Monday, June 19, 2006

Hey Kids, I Didn't Think We Were Getting Enough Time Together, So I Killed Your Baby Brother

This is the strangest editorial I've read in a long time. It begins thus:

The conservative politics of the Bush administration forced me to have an abortion I didn't want. Well, not literally, but let me explain.
Oh, please do...

My husband and I both work, and like many couples, we're starved for time together. One Thursday evening this past March, we managed to snag some rare couple time and, in a sudden rush of passion, I failed to insert my diaphragm.
Hey, wait a minute. . . I thought that this was going to be the Bush administration's fault. . .

I called my ob/gyn to get a prescription for Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill that can prevent a pregnancy -- but only if taken within 72 hours of intercourse...

The receptionist, however, informed me that my doctor did not prescribe Plan B. No reason given. Neither did my internist. The midwifery practice I had used could prescribe it, but not over the phone, and there were no more open appointments for the day. The weekend -- and the end of the 72-hour window -- was approaching.

But I needed to meet my kids' school bus and, as I was pretty much out of options -- short of soliciting random Virginia doctors out of the phone book -- I figured I'd take my chances and hope for the best.
You call three people, and you're "out of options?" Sure. Don't overtax yourself, lady. Good point about the phone book--having to use that would have been such an annoyance. Of course, you wouldn't have had to use the phone book at all if you'd just put in your diaphram, but this is liberal-I-have-no-responsibility-for-myself world, so no need to go there.

Weeks later, the two drugstore pregnancy tests I took told a different story. Positive. I couldn't believe it.
You couldn't believe it? Really? Weeks earlier you thought it enough of a possibility to half-heartedly look for Plan B.

I'm still in good health, but unlike the last time I was pregnant, nearly a decade ago, I'm now taking three medications. One of them, for high cholesterol, is in the Food and Drug Administration's Pregnancy Category X -- meaning it's a drug you shouldn't take if you're expecting or even planning to get pregnant.
So why didn't you use your birth control?!

I worried because the odds of having a high-risk pregnancy or a baby born with serious health issues rise significantly after age 40.
I'm sure the baby would be comforted to know that you killed it to save it from the "serious health issues" you thought it might possibly have.

My husband and I are involved in all aspects of our children's lives, but even so, we feel we don't get enough time to spend with them as it is.
Can't spend enough time with the kids? Off one of them, and have more time for the others. Problem solved!

Who thinks this way?

When I realized the seriousness of my predicament, I became angry. I knew that Plan B, which could have prevented it, was supposed to have been available over the counter by now. But I also remembered hearing that conservative politics have held up its approval.
It was those insidious conservatives. It wasn't that you didn't use your birth control, barely attempted to get a prescription for Plan B, and are willing to kill your child. Nope, it's all the fault of those who think you should have a prescription for birth control pills.

Meanwhile, I hadn't even been able to get Plan B with a prescription that Friday, because in Virginia, health-care practitioners apparently are allowed to refuse to prescribe any drug that goes against their beliefs.
Actually you could have gotten it with a prescription, but you didn't bother to get the prescription. We'll leave that aside for a moment.

Heaven forbid a man be allowed to do what he thinks is right. He should be forced to do what Dana L, author of this editorial, thinks is right. She shouldn't have to dial the phone again to find a doctor who shares her perspective. People shouldn't be able to make their own choices, they should follow the directives of Dana L.

Moreover, they aren't even required to tell the patient why they won't provide the drug. Nor do they have to provide a list of alternative sources.
Remember that phone book you mentioned earlier? There's your list.

If information on Plan B was hard to come by, and practitioners were evasive on emergency contraception, trying to get information on how to abort a pregnancy in 2006 is an even more Byzantine experience.

On the Internet, most of what I found was political in nature or otherwise unhelpful: pictures of what your baby looks like in the womb from week one, and so on.
So true. When you're looking for information about how to kill someone, it is really unhelpful for people to tell you not to kill someone. It is so unhelpful for them to show the unwitting that their babies are human beings, when you, a witting and fully integrated personality, are well aware that your baby is a human being and are just looking to make it die.

Calling doctors, I felt like a pariah when I asked whether they provided termination services.
There's a reason for that. It's called conscience. It's that thing you're trying to kick back into the cellar by convincing yourself that conservatives made you abort your child.

Finally, I decided to check the Planned Parenthood Web site to see whether its clinics performed abortions.
You had to check the website? I don't believe that any literate adult could be unaware that Planned Parenthood offers abortions. This calls into question the entire letter. Perhaps it is all a poor fiction to try and convince people that conservatives cause abortions. This is all the more likely given that the writer's last name is not signed and her background cannot be checked.

It was a decision I am sorry I had to make. It was awful, painful, sickening. But I feel that this administration gave me practically no choice but to have an unwanted abortion because the way it has politicized religion made it well-nigh impossible for me to get emergency contraception that would have prevented the pregnancy in the first place.
Nevermind that you had regular contraception and didn't use it. Nevermind that you could have gotten the emergency contraception if you'd made any real effort. Nevermind that abortion is not the natural consequence of pregnancy, and no one forced you to take your child's life. It's all Bush's fault.

I have another idea:

Instead of trying desperately to crush your guilt under the heel of self-justification, try simple repentance. I did something wrong, I know it, I am sorry for it. Repentance is much easier than trying to kill off your conscience and your will.


Mike D said...

I'm surprised that this selfish idiot didn't use the term fetus rather than baby to further de-humanize the child. I hope you sent your response to the newspaper and that they have the cajones to publish it. I also hope God one day gives this woman a conscience so that she may mourn for the baby she'll never hold and that never knew its mother's loving touch.

David said...

Great post, Freeman.

You really took her apart here. But, of course, she didn't provide her full name or email address, so an actual debate on the subject isn't really possible. She preferred the hit, run and hide style of making a point. Very courageous of her.

I can't believe that this was up to the standards of a high-profile paper. Is there any logic here?

This woman did not want another child, but:

- She did not bother to get her tubes tied or have her husband get a vasectomy.

- Barring that, she didn't bother to take the birth control pill.

- Barring that, she decided to use a diaphram as her only protection, and then MADE A CONSCIENCE choice not to put it in before having sex. She was in the "throes of passion" afterall... it's not her fault! Blame the "throes" man, blame the "throes"!

- She only made a few phone calls in a half-hearted attempt to get the Plan B pill, then just stopped and decided to just let "whatever happens happen". Two phone calls is even too much to ask of any decent person, isn't it? And she made three! Because, I guess, there was a life on the line, afterall. Three! What a hero.

- She gets pregnant, and decides she doesn't want to deal with the life that she and her husband so carelessly created.

- Instead of the perfectly viable option of having the baby and putting it up for adoption, she decides the only "real" option is to abort it instead.

As anyone can see, it's quite a long trail of bad decisions that created this easily-avoidable "impossible"(in her estimation) situation. And the decisions were all basically in her control.

Yet all of this is somehow the fault of George W. Bush and religion in politics?

Somehow I don't think the balance of justice would tip in her favor on this one, no matter who is doing the judging, God or Man.

This woman was unserious about her birth control, blase about the possible result of her apathy, and did a horrible thing to avoid dealing with the consequences. She snuffed out a growing life for the sake of her own convenience, and all because of her own lack of diligent judgement and respect for the awesome responsibility that comes with having a viable reproductive system.

And now, instead of even vaguely taking responsibiity for what she's done, she is blaming somebody who had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome in an apparent attempt to assuage her own guilt and shame.

May she never escape that guilt, and may her shame cling to her back, unyielding, until she finally turns round to face it head-on, and begs forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

At first, I thought this editorial must have been written as a satire, such lame denial of all responsibility and contrived blame shifting just couldn't be written as serious commentary. However, I notice that the author is an attorney . . .

Anonymous said...

Great post Freeman. You have a real talent for writing and arguing. I wish you could analyze every editorial written by nitwits in this state.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. Dustin McDaniel has made just as outrageous arguments about why he is pro-abortion in his campaign for attorney general.

katie said...

You know 8-9 years separation between siblings isn't that bad! If my mother-in-law decided to abort her last child who was "not planned" then I wouldn't have the most wonderful husband in the world right now!

Children are a gift from God and he has a plan for each and every one of them, even if you don't!

If there's not enough time in your life - Dana L. - to spend with your children and husband, then change your life - yes, it takes sacrifices, and if you are not willing to make those sacrifices, then spending time with your family is not as important as you alluded to!!


Thanks for your commentary Freeman - you're spot-on!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't this world be a better place if the author's mother faced the same predicament?

Damien said...

First let me say it is obvious that this article and the response is just part of the VRWC - Vast Rove-Wing Conspriacy. Enjoy your Nazi gold or whatever they are paying you.

Second, I put more effort into booking a hotel room than the original author gave to her contraception and attempts at acquiring Plan B. Sympathy? No.

Blaming the Bush administration is the Duct Tape of liberals and democrats, the answer to everything. Won't win many elections, though.

Excellent analysis Freeman. I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

The battle Cry of the left "All the Freedoms, none of the responsibility." If I make a mistake, it's the responsibility of the government to eliminmate it or pay for it. I am educated, emancipated lawyer, I know everything there is to know about family planning and how to avoid pregnancy, yet when I fail to take the proper precautions it is the fault of President Bush that I was "forced" to eliminate the Human Life I created and carried. Oh, and by the way, I killed it over concerns about the babies quality of life. I am sure all of the millions of children and adults that are living with birth defects and less then "optimal" quality of life conditions would have been more happy if their lives had been snuffed out before they became such a burden to their siblings and parents. And no doubt those siblings who are having their quality time with their parents reduced because their disabled siblings are hogging all their parents attention wish their mothers had been so thoughtful and killed that brother or sister that they love despite the problems that those "less then optimal' humans bring to their lives. I am sure the author of that article dreams of the day when all those difficult babies will be eliminated before they enter this earth, that someday we will have a government who rushes out the instruments of death to women at a moments notice so that these burdens will "just go away" with a pill and a swallow. Kevin Peters

Corrie said...

Well said.

Bruno said...

That link is dead.

Freeman Hunt said...

That link is dead.

What link? The one to the Dana L. editorial seems to be okay. Maybe it was down momentarily.

Anonymous said...

I think what struck me most about the editorial was how the author acted as though finding information on how to have an abortion was so hard to do. After all, only 1.5 million babies are aborted in this country each year; some by children as young as 11 years old. How could a 42 year old attorney have so much trouble figuring it out?

Anonymous said...

In the overall picture, what difference does it really make whether she got the prescription for Plan B or had an abortion? The result is the same - a human life was taken. Oh, I forgot - she did have 6 1/2 hours of having to sit and wait for the 5 minute procedure. Just one more annoying inconvenience in her life that must be blamed on someone else.

Jimmy P said...

..and don't forget

"And to think that, all these years after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, this is what our children have to look forward to as they approach their reproductive years."

Except for her child....of course....

Anonymous said...

"Plan B" does not prevent contraception as this woman keeps stating, it kills a child that has already been concieved. She was not bothered by killing her child, only that she could not do it in private with no one the wiser. Since she had to go public with her bad decisions she might as well find someone to blame. How typically liberal. It is ALWAYS someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

"Plan B" does not prevent contraception as this woman keeps stating, it kills a child that has already been concieved. She was not bothered by killing her child, only that she could not do it in private with no one the wiser. Since she had to go public with her bad decisions she might as well find someone to blame. How typically liberal. It is ALWAYS someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

Well i thought it was important enough to say twice. LOL. just kidding, sorry.

SkyePuppy said...

Years ago, I read an article in Health magazine about several women who were glad they had an abortion (I cancelled the subscription after that).

One woman they covered reminds me of this Dana L. The woman was married and already had a couple kids, but finances were tight when they found out she was pregnant again. She didn't want to carry the baby to term and then let somebody else adopt it, because she didn't want her other kids to think that she would have given them away if times had been hard when they were born.

So she had an abortion, and then she told her story in a national article that would let her kids know that if finances had been hard, she would have killed them! I'm sure they were comforted.

What a bunch of selfish losers.

Naomi F. said...

Freeman... I love you. You have no idea.

Anonymous said...

Naomi f., you stole the words right out of my mouth, I love her too.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been easier just to shoot one of the older children?

StonePearl said...

I stumbled upon your blog from hugh hewitt referencing your brilliantly titled rebuttal of the op-ed.

I fear that such a depraved creature as 'Dana L.' does exist and wasn't just an amalgamated figment from the left.

Anyway great writing, adding you to my cool people bookmark.

Response 39 said...

Dana could have made one earlier choice that I'm' sure never would have entered her mind - abstain from the act of sexual intercourse. That was the first act of responsibility she could have exercised in this situation. Consistent with her liberal views, though, she was not going to defer her own personal desire just because it presented a potential risk!

If she plays her cards right, she could get a large insurance policy on one of the more expensive-to-maintain members of her family and then get rid of them. That would not only simplify her life, but give her more quality time with the survivor(s). This is a logic train she should not have gone down - she's showing what's important to her and what isn't.

Pogo said...

Great post, especially the title.

Dana L.'s article is so over-the-top narcissistic, it does read like a parody. If it weren't about abortion, it might even be funny.

I'll bet it makes her kids behave better, though. She might go all Andrea Yates on them if they spill their sippy cups or mess up the living room.

Anonymous said...

Ah, and to add the final touch to this madness, she now has an avenue of blame already paved for when the day inevitably comes that she realizes what she has done here. The guilt, the quashed truth of the matter, and all of those pictures she skimmed by will come back to her -- and that too can be the President's fault.

An excellent rebuttal! I agree all the way.

Pascha said...

"In the overall picture, what difference does it really make whether she got the prescription for Plan B or had an abortion? The result is the same - a human life was taken."

Can someone please provide a source that says Plan B kills a fetus? From my understanding, it prevents an egg from becoming fertilized. How is that murder to prevent something from happening?

Amanda said...

Great response, Freeman. I linked you in my blog, and I'm adding you to my blogroll. I'll definitely be back.

crimsonline said...

Plan B does not prevent conception, it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

Gilbert_Sundevil said...

I'm pro-choice...

...but I think the choice comes when you decide to unzip your pants. After that, I'm pro-responsibility.

I guess that makes me a member of the VRWC.

Pascha said...

Crimsonline, thank you for explaining it to me.

What does everyone here think of a couple freezing embryos for later implantation? If life begins when the egg is fertilized, and not when it implants in the uterus, is it then unethical to not immediately implant all embryos?

ontheedgeofmyseat said...

I don't think freezing eggs or even In Vitro is wrong, but I know it's not for me. There are a lot of dangers with cryogenics and, while I believe that abortion of a "disabled" baby is murder, I do think it's wise to not increase the chances of a deformaty. (Other ways one can increase these risks are by drug/alcohol abuse, smoking, poor diet, etc.) I really feel like life is God's avenue and he's allowed us to feel like we create life, but it's all Him in reality.

ontheedgeofmyseat said...

You know what? I lied. I forgot that In Vitro creates multiple embryos, many of which are thrown out. I would suppose that when the eggs are frozen and saved for later use, the same procedure is used. I apologize for my naivety in the matter.

Jaxsolo said...

I am so sorry this woman is also a lawyer. I can only hope she does not actively practice law. What an embarrassment to the profession.

contratimes said...

Dear Freeman,

A very belated reply to your excellent, trenchant and incisive remarks. Thank you.

But I am even more suspicious than you. This is a piece of fiction; this is not a real-case scenario. I believe Ms. L's essay is the propaganda of exceptionalism. Let me explain.

Let us assume that conservatives are all about rules, principles, laws, guidelines. Let us assume that conservatives even live according to such strictures. OK. Fine. But liberals, or so I believe, live for the exceptions to the rules. Artists, for example, usually liberal to a person, are always about finding the exception, the new, the avant garde. Liberal politics is similar. If a conservative says X, a liberal not only looks for the exception (and here's my point), the liberal must get creative, and absolutizes the exception. Consider it the tyranny of the exception.

So what he have here is the exception par excellence. How can any genuine person be so cold and heartlessly committed to rules that hurt people like Ms. L? What of her needs? How does your "pro-life" principle promote her life; how does it redress her hurts, even if those hurts come from her own hand? You sick conservatives: Your rules oppress, leaving no room for the exceptional.

But other questions must be asked: How is it that a middle-aged D.C.-area lawyer can't find an abortion clinic? From her own stereotype-driven, cliché-dripping essay, it appears all she needed to do was look for any mob of angry Jesus freaks outside an urban doorway. Of course, that must be hard to do, since Ms. L has just told us that the abortion services world is "subterranean." But not so subterranean that Christians can't find them. Ms. L would have been better off calling any local Catholic Church than searching the Yellow Pages for abortionists. The Church could have at least given her an address or two (and no doubt handed her a bomb as well). But her crude stereotype gives her away: this is a fabrication intended to "provoke dialogue."

And Ms. L's line that "This all could have been stopped way before this baby was conceived if they had just let me have that damn pill…" demands that we ask how it is that Ms. L can thus abort what is clearly to her a baby since conception. Is this indeed a baby, Ms. L, even one since conception? Interesting. Plus, how is it that you, Ms. L, a middle-aged writer/lawyer, no doubt with a husband who works as a professional somewhere, would be so utterly limited as a parent by having yet another child in your life? Come, you have two older children who would love to help out with a new baby; what could bring a family together better than something like that? I have dear friends who two years ago, at ages 44 and 48, just had an unplanned baby: she is the youngest of 4 and her oldest sister is off to Columbia this fall. Having the baby helped bring this family together; the child actually forced everyone to focus on each other in ways beautiful and unexpected. How could you not know such things, knowing your education, your class level, your profession?

Shame, shame.

Lastly, it is not the Republicans or conservatives or Mr. Bush who is at fault here, Ms. L. It is the Democrats. Why? Because they continually fail to get elected; they continually fail to procure the offices you deem so necessary for your emotional survival. They are at fault for their incompetence, and this is even before they get into office. If Markos ZĂșniga of the Daily Kos is right -- that Republicans can't govern and Democrats can't get elected -- then it stands to reason that at least the Republicans can do something before they get into the White House -- they can win the White House. The bumbling Democrats stink even before they get in, and, as such, are responsible for failing to provide you with the liberties you need. Don't blame Bush. Blame yourself, and your pro-choice friends.


Bill Gnade

Anonymous said...

Excellent (and pithy) response, Freeman!

Unfortunately, arguments using logic won't win the day against today's liberals. After all, aren't they the ones who increasingly believe that exercising your second amendment right to own firearms qualifies you for privacy invasion, while chatting with your local chapter of Al Qaida, isn't???

Anonymous said...

(oops, meant: doesn't).
Man, way to mess up a perfectly good punch line :(