Friday, September 19, 2008

It's human!

Husband and I just returned from our routine visit to the gynecologist. We received good report about the baby who is presently 17 weeks and 4 days old. It's fascinating how technology enables us to see so clearly what's in my womb. We could see his beating heart, his spinal cord, his legs and arms, clearly formed digits (fingers) on his hands, his genitals and etc.

The profile of his face was so clear on the sonogram printout that we could make out his cute little nose and mouth. We gasped in awe as we exclaimed - "It's human! He's a human person!"

Of course, for weeks now we've been monitoring his growth on the sonogram and even from the first few weeks, he was obviously a distinct human being. Though he's somehow attached to my body and is dependent upon me to grow at this point in time, he is nonetheless not part of my body, nor part of me in the same way as my kidneys or heart.

Laws in Singapore (where we're residing presently) allows abortion on demand up till the 24th week of pregnancy. That is, a woman can walk up to a clinic and have the life of the 6-month old child inside her terminated - no questions asked. Apparently this is what they call pro-choice (?) where a woman has a choice to do whatever she wants with her life and her body. Now, I have no problem with that definition of pro-choice BUT my problem arises from the fact that the 6-month old unborn inside her is NOT part of her body! It clearly has a life of its own - his own blood circulatory system complete with a beating heart, his own mind (the sight of my son kicking his legs and appearing like he's cycling an invisible bicycle inside my womb was enough to convince me that I have no control whatsoever over his actions!). Hence, extracting the fetus out of one's womb is not the same as removing one's kidney.

My pregnancy is, contrary to what every other mother tells me, becoming increasingly difficult. There are days when I can hardly function at all on normal activities. Clearly the growing entity inside my body is the cause of much of my physical and mental stress. However, I also realize that I can't simply decide to do what's best for me alone. First, another life is dependent on me. Second, regardless of how inconvenient or difficult it may be for me, I can't resort to removing the source of my suffering as we're not talking about a cancerous kidney here but about another human life. And, another human's life, I have no right to take.

With the advancement in prenatal scanning technology, it is becoming more obvious that no matter how we want to justify the termination of pregnancy, abortion is ultimately the taking of an innocent life. In some contexts, we call this kind of act, murder.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not mere rhetoric

(Image credit:
The American Presidential race just got more interesting with the naming of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. From the little reported in the media about this scarcely known Governor of Alaska I was impressed. But today, after digging further into what she's about, I find myself very excited about this VP nominee who is barely a few years older than I am.

What's there to not like about her? She's a full-time working mom (read: she identifies with most of our struggles and guilt!); she carried her Down Syndrome fifth child to term (read: she's not just pro-life in rhetoric but for real!); she has a son who's deployed to Iraq soon (read: she feels along with the tens of thousands of parents who have their children in Iraq); and she has a teenage daughter who's pregnant (read: she knows how challenging it is to be parents to teenagers AND she's not perfect - like most of us!).

In addition, her position on most issues is similar to mine - read here. She's also, according to Jennifer Roback Morse: "a post-feminist, professional woman. She doesn't so much reject Establishment Feminism: she just ignores it. She has a collaborative relationship with her husband, not, as far as I can tell, an adversarial or competitive relationship with him. He is not an obstacle to her life goals: he is a help and support to them."

I truly hope she will succeed in her race and continue to be an inspiration to women all around the world!