Most of you know how much I like Andrew Sullivan, and I’m not a fanatic about abortion either way. I’ll never have one, but I think it is none of my damned business what other people do with their medical decisions. I’m comfortable with our current law, which allows for people who dislike abortion to never have to have one. With that in mind, reading this from Sullivan just really irritated me:
I am immensely grateful to those readers who have shared such personal, painful experiences with such candor and open hearts. I have to say that I remain somewhat shaken by the emails – many of which we didn’t publish. They reminded me of the human beings behind these tragedies, and forced me to reassess my own certainties and beliefs. I still cannot in good conscience support these abortions; but I can offer my profound gratitude for the readers who have forced this blogger to see things I had not fully grasped so keenly before; and to return to them respect and empathy in the particulars, even while we may disagree in the abstract.
Instead of cinnamon and spice, our child came with technical terms like hydrocephalus and spina bifida. The spine, she said, had not closed properly, and because of the location of the opening, it was as bad as it got. What they knew — that the baby would certainly be paralyzed and incontinent, that the baby’s brain was being tugged against the opening in the base of the skull and the cranium was full of fluid — was awful. What they didn’t know — whether the baby would live at all, and if so, with what sort of mental and developmental defects — was devastating. Countless surgeries would be required if the baby did live. None of them would repair the damage that was already done.
I collapsed into Dave. It sounds so utterly naive now, but nobody told me that pregnancy was a gamble, not a guarantee. Nobody told me that what was rooting around inside me was a hope, not a promise. I remember thinking what a cruel joke those last months had been.
We met with a genetic counselor, but given the known as well as the unknown, we both knew what we needed to do. Though the baby might live, it was not a life that we would choose for our child, a child that we already loved. We decided to terminate the pregnancy. It was our last parental decision.
1.) What is wrong with your conscience that you “can’t support” their medical decision in these tragic cases?
2.) No one is asking you for your support, anyway. They are just asking that you help stop the people who are bombing the clinics where this is done, shooting the few doctors who provide these procedures, distributing wanted signs with rewards for their murder over pictures of them, hassling and stalking the people who work there, etc. In other words, they are asking that you treat the people threatening all of these people on a daily basis to be treated as they are- as a terror cell. But your support for their medical decision? Trust me, your moral support is the last damned thing on their mind.
3.) Andrew is wildly against single-payer. It’s socialist. Is he regularly donating to a charity that helps pay the millions of dollars of medical bills that multiple futile heart surgeries or multiple spinal surgeries these babies must endure before they die? Even the rosy scenario he posted yesterday states that only 50% might live in some diminished capacity after multiple surgeries. Or are these poor women supposed to not only give birth to a child that will probably never live a healthy day in its short life, in a risky childbirth that may kill the woman, but they also win hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills for futile procedures? Sorry about your luck, lady, but we have people’s consciences to think about here. Does Andrew think the only people going through this are upper East Side liberals with platinum health insurance and a six figure income and a disdain for human life? Is anyone in the pro-life community funding this for people? Or are they just too busy trading bomb-making tips with Operation Rescue?
What this country really needs right now is a serious case of mind your own damned business. We’ve turned into a nation of busybodies and scolds, and people just need to back off. And that goes for the people opposed to and trying to make illegal Andrew’s marriage, for people like Andrew who sound like they want the weight of the law to come down on people making tragic medical decisions that lead to late-term abortions, for the nutjobs who thought they knew better than Michael Schiavo how to handle his horrible situation with his wife, to the lunatics screaming “murder” when we do stem cell research, and so on.
I’m really sick of the crap, and I don’t mean to harsh completely on Andrew, because I sense he does struggle with these matters. But if Andrew’s conscience can’t support a late-term abortion, then right now he is sitting pretty, because under our current system, anyone who doesn’t want an abortion doesn’t have to have one.
And that really should be the end of that.