Friday, June 15, 2012

Stuff That's Been Eating at Me: Why Not These Other Causes?

It was a hot summer day. I was holding a sign almost as big as I was, standing on the edge of a busy road, rather wishing I could be doing something else, such as not standing so close to a busy road and worrying about my toes getting run over (I have a perpetual fear of my toes getting run over, don't ask me why). There were many other people from our church there, all holding signs, but the only one I particularly remember is the one I had to hold. My sign, red letters on white background, read:


And, with all the honesty and straightforwardness that comes from being a child that hasn't learned what questions not to ask, I asked, "If these babies get to go to Heaven, then why are we stopping it? If they're being aborted, that means their parents aren't Christian, which means they won't know about Jesus when they grow up, which means they might die after reaching the 'age of accountability' but before they become Christians, which means they would go to hell. But if they're aborted now, they'll all go to Heaven, right? So why are we stopping it?"

And, like many questions I asked as a child, I was told I would understand when I was older.

So I became older (it seems to happen regularly if you don't do anything to stop it. Sadly, I've found the only way to stop it is to stop living). As I became older, I came back to the question. I read stories, and studies, and, somewhat surprisingly,  found myself on the side that says a person isn't allowed to use another person's body against their will. End story.

And now I'm going to explain why. Because for some people, they're going to stop at the thought "killing babies" and not at the thought, "using someone's body against their will." But let me ask: why are people who support forcing a person to donate their body to another person for nine months because of the life of the person being donated to, not also in support of things that improve people's lives or allow them to live at all, including the lives of the people that they support forcing other people to donate their bodies to?

I have some great ideas for improving the lives of people here, and none of them are nearly as invasive (although that may be a matter of opinion) as forcing a person to serve as a spawnhost for nine months to a stranger. If a person wants to be a spawnhost, that's one thing, and kudos to the people who want to be a spawnhost. However, to the people who would like to force anyone who might become a spawnhost to be one, I'd like to suggest some other causes for them to champion, since they would vastly improve the lives of the people they want born so badly.

Mandatory adoptions. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway there were over 400,000 children in foster care for 2010, 25% of which (according to the factsheet) (25% doesn't seem like a lot, does it?) were slated for adoption. That's 100,000 children waiting for adoption. We could just hand these people out to qualifying parents. After all, who doesn't want a surprise blessing dropped into their lap?

To be fair, we probably only want to give these children to people who can afford to take care of them (we're more discerning than Nature in that respect, or like to think that we are). Let's pull a number out of a hat and say we're only going to give these children to households which make over $50,000 a year. A bit of pawing around on the US Census site leads us to this document which (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) indicates that there were 117,538,000 households  in the US, 58,578,000 which make over $50,000 a year. If we put all these households into a random lottery and pulled their names out as needed to give these children a home, well, the chance of one of these households getting a surprise child is only about 0.17%. The child gets a good home, the people in the household get a blessing to love and to cherish forever and ever, and the foster care system gets a 25% reduction in workload. Everyone wins, right? Who cares if the people in these households didn't want children (or another child), or are up to their eyeballs caring for a sick or elderly or infirm family member, or have to make that much money to pay off various college, medical, and other expenses. It's for the good of the children.

Did I mention that there's no government help other than what is normally available to the average person caring for their biological spawn after these new parents are graced with this blessing? We'll say that the adoption process itself is free, unlike the process of spawnhosting and birthing one's own biological child, which can run into the thousands of dollars even before the spawn hits the ground. So the adoptive parents are already ahead in that respect. But in the sense of true equality, we aren't going to screen whether or not these children have physical, psychological, or emotional issues, and since the household's income bracket likely places them out of reach of many government programs, they get to foot the cost of caring for their new blessing themselves.

But it's for the children, the lives of the children. If you truly cared about the children, you would not stop caring about their lives at birth, but beyond. You'd want them to grow up in homes where they get fed and properly educated, and you are selfish for disagreeing with the idea of mandatory adoptions. How could you be so self-centered? It's better to be in a stable, loving home, then bounced about from foster home to foster home, with never a place or a parent to call your own. If you didn't want a mandatory adoption forced on you, you shouldn't have made enough money to be in the position where your name got entered in the lottery. How dare you try to make a better life for yourself and the people already in your life without accepting the consequences!

But for those who think mandatory adoptions are too invasive (because they don't care about children, or whatever), let's look at mandatory organ donations. We live in a society that doesn't even require a parent to donate organs to their children, although I'm certain many of them do, or would if they could. If people are campaigning for a person to be forced to donate their body to their spawn for nine months, why not for life? That aside, why don't we have laws on the books that turn every dead body in the country into an organ donor? According to The Economist 7,000 Americans died in 2007 waiting for an organ transplant. According the US Census there is one person in the US dying every 14 seconds, or over 2.2 million a year. I'm fairly certain that out of those 2.2 million corpses we could have cobbled together enough spare parts to save those 7,000 people who needed an organ transplant of some kind. Some of those were probably children. So the new Mandatory-Organ-Donor-Initiative is for the children, too. And dead people don't even need their organs anymore.

Am I actually suggesting that Mandatory Adoptions and Organ Donations become the new thing now? Nope. For the same reason I don't approve of forced spawn hosting. It comes down to this personal liberty and life concept. If you don't want a child, for any reason, you shouldn't be forced to either spawn one or adopt one. If you want to keep your squishy bits when you die, your wishes should be respected.

I'm not going to dig into the rest of the reasons why we, as a country, as people, should object to forced spawn hosting. It should be enough that we don't allow one person to impose their will on another person's body. We shouldn't have to talk about why abortions happen, or what happens to a child who grows up knowing it's a "punishment" for it's parent having sex. We shouldn't have to talk about all the children growing up in poverty, or parents who are unable to stand the strain of parenting and opt for drowning all their kids in a bathtub. We shouldn't have to talk about the cruelty of forcing a parent to carry a wanted child to term when that child has a defect that will force it to live a short, painful life. We shouldn't have to talk about the parent who can't make ends meet with the children they already have. We shouldn't have to talk about the shaming inflicted on people who choose to keep or not keep a pregnancy. It should be enough that no one, irregardless of age, is allowed to use another person's body without their consent.

You want to help the world? You want to save kids? Help the ones that are here. Help the mothers that, in spite of incredible odds, or because of them, have them. Don't just hang up your sign at the end of the day and wallow in your righteousness. Don't go mumbling about "welfare queens" when you're the one who told them that they had to keep their children. And don't hate those that, for whatever reason, made the choice to not allow another person to use their body.

A person might say, "What if you were aborted?" Well, I wouldn't be here to care, obviously. But if my mom had been able to live a better life, without the insanity and mental disorders that plagued her, if she could have been a happy/good person by my absence, then why would I object? I would rather hope any kid who gave two cents about their parents would want them to make the best life for themselves.

 (All right, cousin, you kept nagging me to post on this blog, so this is what you get. Enjoy)