PostHeaderIcon Is He Irrational Or Merely Immature?

GOP presidential hopeful and former PA senator Rick Santorum recently upped the ante in the anti abortion discussion with the statement that he would urge his own daughter to carry to term, deliver and raise a child that resulted from her being raped. He said such a child should be considered “a gift from God”.

Please allow me to state Santorum’s position another way. He would urge his own daughter to carry to term, deliver and raise a child, half of whose DNA was that of a vicious animal who impregnated her during a vicious attack. Rather than live in fear that the child had inherited its father’s vicious tendencies, she should cherish the child as though it was the result of some manner of gift giving.

How could any rational being wish a continued state of hell on his own offspring? Most victims of violent rape never truly get over the experience. Would not the presence of the rapist’s spawn serve to intensify the victim’s ongoing agony? (Note that I use violent rape to differentiate from statutory rape which is often non-violent and consensual.)

Rational people, as they mature, realize that life is nothing but a constant chain of decisions that each individual must make. They further realize that sometimes one must choose between a set of options, none of which is truly desirable. Presented with such a situation, a truly rational person would try to reason out which option is likely to produce the fewest undesirable outcomes over time and then choose accordingly.

Such a reasoning process is hard enough without injecting fantasy, superstition or irrationality into the process.

Difficult decisions with no desirable options can involve situations other than abortion. I had to make such a decision several years ago when I signed a document that took my ailing father off life support, knowing that his death would quickly follow. The situation was that he had been placed in a nursing home because my mother was unable to provide the care he required at home. He hated it in that home and he hated his own condition, particularly the incontinence. So, he did the only thing left in his power and simply stopped eating. As one would expect, this soon landed him in intensive care, on life support, and with his liver already having shut down. His doctor assured me that they could restart the liver, force nutrition into his body and render him fit to go back to that nursing home, slumped over in his wheel chair, and in emotional, if not physical agony.

I reasoned that his own actions (refusing to eat) made his own wishes quite clear. Yet, nothing will ever change the fact that I made a decision that caused my father’s life to end sooner than it otherwise would have. Far from being sorry for it, I am glad that I had the strength to do what other family members could not do. I view my action as the last decent thing I was able to do for my father. BTW, he was 87 years old at the time. Without the life support, he slowly drifted away, finally finding peace the next morning.

I tell this story not to make me seem the family hero but, rather, to make the point that life often demands hard decisions be made. And also to prove my mother’s dictum that there are worse things than dying.

For a rational, responsible person, the decision to abort a pregnancy must be gut-wrenching at best. But, sometimes it is the best long-term decision when the emotions are left at the door and the actual facts are considered. It can only be made worse by well-intentioned morons going about spewing the irrational products of superstition.

Having said all that, I fully agree that late-term and partial-birth abortions are a form of homicide and should not be tolerated. I also disdain those who use abortion as an irresponsible form of birth control. But, at the end of the day, the decision whether or whether not to abort any given pregnancy belongs to those most affected by the decision, in conjunction with the advice of a medical professional.

I totally reject the notion that any legislature, whether state of federal, can make such a decision in advance that properly addresses each circumstance.

For my own part, when my former wife and I discovered that we had started a new life before we were married, we chose to marry and raise the child. And, it was the best decision we ever made. But this does not mean, by extension, that our decision was the best one for every other circumstance.

Rather than FEEL about it, THINK about it.

Troy L Robinson

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