Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"You Start A Fire From The Bottom"

The assassination of Dr. George Tiller by Scott Roeder was an act of cold blooded murder, committed by an anti abortion activist, which has galvanized the entire country. Mr. Roeder took it upon himself to perpetrate this heinous act of cowardly aggression. In a televised interview, his former wife stated that he was bent on fighting abortion. Now that he has done this terrible thing, where does it go from here?

He has done very little to help his cause. If anything, he’s set it back by about twenty years. I am not anti-abortion. I am pro-choice. I believe in the rights of the individual and over thirty years ago the Supreme Court ruled that a woman could choose to do with her own body what she wished. Oftentimes, these decisions go much deeper than simply terminating a pregnancy. In many cases, the mother’s health could be placed in serious jeopardy by carrying a baby to term. Or her life could even be at stake. Perhaps there is something wrong with the baby as well. Something which would prevent it from having a normal life, giving it a poor quality of life as well as causing suffering for those who would care for it. In these cases, I can empathize with a mother’s choice to terminate a pregnancy. I don’t know if I could do it myself but I cannot stand in judgment of someone who does.

And how about rape? If a woman is raped and finds herself pregnant in the aftermath, would she want to bring a baby into this world that was conceived in such a violent manner? Could she ever recover from the trauma of her ordeal if there was a living breathing reminder of it in her sight each and every day? Again, I can honestly understand a woman’s choice to end a pregnancy under those conditions.

Or how about teenage girls who make mistakes out of ignorance and find themselves carrying the proof of their dalliance inside them? When marriage with the father is out of the question, or is an equally bad choice, should the girl be forced to bring a baby into her life that would pay the price of its conception alongside her? I don’t think so.

Yet this writing is not meant to identify just causes for abortion. It is inspired by the act of Scott Roeder on May 31, 2009, when he viciously and stupidly gunned down Dr. Tiller. He did it in a church, of all places. Not to imply that there is somewhere better for a murder, but Mr. Roeder’s choice was no doubt motivated by the statement he wanted to make in carrying out this crime.

Just what has Mr. Roeder accomplished? Let’s dissect this for a minute. He has ruined his own life, taken Dr. Tiller’s, created a situation that both families, as well as friends and other loved ones, will have to deal with for years to come. He has landed himself in jail where he’s looking at a life sentence, if not the death penalty, for what he’s done, and he has gained no support or tolerance for his cause at all. He’s done just the opposite. In killing Dr. Tiller, Mr. Roeder has cast himself and the entire pro-life movement in a sour light.

There seems to be an odd bit of logic at work in what happened here? I am reminded of an episode of The Golden Girls in which Blanche was telling the others about a time in her hometown when the populace burned books. She said they went into the library and gathered up all the books they didn’t agree with, made a big pile out of them, and threw a torch on top. Then she said her father, Big Daddy, tore through that crowd, outraged, climbed up the pile and grabbed the torch, before turning to the mob and shouting: “What are you people doing? This is lunacy. You start a fire from the bottom!”

And that pretty much sums up my feelings on this topic. You don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. If you’re going to do something, make a difference.