Remember those virtual pets that were all the rage in the 1990s? Well, they’re back, more life-like than ever, and best of all, they’re in your uterus!
WALLINGFORD, PA. — The bell rang and the eighth graders jumped up, eager to compare notes.“I named my baby Kyle Patrick,” one shouted.“Mine is Antonio!”At the urging of an antiabortion activist, they had each pledged to “spiritually adopt” a fetus developing in an unknown woman — to name it, love it from afar and above all, pray daily that the mother-to-be would not choose abortion.
Ah, another arrow in the Womb Raiders’ quiver. Following upon the success of the pioneering “post-abortive men,” who conclusively proved that the LA Times will give front page coverage to any anti-choice scheme so long as it’s insanely presumptuous, hysterically lachrymose, and slightly more phallocentric than the altpenis.com entry on autofellatio. In today’s page one shocker, the secret anti-abortion weapon involves anonymous, non-consensual stealth adoptions by remote control. I can only hope that after these imaginary fetuses have grown to adulthood, one of them shows up at the door of their “spiritual father” and demands 18 years back child support.
“Maybe one day you’ll get to heaven and these people will come running to you . . . and say, ‘We’re all the little children you saved,’ ” activist Cristina Barba said. She smiled at the students in their Catholic school uniforms. “Maybe you really can make a difference.”Thirty-five years after Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, opponents are pouring resources into building new generations of activists. Young people are responding with passion.Today’s students and young adults have grown up in a time when abortion was widely accessible and acceptable, and a striking number are determined to end that era.
Back alley abortions toughed the poor and improved the breeding stock, ensuring that only the strong would survive and providing our nation with an abundant and vigorous working class, which increased productivity while acting as a check on unreasonable wage growth.
Pew Research Center polls dating back a decade show that 18- to 29-year-olds are consistently more likely than the general adult population to favor strict limits on abortion. A Pew survey over the summer found 22% of young adults support a total ban on abortion, compared with 15% of their parents’ generation …
“You look at pictures of marches [over the years] and the crowds just keep getting younger and younger and younger,” said Derrick Jones, an advisor to National Teens for Life.In Colorado, a teenager last year decided the state constitution should define a fertilized egg as a person. Kristi Burton, now 20, won a court fight about her proposed amendment and leads the campaign to put it on the ballot this fall …Here in greater Philadelphia, the antiabortion group Generation Life enlists teens to hand out literature on beaches and guides them through role-playing to hone their powers of persuasion.At a recent workshop, Claire Levis, 17, played the part of an abortion-rights supporter. “My friend got raped and you want her to have the baby? How can you ask a 15-year-old to go through a pregnancy? That’s nine months of ridicule and pain,” she shouted.Liz Coyle, 16, responded: “It’s not the baby’s fault. He’s never done anything wrong.”
Claire, You have a moral obligation to let your baby grow up feeling unwanted and rejected, develop reactive attachment disorder, a violent temper, and a substance abuse problem before finally murdering his pregnant girlfriend in a drunken rage. Then we can kill him him in good conscience!
Liz then added: “There are plenty of teachers willing to home-school your friend if she doesn’t want to go to class when she’s pregnant. Or she could go to school, and stand up for herself.”
Really? For most teachers, it’s all they can do to cope with the kids they have during class hours. And while they’re generally compassionate and concerned with their students’ welfare, I don’t know any who are eager to make house calls just so you can roleplay Juno.
The dozen teens watching burst into applause.“I feel like we’re all survivors of abortion,” Claire said.
And miscarriage. We all survived that, too, and yet nobody is organizing an army of teens to take on the forces of Big Miscarriage. And you know, we’re all survivors of slavery too, when you think about it, in that we’re Americans, and America survived slavery, so it’s totally unfair for only black people to get the reparations.
She has five sisters and a brother; most of her classmates, she said, come from much smaller families. The way Claire sees it, they’re missing out on much joy — and she blames abortion.“I look at my friends,” she said, “and I wonder, ‘Where are your siblings?’ “
Where are your manners?
This sense that millions of their peers are missing motivates many young activists.
Look, you can stop hand-drawing pictures of blastocysts on the side of milk cartons, hun. Even if there were 20 million more kids your age, I’m fairly sure that none of them would invite you to the Spring Formal. At least, not without double bagging it.
They are also the first generations to grow up seeing images from inside the womb displayed like prized family photos — tacked to the fridge, posted on the Web, pasted into scrapbooks. Ultrasound videos even interrupt their TV shows; the conservative advocacy group Focus on the Family bought ad time to air fetal pictures during “American Idol Rewind” and a college football all-star game.
I thought it was tasteless, but those fetuses did sell a lot of beer.
“Abortion feels more personal for us,” said Kristan Hawkins, who supervises 400 college clubs through the group Students for Life of America.
To you, your abortion is a deeply private thing matter that doesn’t concern anyone else, let alone some stranger with a reactionary axe to grind. To Kristen, your abortion is like Jaws: The Revenge. This time, it’s personal!
Abortion-rights supporters are also reaching beyond the old guard of leaders, which veteran activist Nancy Keenan refers to as “the menopausal militia.”
Exactly! Women who can’t get pregnant have no right to express an opinion on abortion. They need to finally just butt the hell out and let us men settle this.
Posted by scott on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 at 11:32 pm.