My being born

Politicians claiming to protect the sanctity of life are missing the point

Richard Andresen is a Sacramento-based student and teacher in worldwide liberal arts

Yikes! A fertilized-egg-person!

But what’s this conception of always already a person? That first cell-division is stunning enough—the process now being rather straightforward toward the exciting six-week mark to either girlhood or boyhood!

Whatever; but happy enough to progress toward zygote-person, embryo-person, fetus-person and then—voila—person-person!

Trepidations abound, however, with certain angst regarding this womb-ensconced living and the aftermath of emerging into the bright light of day. It seems that a motley group of legislators are insisting on my arrival—regardless of possible dangers to either me or my mother.

So, is it enough just to insist on my being born? What measures are these legislators taking to ensure that I have a healthy development? Have they mandated that my parents not be smoking, imbibing too much alcohol, or using illicit drugs? What sort of food will my parents be eating?

How will the legislators keep violence and cacophony at bay? Will they arrest anyone kicking my mom in the stomach, or re-educate those perpetuating negative psychological environments, which, according to many studies, are not good for healthy social development?

Other studies reveal lifelong adverse effects for babies who are not wanted, neglected or unloved by their mother and father. Without normal bonding between mother and infant, such babies are prone toward conditions of impaired social adjustments and developments.

Or, will they just say, “Good luck, kid. We got you this far, and now you are on your own”?

It is noteworthy that these moral plenipotentiaries have not bothered to ask me, a person, what I think of these matters. Under the cardinal principle of “one person-one vote,” do I not have a say in this matter?

In solipsist theology, equal to any other theology on the planet, I feel that these legislators know little of what is best for any woman or parent, or for the embryos and fetuses themselves. Who, pray tell, gives these modern-day despots power over the life and fortunes of those embarked (willfully, criminally or accidentally) in the reproductive adventure?

In our collective universe, I am a spirit, part and parcel of the great cosmos. Having “chosen” my would-be parents through which to incarnate as a sentient human does not mean that such a decision is final and unchangeable. Should any unfixable malady occur in this marvelous 15-billion-year-old, ever-evolving blueprint, I am perfectly happy to have this particular attempt ended, as I shall have another chance later on. Should there be risk of injury or death to my mother, then it is the same principle—she can choose to end the pregnancy. If medically (and psychologically) feasible, she can conceive anew if she so wishes.

Equally important are the psychological aspects of being prepared to be a parent. Such considerations justify the need for well-established sex education, and a resolute commitment toward having offspring as “wanted,” and not merely from unpreparedness.

These particular legislators claim to be protecting sanctity of life by insisting on draconian precepts forbidding natural, healthy and God-given individual choices. But such insistence reveals their hypocrisy regarding respect and well-being of life at any age. Of what benefit is it to insist on pro-life (i.e., no abortions) policies, when at the other end of the age spectrum their policies reduce or eliminate social structures supporting the elderly in dignity and ability to function as fully as possible? Such heartless policies contravene one of their (forgotten) professed commandments of honoring their parents.

Entering the world in either joy or horror will not necessarily preclude eventual paths that transcend a less-then-healthy pregnancy. But when dire conditions of prenatal development reveal dangers insurmountable for mother or embryo or fetus, then it is only right and fair to offer another time and place for one or the other.

Kindhearted souls will silently warble the bittersweet lyrics of Vera Lynn’s plaintive love song from Dr. Strangelove, “I know that we’ll meet again some sunny day” for any delayed traveler.