Posts Tagged ‘anti-abortion’

Mississippi’s “Conceived in Rape” Tour

May 31, 2011 4 comments

by Noah Lugeons

Since my childhood, abortion has been the very definition of a “hot button” topic. Throughout my memory it has been the singular issue which has spurned the most disagreement and has been debated with the most ferocity. Religion ran a close second, of course, but too few atheists bring the subject up for it to be a true contender.

But through it all there was at least some sense of civility. Even in the most vehement disputes some exception was made for the more extreme circumstances. Even most ardent opposers of abortion rights would agree to exceptions in cases of rape or incest or in instances when the health of the mother was in danger.

No more. The “personhood” movement that is sweeping through the bible belt seeks to do away with that last vestige of civility by offering up amendments to state constitutions that would give full legal rights to zygotes. To put to rest and lingering doubts that they might have any sliver of compassion, the group “Mississippi Personhood” is sponsoring a “Conceived in Rape” tour.

The tour will feature one Rebecca Kiessling who was, predictably, conceived in rape.

Despite having never met her and having very little familiarity with her work, I feel confident in saying that Kiessling is a revolting bitch. If you doubt my assessment, a quick trip to her website should convince you. She is a dedicated anti-abortion activist and her whole shtick seems to be cashing in on the traumatic circumstance of her conception.

On her home page she announces:

Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, “I think your mother should have been able to abort you.”?  It’s like saying, “If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.”

Yes. Of course that is what they’re saying. Thus, those of us who believe that every woman should have the right to get an abortion are clearly saying “If I had my way, everyone would be dead right now”, which laudably sums up the goals of the pro-choice lobby.

But again, Kiessling is a rampaging bitch. I suppose that when people say they wish her mother had been able to abort her it is truly because they wish she had personally been aborted. I shouldn’t be so quick to label her conclusion as bullshit.

She continues:

And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life “except in cases of rape” because I absolutely would have been aborted if  it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts.

I’m not sure how many people I’ve met that are “Pro-Choice” except in cases of rape, but let’s continue on as though that part of her statement made sense.

Note that she says she “absolutely” would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan at the time. Her mother was raped and did not want to carry the child to term. Of course, with an over-inflated sense of self-worth, Kiessling assumes that her inherent worth makes it clear that the world is better off with her than it would be without her. She assumes that earth was one babbling Christian extremist shy of perfection at the time.

But there’s also a pretty deep insult to logic in this whole notion. We can’t go back in time and replay how the world might have gone if Kiessling’s mother had been allowed to abort her unborn child. Of course, I don’t know the first thing about the situation, but we’re not really talking about this one situation. She says herself that she wants to “put a face” on this phenomenon. So realistically, we shouldn’t be weighing a world with or without Rebecca Kiessling, but rather we should explore a world with or without baby X, conceived in rape.

Perhaps a mother who was otherwise destined to finish school, get a degree and cure some disease was thrown off the path to success when a brutal assault left her with a child she did not want and could not care for. Little matter in Kiessling’s world. Perhaps a mother who was raped at a young age might have been a great mother at an older age but because of the financial difficulties of her first (forced) child, she was unwilling to have another.

I could break out a thousand more examples and the opposition could break out a thousand theoreticals in the other direction. In the end we would be no closer to solving anything. The very exercise is insane. Rebecca Kiessling believes that people who believe a woman should be able to abort a child in cases of rape would change their mind if we only put a face on the “victim”.

I propose she take a dose of her own medicine. How about if and when Mississippi ever enacts their medieval law, she can have the job telling all the underage rape victims that they can’t have abortions. Perhaps she should meet the real victims before trying to cash in on her mother’s personal tragedy.

If you’re in Mississippi and you’d like to remind this abortion that should have happened what a foul and despicable person she is, you might be able to get tickets to one of her stops. But get your tickets quick. Events at the Trinity Baptist Church in Southhaven (on Swinnea just north of Goodman) tend to sell out fast.


Even the Brainless are People in Alabama

by Noah Lugeons

According to the Alabama state senate, you don’t need a brain to be considered a person in their state. You don’t need a beating heart or a functional nervous system… hell, you don’t even need to be multicellular.

SB 301 passed the state senate by more than a 3-1 margin yesterday. The bill, which still has to pass in the House, would redefine the term “person” to include zygotes. In the bills own words, “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization and implantation into the womb.”

This is actually a slight back pedal from the original wording, which would have defined personhood as beginning at fertilization with no requisite implantation. Luckily, they compromised to a position that is only 98.945% insane.

This is, of course, only one in a long list of anti-abortion measures that various red states seek to implement on this legislative calender. In a brazen attempt to fire up the base of their opposition, Republicans rode to majorities nationwide by promising fiscal responsibility and then used that victory to claim a mandate against women’s reproductive rights.

The fact that such a law is scientifically untenable and reduces a complex ethical dilemma into kindergarten logic left the senators unphased. In a 23-7 vote, they decided it was alright to classify abortion as murder. The bill makes no provisions for rape, incest or the safety of the mother.

It is also, of course, political masturbation. It likely won’t pass in the house and even if it did it would be quickly struck down even by today’s conservative leaning Supreme Court. It is a theatrical and inhumane way of courting religio-tards. It is a mere spectacle of Jesosity. And, of course, while the state senate pisses away resources debating the rights of the unicellular, the people’s work goes undone.

There is, of course, strong opposition to this bill from within the state. But the strongest opposition comes from the voices who say that the bill doesn’t go far enough.  While there are certainly progressive voices within the state battling this draconian misogyny, they are being drowned out by those who say that life begins at fertilization, not implantation.  They’ve gone so far as to cite extremely rare cases where women carry babies to term outside of the uterus.

But I say why stop there? Why should we wait for fertilization? I say that, in the words of history’s greatest comedy troupe, every sperm is sacred. I say that every thirteen year old boy with a bottle of hand lotion and an internet connection is a murderer. Hell, with the advent of cloning, every cell on the body has the potential to become a human being so shouldn’t scratching at a sunburn count as murder as well?

I think it’s safe to say that, as a general rule, if your position on an issue is so indefensible that it requires redefining what a human being is, you’re on the wrong side of the issue.