Whitewashed

There’s a great post on Love, Joy, Feminism dealing with the images that anti-abortionists like to bandy about. Now, before you go any further, I urge you to go and read Libby Anne’s post and take a good, long, hard look at the images included. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Notice anything?

The images shown are all infants or fetuses in the later stages of pregnancy, they are all white and they are all perfect. There isn’t a club foot, cleft lip or any other defect to be seen. No babies suffering the effects of the Zika virus or anencephaly (you may be a little disturbed by the image you see there, so be careful). Not a whiff of Tay-Sachs to be found. In other words, every child is perfect and beautiful.

The truth is a lot less pretty.

If we did an induction the nurse would wrap the baby up ever so carefully for viewing, but sometimes the birth defects were so much that we presented hand prints and foot prints or a face carefully swaddled to show the chin or whatever part looked perfect. It takes a special kind of nurse to do this and they did it with such tenderness. However, as the doctor it was left to me to explain why we thought it best they not look. All the things no one knows how to do or wants to do are left to the doctor. Do you show a woman that her baby really is a cyclops? I know she knows because she told you between sobs when she called, or rather her husband did because she was crying so hard she couldn’t speak anymore. But is that the image I should lock in her brain for the rest of her life or the five toes? You just do the best you can. I like to think that my patients knew that.

The entire post is worth a read, but this really stood out to me. It’s as if those who completely and totally oppose abortion believe that a woman wakes up one morning just before her due date and says, “Screw this. Morning sickness sucks so I’m terminating my pregnancy.” This road is a difficult one to journey and the decision isn’t made lightly. But to those who would outlaw abortion, the idea that children–who are “gifts from god”, of course–aren’t perfect little packages of unmarred flesh is something to be whitewashed, hand-waved away. They don’t exist but if they do, it’s a cognitive disability such as Down’s Syndrome or mental retardation which is easier on the eyes.

The truth isn’t so beautiful. It’s harsher and colder and sometimes extremely bitter. It’s also something that some people wouldn’t want to slap on a protest poster.

Advertisements

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we are both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat. Life is pretty darned awesome.
This entry was posted in Abortion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s