Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's All Been Said

It's so simple.

I had a hard time conceiving my second child. By the time I got pregnant, I walked on eggshells to make sure I didn't do anything to lose "the baby." Because I was trying, I knew I was pregnant from about the second week on, and I did everything possible to protect "the baby."

When I told people, they wanted to know when "the baby" was due. They would ask whether I wanted a boy or a girl, making the automatic assumption that it was a human.

Nobody asked me how my fetus (or parasite) was doing, or if I planned to "keep or kill." 

I know there are horrible circumstances under which women can become pregnant; I know there are horrifying circumstances under which they can carry a child. But none of that changes the fact that it is a child that's in question.

What we are in effect saying is that because this human is small, helpless, and hidden, and because we have absolute power to do so, we can kill it with impunity. Worse, we are saying that a human becomes a human when we say so. (So much for "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights...)

This kind of thinking is so horribly, horribly wrong - why is it so hard for us to see how easily it can,once established, be used against us? Think selfishly, if nothing else. We don't want to be the small, helpless and hidden person (and most of us are, after all) who is dispensable. So we have to be sure we don't let anyone else be that person, either.