My wife had occasion yesterday to accompany a friend to an abortion clinic. The only part of the experience that bothered her was that, “by law, they said”, the mother had to be offered an ultrasound of the fetus. Mind you, she didn’t actually have to look at it; she had to be offered, and could decline, which she did.
Now, I understand how such a law could come to be. There are lifebots out there who would say, “If they only see that it’s a BAYBEE, they won’t go through with it, because BAYBEEZ are cute ‘n adorable.” True enough, but I’ve seen early-term ultrasounds, and if you can tell that’s a baby, you have more imagination than I have. And they probably figure this is pretty harmless, and not really an infringement of anyone’s liberty, though it does mean that the clinic has to have ultrasound equipment, which maybe they wouldn’t need otherwise (though having it is certainly a good idea). Conservatives figure that none of their laws infringe liberty, because they’re the pro-liberty party.
Maybe my conservative friends would see things differently if we applied this strategy to Blue Team issues. What if, every time you bought a gun or even ammunition, you had to be shown pictures of what that particular caliber does to human flesh, because, really, you might be ignorant of that, since most of us have never shot anyone. “Yes, the .308 is pretty gross; wouldn’t you rather buy a .22?” Or what if fast-food milk shakes came with a picture of a diabetic’s gangrenous extremities printed right on the cup? Let’s not even discuss cigarettes. We’re all dolts, and need to be scared into taking care of ourselves… Yes, life could become one big shop safety/driver’s ed film.
It doesn’t help my opinion of this that I’m so squishily pro-life as to be barely pro-life at all. It’s a really hard sell to convince me that “There ought to be a law” about darn near anything. But I have no way of proving with reasonable certainly that the fetus is not a human being, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that it is a human being, and if government exists for anything, it’s to protect the lives of human beings. That doesn’t offer a lot of wiggle room. One could argue, I suppose, that fetuses don’t enjoy the protections of citizenship (since the unborn are by definition not native-born), but that doesn’t get you anywhere; if it’s OK to kill people because they aren’t citizens, then let’s grab our baseball bats, go down to the WalMart parking lot and bash us some Mexicans.
Worse, in this particular case, I can’t help seeing the abortion as a goodness. This is a person with a messed up life, who has been crawling out of the messed-up part and can’t afford to slide back. The child would be a born cheesesucker. I really can’t gin up any judgement whatsoever. When Rusty tried to bait me about it, I said, “She’s going to Hell anyway; one fewer sin isn’t going to change that.” She was taken aback a bit, mostly I think because her ex was in the habit of telling her she’s going to Hell. But I’m sorry, pagan girls are held to a looser standard than pillars of the Lutheran Church like George Tiller. I don’t approve; I certainly wouldn’t want to pay for it. But I have absolutely zero interest in hiring some guns to stop her from doing it. Does that make me an evil baby-killer-enabling person? I don’t know, and I don’t much care. Auntie Ayn would say, “Contradiction? Check your premises”, but I suspect she might not have much truck with some of the premises at work here. Given the track record, I think I’ll get better input from the Holy Spirit anyway. But I’m writing this because I have contradiction and uncertainty, and this one is in my face.