Monday, June 8, 2009

Pro-Life...unless that life differs politcally

I've been wanting to write about the death of Doctor George Tiller for some time now, and I've probably missed the boat as far as saying something that hasn't already been said given how fast our news cycles move these days, but I still feel it is important for as many voices as possible to denounce this heinous killing of, as Jeremy Scahill said on Real Time with Bill Maher, "a provider of women's health care." Despite having always been of the belief that women must have the right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy without any pre-conditions or constraints, it was really upon reading John Irving's The Cider House Rules that cemented that belief that for this country to truly be considered free, women need to have full control of their own bodies and there need to be doctors able to perform these operations in modern, safe, and hygenic environments.

The fallacy of the pro-life movement is that even if abortion is banned outright throughout the 50 states, that does not mean that abortion will end as a practice. What will happen instead, is that abortion will be pushed underground and performed by people without the training, or the professional conduct of today's ob-gyns who perform these procedures. Anyone who claims to care about life should be appalled at the possibility of America's return to the days of back-alley abortion clinics and other horrors of our oh so glorious past.

As has been reported by any journalist worth their paycheck (of which there are fewer and fewer every day) no providers of women's health care are taking women who are 9 months pregnant and giving them a late-term abortion. In the United States less than 2% of all abortions were conducted after the 21st week of gestation, and an estimated figure from 1997 suggests that less than 1% were done after the 27th week. For those bothering to listen to the doctors who perform these abortions, it becomes clear that these are done not because the patient suddenly feels like taking a trip to Europe and doesn't want a baby along, but are done because of some very serious health problems with the fetus or a potential danger to the mother.

The "right-to-life" movement has been sickeningly been pretending to denounce the death of Dr. Tiller while in the same breath excusing it because of his willingness to perform abortions. This deceptive double-speak is mostly to blame for the crazies like Scott Roeder who actually go out and commit these atrocities. And while I believe that we need the inalienable rights of free speech in this country, I think it is false, and disingenuous for those spewing the most hateful and uncompromising vitriol to pretend that the death Dr. Tiller, and the terror it spreads among women seeking abortions or doctors providing health care to women, isn't exactly what they want to see happen.

While I disagree with many of the terror statutes being used to hold prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Air Base, or any of the other black sites the CIA has, Mr. Roeder is the textbook definition of a terrorist and should be shipped out to one of those facilities. In his Falwell/Robertson/Limbaugh/O'Reilly motivated killing of Dr. Tiller, he has killed more Americans than many of the detainees in Gitmo over did and he has terrorized more people than Omar Khadr, the last remaining westerner still held at Camp X-ray.

Americans need to stop being fooled by monikers. Focus on the Family and the American Family Association don't give a shit about families. The Patriot Act isn't patriotic. Pro-lifers do not care about life or they would work harder at making things better for the lives that are already here on this earth rather than focusing all of their energies on the lives that do not yet exist.

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