My seven-year-old is sitting at the table eating her dinner and talking to the baby – in Spanish. “Hola, Baby. That’s how you say ‘hi,’ in Spanish. Me llamo Hermana. That means, ‘my name is Sister.’” Baby is sitting in the Bumbo and talking to Sister – in Baby. Times like these, I can’t wait to add more kids to the family. And these times seem to happen more and more often lately. I can’t get enough of my kids loving each other, and it’s hard to imagine having enough kids, though I’m sure I’ll reach the threshold eventually. My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and in that time we’ve produced 5 endlessly fascinating and entertaining little critters. We vote Republican except when we vote to the right of Republicans, we go to church every week, we don’t work or shop on Sunday, we tithe, we home school, we obsess about values and freedom, we don’t get cable, we abhor abortion. We have all the trappings of avid pro-lifers. And yet, I’m starting to drift to the pro-choice camp.

The first time I really thought twice about the issue was when I saw a graphic of a pregnant woman. The woman’s body was shaded gray and labeled, “your body,” while the unborn babe was shaded in red with the label, “not your body.” It occurred to me at that moment that if an unborn child has rights separate from his mother, his rights cannot be protected without violating the rights of his mother. Abortion cannot be prevented without violating the mother’s right to bodily integrity. And if governments seek to protect the rights of unborn children, they must act in proxy for the unborn.

What happens when a doctor decides a vaginal birth after cesarean is a violation of the child’s right to life? In this country, a parent cannot deny her child necessary medical care. What about when the police are notified that a woman is planning a home birth against medical advice (in most states, all home births are against medical advice)? What happens when a woman has a miscarriage or still birth? Will authorities investigate? And what happens when word gets around that a certain obgyn will perform a dilation and curretage before the miscarriage rather than after (offer illegal abortions with a veneer of medical necessity)? Will he and his patients be interrogated or subject to surveillance? How can law enforcement investigate the charges without violating the patients’ privacy? How can any abortion ban be enforced without grossly violating a woman’s right to the most basic control of her own body? Will there be government-mandated pregnancy tests at bars and smoke shops? Will doctors be required to report suspicious miscarriages to law enforcement? Doctors are legally bound to report child abuse, as are teachers and day-care providers and Boy Scout leaders. If a pregnant woman’s unborn baby is a person with all the rights of a person, will mandated reporters be required to inform Child Protective Services when an obviously pregnant woman is no longer pregnant, or when she participates in activities that could be dangerous for her baby? All of these issues bother me deeply. When I have brought them up to pro-lifers, they tell me that, 1. it won’t be like that. Women’s privacy will be safeguarded – somehow, and parental rights will be respected. And when pressed, they say that, 2. maybe an outright abortion ban would violate women’s rights, but laws limiting abortion are really good.

The problem with that promise of respect for women’s privacy and parental rights is that parental rights are already so much dross and chaff under the oppressive heel of big government. We’ve all seen the stories in the news. For Pete’s sake, I have several of my own. We tried to take our first daughter home from the hospital before the Almighty Hospital Staff gave their seal of approval and the nurses CALLED THE POLICE to stop us. They told us officers would meet us at the hospital entrance if we dared to leave the recovery floor with our daughter. I’ve had a nurse tell me that refusing to test my third daughter for sickle cell anemia (a genetic disease that only affects African-Americans) was illegal. And she wasn’t making it up. The state of CA mandates certain newborn screening tests. This stuff happens every day. Do a Google search.

And as for privacy, if you didn’t know it already, I have news for you. You have no privacy from the government. All those forms and questionnaires you fill out at the pediatrician’s office? Guess what happens to them? They go to the state for, “research.” The bureaucrats will tell you it’s all made anonymous. But guess who makes it anonymous? It goes to the state with your name on it. Don’t even get me started on the information you have to give up to get a birth certificate for your baby in CA. Let’s just say it gets very up-close and physically personal, and it has your address, your full name and your SS number on it, Mom. In case you’re wondering why you’ve never seen all your personal details in the paperwork, it’s because your doctor fills it out, and the nurse only hands you the page that requires your signature.

I am not interested in giving the government even more excuses to interfere with my personal life and my parenting style. There already exists an unholy alliance between the government and the medical industry. They’ve created a river of information flowing steadily from our most private lives into bureaucrats’ databases. Just imagine that river flooding its banks, and you’ll have a good idea what would happen to women if an abortion ban was made law.

Laws limiting abortion have the exact same problems. Are you really OK with a bunch of (mostly male) politicians making laws about your interaction with your obgyn? Do you really think your state legislature should have a role in deciding when you are required to have a vaginal ultrasound? I only ask because that’s what the state legislature in Kansas decided was a necessary prerequisite for an abortion, and it took a referendum to overturn that law.

I will advocate all day long for women and doctors to be civilized human beings and refrain from acting like feral cats that eat their young. But I draw the line at government intervention in the most private and sacred occurrence in a woman’s life.

And I hope Todd Akin dies in a fire.

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