Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
(Follow-up to reflections on Jon & Kate postponed for a day or two)
George Tiller, a doctor who performed late-term abortions, was shot to death at 10 a.m. today, at his church outside Wichita, Kansas. For some, like Operation Rescue Founder Randall Terry, Tiller was a “mass-murderer” and deserved what he got. For others – their voices represented by women like NOW President Kim Gandy – Tiller is an innocent victim of “domestic terrorism.”
Count me among the latter. This is terrifying and terrible and terrorism is as good a word as any to apply to what happened.
I’m pretty vocal about being pro-choice. I’m also pretty vocal about my ambivalence about what such choice entails, which is to say, I’m emphatically not pro-abortion. But then again, I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion, or anti-life, or anything other than simply pro-choice. Pro-choice is not pro-death. Funny, though, how pro-life, in this case, turned pro-death. A more perfect example of irony in action I cannot, at this moment, imagine.
Abortion is – to say the least – a complicated issue. How do we say when life begins, how do we determine whether the earliest stirrings of life should be protected, whether the rights and interests of a self-determining human being should or should not outweigh the possible rights and interests of a being whose life has not yet begun? Hard questions that sometimes seem to defy answers. Murder, however, is not a complicated issue. Killing a living human being in cold blood is wrong. We can parse arguments about murder to account for necessary defense (self-defense, war), but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward: murder – understood as killing an autonomous, living human being – is wrong. So how anybody, anywhere, can defend this is beyond my understanding entirely. Even if you belief that abortion itself is murder, how does spreading more death – spreading death, and terror? – bring forward a message of life and hope?
I am confused, and sad. So, so sad.