Sunday, November 21, 2010

Missing the point of the pro choice position

Going around the part of the internet I peruse is the truly ridiculous internet poll about the "pregnancy of Pete and Alisha Arnold". The feeling in my part of the blogsphere is that it's a scam designed to promote the anti-abortion position since no real people would get pregnant in order to have strangers decide on their personal life. That seems very probably, PZ's post may not be the best (no person *yet*? There will never be a person in her belly) but as always there are some awesome comments and those are what I'll be rifting off.

MY pro-choice position. I have no right to input into any pregnancy but my own. If I were to be asked what I would do in their position I would try to help them clarify what medical terms meant for end result of the pregnancy. Then it's their decision. Government has no right to input into pregnancies either. Whether it's US states denying abortions to women or the Chinese government dictating the one child/mandatory abortion policy. I agree with the motivation for the China policy much more than the US position (population explosion vs. women are stupid) but in the end, I feel both are wrong and would be better served with a education and medical intervention to prevent pregnancies in the first place. Pregnancy is a health condition that starts changing women's bodies soon after conception; it should be avoided if a child is not desired. If it helps, think of it as workplace safety.

People seem to be confused about the terminating the pregnancy part. All too often you get someone saying that there must be restrictions against late term abortions. Why? First, if a woman did decide on a late term termination is legality really going to be an issue? Do some major damage to yourself and the pregnancy is likely to be terminated. Second, late term terminations are done all the time. C-sections - late term termination. Any labour inducing actions are, in effect, late term terminations. The pregnancy is terminated not the product.

An expression of the lagging of science is often stated as where's my flying car. I would ask, where is my artificial womb. If it was truly accepted that life began at conception and human life is sacred there would be a concerted effort to ensure that any embryos removed from women would have an opportunity to develop as far as possible. This would be a boon to infertile couples and overly fertile women alike. The embryo/fetus only dies because of the inability to survive the new environment - see all those terminated pregnancies walking around?

It's very important to me that abortion is legal. Pregnancies can and do go wrong and doctors must be able to communicate options that will be in the best health interests of the woman and/or help prepare the parent(s) for birth. Just like any life changing event, the patient may need counselling. I am very glad that Canada doesn't have an abortion law. Pregnancy is treated as any other medical condition. I don't get to vote whether a smoker gets a lung transplant so why should I get to vote if other women keep a pregnancy. What is the difference between women miscarrying and needing a D&C and women choosing early in a pregnancy to get a D&C? Why do anti-abortionists assume the doctors that are there to help women hate humanity?

When you really think about it, it seems that the anti abortion lobby can only be primarily a pro-"punish/control women for being able to grow cells that can become life" group. That's a topic for another post though.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Trip down memory lane - our wedding

We were visiting with friends and they were playing their wedding music for us. It was interesting because their wedding was South African and very dance-able. This lead to our wedding music, clearly more important to me than him because he couldn't remember it. He gave a stab at our first song (he chose "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce at the time but not during our visit) then, I think, just gave up and said something by Roberta Flack for the second song. Really, Roberta, Killing me Softly, Flack? I knew I had wanted "In My life" by the Beatles for the first song so thought we had it for the second song. Quick - get the wedding memories book.

We were all pretty happy about following local traditions. 
I'm amazed that I found the book in 3 seconds. We've moved several times and rarely look at photos anymore. I was very detailed in filling in blanks even though we were at school. Some of the comments are classic. Under traditions we like I have - arch at end, vetoed by SO; Under Engagement Mementos there are a couple of pictures and the comments 2 roses for Valentines and over 3.5/4 for grades - at least I didn't totally go soppy. And, btw, all wedding dress styles have sleeves that's how long ago it was.

My dream wedding was to get married in a hot air balloon at dawn. Very symbolic and unrealistic considering I get motion sick at the drop of a hat. That would have had to a very large balloon. Anyway my dad mentioned that ma cousine had gotten married by a JP; I wasn't going to do that was I. Uh, I guess not. Off to a church we went. Luckily in the '80 the RCC was much more relaxed about weddings - busy shuffling those priests I guess. Our priest was a very nice guy who got the call while taking Chemical Engineering. We spent a lot of time talking Chemistry rather than religion. He made suggestions for secularizing our ceremony (least repulsive OT verses, no mass etc) and off we went. Church, hotel reception and dance (calypso, rock, no polkas or Beach Boys until requested by guests!). We took off at midnight because we were heading to Hawaii in the morning.

I compare to the last wedding I was in 5 years ago. Very nice ceremony in the bride's parent's back yard. Nice supper at a hall, lots of country music. Bridal party last out the door because we had to clean up garbage, remove decorations, pack up booze, take gifts home etc. And that seems to be the trend around here. One of the lab techs has 2 weddings next summer, one in her back yard and the other not. In both cases there will be cleaning up that involves more than removing the gifts. I guess it prepares you for the rest of your life together.

And our second song *was* In My Life. For all that it's remembered I should have push for it to be first:)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Faith-based organizations =/= religious org ; semantics at it's best

Every year the multi-national I work for puts employees through the Corporate Ethics. It used to be everyone but they've stopped wasting the time of people who have no purchasing power; unfortunately that's not me. In it people like me find out things like
  • if someone has a frowny face they are unlikely to take your teasing about age well.
  • avoid the appearance conflict of interest
  • don't give/take bribes which includes most gifts
I also thought it said something about not promoting religion, as did some other people, but apparently we miss understood. It's okay to systematically use corporate resources to advance an evangelical personal life as long as you use support faith-based (aka non-denominational Christian evangelical) organizations NOT religious ones. Company sponsored table at a prayer breakfast - no problem, any person of faith will appreciate that this is a super way to be involved in the community. Support an evangelical children's charity - who could deny children at Christmas? The OCE is ready for questions and have their supporting statements ready. Pursue that line of inquiry and the manager knows you're not one of his type; it's the appearance that matters.

And so American manager has brought his religion into the workplace. Even if I choose not to participate in a charitable activity, I can rest assured that he will contribute on my behalf. That would be my behalf as both and employee and stock holder. Thank you for relieving me of that burden. Now I have to make doubly sure to up my contributions to secular charities.