Saturday, September 25, 2004

Woes and Choice

As part of penance for a life that oftentimes revolves around criticizing the lack of political involvement that most folks have, I have undertaken the responsibility of one political event a month. This event is usually a rally, demonstration, or, lately, vigils, but I consider just about everything political. When I voted in the primaries, I checked my political involvement off the list for September. I would consider going to a Michael Moore movie plenty political enough, supposing you actually talked about it with others and thought about it critically. The idea is that lots of things qualify as "political events." Today I went to ANOTHER political event for the month of September. Good for me. If any political scientists want to poll me, I'm active. Anyway, my roommate and I went to see a show put on at a theater five blocks from our house today (that we didn't know existed - shame, SHAME on us) entitled "Words of Choice."

It was a compilation of about ten or so different sketches related to abortion. Some were quite moving, some were funny, and all were a reminder of just what has happened in the last thirty years. I wasn't yet born when Roe v. Wade was decided, but I was born for the Casey decision and I've seen the movement fade and fade. Pro-lifers have taken over the airwaves, they've taken over the side of the road, and they've taken over our judicial branch.

But now I have a new spin on things. The reason we see all these anti-abortion signs is because those organizations have nothing better to do than to put up billboards. The choice folks have to pay for stuff that relates to actually providing services for women. You just don't see those anti-abortion folks doing that. As a matter of fact, one of the skits touched on just that subject. Some anti-abortion people convince a woman to get an abortion, but then when the child comes, they are nowhere to be found. And that's just it. We support women through whatever decision they make. And the other side doesn't have to do that. So they have money to get billboards. We give abortions to women who are too shamed to say anything about it.

This show, while it had moments of levity, made me sad. I was sad that there were no more than twenty of us in the audience. I was sad that thirty years later, we're still talking about abortion as if it would be better if it were illegal. It didn't work in pre-1970s. It didn't work with prohibition of alcohol. It doesn't work with drugs. But some people seem to think it will work with this issue. Crazy. And sad. And sad for the single issue voters out there who can't get over this. And sad for women who are merely receptacles for fetuses. And sad for all those women who don't get information and know their rights. And sad for babies who are born into unloving homes. And sad for babies who die when there could be loving homes. And sad for women whose children die. And sad for the folks who get blown up in abortion clinic bombings. And sad for people who arrange those bombs and kill doctors and nurses. And sad for people who harrass patients outside abortion clinics. And sad for doctors who can't tell people what they do at cocktail parties because they do *gasp* abortions. And sad for all of us. Because we can't realize what we're doing to our world by arguing about all of this.

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