I am a very jaded man who has lost faith in all political systems of modern mankind. All I see is corporate oligarchs dressed up as capitalism or communism or anything it thinks it can get away with, like a transvestite that’s had too much to drink. From ragtag warlord drug gangs terrorizing neighborhoods halfway across the world to the municipal building that stands behind my bus stop where I used to vote, none of the ideas mankind has devised to police itself seem to work. I tire of waiting for an idea that will work, and I tire of watching people pretend their pet ideas do work when they plainly do not. It’s like when a sports fan boasts about their favorite team that hasn’t won anything in ten years. Or ever. You can’t do anything about it, but you really wish they’d stop going on and on about it, cuz they just look silly. Wearing the jersey and ball cap and lucky socks to every game doesn’t help either.
Despite my pessimism however, I am impressed and inspired by the efforts of fellow Texan, state senator Wendy Davis, democrat from Fort Worth. For thirteen hours on June 25th 2013, she stood in Austin Texas and filibustered, stalling an abortion bill that the GOP tried to stonewall into law through a special session finagled by Governor Rick Perry. Now, for the record, this only postponed the inevitable. Perry will finagle another special session and the GOP will push this crapola bill into law. Davis hasn’t thwarted anyone, but she gave it all she had and I couldn’t ask for anything more from a civil servant. I like to imagine Ann Richards and Molly Ivins woulda loved Wendy Davis. Hell, Molly Ivins woulda supplied Wendy Davis with a catheter.
The conservative republican anti-abortion argument goes something like this: Abortion clinics are dangerous places for mothers and babies. In fact they seem designed to cause mothers to no longer have babies. This is a totally alien concept. Why wouldn’t anyone want to contribute to the seven billion plus people on this planet we already haven’t the slightest idea how to manage? Some of these mothers are not smart enough to realize they are mothers, so the Texas government has to step in and think for them. This laissez-faire government when it comes to corporations wanting to keep large stores of combustible chemicals near schools and rest homes suddenly wants to protect unborn babies from their own mothers.
These mothers don’t know what’s best for them and their babies, and the federal gov’t won’t protect the babies, so these old men in suits in Austin Texas want to decide for these mommies what is best for their unborn children. However, these old men in suits can’t legally bomb abortion clinics or shoot abortion doctors in cold blood. Pesky laws. This means they have to make it difficult to reach abortion clinics. Making abortion clinics more difficult for people to keep open or keep in rural areas where poor people need them is the same mentality some parents use when they take the cookie jar and put it on a high shelf so their child cannot reach it. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s for their own good. Only, these women are not children and abortion is not a cookie jar. This doesn’t hurt rich people much by the way. The legislation enacted really only affects poor people. Rich girls can always fly to LA or OK if they can’t find an abortion clinic in Texas that’ll take their rich daddy’s credit cards.
The women affected by this are mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies, else they wouldn’t need to contemplate abortion in the first place. We should make available all pertinent information so they can make an informed decision. However, that decision should ultimately be theirs to make. Not old men in suits. Not even the guy who knocked her up. If a woman chooses to seek counsel with these people that’s her choice, but ultimately the decision should rest with her. And no fair using behavioral conditioning or peer pressure to make her change her mind. Am I the only one who saw Rosemary’s Baby?
Here’s the argument no conservative republican anti-abortionist wants to hear: The unborn baby is inside another human being. I should not be able to decide what happens inside you. I certainly don’t want you to decide what happens inside me, especially if you are an old white male who rubs elbows with the likes of Governor Rick Perry.
The anti-abortion argument is a fail, because no matter how well-intentioned it pretends to be, it is ultimately about robbing from women the right to decide what happens inside their own bodies. Use of the unborn child is just a front. Anti-abortion proponents will claim to be defending the rights of the unborn. They are pretending to exercise rights of potential people. These potential people aren’t people yet. They don’t have rights. They have the potential to someday get rights maybe. Potential people can’t exercise their rights, any more than sentient unicorns that can speak English can exercise their rights. Maybe a unicorn will become real in the future. It’s not likely. It’s not even really possible but even if it were, until it’s a real unicorn, that is a potential unicorn. It’s not an actual unicorn. It doesn’t have any rights.
Unborn fetuses have a lot of obstacles between its potential and its actuality, and abortion is really only a small factor in that list of obstacles. Miscarriages happen all the time and we still really don’t know what causes over half of them. We are learning slowly, and can improve an unborn fetus’ chances in some areas, but we can’t make miscarriages illegal. They happen. Shit happens. It’s terrible, but fate and the universe and whatever god or gods you may or may not believe in cause abortions too. We can’t police the universe. If it doesn’t want you to live, you ain’t gonna defeat the universe.
This brings a disturbing thought into the picture though. Abortion is really only a small factor. Why are those in positions of power and influence even fighting this battle, when we should be spending more resources on learning how to save the fetuses that mommies and daddies really do want, but don’t make it cuz the universe is a wiener. Why? The answer is simple: power.
Anti-abortionists are anti-choice. They want to take choice away from others and decide for those people what’s best for them, because this increases their power. This is power theft. The anti-abortionists in positions of power and influence want to act on behalf of potential people. This means they not only get to have their own rights but also the perceived rights of all potential people inside pregnant women. If left unchecked, this potential power of the unborn can be wielded by unscrupulous lobbyists and politicians who could get away with any crazy decision so long as they are able to convince people’s hearts that they are acting on behalf of those unborn children who can’t decide for themselves.
A twenty week old fetus doesn’t even know what a cookie jar is yet, and conservative politicians and lobbyists want to stick their hand inside the puppet head of that unborn fetus. Speak on its behalf. Make decisions as if they were stand-ins for all these unborn babies. They want to turn daughter against mother inside the womb. They want to do this on a grand scale. They want to pull one heart string and with that, wield the perceived power of every sacred sperm and euphoric egg from El Paso to Texarkana; eventually from LA to DC. No man in a suit should be allowed to wield that kind of power.
If (IF) an unborn fetus has any rights (I said IF!), the only person who should wield that unborn fetus’ rights is the woman carrying it around. This really scares old men.
Imagine if legislation were passed (and Governor Perry would NEVER allow this but just imagine) that allowed a woman to vote once for herself and then again for every child she has given birth to which is currently still under voting age, then she’d get to vote again once for each potential child she could have. Why, it would be chaos! Old white men in suits would no longer have more power than women who can control the fate of humanity. XX b4 XY, remember?
When Wendy Davis stood in Austin Texas for thirteen hours facing old white men in suits who think they know better than her what’s best for her vagina, she did not stand there just for her vagina. She did not stand there just for a handful of pregnant women. She didn’t stand there just for pro abortion activists or special interest groups. She did not stand there just for feminists. She did not stand there just for women. She stood there for you, whoever you are, even if you don’t have a vagina of your own.
Wendy Davis stood for any man in a suit who is anti-abortion, because power corrupts, and wielding the perceived power of unborn fetuses can potentially corrupt absolutely. If taken out of the hands of potential mothers and combined into the power of a select few behind closed doors, the power of the unborn can dwarf the power of the living voters. Think of the children!
Maybe a potential mother will make a decision upon which you disagree. Tough. Grow a pair. Get over yourself. It’s her body. It’s her vagina. It’s her unborn child. After the unborn child becomes born and self-sustaining, that is an entirely different argument, but so long as it needs mommy to survive, the potential of that unborn child belongs to that unborn child’s mother. Period. Possession is nine tenths of the law. Arguing for that last tenth of the law does not win you any woman’s vagina.
The spirits of Molly Ivins and Ann Richards live on in Wendy Davis. Kudos, ma’am. You make me proud to be a Texan in this moment, tho Perry will make me second guess that when he rears his ugly head on this again. I might have to reconsider my opinion about voting.. I said ‘might.’ Don’t git cocky, Ms Davis.