March 09, 2006

Put your money where your mouths are

I've been reading a number of editorials, blog posts, and reader comments recently about South Dakota's abhorrent decision to outlaw abortion (by all practical definition) across the board. The always astute Molly Ivins had a terrific little piece at truthdig on Tuesday, about the "towering solons of abortion" that have set up shop in the Mount Rushmore State, including several shocking quotes from one of the chief backers of the ban.

It strikes me that there are two consistent themes espoused by the fanatical opponents of a woman's right to choose, repeated ad nauseum with the Rovian mindset that "saying it's so, makes it so." The first is that even first-trimester procedures are "murder," and that abortion must be abolished out of respect for the sanctity of human life.

Which, by the way, begins at conception.

The second, of course, is that abortion is the laziest of "solutions" to sheer sexual irresponsibility. That it is a "convenience" flaunted by wanton, amoral vixens unable to control their animal desires - even if they're being beaten into submission by a stranger or, worse yet, Daddy.

That the sole, sacred, and serious, purpose of sexual congress is reproduction.

Now, I'm not going to spend time today debating these subjective viewpoints, because they are exactly that - subjective. I'm a fervent supporter of the idea that being American should mean being free to believe whatever the hell you want to believe, and to live your life accordingly.

But I've always been an equal fan of "Don't Tread On Me" and all it implies. South Dakota's criminalization of abortion should be acknowledged for what it truly is - that genuinely Orwellian moment when the State has been given control over our very bodies, and our most personal, private matters of choice.

Nevertheless, I'm not even going to get further into the blatantly obvious un-Americanism of mixing subjective religious myth with government legislation. I've made my position clear on that subject earlier at this site. And my anger and outrage haven't diminished.

I'd like instead to suggest something pro-active for the South Dakota Legislature to immediately consider writing into law, as long as it's apparently in the business of State-imposed morality. Call it the "Put Your Money Where Your Mouths Are" Initiative. Or, simply, the Anti-Choice Pledge for short.

I mean, if abortion opponents believe what they say, and oppose contraception as well (what - are you now contending that life begins at ejaculation instead?!), and concede power to the State to intrude into this most personal of personal areas of control over our sexual selves, then why not go all the way? This is, after all, the same crowd that willingly signs "loyalty oaths" to see their President speak in person, and has "no problem" with secret wiretapping and e-mail surveillance of U.S. citizens, so one more zero-tolerance pledge to the cause of truth and justice should be perfectly acceptable, right?

Therefore, I urge the South Dakota Senate - and all state legislatures, for that matter - to adopt the following as quickly as possible:
Be it known that in accord with the Governor's adoption of a Statewide ban on all medical procedures which are designed to terminate pregnancy, and in open and proud support of the tenets of a Faith-Based Culture of Life, it is hereby required that all self proclaimed Pro-Life advocates pledge, in writing, to be bound by the following rules and regulations:

1) That "sex", as applied to signators, will be defined by amendment to the State's Constitution as Missionary-position intercourse between one man and one woman for the express purposes of conception.

2) That the State's right to pass judgment on personal activity mandates monthly examinations for signator men and women, to determine the frequency and intent of any sexual activity that has taken place over the previous thirty days. This will include, but is not limited to, prostate and gynecological exam, audiotaped interrogation, and signed affidavits. Patterns of activity that suggest regular use of sex for pleasure are a violation of our Denial of the Strongest, Most Basic Biological Human Facts creed, and will be punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

3) That all signators pledge to adopt a minimum of one (1) child currently in the nation's bursting foster-care and orphanage system. Children will be assigned by the State upon the signator's 23rd birthday by a State-run blind lottery, and may not be refused by the signator. If signator is already over the age of 23, an abandoned child will be assigned immediately in the order of signatures received.

4) That in deference to the truly Christian ideals we claim are at the core of our opposition to abortion, we equally support the tenet of forgiving "those who sin against us." In that spirit, we acknowledge the failure of President Bush's abstinence- and faith-based reproductive policy, which has resulted in an increase in abortion during his tenure, and mandate the sale and distribution of male and female contraception to all non-signators. This we pledge in a compassionate effort to save our fellow transgressors, and their accidental unborn, from the consequences of their weakness. We'll continue to pray that they one day see the light, as it is not our mortal place to pass judgment, but that of the Almighty.

And if they don't get it - hey, what the heck - more room in Heaven for us, right?

5) And that the Great State of South Dakota, with the unanimous support of all signators, rejects the death penalty without exception (even in cases of horrific rapist/murderers), and hereby withdraws all support for lethal U.S. military action throughout the globe. In addition to no longer providing our sons and daughters as eligible for military service, and in recognition of, and repulsion toward, the fact that the purpose of war is to kill one's enemies (see sub-section 4), we further ban any and all military bases, training and research facilities, arms and materials manufacturers, and recruitment centers from the State, since the product they are selling is death.
OK, OK, I'll stop. But I do think that it's time for anti-choice fanatics "ante up" with something besides the suppression of other people's freedoms. And if their talking points are to be believed, Pro-Life advocates should willingly and bindingly agree to my five proposed conditions - or admit to their egregious hypocrisy, and simply expose their campaign of inexcusable theocratic meddling for precisely what it is.

Go on, Conservatives. Put your money where your mouths are. Take the pledge. Allow the State to intrusively control your private behavior, and demonstrate some consistency in your attitude toward "protecting life." I won't hold my breath 'til you do...

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Anonymous abi said...

Now there's a push in Tennessee to amend the state constitution to weaken abortion rights in that state. Remember the domino theory?

09 March, 2006 21:48  
Blogger JamesRaven said...


I am so blogging this post, ok? It is amazing and worthy of a few more eyeballs.

Thanks a ton for writing this!


09 March, 2006 22:17  
Blogger Star A. Decise said...

It's extraordinary what people say: I read Molly's piece through your link and found myself wondering: "Could he really have said that?"

But I do find fault with one aspect of Molly's piece: she damns almost all residents of the state as a bunch of country bumpkins.

It's not only unfair but counterproductive - akin to those who argued Bush would never be elected because he's dumb.

The South Dakota action isn't a case of dummies-run-amok. It reflects a deep and profound movement in the country. As the result of Bush's election demonstrates, we only propagate it, endangering us all, by treating it with intellectual contempt.

But thanks for the post.

12 March, 2006 13:22  

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