tagReviews & EssaysThe Abortion Rant

The Abortion Rant

byHeathen Hemmingway©

Once again, I am placing the literary gun to my temple. As always, read at the risk of being pissed off or elated.

Before you read any farther, you and I have to come to an understanding, see. Abortion is such a vastly multi-faceted topic that it can apply differently to everyone. We humans are complex creatures, and each of us have our own unique set of experiences and circumstances in life. Thusly, it's not realistic to arrive at an opinion about abortion then broadly apply it to everyone. Every woman's situation is different, every father to be's perception of fatherhood will be different as well. So, having said that, I am about to give my own personal insight on the abortion topic based on my experiences. This may or may not apply to you or someone you know. I know this is a heated topic, so keep in mind an opinion is not the same as pointing a finger.

You should also keep in mind that I was taught, and to this day still firmly believe that if a person is going to have sex they should be willing to deal with the consequences of their actions. That discussion alone could go into a million different directions. Such as, a young girl in her teens who was never given the talk about sex, or a teenage boy who was never encouraged by his father to be responsible. The poles could be reversed, the family environment is a factor, blah blah blah. Teenage pregnancy ( and pre-teen - how horrible ) has always been a problem in society and probably always will be. So as you read this keep in mind that I believe that if you're going to get freaky, you should be a responsible adult. If you're not - bad things are going to happen. Period. And if your child gets freaky, I hope someone is there to provide some guidance. Some unfortunate souls always slip through the cracks and never receive the input or encouragement they need, and abortion is often the result. That whole situation is another tangled mess all to itself.

To avoid a common diversion in the discussion of abortion, let me tell you right away how I feel about a man's right on the decision of abortion. If he supports you, loves you, contributes to your life and plays an equal role in the relationship, he is entitled to a say. His opinions should be heard. If he cuts and runs when he finds out you are pregnant, in my opinion he's a fucking bum. I look at sex much as I do life in general. If you're going to live like an adult you should accept the responsibility of being an adult. If he's a fucking bum and doesn't lift a finger to help, you - the mother - are entitled to come to any decision you want entirely on your own.

Some women flatly say "it's my body" as if that is the end of the discussion and justification for any decision you might make. Well, you know what? You are right. It is your body. And if you got your body pregnant by a fucking bum who won't help, then you should be free to do whatever you decide is best for you. On the same token, if you got pregnant by a man who expresses an interest in the child, then I feel he should at least be entitled to have a say in your decision. The decision, either way, is ultimately your own.

That leads us to one of the most common scenarios: The hit and run father. It's a common element in any society. He sleeps with you, blows you off, and when word gets back to him that you're pregnant, he's a ghost. He should take responsibility, he should be a man and assume the roll you need him to, but the sad truth is that most times he doesn't. Can you necessarily tell if he's a hit and run father right away? My guess is probably not. I don't understand why, but alot of men these days think that when they get a woman pregnant that she has somehow done something to him. Guess what buddy, you both laid down, so there is equal responsibility.

A hit and run father often uses the excuse "she got pregnant on purpose" - and that is just plain fucking lame. If you - the man - wanted to be certain that she didn't get pregnant, you should have been sure to use protection. You can't claim ignorance and say "she told me she was on the pill" when you can buy condoms at any convenience store or super market. And if you don't have a buck in your pocket for a rubber then act your fucking age and wait til you do. Often times the hit and run father exhibits aggression towards the woman, and this further proves his status as a fucking bum. You're old enough to father a child but you're still throwing temper tantrums? You want to be mad at her, fine, but no more so than you should be at yourself. The primary factor in the hit and run father's perspective of fatherhood is his refusal to accept the role of a responsible adult. Sure, maybe the woman was irresponsible as well, but that does not excuse your part. Takes two to tango kid. Deal with it.

( That paragraph alone is guaranteed to generate a shitload of hate mail for me. Oh well. Bring it on boys. I've been through hell and back, I can deal with you. )

Next is the very (very) touchy subject of rape, incest, and health complications due to pregnancy. My beliefs about this are pretty simple. If a woman is the victim of rape or incest and she becomes pregnant, I feel she is entitled to an abortion. Don't get in her way when she goes to the doctor, get your damned picket signs out of her face. She's been violated, and now has to face violating herself in order to get some small closure from a terrible and life changing situation. She's still a human being who is doing something that every human being has to do many times throughout our lives - she's making a tough decision.

That raises another important question. Does the fact that the child is the result of incest or rape make its life any less important? NO. But that child's life will most likely not represent something positive to the mother, and the strong possibility exists that the child itself stands to experience a terrible life. Is that saying that any child born out of incest or rape is doomed to live a horrible life of suffering? No. But I can't justify expecting an already traumatized woman to find out. The subject is very tedious because I can understand why a woman would not want the child of someone who violated her growing inside of her, possibly even fearing that the child may turn out to be the same as the father.

Some victims give birth to children of rape and incest, and love and raise that child - as a sign of their will power and ability to overcome the horror they experienced. They somehow rise above and beyond what they were subjected to and love the child wholly. That is to be highly admired and praised.

If health complications arrive during pregnancy and abortion is presented as a practical means to save the woman's life, or the child is proven to be terribly deformed, etc. etc. - I once again believe the mother has the right to an abortion. I'll even tell you how I came to that decision. If my darling were lying on a hospital bed, six months pregnant, and the doctor told me I had to choose between her life or the baby's, I would choose to save her. Yes it would hurt, and if you would choose to save the baby then I respect that equally. But for me, that would be the way it had to be. UNLESS - she had expressed to me a desire to die and the let the child live if it came to that. Scary to think about, isn't it?

( Scary to the responsible adult. The hit and run father probably won't give a shit. )

And next off is probably the most heavily debated topic of all. The quickie abortion. Whew. I'm honestly not where to start first. Ok, here we go. It turns my stomach to hear some pretty young woman whine and say " I have to have an abortion. I don't want to ruin my body "... that just makes me want to shake her til her teeth rattles. You pitiful self absorbed snotty little BITCH. First off, you are FEMALE. If getting pregnant "ruins your body" then there is something seriously wrong with your body. If you don't want to change the way your body looks then DON'T FUCKING GET PREGNANT. Many times when these whiny little snots get pregnant they have an abortion and a life is lost because of their irresponsibility. If your appearance is your top priority then you should be responsible to preserve that appearance. If you get pregnant out of carelessness it is not the child's fault. Are you so self absorbed that you can justify terminating a life because you want to look good in a swimsuit? Guess what Missy, life is precious. That child's life is just as precious as your own and YOU ARE NO MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT CHILD. ( You are right, I am pissed. This just makes my blood boil. ) I rate women who do this in the same category as the hit and run father.

Many couples elect to have an abortion for the reason - if you can call this a reason - "that a baby doesn't fit our lifestyle"..... Guess what Mr. And Mrs. Popular, having sex causes babies, and once again, if you're going to have sex the possibility of pregnancy is always there. If it's that much of an inconvenience, then take precautions. Tell me something, can you justify terminating a life just because you had different plans for your life? Life changes every moment. No one has ever lived out their life exactly as they planned it, and some people are willing to kill a baby just because it doesn't fit their metro-trendy, brand-specific, carefree lifestyle. That just makes me fucking sick. You were careless, you got pregnant, and you can so easily decide - let's kill it - and move on?

There are so many adoptive parents whose life would be fulfilled beyond anything in your shallow self absorbed existence by having that child to love. I don't think that abortions should be allowed on the basis of convenience. It is your decision, and the right is ultimately your own, but I couldn't look myself in the mirror afterwards. I couldn't even live with myself. Then again, I believe life has value.

The exceptions. As with all things within the human experience, pregnancy can be very complicated. Some people take all the necessary precautions to avoid pregnancy, and it still happens. Now keep in mind, this doesn't happen nearly as often as people say it happens. Most times when people say this they are just whining because they weren't careful enough and whadya know, baby's on the way. But - for the people who do experience this, I think they are completely entitled to come to whatever decision they choose to, and I would only hope they consider every possible option before arriving at a decision.

My motivation for writing this? I saw something this morning that reminded me of a friend of mine from back home. I won't tell you her name, but let's just say I was watching birds at the feeder on my patio, and she came to mind. In 1995 she came to me, very upset and distraught. I made her lunch and we talked. ( I ended up eating for both of us - what can I say? I'm a guy. ) She was pregnant, and very upset. She had been using birth control religiously for years, and despite that she was now pregnant. She had been taking an antibiotic, and the antibiotic had an adverse reaction with her birth control, and the end result was that she got pregnant even though she was very careful. She asked me for advice. I will admit freely that I did not know what to say, and I told her that I understood her situation, and given the circumstances I would stand beside her and help her any way I could, no matter what decision she made. She had the abortion. I was there at the hospital. As I was driving her back to the hospital, she looked up at me with big brown, tear streaked eyes.

"What do you think of me?" She whispered through her tears.

"I think that you're still my good friend, and your life will still go on."

Was that what I should have said? Was it the best thing I could say? I don't know. She's still my friend, and I still care for her every bit as much. So for anyone in her situation, you have my hope and my blessings. No one can tell you anything that will make everything alright, so just remember - you will overcome it and life will go on.

As for me. I love kids. I've held someone's hand while they brought a child into the world. I've cut the cord. ( I've marveled over how multi-colored a baby is when it first comes out ) I've experienced that heart stopping moment when a newborn baby struggles, inhales deeply, then finally lets out that first wail that says "I Am Alive" so loudly. I've changed enough shitty diapers to sink the Titanic. I've held the hand of the mother while she watched her child's casket slowly lowered into the cold earth. I've shaken hands with the proud father and admired his genuine, nervous grin, and yes I have been the proud father myself. I have also blacked the eye of the grumbling, chain smoking stressed out hit and run father who was forced to be there when his child was born. ( You know who you are, and if I see you again I'll black the other eye. )

So. In closing. This was my two cents worth, and you are entitled to your own. Just remember, every single person who reads this will have something they want to add, something they think I left out, something to debate, etc. That's cool by me, and I respect that since I am a firm believer that communication is valuable. If there is something I left out it wasn't intentional, and anyone who wants to voice their opinion is always free to do so.

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