My Blog List

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thoughts on Abortion

More than ethical, mostly emotional, it is an issue appealing to one’s feelings, rather than morality or rational thinking, though often masked as such. And all the arguments, in the end, are emotional arguments, those posters depicting month-old fetuses and claiming they have this and that developed, the argument that we can’t kill babies, the argument of mother’s psychological well-being, that dads should have a say too…
However, our church comes up with a demographic argument, thereby proving that multiplying Georgian ethos is the most important objective of all. It does not need to win people’s emotions anymore. Why waste time preaching to a choir?
Women are reproductive machines, you see; their main goal in life is to give Georgian land sons and daughters, preferably sons. Thus, unmarried women, women on birth control and infertile women are lesser beings. Due to some twisted logic, monks and nuns are superior, despite no effort on their part to make more Georgians.
Our church feels that the only thing between thousands of babies running free in Georgian streets is women’s right to control their own bodies. The high rate of emigration has nothing to do with it.
Ignoring all the evidence of the Soviet times - abortion was strictly prosecuted though performed illegally – church believes that abolishing abortion will solve our demographic problems. However, when we defend elimination of abortion, we choose not to research reasons for abortion, we choose not develop sexual education classes, we choose to ignore recent facts of baby starvation.
We choose to deny women right to their own bodies. We choose to condemn them to the risk of home remedies and shady midwives. We choose to put them in constant fear, we choose to punish them for wanting to be something more than a baby-cooking oven. We even choose to make women bad mothers. Yes, we choose to load women with multiple children, thus depriving kids of individual attention, good education, emotional and financial resources. Better have 8 uneducated, unattached, unloved children, than 2-3 kids that were wanted, expected, and consciously brought into this world.
This is an emotional issue. And as such, my judgment has been influenced by films and books on the matter, much more than by my philosophy class. I would recommend watching 4 months 3 weeks and 2 days. It is a very humane film; it depicts horror of illegal abortion in 80s’ Romania. The total loss of control, the desperation, the fear, and humiliation of women in this film makes you shudder. Additionally,  Ludmila Ulitskaia, arguably the best Russian author of modern times has a very strong novel on the matter, Kukotsky’s Case, depicting abortion issues in Soviet Russia, examining religious and ethical and medical matters through ordinary people’s lives. Reading about all the real cases of women attempting home procedures, like forcing an onion up the uterus so that it grow roots and kills the fetus, taking a scalding hot bath, allowing some old midwives butcher and destroy the reproductive organs, often resulting in women’s death, all those cases have long cured me of any emotions I get when I see pics of a month-old fetus. Anything, anything is better than those procedures. Nothing can be as monstrous as being kicked in the stomach by your husband because he can’t feed any more children. Nothing can be more painful than being cut with no anesthesia and dying of infections or staying infertile for the rest of your life. Those practices are so cruel, so middle-ages-inquisition inhumane, that I will support any legislature, any means to save women from those practices. And if that involves killing of a fetus, a fact that may be uncomfortable for some in our society, well, then let them be uncomfortable. Human life is much more important than someone’s comfort.



    My response to the Patriarch's comments about abortion.


    And in Georgian.... the more people who speak out against this the better. And it is better to be speaking together than alone. I admire the work you are doing.