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Gavin Shulman

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Abortion Shmashmortion: Defending Planned Parenthood

Posted: 02/ 8/2012 5:09 pm

So last week the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided (then fishily undecided) it would stop funding cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood because, apparently, Planned Parenthood is a very divisive issue in this country. I guess if you're going to be a parent, it is imperative you do not have a plan. You just have to go with it. No big deal. You'll figure it out along the way. Because, face it, you've got no other choice. We've officially reached a point where Planned Parenthood is a public menace, and unplanned parenthood gets you a show on MTV.

But obviously, captain, the war on Planned Parenthood is a proxy for the war on abortion. It doesn't matter what percentage of their services actually go to performing abortions, or mainly doesn't, they definitely do them. That's a fact. They provide abortions quickly, efficiently, affordably, and with only enough emotional strain to last a lifetime. But here's the thing I've never understood about the war on abortion -- who cares?

Is there some sort of baby shortage in America? Or more to the point, is there some sort of unwanted baby shortage? Last time I checked there were plenty of babies. My sister just had one. That family on TLC has 33 or so. Your friends that moved out of the city now have two. Celebrities pop them out like Pez. Daycare centers and Facebook are full of them. I feel like everywhere I look these days there's a baby. Crying. And annoying everyone else on the train.

You can literally have as many babies as you want. And there is literally nothing stopping you. Including sex. A nun could get pregnant if she was willing to pay the priest. Y'know, for his spermon. There is no law in this country prohibiting you from having a baby. Or 50. Or giving a few away. There is only a law that doesn't force you to have one. It's not that I'm pro-choice, it's that I'm anti-all-these-babies. Unless they're going to fix my spine.

Plus, they're just babies. It's not like they can do anything. They can't even walk. They just sit there and gurgle. What good does that do anyone? And even worse, they're other people's babies. Isn't that the most obnoxious kind? Who actually cares about someone else's baby? That's not Christian, it's creepy. That's not protective, it's perverse. That's not righteous, it's wrong. And weird. No one should take that keen an interest in someone else's baby. You should bop them on the nose, take a picture, and go about your day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm gonna love my baby. I love my sister's. I even love my friend's. I just don't care about yours. And I never will. No matter how many mini-movies you make. And I certainly don't care if you don't have one. I'd actually prefer you didn't. Because then if we ever met we might be able to talk in our outside voices. I promise you, I don't give a turd about your baby, even when I'm making you look at a picture of mine.

Yet, people do. Some people out there are very passionate about other people's babies. In fact, in simplest terms, Republican people are very passionate about non-Republican people's babies. Mitt Romney, for example, is "not concerned about the very poor" except, apparently, that they have babies. Presumably so they can be very poor, and he cannot concern himself with them as well. The fact that those who wage the war on abortion are the same that wage the war on the poor is more ironic than a steel beam.

But that's where we find ourselves. An organization that doesn't tell anyone whether to have a baby or not is under attack by the very people who want the government to get out of our lives. Conservatives are all for individual liberty, except when it comes to producing individuals. Which, ironically, they think should be done liberally. Planned Parenthood doesn't tell anyone whether to become a parent or not. Just as the Susan G. Komen Foundation doesn't tell anyone whether to get breast cancer or not.

I'm not here to defend abortion. In fact, I'm not here. I'm just a narrative voice. But I will use that voice to reiterate one point about abortion -- who cares? It's not your baby. And, really, it's not even a baby. But just as I can feed my baby go-go juice and have her dance in a diaper to win a crown, you can opt to not have a baby that could someday shill for stock-trading software. Yes, as humans we should care about one another. But let's wait on that caring until we're humans. We're not all God's children. We're our parent's children. And let's hope they have a plan for that.

 

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