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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Abort Abortion?

I recently stumbled across a post at needlenose.com entitled "The True Face of Abortion Opponents". While the main point of the post seems to be about exposing the "Pro-Life" movement for the theocratic, morality-imposing, woman-controlling hypocrites that they are, I couldn't help noticing a secondary theme running through the post of which I have pulled out examples below:

No released eggs means no fertilization, no fetus, nothing. So this leaves these groups with three options: 1. Concede that science may have finally found a way to eliminate abortions, pack up their bags and go home.

Besides, the FDA's decision to allow over-the-counter sales has let the cat out of the bag. Now they [the religious right] have to take a position that is consistent with the fact that abortion clinics may very well stop performing abortions altogether because nobody needs them any more.

I don't like abortions either. Nobody does. I wish they could be avoided altogether -- and it looks like they very well may be [because of the availability of Plan-B].

The far bigger impact of Plan-B and other non-abortive solutions is that they essentially render the whole Roe v. Wade debate pointless too. So what that you've got all your Supreme Court justices lined up? Go ahead and outlaw abortion. Nobody will care if they can just walk into the pharmacy and buy a couple of pills.

Notice a pattern in the above statements?

Plan-B is a very good thing and it should be available over-the-counter to ALL women, but Plan-B is not going to stop the need for abortion. It does have the capacity to prevent some abortion, which is great because I'm assuming that most women would rather take a pill then go through the ordeal of an abortion. But Plan-B works on a very limited time scale. If it is taken too late then it will do nothing to prevent an abortion several months down the road.

So, "let's make it easily available everywhere" you say, "that will put an end to abortion" (which you have never really felt good about but considered it more of a necessary evil because you vote Democrat and don't want to be seen as a woman-hating neanderthal). Yes, I agree that we should make it as easily available as possible. Hell, I think we need to subsidize it free-of-charge and stock it in middle schools and high schools across the country (along with all other forms of birth control as well). But that still isn't going to eliminate the need for abortion.

There is a reason we refer to our side as "Pro-Choice". It is because, no matter how we personally feel about abortion, we realize that each individual woman has the right to make up her own mind and decide for herself if she wants to have an abortion. It may very well be that a woman wants to be pregnant, but then a few months later, for whatever reason, decides that she does not want to be pregnant anymore. Plan-B ain't gonna do nothin for that! And regardless of what the "Religious Right" believes, people do use birth control. But unless your form of birth control involves severing tubes, it ain't perfect (including Plan-B itself). And of course there are a variety of other reasons why a woman may not take Plan-B in the critical time frame.

The point is that it doesn't matter why a woman is pregnant, she has the right to control her body and may choose to terminate her pregnancy via abortion if she so wishes. And Plan-B is no help once she is pregnant. Because we believe in choice, abortion is a necessity we cannot afford to lose. So no, Roe v. Wade is not pointless. We should do everything in our power to keep abortion legal in this country and to make it available to any woman who needs one. Science can do a lot of wonderful things, but unless it can find a way to convince women that they should not be in control of their own bodies, it will not eliminate abortion.
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Monday, August 14, 2006

Fear of the Unknown

"Why are we here?"

"What is the meaning of our existence?"

"What is the purpose of life?"

To be honest, I'm tired of these questions. As far as I'm concerned, we'll never be able to answer them definitively in my lifetime, or quite possible in any lifetime. And not having the answer does not bother me one bit. In fact, I rarely ever think about it. And I doubt most people spend a lot of time really thinking about it either.

And yet so many people seem to need to cling to one of the various mythologies floating about to give them a sense of meaningfullness about their existence. "If there is no God, then what is the meaning of life?" is a common question asked on atheist blogs. While no other life form on this planet seems to need an ultimate purpose, we humans are just arrogant enough to assume that it was all created just for us.

I know you're not supposed to answer a question with another question, but since I don't know the answer anyway, what else have I got?

What if the only answer to these questions is "We don't know"? Would life suddenly become meaningless? Would you struggle to get out of bed every morning? Would your personal relationships fall apart? Would food lose all taste? Would what was once exciting and fun become boring and uneventful? Would you find the nearest gun and put an end to it all?

If so, I think that says a lot more about you than it does about our existence.
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