Sunday, February 19, 2006

Anne Lamott - The Rights of the Born

Avoiding the dreadful reality of abortion is one of the foundations of Captain Jimi’s work. “No glove? Then No love!” is something that kids can work with so that seems worthy even if rather casual about “love”, and that is a shame. That the use of contraceptives by even married couples was prohibited in some locations until the 1960s in Griswold vs. Connecticut shocked some of my young scholars recently. This fact came up in connection with the Massachusetts’ Board of Registration in Pharmacy (and the pressures of a lawsuit that will presumably now be dismissed) forcing Wal-Mart to stock emergency contraceptives. This is not such medicines as RU-486 (mifepristone) which is an actual non-surgical treatment that terminates an early term pregnancy. Other than Illinois where Wal-Mart is also forced, NOW is pressing Wal-Mart to carry these resources for women, reminding us that this huge retailer has often pushed Mom and Pop stores plus even other large competitors out of business, perhaps forcing these women to burn time and miles, when time is certainly of the essence, to obtain this legal product.

MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson’s reasoning on the idea that a private store could be mandated to carry a product seems flawed at the very least for those areas where Wal-Mart is essentially the only resource. Maybe Jon Stewart was right to call him a “dick” yet I’ll go with Dana Stevens calling him a “weenie”. Returning to my young scholars’ ignorance, in one class I played a clip of Carlson doing the above “interview”, being shown as a context of federalism, and many of my kids thought Tucker was kicking butt. I thought it interesting that a good number of goofy kids believed Tucker was “winning” the discussion when it seemed to me he would veer away from or simply talk over arguments that did not suit him. All too typical I’d suggest.

This morning the LA Times gave us commentary by Anne Lamott, who is admittedly a bit of a nut from what I’ve gathered in her Christianity Today interview and likely irreverent and cranky from this Sojourners piece, titled “The Rights Of the Born” where she writes, in part, the following:

… Plus I am so confused about why we are still having to argue with patriarchal sentimentality about teeny weenie so-called babies — some microscopic, some no bigger than the sea monkeys we used to send away for — when real, live, already born women, many of them desperately poor, get such short shrift from the current administration.Most women like me would much rather use our time and energy fighting to make the world safe and just and fair for the children we do have, and do love — and for the children of New Orleans and the children of Darfur. I am old and tired and menopausal and would mostly like to be left alone: I have had my abortions, and I have had a child.But as a Christian and a feminist, the most important message I can carry and fight for is the sacredness of each human life, and reproductive rights for all women is a crucial part of that: It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society. …

Here in the South, and increasingly across the “Red States”, we often don’t see faith associated with affirmations of a woman’s right to choose. Here is one organization that does: The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice There are others and yet this one seems to be solid enough to merit a link.

Terminating a pregnancy is a terrible choice and surely adoption might be the most immediate way to resolve a poorly planned pregnancy whenever this is possible. And making it commonly possible can be a legitimate goal for us all. I recall handling an adoption at the time of a child’s birth. What a grand feeling for an attorney and one which I hope to feel again. Also, resolving social/economic conditions where abortion is not viewed as the only realistic option for a women is perhaps the ultimate solution. Sex education built exclusively or mostly around abstinence is foundationally flawed!

Still, the Captain comes down firmly on the side of a woman making her own reproductive decisions. Given how this issue has often wedged our voters into pulling the lever for the Bu$hCo cabal and others that have in no way helped resolve real issues of poverty and justice and … makes it critical that the issue be taken on directly. Peace … or War. Jimi