Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Appeal to Emotion, Appeal to Pity, Appeal to Force -- It's All the Same

Oh, boy! My first real troll! And a very concerny concern troll it is, too! Based on my previous posting, someone called "aus blog" (apparently the person from Australia who keeps hitting my blog over and over again), appears in my comments and leaves behind this precious gem:

If conception is NOT when life begins,and a clump of cells is just that and not a living human being.
Then at least concider this-

Soon after you were conceived you were no more than a clump of cells.
This clump of cells was you at your earliest stage, you had plenty of growing to do but this clump of cells was you none the less. Think about it.
Aren't you glad you were left unhindered to develope[sic] further.
Safe inside your mother until you were born.

Well. What to say to that? Maybe this:

I believe in life after birth and before death.

What difference would it have made to me if my biological mother had aborted me? I wouldn't have existed, so there would have been no "me" to know the difference. To argue otherwise is to get completely into the realm of metaphysics and absolutely untestable claims.

And no, I'm actually not entirely happy about not having been aborted. Keep reading; it'll make sense eventually. I am an adoptee, born in the middle 1970s to a teenaged girl in a fairly provincial place. The idea that my biological mother could have been coerced or forced to give birth to me disturbs me a lot. Did she give birth to me completely of her own free will, or did she have family, friends, church, state, society, whomever, preventing her from having the abortion she really wanted? I'll never know. And that actually keeps me up at night.

The idea of being the product of someone's coerced decision is actually pretty horrifying. If you had an ounce of empathy, you'd realise that. But I guess you're a little more concerned with the insensate clumps of cells than the thinking, feeling people they eventually turn into, hm?

Incidentally, the fetus I was wasn't exactly "safe" inside my biological mother. She was 17, underdeveloped, and couldn't bring me to term. I suffered moderate to severe birth trauma, and had a very low birth weight (1kg). Because of that, I'm handicapped and have a host of chronic illnesses. Since I wouldn't have been around to know the difference, on balance, it probably would have been better if she had (been able to have?) an abortion. On the other hand, I can't speak for her, so it's hard to say.

Speaking for myself, there are certainly lots of days when I'm not exactly precisely thrilled to be here, as I've written about before. Call me back when you've dealt with somewhere around three decades of chronic pain, illness, five surgeries, thousands of hours of physiotherapy, constant discrimination (which has come with a financial penalty in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, I figure), people either treating you like you're non compos mentis or "the plucky little cripple," and the constant battle to have enough energy to get done even 3/5 of what you'd like to do in a day.

Having now explained my position in excruciating, hair-splitting, breast-baring, bulldoze-it-into-the-ground detail, I fail to see what's so unreasonable about taking the position of saying "Leave the options open for the adult rational actors" that it requires gross emotional manipulation to attempt to make me rethink. It's impossible to make hard-and-fast rules about important decisions like abortion (among other things) that will comfortably fit every situation, so it's better to let the actors in that situation decide for themselves, without running crude emotional appeals and other coercive tactics on them.

If you have a problem with abortion, don't have one. Leave the rest of us the hell out of it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at some of the anti-choice crowd, I wonder why anyone would want to fuck them in the first place.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Hecate said...


Down during Clinton.

Up during Bush.

All the true anti-abortionists need to know.


8:35 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

Funny how having your choices "free of the stench of force and slavery" makes decision-making a lot easier, isn't it?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Rachel Luxemburg said...

*hug* thanks for sharing your story.

1:51 AM  
Blogger karmic said...

Nice smack down. I have my own troll but he seems to have vanished since the elections. All the more better since he kept telling me how the dems could not win an election.
Now that we won, he is in his rathole I guess.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yikes, i was think'n my answer would have been no too. i was born perfectly healthy to my biological mother, who i knew only all too well.

which is not so much a crack on mom (now dead), but thanx for an interesting perspective on a subject i have sometimes felt conflicted about.

having a daughter sort of leveled my doubts. it has to be a woman's choice.

12:11 PM  
Blogger olvlzl said...

I'll never know. And that actually keeps me up at night.

What a dilema. But whatever else can be said about it, you share no responsiblity for any of it. None of it was your decision so you can't hold any kind of responsiblity for it.

Your last two lines are all that an uninvolved party needs to consider about someone elses body. Women own their bodies, unless they have control of them then their bodies are not theirs.

Anyone who is opposed to abortion being legal should have it brought to their attention that they are not calling for a situation in which there will be no abortions, they are calling for a situation in which the abortions that happen will be illegal and dangerous instead of safe and legal. They do share in the responsiblity for that fact, their acts in making abortion illegal makes them by an act of informed will responsible for the injuries and deaths of women who for some reason have an abortion in less than safe conditions. Those who make contraceptive information and methods unavailable also share responsiblity for forcing many women to have to make those choices. Many anti-choice people gain a double share of responsiblity that way.

By the way, congratulations on the troll. My blog is so moribund that my infmous two-word troll left.

8:34 PM  
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10:18 PM  

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