Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Of humanhood and fishies

In a rare moment of oversight by my husband, this one relative (by marriage only) and I were left unsupervised at a recent family gathering. This man and I are gasoline and kerosene, with politics of any sort being a lit match. But nonetheless, shortly after McCain's pick for VP was announced, he and I were left to our own devices for a period of time.
His mistake first - he asked what I thought of Sarah Palin. He had to already know my answer (we are polar opposites), so I said quite bluntly that "Hey, she's not into killing babies, she gets my vote." He said he didn't like abortion either, so I asked why he routinely votes for candidates in favor of it. All issues being equal, of course you can pick and choose, but when one of the issues is what you firmly believe to be MURDER, well, that's a little more important, and they haven't yet changed the voting age to "12 weeks gestation". So we went back and forth and I got him down to "only in cases of rape, incest, or something wrong with the baby." I decided to ignore the obvious eugenics implications of "something wrong", and asked him if in the case of rape or incest, you are punishing the child for the actions of the father. He couldn't see how I could think that at all, so I asked, "Is it human or not?" and got the answer of "well, after a point..."
I should point out that I was trying, very hard, to remain calm, unemotional, impersonal, and above all, CIVIL. But some shots just beg to be taken. I asked the obvious - "So at what point was Kittyboy a fish?"
He didn't have an answer. Gee, I thought it was a simple enough question. When - was - that - boy - a - fish? Hello? What was that? Can't hear you...
Fortunately Husband returned before things got REALLY personal.
Little review here - "Kittyboy", as my son is referred to, is coming up on two years old. According to the "well, after a point it's human" people, he was not human when he was born. They base their cut-off at the start of the 3rd trimester (27th week). The official records have him born at 28 weeks and 5 days, based on my estimated due date, but due dates are pretty much guesses and can be off by as much as two weeks either way, which is why a 38 week baby is still considered full-term. Ultrasounds also measure a baby's age in the womb, and the later in the pregnancy, the more accurate they are. Ultrasounds in the month before he was born had him maybe a week behind. The one done on the afternoon before he was born, less than 24 hours from birth, did not say 28 or 29 weeks. It didn't say 27 weeks. It said 26. That's not third trimester. That's the last week of the second. That's abortable.Awww, what a CUTE widdle fishie! Yes he is! He's just the cutest widdle fishie ever! Mommy's widdle pwecious icthyoid!
And the earliest preemie to survive? Just under 22 weeks. That's right, 22. She was born just two months and a day before Kittyboy, I hear she's doing fine too. And huh, funny, I saw pictures of her at 10 ounces and there was nothing ichthyological in nature about her either. Just - a baby. A really, really tiny baby. Oh, but TOTALLY abortable if mummy had felt like it.
I wonder - when they invent artificial wombs for NICUs to use for preterm births even younger than that - when a miscarriage is no longer an automatic tragedy - how will they defend abortion then? The morbidly curious would like to know...

1 comment:

Paul Scott Speed said...

Amen - tell it. High taxes can be lowered, bad law can be reviewed - but abortions are permanent, every blasted one of them. That young man was never, ever a fish.