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A child is a choice.

Today I hung my No On 62 sign on my patio door. I don't actually have a yard, so yard signs aren't really possible. I also got my Blue Book today, which I tore in to immediately. Mostly because I was curious about what the Blue Book had to say about Amendment 62, since the proponents of the measure tried to sue over it a couple weeks ago.
"They have not included a single word — not a single word — of our arguments," Garcia-Jones said.

Likely because the arguments of the proponents are either filled with emotionally charged language, which has no place in the exceptionally dry and matter-of-fact style of the Blue Book, or because the arguments were patently untrue.
Garcia-Jones said that the Blue Book's arguments against Amendment 62 are false because it could never, as the booklet states, cause women to be denied medical treatment for a miscarriage. The amendment could not, he said, put doctors and other health professionals at risk of legal action for providing medical care to women of childbearing age.

I will Give Garcia-Jones the benefit of the doubt and not accuse him of lying in this case. I think he simply does not understand the unintended consequences of banning abortion absolutely. Take a look at what's happened in El Salvador; doctors become reluctant to give care for miscarriages, since they may be afraid that they will be accused of causing the miscarriage, or the miscarriage itself might be the result of an illegal abortion. And frankly, I think if abortion were made absolutely illegal, doctors might very well not want to treat women of childbearing age because they may become pregnant at any time and not necessarily realize it. If you want to define a fertilized egg as a person, well, last I checked even if you accidentally kill a person, you don't just get a pat on the head and a wave to go on your merry way.

Of course, I'm naughty for even using the phrase "fertilized egg." One of the proponents said:
“I think it's important to note with the term fertilized egg, that's the same thing as using the N word for an African American,” said Mason. “Because it's a dehumanizing term and it's not based in science. The term would be a zygote, or an embryo, speaking of a unique individual.”

A fertilized egg is a zygote is a fertilized egg. ACOG certainly uses the term "fertilized egg" without blushing. I think it's really an attempt by the 62 proponents to up the emotional charge on the language, because they know that they can't win with either logic or science. I'm actually quite surprised Mason isn't insisting on calling it a baby from the instant of conception onward, but that's probably a little too extreme.

I'd like to throw one more quote at you, where the proponents try to squirm out of the fact that the amendment would ban many extremely popular forms of birth control, including my favorite, the pill:
True contraception prevents fertilization and personhood for pre-born babies will legally protect every baby from the beginning of his or her biological development," said Hanks in an e-mail. "Only those forms of "birth control" that extinguish a life that has already begun will be impacted. Many of the oral "contraceptives" have an action that makes the womb inhospitable to a developing embryo and hence, the new living, growing baby is prevented from residing where his or her Creator intended until birth."

This quote characterizes everything that is wrong with the position of the Amendment 62 proponents - and delineates why I don't just think they're idiots, I actively hate them.

To begin with, Hanks brings up the "Creator" and the Creator's intentions as a means to justify banning birth control. For those of us that don't believe in gods, this is an argument that holds no water. It makes the point very clear that Amendment 62 is about making a personal religious belief into a law that would control the lives of all women that live in Colorado.

But even more to the point, everything in that quote is about the baby. The woman is reduced to a womb, to "where his or her Creator" intends the baby to reside. In their efforts to grant "personhood" to a fertilized egg, they simultaneously remove "personhood" from the woman involved.

That is what makes me angry, and filled with hate, and very afraid. Since I first became aware of the abortion debate, I honed in immediately on the fact that efforts to ban abortion reduce women to less than full citizens, chattel who do not truly own and control their own bodies and can be forced by the state to complete a pregnancy. I don't appreciate my rights, my life, my existence being reduced to the state of one organ within my body.

And perhaps that's the cruelest joke of this horrible debate. These people have made me resent the very idea of being pregnant, have made me resent babies. Because I can't help but resent anything and anyone that would reduce my life from a glorious adventure that I (mostly) direct to an existence that is wholly outside of my own control.

I often see bumper stickers around here, that say: "It's a child, not a choice." I could not disagree more. It is a choice. It should be a choice. It must be a choice.

I have several friends that have children, who they love very much. Each and every one of these amazing women, whether the pregnancy was intentional or not, ultimately chose to change the course of her life and become a mother. That choice made the baby a cherished and loved member of the family, rather than a burden forced on the mother by the state.

I don't want to be a mother right now. I may never want to be. But I want that chance, to decide for myself. I want that choice. I want all women to have that choice. In the future, I want my niece to have that choice.

No on 62.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Preach it, Sister!

Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
It's sad that this even continues being a battle in the US...It should be so self explanatory.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
I hadn't actually had a chance to read about 62 yet, but I saw a 'Yes on 62' bumper sticker on someone's car next to one that said, 'Got Jesus?' and I had a suspicion I'd be against it.

But I love the blue book. They're good about getting the facts in there, and being unbiased, somehow, when it seems like no one else in the world is able to be.

I thought a fertilized egg was a blastocyst for a while? I have no idea how long. Am I supposed to know this, being pregnant? And FWIW, I have no issue with someone who plans on carrying out their pregnancy calling it a baby from day one. Ok, double standard,and totally not relevant to this topic, but I think it's okay to describe it by one's intent. And it just sound funny to me to hear myself say, "This fetus keeps using my bladder as a trampoline."

On one hand, I like to think that such an extreme amendment could never pass, especially when they insist on getting rid of the pill along with it. But then I hear a surprising, disheartening number of voices in favor of it, and I don't know. It freaks me the hell out.

I plan to get a tubal ligation after I have this baby, and then I never probably don't have to be afraid of an unwanted pregnancy (except that with a tubal, I believe it's likely to be ectopic, and there are some pro-lifers that don't even understand that those have ZERO chance of success and MUST be ended). I don't know when I'm going to have it done, though, because I'll be giving birth in a Catholic hospital, so I'll have to get it done elsewhere, some time in the eventual future. There was a big debate in booju_newju the other day about the "conscience clause" and I'm still kinda pissy about that, too.
Oct. 4th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
As someone who is currently pregnant very much by choice, and who is currently suffering very much from constant nausea and vomiting and dehydration and weight loss, I would not wish pregnancy on my worst enemy (though I do keep trying to get my husband to take the embryo for a few days). I cannot fathom how people go through this and then give the baby up for adoption, or how they handle it when the father abandons them partway through, or even how they hold a job (currently a grad student, yay).

To take away the option of being able to stop it because your body can't handle it, or because you have no intent of raising that person, is more criminal to me than getting an embryo to leave your uterus. Because let's face it, it's not even a fetus until ten weeks of pregnancy. Oh, but wait, using such scientific terms are "dehumanizing". And let's not even get started on banning the pill. I'd love to hear these people's views on miscarriage.
Oct. 4th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
I am a believer in God, as I'm sure you realise, but feel that religion should have no say whatsoever in the passing of laws. I'm am also a believer in a woman's body being her own property and that forcing motherhood on one who does not want or is not ready to be a parent is utterly ridiculous.

I sort of take the same viewpoint as I do with cats and dogs: breeding puppies or kittens that no one wants when there are thousands sitting in shelters is really really stupid.
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
I really wish there were more people in the US like you. I really do.
Oct. 5th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
For my view on babies or on back yard breeding?

Mind you, I barely see babies as people, let alone zygotes. My own neice is cute but pretty much just another baby to me. You're talking to someone with all of the maternal instinct of a rock *g*
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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