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Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Monday, Jan 28, 2013

charlievignolaAbortion is back in the news again this week.  It warms my heart to see that the GOP has learned exactly nothing about the dangers of harping on this issue despite it being political kryptonite in the last election and driving women away from the party in droves.

Addressing anti-abortion protestors at the D.C. “March For Life” last week, House Speaker John Boehner vowed to “help make abortion a relic of the past.”

I can understand how concepts like slavery or Nazism should be relics of the past, but women having control over their own bodies is an atrocity on the same level to these people?

In New Mexico, Republican state Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced House Bill 206, which would make it a third-degree felony for raped women to have an abortion since the fetus is potential proof of the crime, and abortion would be considered “tampering with the evidence.”

This is after a whirlwind 2012 in which Republicans tried all kinds of schemes to make abortions more difficult – everything from insane “personhood” amendments that would declare a fertilized egg as a legal person and render certain forms of birth control murder, to medically unnecessary transvaginal probes designed to guilt a woman into not having an abortion by forcing her to listen to the fetus’ life signs.

It is still amazing to me that the same party that’s so passionate about limiting the size and scope of government and expanding personal freedoms is more than happy to disregard those strongly held beliefs when it comes to something they don’t like.

To be clear, if “personhood” laws were passed, then every pregnant woman in America would have to be monitored to make sure she’s not deliberately trying to end her pregnancy, and any violators would be convicted as murderers.

You’d also better hope you don’t have a miscarriage, because the state will send over a CSI team to make sure you’re not really a desperate criminal.  Oh, and we’ll need an army of new government employees to enforce these invasive new laws, all on the taxpayers’ dime.

I’ll be honest with you. Even liberals aren’t gung-ho about abortion.  It’s not something we’re happy about, or look forward to.  We’re not blood-thirsty pagans who enjoy abortions because it’s our sadistic way to punish religious people psychologically.  Unfortunately, abortion is a necessary evil, like war or capital punishment or euthanasia.

I always find it curious how people who are against abortion on religious grounds seem to be just fine with capital punishment.  Ah, but those are apples and oranges, you say?  Abortion is a willful taking of an innocent life, while capital punishment is justice against a monstrous human being who has already proven he doesn’t deserve to live.

Yeah, well, there’s this thing called the Ten Commandments.  One of the biggies is, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”  There aren’t any loopholes or fine print to this.  It doesn’t say, “Thou Shalt Not Kill … unless the guy really deserves it, or it’s collateral damage in a war. Then it’s OK.”

No, God’s message was pretty clear. So if you’re going to use the Bible as justification to lay down new laws, at least be consistent.  I mean, if you demand anti-abortion laws, maybe you should also demand that if a guy covets his neighbor’s wife or doesn’t honor his mother and father, then he should do serious jail time.  Hey, I don’t make the rules; God does.

Call me crazy, but as a guy, I don’t even think I should get a vote on whether a woman should have the right to an abortion.  It’s her body; she’s the one who’s going to gain all that weight or have crazy mood swings or complications that may kill her.

Ah, but shouldn’t the biological father have a say?  After all, no woman gets pregnant by herself, and the father is responsible for half of the DNA, so shouldn’t he have a legal right to stop a woman from ending the pregnancy?

Well, exactly why do you think he should have that right?  Just because his interaction with a woman resulted in a life form growing inside her body?  Not to be crude, but a sexually transmitted disease is a form of life, too.  It’s a bacteria or a virus, and while it might not be intelligent, technically speaking it’s the same thing: Intentional or not, the woman is now a living incubator for a new life form. And whether it’s a fetus or an STD, no one should tell a woman she has no choice but to live with it, no matter the consequences to her own life.

Save your outrage, folks. Yes, I just compared a microscopic zygote to syphilis, but I did it to make a point.  That comparison is about as asinine in theory as a “personhood” amendment would be in practice.  The difference is that I’m not trying to pass laws based on that ridiculous point, but the anti-abortion zealots are offering crazy laws to turn back the clock 40 years and take away a woman’s right to choose.

“It’s not a choice, it’s a child,” you say?  Well, yes and no.  For weeks and weeks, it’s actually a tiny speck of protoplasmic goo that may or may not become an actual child, based on an infinite number of factors.

But that process is not up to the state. It’s up to the mother.  And allowing the state to make the final decision about a woman’s reproductive fate is one step away from the totalitarian nightmare that the extreme right is always screaming about.


Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.



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  1. Barnabus Collins says:

    “For weeks and weeks, it’s actually a tiny speck of protoplasmic goo that may or may not become an actual child, based on an infinite number of factors.”

    Heartbeat at 18 days, brainwaves at 6 weeks. At 9 weeks, the “protoplasmic goo” can sense pain, pleasure, etc. Based on our ability to actually measure and record these things – by 9 weeks, this little baby will know if you’re trying to dismember it with needles and scissors and tiny little chopping jaws and vacuum suction hoses. Dismembered alive … lovely job, liberals.

    So – what you have, essentially, is a powerless and entrapped victim who needs the advocacy of people in a position to help it remain alive. Liberals – this is right up your alley. Where’s the ACLU?

    If fetuses could vote, they’d probably be Pro Life.

    Just a guess.

  2. Reason says:

    The mind of a liberal – this writer equates a human embryo
    as being the same as a virus, except that the virus lacks “intelligence”. But, it is our intelligence that distinguishes
    us from all other living things so this analogy is false. This writer serves up weekly articles lacking
    intelligence so if one were to use the same faulty logic of the writer, than
    one could assume that the writer is a “virus” and could safely assume that liberalism is truly a disease.

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