Friday, June 1, 2012

U.S. Enters "Brave New World" With Refusal to Ban Sex-Selection Abortions. Me? I Aim to Misbehave.

I'm getting my thoughts straight and I was trying to keep it to myself and I was trying to keep it short.

I can't.


I was stunned yesterday when the House rejected a ban on sex-selection abortions.

I thought: "Where are we? China?"

Then: "We have actually turned into Brave New World. In the United States."

I had to sit down to absorb this.

I thought: "This is the legacy we are leaving Hannah and Rose. To grow up in a world where Brave New World isn't a fantastical, dystopian, super-depressing piece of fiction. Where it is real and they have to help fight it."

I think it was then that tears actually came to my eyes.

It melded together:
  • A paper proposing use of the term ‘after birth abortion’ to refer to the killing of both disabled and apparently healthy new-born babies published recently in the Journal of Medical Ethics (There is a follow up piece here. Links via the excellent The Catholic Laboratory podcast).

  • Hearing BBC news announcers ask people to call in with reactions to a proposal that doctors assume that people are happy to donate their organs unless they make the effort to opt out. I thought it was a joke, but no.

  • The couple who sued their doctor for "wrongful birth" after their daughter was diagnosed during a prenatal screening as not having Down Syndrome.  And won.

  • The Pre-Persons by Philip K. Dick, imagining a future where abortion is legal until the soul enters the body, which is specified as the moment a person has the ability to do simple algebra.

  • What my grandmother, Thelma, would say about all this. She'd have a word for it. "Evil."

  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara where I just read about Southerners talking about states' rights versus a Northern commander telling some mutineers that "freedom is not just a word." And "What we're all fighting for, in the end, is each other." (States' rights are important to be sure but not when they are used to hide shameful behavior behind.)
Then I thought of Firefly where we are given a picture of the government running roughshod over all but the rich and privileged. "I aim to misbehave" floated into my mind.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: ... Someone *has to* speak for these people. Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but y'all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave.
I am not good at misbehaving but the prevailing standards are such that one must hardly do more than speak plainly to do so or to bring up voting issues to friends who do not share the same beliefs.

No more runnin'. I aim to speak plain.

Someone *has to* speak for the innocent being slaughtered.
Do not refrain from speaking at the crucial time, and do not hide your wisdom. - Sirach 4:23
I don't know how wise I am. But I do know what is true.

And that the easiest way to know and to tell what is true is to "explain as you would a child" as Galaxy Quest makes clear.
Jason Nesmith: Mathesar, there's no such person as Captain Taggart. My name is Jason Nesmith. I'm an actor. We're all actors.

Sarris: He doesn't understand. Explain as you would a child.

Jason Nesmith: We, uh, we pretended. ... We lied.
I'd forgotten that this fight to save lives is so similar that fought in the Civil War. The same dissimulation by those who want to ignore humans treated like animals, like possessions for the convenience of the powerful.

We've been lied to so long that most of us believe the lie to be truth. 

I honor those 20 Democrats who voted for the ban and shame on you who voted against it. I've seen the arguments and they are specious. You'll say and do anything to keep power.

And we let you. We vote you in by lying to ourselves that other things matter more than the dead little ones.

I've read Uncle Tom's Cabin. I recognize you from that book. You'd do well to read it.


This isn't much of a misbehaving. Yet. But it begins with me getting my thoughts straight and then facing again the fact that we are soldiers.

I am fasting and praying today in mourning for the little ones killed, in hope for us alive to take on the fight, in charity for the deceived ones to wake up and recognize the lies, in love for our country ... and in trust that God hears the cries of the oppressed.

I think I may have to do so for the remaining Fridays of my life.

It aint' much. But it's a start.
"Well, I don't want to preach to you. You know who we are and what we're doing here. But if you're going to fight alongside us there's a few things I want you to know.

He bowed his head, not looking at eyes. He folded his hands together.

"This regiment was formed last fall, back in Maine. There were a thousand of us then. There's not three hundred of us now." He glanced up briefly. "But what is left is choice."

He was embarrassed. He spoke very slowly, looking at the ground.

"Some of us volunteered to fight for Union. Some came in mainly because we were bored at home and this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many of us came...because it was the right thing to do. All of us have seen men die. Most of us never saw a black man back home. We think on that, too. But not just a word."

He looked into the sky, over silent faces.

"This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you'll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we're here for something new. I don't...this hasn't happened much in the history of the world. We're an army going out to set other men free.

He bent down, scratched the black dirt into his fingers. He was beginning to warm to it; the words were beginning to flow. No one in front of him was moving. He said, "This is free ground. All the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by what your father was. Here you can be something. Here's a place to build a home. It isn't the land--there's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value, you and me, we're worth something more than the dirt. I never saw dirt I'd die for, but I'm not asking you to come join us and fight for dirt. What we're all fighting for, in the end, is each other."
Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels


  1. Terrific stuff. My own belief is that the "after-birth abortion" piece was intentionally provocative in order to raise the issue, and I thank you for pointing out the similarity to Philip Dick's story, which I am certain influenced it. (As did Swift's "A Modest Proposal.") But the scary thing is, it raised little concern except among those who already fight for life.

    I am always (too) reluctant to stand up in this fight, so I have to thank you for reminding me of the one person whose witness would count most with me. It should be Jesus, but at the moment it's Mal. Count me among the misbehavers.

  2. Great post, Julie. I am with you on the outrage and posted about the same. Yes their arguments are specious. Thank goodness for the time constraint that forced their hand. Still want to know why Ron Paul voted against. He's smart and speaks well for the unborn, but then I speculate he thinks this should be a state matter and not federal since he's said that before. Still, if you are doing what you can to save lives...I think what they really feared was there are so few abortionists and nurses willing to work at these centers, if you really had the strength of federal law to put one of them away for 1 year, there would be major risk incorporated with forecasted revenue if even one complaint was lodged.

  3. I think Ron Paul says he voted against the ban because the law furthered big government and wouldn't accomplish anything. And it probably won't. China actually is one of the very many countries in the world that have laws against sex selective abortion. You can see how well that works there. But, as Teresa of Calcutta said, "God doesn't require us to succeed, He only requires that you try." The law is a teacher, as the saying goes. The House has just decided to teach us that little girls have no intrinsic value. That quote from "Firefly" is my favorite. I think (I hope) there are an increasing number of us who are becoming willing to misbehave.

  4. As disgusting as the practice of sex-selective abortion is, this bill had me on the fence. On the one hand, any decrease in abortions is a good thing, on the other, how effective would this law be? While we're talking about brave new worlds, I'm also reminded of 1984's thoughtcrimes. What the bill is suggesting is that it's ok to kill children for things like convenience, economic need or personal choice, but wrong to kill them because of their gender (which is essentially saying the same thing as above, just bringing cultural expectations into the picture). Not to mention that it would be laughably easy to avoid, simply being careful about what you say and when you say it would circumvent the issue.

  5. You guys are good medicine for me. :-)

    I looked at the response piece here where the philosophers are completely baffled at the outrage and it puts the arguments well. I think it was genuine and, in a way, I must honor them for following the facts and behavior to a logical conclusion. At least they are being honest, unlike those who are all for abortion and then quail at the idea of such a proposal. It reminds me of the couple who sued over having a Downe's Syndrome baby (which I meant to include in the post). Nothing is too outrageous for me to believe it these day, I suppose.

    I also think of how many women I know who would love to have a little girl but wind up with a little boy. It isn't just the girls (in America anyway) who need us to misbehave. :-)

    And I have been reminding myself that God does the heavy lifting, but we are called upon to be faithful.

  6. JackieD, I get your point, but after watching DVD of women regretting their abortion, it would only take one post-abortive woman coming forward after having expressed gender-selection as her reason for the abortion, particularly if she had one additional eye witness with her during the consultation, to come forward and then any health workers involved would be in jail for 1 year. If you think about it, some of the women...Indians, South Koreans, Chinese that have emigrated here might be doing it under pressure from husband or family elders and then after regretting it and realizing how evil and unfair it is to the female unborn child, want to do something about it. Now there is only ground for them to try to do something to alter this in 4 states rather than in all 50 states.

  7. JackieD, trying to parse the thing down to the simplest point, I guess I can see your points.

    However, if not now, then when?

    Murder happens. People get away with it and use loopholes. But we make the laws to stop it anyway. We say, "This far and no farther."

    That bill would have been a beginning to admitting that there can be something wrong with choosing to kill your baby before birth. And that is exactly why so many would not vote for it.

    And, as a Catholic who believes in the things we cannot see, if that bill saved even a few lives, would it not be worth it? Would it not be worth it also for the immortal souls of the mothers and fathers who were given another chance to turn away from evil? Or the immortal souls of the doctors who would have a few less victims on their hands?

    I believe it would. :-)

  8. Atlantic Monthly's article, while having a definite pro-abortion bias, did have the facts on how there is gender-selection driven abortion going on in the U.S.

    After reading it, I started to realize, working in Information Technology as I do, how many of the Indians I know, and the two Chinese women I know have exactly 1 girl and 1 boy and the boy is often the younger child, sometimes younger by quite a bit. I am not judging them, it just jibes rather closely with the stats in this article, "However, as birth order rises, apparently so does selection -- at least, in certain ethnic groups. With 2000 U.S. Census data, researchers investigating Korean, Chinese, and Indian communities found that, after having one girl, parents have as many as 1.17 boys per girl when their next child is born. With two girls at home, the ratio goes up to 1.51 boys per girl for the third child (meaning 151 boys are born for each 100 girls). These skewed ratios aren't present among other ethnic groups in America."

  9. I know there is a flaw in this legislation as Jackie D points out, but really they needed to make a statement. Some legislation is only meant to establish a public value. This is one of those. The only reason this failed was because Obama put the weight of his presidency behind killing it. He couldn't risk alienating his feminist base. He is Thee Most Pro Abortion president in history, and even in the final months of his administration he continues to be. And yes, after today's jobs report, I can confidently say these are Obama's final months as president.

  10. I was so spitting mad I couldn't write about it. I'll get around to it, though.

  11. I have to disagree with Ron Paul and some of the posters here regarding the gendercide bill. Whether or not the law would be easily enforced doesn't change whether it is right or not. Even if it was impossible to enforce and made no difference in the number of sex selective abortions, it would at least acknowledge that it is wrong to kill someone based on their gender. In killing the bill they have said it is OK to kill girls.

    As for it "increasing the size of government" this is the thing government is *supposed* to do (protect the rights of citizens). I am all against government pork, but protecting life isn't pork.