So Chelsea Clinton, after almost 4 full years of marriage, has become pregnant, and the conservative punditry sees what they always see - another opportunity to make some heads explode. For the moment, I will make the charitable assumption that there are, indeed, minds of one sort or another on the right, simply because it allows me to say that they appear to be of two minds on this subject:
1) The "everything's political" crew, who seem to believe that this pregnancy is 100% Hillary's idea, because it will help her election campaign.
Is there any logical way to address an argument that is in itself completely illogical? I think not, so lets ignore that point, and get on to the meat of this diary.
2) The "Right-to-Lifers", who seem to wonder why Chelsea hasn't aborted the pregnancy yet.
Yes, friends & neighbors, there are, apparently, people in this nation who believe that if I support a woman's right to end an unwanted pregnancy, then I am obviously opposed to pregnancy in general, and I must believe that ALL pregnancies MUST be terminated as soon as they are detected. These people are incensed that the Clintons refer to the bun in Chelsea's oven as a "baby". By their "reasoning" because it is as yet unborn, in order for our side to be logically consistent, we should see it as a "fetus" (and therefore expendable), not as a "baby". Nonsense? Obviously, but if you have just a little more bandwidth to dedicate to this, join me below the orange squiggly for more.
My take on all this comes rather directly from the path my life has taken, so let me give you a little background. I consider myself a twice-bereaved parent. We lost our son 3 months before 9/11/2001 (when THOUSANDS joined us in our bereavement), just a couple of weeks before his 20th birthday, in an accident at a waterfall. He was the second child we'd lost. 35 years ago, my wife's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at around 38 weeks (i. e., FULL-TERM, and then some). We WANTED that child, deeply. We were ready for that child. We were fully preparerd to welcome that child into this world and give him everything that every parent dreams of giving their children, but our dreams were denied.
Can anyone explain to me what happened to that child's alleged RIGHT to life?
We mourned for that child, and buried him in the family plot (yes, my name is on two adjacent tombstones, yet I stubbornly continue to walk this Earth) which, apparently, is NOT in accordance with the Jewish tradition in which my wife and I were raised, but we did it because we NEEDED to. We needed some kind of acknowledgement that this child existed, that we loved him, and that we lost him - even though we never actually met him.
So, when, exactly, did THAT child's life begin, or did it really even begin at all? That question nagged at me for months. I chewed on all sides of it for hours on end, until I came up with an answer that satisfied me. I've discussed this issue with people on both sides of the fence, in the past, and (oddly, perhaps) I don't seem to find any agreement with my viewpoint on this from either side. Pro-Choicers tell me it's a poor answer, because it's not scientific. Right-to-Lifers tell me it's just a cop-out. I don't care what EITHER side thinks - this is what I think.
Human life begins when the person or persons who will wind up spending the next 20 years of her/his/their life/lives bearing responsibility for that life, decide that they WANT it. This is a thing that lives INSIDE a woman's body - it's a serious burden to bear for the 9 months until it's born (if, indeed, it IS born), and that's only the BEGINNING, and we all know it.
Babies are not the only thing that can grow inside a human body - tapeworms and other parasites can thrive there as well. If the fledgling life inside a woman's body is not something that she truly, deeply wants, and is prepared to raise, then the only difference I can see between a fetus and a parasite is that when the parasite is removed, you are DONE with it - the fetus, in general, not so much.