Duck Soup: Baby Killers
I am a volunteer escort at a women's clinic. I do this to help shield clients entering the facility from the taunts, and bullhorns and video cameras of the preachers and protesters who line the sidewalk with their bibles and grisly pictures of dead fetuses. It isn't my business whether the women I escort are there for a pap smear or an abortion, nor is it part of my task to hold up pictures of dead children, but sometimes I wish I could.Every American baby born requires that dozens of other babies die. You may think this is awful, or you may think this is just fine, but either way, it is the truth. We are five percent of the world's human population, but we use thirty percent of the world's energy and forty percent of other resources. Numbers are only an abstraction of real life. In real life real children who are right now playing Ring Around the Rosey and laughing and singing will die to put food on our tables.While we watched wide-eyed Biafran children with bloated bellies starving on our television screens, Ethiopia was exporting food. While we witnessed gaunt infants in Southern India with flies crawling in and out of their mouths, clinging to mothers too malnourished to produce milk, India was exporting food. The five poorest countries in the world, all failing to feed their own people, export food to the United States.Some apologists like to claim that this situation is merely political, caused by tyrants or greedy foreign governments that we cannot control, but that ain't so. We control the game. We have the guns and we own the banks. Along with the other first world countries, known as G-7 because it sounds less snooty that calling ourselves "First Worlders," we basically extort resources from the rest of the world. We call it world trade, but we make the rules.Western Europe started this system by turning most of the rest of the world into colonies in the 16th and 17th centuries. Before Europeans arrived the people in Africa and the Americas and Australia and Asia were generally doing better than Europeans at feeding themselves. But Europe had the guns and owned the banks that funded expeditions. We all know a little about what happened next; the slavery, disease, murder, rape and pillage which re-shaped the world.But colonial days are behind us, and the situation in the third world we created is getting worse. Since World War II, not only the absolute number, but the percentage of the world's population which starves to death has risen. More than a third of the babies on earth are malnourished.So you see, it is a child, and it is a choice. Historically, every culture on earth has chosen infanticide when food was scarce. Babies are worth less than adults in the business of survival. Today, rich countries are in the comfortable position of letting other people's babies die so that ours can live. That isn't a pretty picture, but it is the case.To insist that every un-wanted fetus should be born here, is to claim that an un-wanted American child is worth more than dozens of little kids whose own mothers love them and desperately hope to see survive.The self-styled "pro-lifers" are actually pro-control. They don't really care if babies die, as long as they are allowed to decide which babies will live.Seen as pro-control, the clinic bombings and murders are easy to understand. From Crusaders butchering Moslems and Inquisitors burning witches, to Conquistadors cutting off Native American hands and German Christians creating the Holocaust, those who would control others have always been anxious to wrap their need for power in religious robes.That's the picture I would like to show the protesters at the clinic. I want them to know that I understand their motives. I want them to know that the self-righteous preacher with his bull horn can't wash the blood from his hands, and the doctor who helps a woman make a very difficult decision is saving lives.