 week old fetus and was “11 weeks pregnant”. There was no heartbeat so in reality, my abortion became a D&C.
    I was terrified I couldn’t do it. I told them…do not let me see that screen. I felt like I was killing something that was part of me. As I lay there, I was asked how long ago since my last menstrual period. I gave the date, she said, “You have a 6 week old fetus with no heartbeat.” I didn’t believer her and made her show me. Indeed, I saw what she saw.
    It was the most painful thing I have ever been through in my life. The drugs didn’t matter. The fact that it was shorter than labor and delivery didn’t matter. I tried to roll my eyes in the back of my head and go anywhere outside of my body that I could get to and the little twinkle toes assistant wouldn’t shut the fuck up and let me leave. I would not wish the choice of going through that on anyone, but I will staunchly support a woman’s right to decide for herself.
    In a way I got lucky and the “choice” was taken away from me. I mean I still had to have the procedure, and it became a D&C, but it was the exact same procedure, the only difference being the little heartbeat. I am grateful because honestly, I am not sure I could have gone through with it, though to this day I support a woman’s right to choose.

  4. whabs, thank you for sharing your personal story. This, to me, is really what is at the heart of the matter. To me, it’s about the woman, more so than the fetus. I can declare that unequivocally. No one has the right to force someone else to have a baby (or not to have one). That’s why it’s called choice.