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Postpartum Suppression

As I’ve written on before, I grew up in a Roman-Catholic household. The middle of three children and the only son, I was born in Kentucky, and my immediate family moved to Texas just before I turned 3, with the next dozen or so years spent bouncing around as many towns and twice as many schools, my parents taking us wherever the work was. Most of us later returned to Kentucky when I was almost 15 and for the most part already finished with school. I think it helps to understand where we are coming from, in order to understand what happens next. For me it was a lot of instability, a lot of uncertainty. There was never money, and while everyone openly craves money because money can pay for an awful lot no matter the cost, truth had a different price, one I was willing to afford.

My maternal grandmom had flown from their small family farm in Henpeck, Kentucky, up to Washington, DC, to participate in national Right to Life marches in the 1980s and 1990s, sometimes accompanied by my mom and my mom’s twin sister. Who were the middle of 15 children raised by my grandmom and forest ranger granddad, though all were grown at this time, counting among their number everything from university professors to crackheads. One year, my grandmom was a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer award for her own work in central Kentucky on behalf of the Pro-Life movement. Around this time, my elder sister, Rebecca, attended several demonstrations outside clinics in Louisville where abortions were being conducted in the mid-1990s, but was so disgusted by the actions of other protesters that she felt compelled to cease participation entirely. My grandmom was nothing like those protesters however. In her long and productive years I doubt there was a person anywhere who had a negative thing to say about her. She was that rare, true example of what most Catholics claim to be, but just never really prove themselves to be. She was an extraordinarily holy woman, but the last in the world to even remotely consider beating anyone over the head with it. She loved to listen to the life stories of anybody she encountered, not to attempt to win them over to her way of thinking, but because she recognized that everybody can learn something from anybody. She had her stern moments, don’t get me wrong, but what hurt so much more was to ever see in her any disappointment, no matter how mild.

A great example of this concerns a separate story from back in the Nelson County of the 1970s. Misfits from states scattered about the nation came to the area, looking to build what was basically a spiritual but not religious hippy commune. The socially conservative locals were outraged, convinced that druggie homosexual Communist outsiders sought to burn their town to the ground. My grandmom, contrary to her religion and her politics, fought repeatedly for these people she did not actually know, and even challenged the local newspaper, arguing that different perspectives can enrich any community, provided that community can drop its hangups or anything else that kept people from helping each other. The group came and, maybe a decade later folded, with not one incident of druggie homosexual Communists burning anything. Other than some marijuana, which was already plentiful in the Bluegrass before those characters were even born. Similarly, while her politics and her religion favored the Pro-Life movement, her participation really had jack to do with either, but more simply from the basis that all life must be preserved without exception or argument. Nobody should require reasons to save lives, yet just about everybody will go out of their ways to rationalize why some lives matter more than others.

At a ridiculously young age, purely out of my own curiosity, I read Right to Live, Right to Die, authored by C. Everett Coop. He had himself performed thousands of abortions over several decades, one of the first big pioneers of the procedure in the USA, before having a dramatic change of heart. It was from this book I swiped the idea of offering the protein of unwanted pregnancies to the famished of the world. In spite of this, I maintained a middle of the road approach to the issue, the same with state-rendered executions, as I earnestly tried to find logic from all sides to the debates, which often resulted in contradictory exceptions that only a full life could eventually assuage and measure out. Like my grandmom, I was eager to engage discussion, especially with strangers, even though I have always been pretty damned antisocial. I would talk to people only because I knew I might learn something from their own experiences, good or bad.

In the late 90s, I was living and working in Worcester, Massachusetts. On one occasion, two female friends of mine, senior-level college students, asked me to accompany the both of them together to a special place where they could each undergo abortions. I was not an advocate for the procedures they wanted, but I was willing to help them nonetheless, because I felt it was their choice, right or wrong. Neither their families or their boyfriends knew anything about it, as far I was made aware. Immediately afterwards, to reward themselves for their hard choices, they promptly dragged me to a lingerie store in a mall somewhere in Boston, where they then jointly spent upwards of 400 bucks on delectable treats for their boyfriends. Surprisingly, not the weirdest day of my life although I would not appreciate its many offerings of irony, of perversions, until years after the fact.

But about one year later, while still working and living in the same woo-rat city, a friend of theirs who I myself did not really know too well had asked me to accompany her to a similar clinic. She had no significant other, and did not wish for her family or friends to learn about the ordeal but still she needed some manner of support. I went with her, always eager to help, but at the clinic I learned that this was in fact her second abortion since she had started college. Months later, she again asked if I would accompany her for moral support, to what would be her third abortion though she was not yet at the junior-level of her collegiate schooling. Without responding I turned and walked away from her, as I was beginning to form a picture in my head. All 3 of these young ladies were attending a Jesuit college, the sort which ran for something like 30 grand per semester 20 years ago, yet contrary to the dogma of their faith they were positively cosmopolitan about their multiple abortions. In the cases of sexual violence or medical emergencies, women seeking abortion are branded as sinners and criminals, while in cases of abortions due to reluctant side effects from a night on the college keg scene or cheating on spouses, all was perfectly kosher. What I realized was that nowhere in the Pro-Life movement, in no voice among the public right to lifers, was there noticeable effort at acknowledging the ease in which those with wealth undergo such a procedure, with all efforts from rallies to legislation instead focused on the lower class keeping to the dogma and carrying every pregnancy to full term no matter the origin story. There is never a Planned Parenthood uptown.

The social stigma simply does not exist.

And this was likely the case back throughout western civilization, with those who have resources enabled to quietly sweep under the rug any and all undesirable inconveniences, whereas the working class and impoverished are expected to continue stocking the faithfully following flocks of the churches and the expendable murderers of the armies and the taxable commodities of the governance empowering it all. The affordability of what these ladies underwent to remove their accidents is publicly unobserved and from what I saw, laughable, whereas in urban areas rape victims resort to coat-hangers in back-alley ordeals because they have not the means to afford the right routes.

One on one, in all other respects I had no problems with any of these ladies. But what they were all doing was wrong, and the system which entertained their private preferences was wrong, as rationalizing the taking of a life, any life, is always wrong. That the same standards did not apply across class structures made it even worse. It proved to me that “right to life” was brimming with hypocrisy, explicitly in favor for the rich. And that the same applied to those empowered feminists and social justice warriors publicly in favor of abortion as a civil right, with their arrogance in thinking that their bad choices in careless though consensual sex can fit under the same definition as those surviving rape, or caught in life-and-death emergencies along the lines of random car crashes or the nastier medical surprise conditions. Those who absolutely had no say in their own predicaments, especially when going without resource to cover the financial burdens pushed upon them unequally. If either side has any concern for building real equality in this society, then the law cannot and must not be used in their aid. If a government is needed to inform the masses of what is right and what is wrong, then for-profit politicians will have final say over the specifics. Right or wrong, it must be a personal choice, with neither rewards or punishment to follow by laws executed to service personal preferences of strangers over others. Anyone must feel at liberty to make good choices or bad choices. They can choose to lie, choose to steal, and choose to kill, even killing their own unborn, but hand in hand with that must come the willingness to accept the consequences that result from those choices. Killers deserve to go to prison more than anybody but bankers, so in the cases of abortion stemming from non-voluntary circumstances, like rape and emergency, wherever possible science must step up to provide alternatives. Perhaps, consider early extraction, with all trimesters to be finished the same way that test tube babies are grown. I imagine that this or something comparable would be much easier to perform than full-on In vitro fertilization, and safer for the mother than abortion, so the reality that it is not commonplace makes me suspicious. What authorities have the pull to prevent this angle of R&D from happening, but the same high offices of politics and religion supposedly so concerned with the sanctity of life?

I have no wish to tell women what to do with their bodies, but for the sake of virtue should they inform themselves the truth of their actions or inactions, because favoring a fantasy over a reality leads to self-destruction. Women suffering a circumstance outside their choosing, as opposed to suffering their own poor judgment, should be enabled to escape any moral or social stigma with political and religious hangups thusly dropped. That is equality, everyone receiving the full weight of ramifications for their own choices with no get out of jail free cards, with those suffering from actions which they had no choice in permitted some degree of peace. What is offered currently instead by both abortion opponents and abortion proponents is that victims and victimizers are lumped together, either to assist the convenience which victimizers want by wrongly awarding them the sympathies earned by victims, or to make even more traumatic what the victims must endure by wrongly conveying their traumas as being as self-induced as the actions of the victimizers. Nobody should be praised or condemned by government for the actions of others, and the government of a functioning democracy should concern itself with neither easing or expanding troubles for any member of the public simply for what any other member of the public would like to be real. Killing unborn babies should always be avoidable, without exception or argument. If through scientific achievement we can figure out how to make insert random pop diva’s ass bigger than her ego, then through scientific achievement can we also figure out how to save the tadpoles conceived without unilateral support. And we can do it without further injuring the physical or emotional well-being of the biological mothers. No months of constant reminder, no painful labor of childbirth, and no legal obligations to retain custody. Instead of lancing the leech, sort out how to safely remove it and let it feed somewhere less demanding, like in the company of one of those weirdos who just loves leeches. Not the morning after pill but the morning after repeal, with all parties left alive to find their own life stories.

Alternately, the casual murder by free spirits who just don’t want to be mothers, must be observed for what it truly is. Science provided, you can avoid motherhood without killing anything, unless, like your class status, your empowerment is dependent on destroying low-hanging fruits. In which case all I ask is to stop kidding yourself about the act.

Which is precisely what nobody is seeking, because nobody really wants equality or justice or anything of the sort. Every asshole prefers the fantasy where they are not the ones creating problems, that sometimes destruction is ever an alright thing if it erases evidence that the chosen fantasy is not real, as witnessed in USA foreign policy the world over. I’ll take truth, as I can’t pull one over on myself. I’m just not dumb enough to fall for it.