Some Thoughts on Abortion

It seems to me that forces on the right have badly distorted the view of abortion. I will say that I, like any male who was not first female, have never been pregnant, at least to my knowledge, so, perhaps, I have no standing here.  I am female.

The forces on the right seem to think we women are vessels to bring new human life into this world regardless of our personal selves.  We women are simply human beings struggling to get by within the structures of our societies.  Some of us have been brought up with more freedom than others.

Is adoption better than abortion?  Granted the extremes of possible emotions surrounding the sex act, the sex act itself is minor and easy.  For most women, it does not take much to get pregnant.  Yet, bringing a baby into this world is a huge thing on many levels.  Two women I have known were some of the women I have known who were unmarried and carried their pregnancies to term.  The first got pregnant in high school in the 60’s, gave the baby up for adoption, and was so bitter she never had another child.  The second had had an abortion earlier in her life and had been made to feel guilty about the abortion by the Catholic church.  She was dead within a few months of giving birth to her baby and giving the baby up for adoption, killed in an accident due to carelessness.  I personally think abortion is a better option than giving a baby up for adoption.  I am shocked at the attitude that seems to be prevalent in the media today that totally ignores abortion as an option for the pregnant.

How are forces on the right distorting the abortion debate?  I have read that various religious groups have gone around in the last 40 years showing a film of a late term procedure (which procedures are not abortions) which is graphically violent.  I believe that the presenters imply that the bloody mess that the film depicts is representative of abortions.  Forces on the right also present the idea that late term procedures are done casually at the whim of the woman receiving the procedure.  Actually, late term procedures are only performed at the advice of a physician, because there is a problem with the pregnancy.  Abortions that occur early in a pregnancy are not so graphic as the late term procedures.  I seem to remember a show on public television where the tissue from an abortion done early in a pregnancy was shown.  As was stated in the show, there was not much to get excited about.

The women who have late term procedures want a baby, or the women would not have carried the pregnancy into the third trimester.  These are tragedies not because a late term procedure has occurred, but because a woman who wants a baby has had to make a decision to not carry her fetus to term because of a problem with the pregnancy.  Perhaps her health or life is at risk or perhaps she does not want to bring a baby into this world that would only suffer.

The forces on the right have also worked on state legislators and Congress for years to make getting an abortion harder.  We do not give financial support for abortions to those who depend on the government for medical care.  And, because of the actions of the forces on the right, abortions are harder to get and often occur later in the pregnancy than necessary.  I seem to remember from a NARAL handout from many years ago that the nervous system of a fetus is not complete until later in a pregnancy.  Also, giving financial support for abortion only to those who are doing okay financially , through insurance, and denying financial support to the poor is unconscionable.

Usually, when there is lots of funding to support a side of an issue, money and power are involved.  Many years ago, I subscribed to a business magazine – Fortune, I believe.  There was some discussion in the magazine as to how American women were not having enough babies to sustain economic growth.  So, maybe much of the anti-abortion money is coming from the business community, though parts of the religious community have been working their people up to a fever pitch, too.

Personally, I am more concerned with our exploding population of humans on this planet.  In the west we have found that when we women have control over our fertility and access to work outside of the home, we women, as a group, do not expand the population.  And, we can have as many children as we want.  I envision a society in which women and men share what been traditionally considered women’s work – and, as such, has been poorly paid or not paid for at all – the homemaking and child rearing – and also share equally in the other economic sectors of society.  Access to abortions would be inherent for the success of such a society.  As an aside, with regard to child rearing, I think parents rearing the parents’ own children is good, but our present economy is not set up to accommodate both child rearing and financial protection for women.

Personally, I feel the religious opposition to abortion is really an opposition to women being free sexually, which freedom is easier if one can have a safe and legal abortion.  Women’s sexual freedom is a different issue from abortion rights.  As to sexual freedom, men have been free sexually for eons.  ( Oh, we got hurt with this female sexual freedom.  We’ll be good.  We won’t play around any more.     Ha!!! )

To kill a baby is an awful thing.  I have had the thought that the tendency of forces on the right to equate abortion with the killing of babies may have led some young women to feel that killing the newborns to whom the young women have given birth is okay.  I am glad that society has given young women the opportunity to abandon newborns anonymously, now. I have not read about such a killing lately.

Is abortion a good?  I have read that many women who have an abortion feel relief, more than anything else, after the abortion.  Personally, with my psychosis, I feel I have been attacked psychically by so called religious persons dumping guilt on me for my doing things I believe in.  I suspect such things go on with women that have had abortions, too.  These so called religious persons can quite accurately be called forces of hate, on the level of Osama bin Ladin.

Many years ago, when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe vs. Wade, the supporters of Roe provided the court with pictures of the violence perpetrated on some of the women seeking to end their pregnancies through illegal abortions.  The violence was done by abortion providers.  Ending pregnancies back then, for many women, was a horror.  And the horror did not stop many of us women from ending our pregnancies.  Many of us were maimed and many died.  Because of the sacrifice of the women who were maimed or died, we have an unprecedented right, and opportunity for many, to control our fertility.  The viscousness of the forces on the right trying to take the freedom to have an abortion away from us needs to be exposed.  The freedom not to bring a baby into this world if we do not want to is fundamental, and fundamental to our freedom.

The Big Republican Lies

I grew up in the shadow of World War II in a town with a large Jewish population. We were taught about the Nazi’s. Seems to me for some time now that the Republicans are becoming more and more fascist. I think politicians must struggle with the temptation to use fascist techniques to win elections and that the Republicans have gone way over the line in using fascist technique. One technique that Hitler used was the ‘big’ lie. Tell a lie big enough and long enough and the people will believe the lie. I see Republicans doing big lies just about every day.

When I was in college, I purchased a copy Mein Kampf, by Hitler. I read part of the book many years ago and was struck by the similarity between the themes of Hitler’s attack and the hysteria of the religious (Republican) right. I have thought, for some years now, that I would randomly select pages from Mein Kampf and see if Hitler’s attacks are similar to, say, Rush Limbaugh’s. While I do not follow conservative pundits to any great degree, I will describe what is on each of the pages, paying attention to any present day relevance.

I used the random number table from my CRC tables to choose the page numbers. There are 200 lines in the table, with each line having 14 columns of 5 digits. I used R to generate a random number between 1 and 200, inclusive. R chose 147. I then had R choose a random number between 1 and 14, inclusive. R chose 14. I then had R choose randomly between 1 and 2, with 1 being going up in the table and with 2 being going down. R chose 2. So I started looking for numbers on the 147tth line and the 14th column and I went down the column to find the numbers. The pages of text in Mein Kampf go from 3 to 688. I found 10 numbers, for 10 pages in the book, between 3 and 688, inclusive, by going down the first 3 digits in the column and choosing any set of three digits between 003 and 688, inclusive, below line 146 in the column. When I reached the end of the column, I started again at the top of the column and looked at the last two digits in the column along with the first digit in the next column (the next column being on the next page). My copy of Mein Kampf, is the Houghton Mifflin Sentry Edition C, copyright 1943, translated by Ralph Manheim. The random pages I found were 54, 126, 134, 191, 206, 291, 395, 476, 594, and 603.

Page 54:

On this page, Hitler complains about the Reichstag restricting the Kaiser’s speech, calling the legislators imbeciles, idiots, and babblers. He then criticizes the press for the coverage of the Kaiser by the press, excepting an anti-semitic newspaper. At the bottom of the page, he says that adulation of French culture in the big press would make any German ashamed to be German.

Comment: While Obama has recently criticized Fox news for biased coverage, the Republicans have been complaining for years about a liberal bias in the press. I do not know if there is a pundit out there calling the press names.

Page 126:

Hitler writes about his happiness to be in the German city of Munich doing German art in 1912 , as compared to the Babylon of Vienna.

Comment: Idealizing one’s own culture, while running down other cultures, particularly calling other cultures degenerate, seems to be a facet of fascism. The religious right, anyone? Sarah Palin?

Page 134:

Hitler writes about population outgrowing food supply and how, if a country does not take over a less powerful country with land, the population of a country will have to restrict the growth of the population. Countries that are not of high culture will continue to expand in population.

Comment: Have you read The Bell Curve?

Page 191:

Writes about being wounded in world war I in 1916, after fighting for two years, and returning to Germany to a hospital. Describes the emotions felt on returning to the German fatherland and how proud the soldiers had been on going to war in 1914 as opposed to how discouraged the soldiers were when Hitler was wounded.

Comment: Though being removed from the stress of fighting after two years would seem like heaven to anyone, we see a personalization of the sense of failure at war by Hitler. Certainly, after the failure of Vietnam, there was a conservative backlash in this country and a search for blame.

Page 206:

Writes about his anger and feeling of helplessness on the surrender of Germany in World War I and the end of the imperial crown. Hitler writes of developing hatred for those responsible for the loss of the war. Felt Germany would get no mercy, the Kaiser had collaborated with the Marxists, Jews could not be negotiated with. Hitler writes of deciding to go into politics.

Comment: Fascists always seem to find someone to blame for their suffering and failure. Anyone who disagrees or sees a different future is dangerous.

Page 291:

Writes about the Japanese developing culturally because of European influence; the superiority of Western technology and science; that Japanese culture would stagnate if the culture ceased to have contact with the West; that only Aryan cultures, which have small populations, are responsible for advances in cultures, the masses of a culture being inferior and only supportive. Writes that advances in culture come either from foreign domination or a racial creative nucleus, mainly from inferior cultures being conquered by small superior Aryan populations.

Comment: The superiority of one’s own culture and one’s culture’s importance is a common theme for fascists. I believe one can hear such stuff with respect to African Americans and white culture, or America and the rest of the world.

Page 395:

Expounds on the inherent cultural ability of a country being based on and dependent on the racial purity of the population of the country.

Comment: It gets very crazy, doesn’t it.  Certainly, some parts of white America are very frightened of dark persons immigrating, worried about the purity of American culture.

Page 476:

Criticizes a German journalist for not recognizing that Lloyd George had great appeal to the lower class of England while a German politician, though witty and intelligent, had little appeal to the masses. Complains that German intellectuals write and speak to the educated classes and lack appeal to the average person.

Comment: Shades of the conservative denigrating ‘ivory towers’. Or, the use of appealing pseudo science by the administrations of Reagan and G. W. Bush. Or the emotional appeal of Rush Limbaugh.

Page 594:

Brags about the party newspaper and workers, that the paper encouraged only those who worked well, and that was the reason for the success of the paper when many other papers were failing and many persons were out of work. Brags about getting rid of committees in the party, calling members of committees babbling, interfering, and ‘know it alls’ who did not give good direction. Hitler took over the direction of the party by himself.

Comment: Only the conservatives know how to run a business and the running of the business must be from the top down. Once again, calling people who question names.

Page 603:

Writes about how to approach destroying Marxist unions and creating National Socialist unions. Writes how no unions were helpful at the time to which Hitler was referring since there was no work or money and inflation was bad. Writes had no leader capable of taking on the task of forming a National Socialist union. Complains about an incident because of which Marxist unions grew.

Comment: Anti communism anyone. Reagan?

What I remember from reading part of Mein Kampf years ago is the recurring theme of the Hitler feeling that German culture had degenerated and there was a need to reverse the degeneration and bring Germany back to being cultural greatness. How often have we heard the theme?  Seems like every fundamentalist preacher these days is preaching about American degeneracy. I am afraid it sounds like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and their desire to bring back American ‘decency’ and superiority. In reality, there were no halcyon days of old where everyone was pure and what was created by the culture was superior. The halcyon days never existed.

As a student of astrology, I think in the framework of the people of the world having many different paths. What is appropriate for one, or one generation, is not necessarily appropriate for another, and vice versa. There will always be those who have to be different (me, for example). There will always be those who cling to the traditional. Society, as a group, tends to swing between extremes, but we all have something to offer. My generation was a generation with the energy of the exploration of romance and love. And we did explore romance and love (the last such generation was while Mallory was living in the 15th century). The generation of Obama and Palin are exploring work and power, purity and sex, reason and the occult, the power of the psychic space when approached in a detailed manner.  I believe fascists, and many others, tend to think there is only one correct way to live. Thank goodness and our founding progenitors that our democracy is flexible enough to let us stand up for our own truths in the face of a changing society. Many societies are not so flexible. However, the move on the rights towards fascism disturbs me. While, to many, fascist ideas may seem like common sense, lest you think the trend toward fascism is benign, I would remind you of the concentration camps and the “final solution’.

We humans seem to have a inherent ability to shut out others, whether human, animal, or plant. We see this all of the time. We see specific groups being targeted to be ostracized at any time in society. (In America, I suspect the right has been putting the blame for our problems on feminists and feminism. Am I wrong in this?) I suspect that in times of terror, for example, when an economy is collapsing, as in post World War I Germany, or after a tornado, such as in my town here in Iowa, people look for persons to vent their discomfort on, the most vulnerable in the society. Certainly, those persons whose lives are destroyed have no blame for the problem. I suspect the persons just give society a place to release the society’s terror.

Watching the election these past few months, I am afraid  the Republican party has strayed far on the course toward fascism.  Big lie after big lie after big lie.  I suspect the manipulation is conscious and deliberate, putting the needs of the country behind the drive for political power.  However, we cannot forget the lessons of the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Germany was a highly cultured and civilized country.  Do you think the horror could happen here?  The horror is possible.