Sunday, April 20, 2008

Abortion as art

Warning to HGers: please do not read if sensitive to discussion of abortion. I'm about to lambaste someone.

My girlfriend Megan recently blogged about a woman at Yale who claimed to self-induce abortions as an art project.

This is what I wrote in her comments box.

As someone who volunteers with pregnant women whose pregnancies are life-threatening, many of whom contemplate aborting much-wanted babies and some of whom do abort against their true wills in order to stay alive, this makes me want to vomit.

I'm going to be blunt: I know what an abortion looks like, a real one at a Morgentaler clinic. It is NOT art. If you're pro-choice, it's a nasty surgical procedure. If you're pro-life, it's homicide (note I use the word "homicide," which means the killing of another human being, and not "murder", which has a different legal definition.)

If you haven't guessed, I consider abortion homicide. Full disclosure: For a full week (week 18 of gestation, to be exact) I considered killing my youngest child in the womb due to a terrifying and life-threatening pregnancy disease called hyperemesis gravidarum (for more info check out I'm holding that sleeping child, alive and well and 20 months old, in my arms right now as I type this.

I cannot stress how deeply I feel abortion is a subject where brutal honesty is necessary, no matter what you believe about it. And this kind of artsy-fartsy nonsense is nothing but pretense and lies.

An embryo or fetus is not menstrual blood and semen, but a living human organism with a system that is dependent yet distinct from its mother. Any scientist will tell you human life begins at conception, duh. So we need to cut the bullshit about this and be honest. We need to say: when is it OK to kill a defenceless human being? Is it ever OK?

My eventual decision was the disease which threatened my life may take both of us, but it wasn't taking just my daughter. It was the hardest decision of my life, choosing death or life together. I never got to a place where I had to reconsider; I found a treatment regimen that relieved most of the disease's effects. I won't judge a woman who chose to abort in order to live. I often spend my spare time mourning with her over the Internet.

But people like this woman, who has taken that week I spent on my bathroom floor wishing my daughter dead and made it into some kind of game, some school art project to cause scandal and attention? Yeah, I'm going to judge her. What a f*cking bitch.

*With apologies to those with sensitive ears, and to my Lord for my judgemental attitude. But I have to be honest, Lord, and I am very angry at this woman and her flippant nonsense. Trying to pray for her and failing utterly.*

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

For Ron Crawley

I don't remember the first time I met Ron, since I was a small child, but I certainly remember the first time we "re-met." I was 18 years old and in Ottawa for my first year of journalism school at Carleton University. My dad had called ahead to let Ron and his wife Col know I was moving to Ottawa.

Ron called my small residence room and invited me out to supper."We'll have Thai food," he said; you could hear his smile down the phone line. I was a picky eater as a child, but when he explained there was peanut sauce in most of the dishes, I was game.

From that first supper on, Ron and Col took me under their wings and showed me the wonders of a medium-sized yet fairly diverse Canadian city. I ate my first Indian and Vietnamese with them; I visited museums alongside them. I learned more about the labour movement and unionism and philosophy at their dinner table than I learned even in my parent's home, where union was a common and friendly word.

Ron and Col gave me my first computer; they lent me books and taught me words and talked endlessly with me about the press and its role in a free and democratic society.

Ron always believed in the goodness of people and in the power of thought, speech and writing. He reinforced my upbringing of looking at the positive side of things. He always made me feel what I had to say was important, even when he was correcting a false assumption or a hyperbolic idea.

And he always had a quick and ready smile.

My life would be a poorer and less interesting one without having known him, and I think of him almost every time I see a picket sign or pick up a set of chopsticks.

The world is a little less bright now that he is no longer in it. I'm so sorry, Col, for your loss. And Dad: I know you loved him and I'm so sorry your good friend is gone. But the people we love never truly die if we continue to remember them.