The Fall of the Magician (1565) by Pieter van der Heyden (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Magicians creates a world where you can be fooled. The pretty assistant and the flapping doves, the twirled wand and the cloth-covered table — all props to distract your eye from the hidden mirrors, the invisible thread, the palmed playing card.
That’s why what they do are called “magic tricks.” The audience is tricked. We’re supposed to be: it’s almost bad form to point out the illusion.
Bad form when contemplating an innocent entertainment such as magic.
When dealing with a key political issue, however, pointing out the deception is obligatory. The showy distractions need to be understood. Especially with a crucial societal issue such as abortion. For too long we’ve accepted the chimerical world of one side, the long-established artifice of those who would suppress women down for religious reasons.
You know all the magic props: the wide-eyed Gerber baby. The constantly cooed concern for “life.” And, most recently, “heartbeat” laws.
In reality, there are no babies: most abortions are done in the first trimester, when a fetus is the size of a watermelon seed. The supposed concern for life is a sham, beginning and ending with fetuses of women they’ll never meet. There’s no sympathy for those actually living.
And the “heartbeat” laws, such as that passed in Missouri on Friday, the latest in a string of states to ban abortion after about the sixth week of pregnancy, effectively banning it altogether, since most women then are just finding out they’re pregnant. There is no heartbeat: a fetus at that point has not developed a working circulatory system, never mind a heart. Calling whatever rudimentary spasm goes on in a fetus a “heartbeat” is like calling a brick a house.
Like unskilled magicians bobbling the coin as they pocket it, those opposed to women controlling their own bodies carelessly give away the game. The new Missouri law limits the punishments for abortion to doctors, not the women having the procedure.
Why? If these fetuses are people, and if destroying them is murder, then why not charge the women, too? In any other murder, they would be equal culprits, given that they conceived, facilitated and paid for the crime.
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I saw a video in one of the state legislatures (I've lost track of which state - there are so many now) where one legislator was asking one of the pro-life guys about in-vitro fertilized eggs. Do they count as a "person"? The pro-life guy declared that it wasn't life until it was implanted. So a fertilized egg in a dish is not a person, but once it's implanted it is? How's that for logic? This is not about life, it's about controlling women. They're keeping control of African Americans by making voting more and more difficult. Gotta keep control! We wouldn't want ladies and black people making decisions for themselves.ReplyDelete
By the way, in one state, I believe the "personhood" of a fetus would allow women to drive in the HOV lanes. If a woman claimed to be pregnant to use the commuter lane, how would a cop prove it? Are they going to start carrying pregnancy tests with them and forcing women to pee on the shoulder? Wouldn't surprise me in the least.
He complained that there was no one to punish.Delete
We can't be punishing men who own and work in IVF facilities!
The southern republicans who cry "Murder" about abortion sprang from a society with a casual disregard for life if it was a Black man fighting their prejudices. If men had to birth babies, free abortion clinics would outnumber Starbucks.Delete
I stand in support of all womens right to reproductive choice.ReplyDelete
As a pro-lifer, I expect that the mask will drop and legislators will criminalize women who have abortions and remove exceptions such as those for incest and rape. It will backfire for them just as the eighteenth amendment backfired for the WCTU. Abortion is not an issue which can be settled through laws and court decisions favorable to the pro-life cause. The reasons why women have abortions are not going to change just because it is banned. Instead, we ought to be doing everything we can to prevent unplanned pregnancies. We ought to be doing everything we can to give women alternatives to abortion. We ought to be doing everything we can to help take care of the babies both before and after birth. Let's de-politicize abortion and no longer let it be used as a way for politicians to raise money and get votes. Abortion ought to be safe and legal and rare.ReplyDelete
As a miracle baby (my parents married in April; I was born in June.) I'm of two minds about the abortion issue. It seems likely to me that had abortion been legal (or attainable) in 1942, I would not have been born. Of course, had a different mixture of semen and egg formed a fetus, I as I know me wouldn't have been born either. It doesn't take long to get tangled in philosophical intricacies in such a subject. Neil's approach to it is rational, based on science and genuine democratic principles, but not entirely satisfying. The right to choose versus the right to life, given the appeal (false though it may be) of the latter phrase and the ardor of its adherents loses the slogan war. That this is a fight to maintain women's rights against meanies that would shove them back into the kitchen doesn't ring true to me either, but of course I am a man and not a particularly sensitive one at that. I might almost say, "It's women's business. Let them fight it out." But I suppose that's not an acceptable stance these days. As it is, I guess I agree with Neil, but not as wholeheartedly as I'd like.ReplyDelete
This is a great explanation about why advocacy for "the unborn" is so popular:ReplyDelete
Excerpt: "When they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It's almost as if, by being born, they have died to you....They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe."
One of the states that have passed these disgusting laws has written it so poorly, it appears to outlaw almost all forms of birth control pills & devices.ReplyDelete
Not only are these crackpot men ignorant of female physiology, but they also don't know haw to write laws that follow logic. At least one of these men claimed that a embryo removed due to an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy that will kill the woman if not aborted through surgery, could then be reimplanted in the uterus.
That man is an idiot!.
That idiot is a member of the Ohio legislature, and he has been hooted down by medical personnel throughout these Untied Snakes.ReplyDelete
I was once very happy to be a citizen of my adopted state, but since it has gone from blue to red, I no longer feel that way. I don't live in Beautiful Ohio anymore--I'm now a resident of North Missitucky.