by Daniel C. Maguire


Attention All Fetuses!!!

Please do not get born! Not now, not while no-choicers are in charge of the government of the United States, because while these folks love you in the womb, they'll starve you if you are foolish enough to become a child.

While in the womb, you are in a privileged safe place. In fact your Status is rising all the time. As far as the no-choice crowd is concerned, you outrank your host, the woman in whose womb you are the budding guest. Some no-choice pickets even have posters that put you on a cross, giving you a kind of divine dignity. You are so important that for some people there is no other issue on which they vote. They're called the "single issue" people. They call themselves "pro-life" even though they have a passion for war and capital punishment. These "pro-lifers" particularly love to invade small countries with weak armies, places like Iraq or Grenada. I admit that is a bit weird, but they happen to be in charge right now, so we have to worry about them.

As long as you don't get born, however, you don't have a worry in the world...unless, of course, you are in one of the small countries the "pro- lifers" happen to be bombing.

For example: if the woman who bears you dares to take a drink or indulge in any recreational drug, they will throw the book at her. So, relax!

The only worry you really have now is from guys. The no-choice crowd really like men-almost as much as they like fetuses. In one Wyoming case, a pregnant woman went to the hospital after being badly beaten by her husband and was arrested and charged with child abuse because she had been drinking; the husband was not charged. In another case, a Georgia woman who delivered a stillborn child two days after a severe beating by her boyfriend was arrested because a test proved she had taken cocaine. The boyfriend was not indicted. Montana says abortion is criminal but its laws ignore fetal killings by men beating up women. The so-called "pro-lifers" have never mobilized a campaign against men killing fetusesby battering women.

Professor Jean Reith Schroedel sends you this grim news: "Roughly half of the states that have prosecuted women for drug use while pregnant have no statutes or case law that make it a criminal offense for a person to knife, shoot, stomp, or beat a fetus to death." (For "person", read"man.")

The reigning jurisprudential assumption here in the U.S. seems to be that if a man beats up the woman who is your host, she probably had it coming. (Cf. Is the Fetus a Person? By Jean Reith Schroedel, Cornell University Press, 2000)

Another good reason not to be born is if the woman carrying you is African-American or Hispanic. Poverty rates for the children of women like that is around 30 percent. The United States ranks first in child poverty among the 19 richest nations. The U.S. is simply not the best place to get born.

Things are so bad for children here that people had to start a group called Children's Defense Fund. They are very upset right now. (By the way, if you get born, you will have to meet a man called President Bush. That's another reason to stay where you are. This fellow became president after another fellow won the election. It's an American thing.) Anyhow this Bush fellow is fond of making rich people richer by giving them tax breaks. (It has to do with something about "rising tides lift all yachts.") The Children's Defense Fund pointed out that to finance those tax cuts Bush puts the hit on kids: 40% of poor children eligible for Head Start get dropped and so won't get nutritious meals at school; after school programs and child care programs will be cut; nine million children will by deprived of the health care they need by the Republican attacks on Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program. 3/5 of the 265 billion in cuts proposed by Bush will impact the poor and children. If we can believe polls, most American like what Bush is doing...another reason to stay where you are! It's a jungle out here.

So, fetuses, stay put! You'll never have the social security you have right now. And don't worry about Roe v. Wade which allowed women to choose abortions and control their lives. Even without being repealed it is being gutted. Our witty Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in Casey (1992): "Roe continues to exist, but only in the way a storefront on a western movie set exists: a mere facade to give the illusion of reality."

Fetuses, you've got it made! Only your birth could strip you of all these privileges.

Professor Daniel C. Maguire
tel 414 961 0139
fax 414 961 2150

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