A Good Question
It’s the forty-first anniversary today of the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe versus Wade. I’m thinking about how savagely abortion rights have been attacked and degraded for American women since then.
A question repeatedly asked by the powerful anti-choice faction is When does life begin? This may be the question that winds up putting American women into reproductive prison.
It’s a good question because it reveals the underlying patriarchal linear thinking about death being an end in itself.
The When does life begin question never talks about the countless living sperm in human reproduction that don’t make it to the egg everyday in this country, and die trying. Or what about all those viable unfertilized eggs that don’t get a chance to begin?
These things aren’t mentioned because life doesn’t just begin. Neither does it just end. Life is a continuum. A circle. Never is there only life or only death, but always life and death together. This worldview stems from my life’s observations and from living close to nature. I see life and death as being like Siamese twins joined at the heart, each I’m certain, wise in their own way and serving a useful and creative purpose.
I believe the patriarchal mind lives in terror of death and is obsessed with death because it has cut itself off from its own cyclic nature. Patriarchy has spent thousands of years rejecting female cyclicity and enforcing an all-male linear worldview that doesn’t recycle, but just keeps “progressing” to an inevitable end. Even the patriarch’s god didn’t recycle. He died, was reborn, but didn’t come back to live (and die) on Earth again. (Although apparently his nemesis Satan has hung around, growing fabulously rich and powerful. He calls himself a corporation.)
A conservative friend of mine asked me the other day, So, you’re for abortion? It was a loaded question because it was really asking, So, you’re for murdering unborn babies? (Perversely, the anti-choice patriarchs in government who view abortion as murder are also predominantly pro-war, where life is wantonly destroyed in every stage of human reproduction and non-reproduction, and for the utterly profane purpose of corporate profit.)
Being for or against abortion isn’t the point. For me, women’s freedoms are the point. When does life begin? is not the important question. The only question I want to ask and have answered is this: How can there be life without freedom?