Od Zar: OP-ED #65 – A New Modest Proposal
Hi, Folks! Od Zar here, and I’ve got something to say.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I care as much about human beings and human rights as the next guy, despite the fact that a lot of my friends are what you might call “aliens”.
All this said, I do listen to the radio from time to time, and the latest dust-up has got me up in arms.
Todd Akin, the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 2nd congressional district, has stirred up a hornet’s nest, and now the Republican National Committee’s stand that abortion should be illegal under every circumstance has come to the fore. Really? Under every circumstance?
OK, look. I admit that questions about things like abortion and capital punishment (to name two) are difficult for me. My “stand” wavers. I love life, and I love people, but “under every circumstance” is a phrase that really bothers me. Where is the humanity in “under every circumstance”?
A woman who becomes pregnant because she was raped is being punished twice for being a victim. The first punishment is the rape itself, and is a problem in the US that needs closer scrutiny and harsher penalties. The second punishment the victimized woman suffers is being forced to raise an unwanted child. It may be that the woman is single, living alone, and perhaps, herself, on the brink of poverty. Suddenly she has another mouth to feed. Children are very expensive, and our society expects you to pay all of their bills for at least 18 years.
Does this sound cold? I hope not.
The point is this: if the Republicans get their way, unwanted children will be forced upon rape victims in many cases. Great emotional and fiscal stress will be put upon these women.
When Jonathan Swift wrote his “Modest Proposal” in 1729, and suggested (tongue very much in cheek) that the poor Irish sell their children to feed the rich, he raised a lot of eyebrows.
While my own suggestion will have no such far-reaching impact, I humbly suggest it nonetheless.
Republicans: As you believe that the offspring of rape victims should be someone’s responsibility, I suggest that they become YOURS. Might I suggest that you create massive Orphanages in every major city of the United States, (funded, of course, by the Republican National Committee and its thousands of very wealthy contributors) and allow the rape victims to give their unexpected children to you to be housed therein? Allowing you to shoulder the expense of raising, feeding, clothing and educating these children, as well as managing their health care, will take the burden from the victim of a violent crime, and place it where it clearly belongs… on you.
Of course children being brought up in a massive orphanage will face certain psychological problems. Labeled “unwanted”, and “child of a felon”, as well as the lack of individuality “nurtured” by institutional life, may well damage their chances for a healthy and fulfilling life, (and will probably make them instant Democrats if they reach voting age), but I’m sure, in your wisdom, you can come up with some additional labels that will make these young minds appreciate their lot in life.
OK, enough of that. I know there are some of you who believe, for philosophical or religious reasons, that no fetus should be aborted. I can appreciate your stand, but I think I must ask you to consider this: why should a rape victim be forced to raise the child of someone else? Why should a victim of a violent crime be made to pay, for the next 18 years of her life, for a crime perpetrated upon her?
There are a lot of planets out there where the idea would be laughed at.
Perhaps it is time for the people of THIS world to take another look.