Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Inbox debate

(The following blog is composed from an email exchange this morning between a relative and me. It has been edited/editorialized for readership.)

2:06 a.m. - I receive an email with an attached article from a very pro-life website. Article is about a baby who was "killed" by "Chinese government officials" after it had already been born. Article pushes for an American reaction against "after birth abortion." You read that correctly. Infanticide is now called "after birth abortion" by the pro-lifers. (Cue initial thoughts of "South Park" clips where a character's mother appeals to Bill Clinton to grant her an abortion of her 8-year-old son.)

8:43 a.m. - I respond and tell her that, actually, infanticide is not the same thing as an abortion, and that for once, we agree on something in that infanticide is wrong. Further explain that the photo from the article was either a sex-selective infanticide or a miscarriage (as are most pro-life pictures), and that "after birth abortion" is a political tactic to mislead and confuse. Apparently, mission accomplished.

8:53 a.m. - Response from relative - "However, infanticide is no different than after birth abortions." Duh. Isn't this what I just said?

8:57 a.m. - I further explain that "abortion" implies that birth has yet to occur. Neither side actually believes that killing birthed babies is okay. That's murder, that is wrong. "If birth has happened, abortion has not." - my words

(There. I thought the issue was resolved. Boy, was I wrong! Made the mistake of opening my inbox during class. Chaos ensues.)

11:07 a.m. - I receive an email of an article titled "Ethicists propose after-birth abortion." Immediate reaction - DUH! Infanticide is already illegal, why do we need to add more laws into the mix. Then I remembered...they renamed it to support the pro-life agenda.

11:13 a.m. - This is where I should have just stopped. I'll admit it. But this was personal, and I don't quit things. One of my personal downfalls...I explain to my beloved relative (not sarcasm) that if you stick lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. As in, if you call infanticide something else, it's not this "new" thing - it's still infanticide. Again, briefly mention that this is an insult to her intelligence that she's buying into this, yadda yadda. Moving on.

11:28 a.m. - Apparently NOT moving on. Message received - " Your president supports after birth abortions." No citations, no sources. Really?

(Can no longer keep my mouth shut. A few boring exchanges, typical propaganda said relative is fed through misleading sensationalist news and then...she asks me how pro choicers can support the killing of babies.)

11:46 a.m. - I respond to every claim she makes with the follow (of which I am VERY proud):

"Pro choice doesn't mean anti-life, which is a HUGE misconception from your side's point of view. I love babies! My boss loves babies! She has three kids of her own. Most prochoice leaders have children. So we are in no way anti-child, anti-life, whatever picture that's been painted for you.

We merely hold the view that no government or outside source has the capacity to tell us how many children we must have and when we should have them. That is OUR choice. Just like it is my choice to be on birth control pills for controlling endometriosis and possible future fertility. Is my mom in the wrong for choosing to have her tubes tied after having Molly? That's a form of birth control, and she made a choice to control the amount of children she wanted. I'm honestly surprised that more conservatives/Republicans aren't on board with this. It's about personal liberties and freedoms.

Once your "side" can see past the idea that "prochoice" encompasses more than just abortion, then we can agree on more things! It's super frustrating from our point of view when we go to Planned Parenthood to get annual exams (and mammograms, in my case) and get called "babykillers." That's not at all what it's about. Personal liberties and being able to make decisions without the government telling you what to do."

2:34 p.m. - I can't believe the word vomit I just spewed from my mouth. I just used a very, very Republican/conservative form of logic...and kind of liked it. And I meant every word I said. Why DO Republicans disagree with the pro-choice movement so often? We're pretty much aiming for the same thing here - we both want to make our own life decisions without any government oversight into our personal lives. The same argument was made for interracial marriages in the 60s and gay couples are making it today - if you don't want something, then don't get it. No one is forcing you to do what you don't want to, so why should it be the other way around?

Present - Still pretty disgusted with myself for using Republican logic, but I'll get over it. This is why I'm in law school, right?