Little scraps worth keeping

On facebook the other day I saw one of those prevalent political signs posted by a “friend”, who is really a friend of  a friend of mine, who is a fantastic quilter.  This “friend” I thought was a quilter too, so I friended her. This “friend” appeared quite animated over the Texas abortion bill, leading to quite a flurry of “pro-choice” postings lambasting the “pro-life” stance.   Now, I have posted conservative comments many times online and in fact, back when I first started using the internet I became a frequent poster to the Excite message boards and someday (not today) I hope to elaborate on just how that experience ended up (bad beyond belief).  Today, however, I want to make a few comments or pose a serious concern I have about people jumping on hot button political issues without a moment’s hesitation.  Being a woman, a mother and a grandmother and growing up in the midst of the feminist movement, I feel justified in offering a few thoughts.  This “friend” posts a relentless stream of liberal and far-left lunatic slogans and I did comment on one about stereotyping conservatives and I posted a comment on a pro-abortion banner, but after a little thought, I decided not to engage in a back and forth and removed my comment.  This “friend” doesn’t want to discuss any political issue anyway and I doubt anything I could say would influence her opinions.  She appears to be locked down tight into the talking points political insanity – the us vs. them mindset.

Whenever the liberal left runs into a brick wall, like in the case of abortion, where advances in medicine lay lie to their central argument of viability of the fetus, that formed the pillar of their argument in the 70s and 80s, they repackage their messaging to deflect from the real issue.  The political slogan that caught my attention proclaimed in loud, large red letters: “WANT ABORTION OUTLAWED?  HOW MANY UNWANTED CHILDREN WILL YOU ADOPT?” and it brought to mind this long-abandoned viability argument.  There’s a complete lapse of logic in this argument this banner proclaims that needs to be addressed.  So, let’s start with the obvious main issue.  What exactly is abortion?  If this banner is to believed outlawing abortion produces “unwanted children”, so it’s saying abortion eliminates “unwanted children”.  Back when the push for legalized abortion gained force in America, the abortion argument centered on this very question of aborting “children”.  The pro-abortion faction pushed their cause by centering their argument on the” when does life begin” question and made the case that a baby wasn’t a baby until it was outside the womb and viable, meaning could sustain life on it’s own.  Medical advancement in the intervening decades pushed that ”viability” argument back into the second trimester of pregnancy and to adjust for this, the pro-abortion activists altered their talking points to a “pro-choice” messaging platform.  Now, if a baby born at let’s say 23 weeks of gestation could survive outside the womb, then that is a viable human life, right?  Of course it is, that’s why the pro-abortion crowd switched all their political dogma to a “pro-choice” message filled with endless repetitions of the phrase, “we want abortion to be legal, safe and rare”, to deflect from the central issue of just what is being aborted.  The science makes it clear that there’s no definitive point when they can declare viability and thus the “human life” question is a hot potato abortion proponents decided to sidestep.  Each pregnancy is different and the viability of each baby varies, which makes it risky business to engage in a scientific debate on viability or to try to set a viability timeline.

The abortion activists  conveniently switched gears and changed their focus to declaring legal abortion a “right” and by convincing young women that this is their “right”  to have sex with whomever they want and that the results are something that other taxpayers must pay for, because of course, it’s wrong to infringe on other people’s “rights”.  If I don’t want my tax dollars used to fund ridding America of “unwanted children”, then I am at fault for these “unwanted children existing, not the man and women/or boy and girl, which ever the case may be, who brought this child into the world???  This banner screams for someone to point out an obvious fact.  A pregnancy results from a man and a woman making a choice, in all but a few rare cases of rape.  Okay, in a tiny percentage of cases we can assume that both parties were responsible sexual partners and used birth control to try and prevent an “unwanted child” from happening.  And in another rare scenario couples face the choice of a child being detected with a serious birth defect or the mother’s life is imperiled by the pregnancy.. This leaves us with a glaring statistic that  in 2009 the abortion rate had decreased, but was 227 per 1,000 live births, so that’s almost a quarter of pregnancies ended in abortion (CDC figures here).  That neatly closes the “rare” argument.  And yes, I am “pro-choice” too, that means you have the right to whatever “choices” you make and you are responsible for the results of your choices, not me.  This is how “responsible”  citizenship works – we must be willing to take responsibility for our choices.

The more interesting moral leap that hit me in this banner is how are people who are opposed to abortion responsible for the sexual choices that other people make?  Here’s the absurdity of the whole “it’s my body and it’s my right” mantra – they’ve got a whining poster girl, Sandra Fluke, who attended prestigious universities, to attain a law degree, and is supposedly one of America’s brightest young women on the horizon.  Yet, she bemoans that the government is responsible for providing her contraception.  One should wonder why this smart young woman and her sexual partner(s), as America’s brightest young people (I am assuming she picks smart sexual partners) must turn to the government to subsidize their sexual activity. No, the pro-life folks are responsible for the “unwanted children” born to pro-choice women, which leaves me wondering, just what personal choices are these pro-choice women and their sexual partners responsible for?

This same “friend” had another blaring banner with an idiotic quote from Texas senator, Wendy Davis, proclaiming, “Lawmakers, either get out of the vagina business or go to medical school!”  Well, yes, I would prefer to only have to worry about my own vagina, thank you very much and by the same token I preferred to take care of my own reproductive choices and my husband and I footed the cost of providing for our four children.   When you are demanding other taxpayers foot the bill for your “rights” and then have the audacity to blame other people for the results of your choices, somewhere along the line there’s a huge gap in that reasoning.  This lack of logic permeates our political landscape on both the left and right, but sometimes the total lunacy strikes when you hear a heartfelt speech like the one Chelsea Clinton delivered lamenting the lack of services that Planned Parenthood provides that her great-grandmother didn’t have access to (story here).  Her great-grandmother was “forced” to give birth to Chelsea’s beloved maternal grandmother.  Chelsea misses how her political indoctrination precludes any logical corollary that if her great-grandmother had opted for an abortion, then she wouldn’t exist today.  She should be thankful her great-grandmother chose to bring her beloved grandmother into this world.  It’s rather sad in a way to see so many politically brainwashed young people, who just jump on the virulent partisan political train and never sit and dissect the rhetoric or think about issues broken down into their essence.  All I can say is that I have never known a pregnant woman who talked about her condition as it being a “fetus” and then as the pregnancy progressed to some imprecise “viable” point declared, “oh, it’s a baby now!’  It’s a baby from the moment you find out about it and that’s really why the deceptive language and subterfuge uses such loud, inflammatory rhetoric to get as many women throwing hissyfits as possible.  Who wants to deal with a lot of high-pitched caterwauling by angry women screaming about their vaginas?’  Not me, I like to keep mine private.

My paternal grandmother ended up pregnant by a young man who had two young women pregnant at the same time.  He married the other young woman and my grandmother gave birth to a truly “unwanted child”, my father.  She married and left my father with her parents – my great-grandparents, who raised my Dad.   My grandmother had only daughters with her husband, but she never wanted anything to do with my father or his children.  My grandmother never once spoke to me in my entire life, even when I was in the same room with her.  Many times my great-grandmother would tell my grandmother, “That’s one of Billy’s girls.” and my grandmother wouldn’t say a word.  My great-grandmother insisted on making it a point to make her daughter aware of my existence and she later would say reassuring things that my father,me and my siblings were her grandchildren and as important as all the rest of her grandchildren.   Despite my grandmother’s rejection,  I sure am thankful she gave birth to my Pop and can’t imagine wishing she had opted for an abortion….. how bizarre is that idea really, wishing that you didn’t exist?   Family situations are like the patchwork quilts my great-grandmother taught me to piece together – made up of varied pieces of scraps in lots of patterns and colors, when looked at individually can seem not worth keeping, but when you add them all together – it creates an amazing end product.  I learned from my great-grandmother, who loved my father probably more than she loved all of her nine children, that no matter how ugly or worthless you think a scrap of fabric is, don’t discard it.  Later on, those scraps might be just what’s needed in another quilt to create a beautiful design.  People are like that too – even the ones who start out as unwanted scraps might mean the whole world to other people later on.  In my book, everyone should be a keeper.

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Filed under Culture Wars, Politics

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