Published on 10 July 2024 at 12:13

: the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: such as

: spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation compare MISCARRIAGE
: induced expulsion of a human fetus
: expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal, often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy

   There's nothing like starting with a firecracker topic. Few people are down the middle on this topic. It goes without saying that a significant number of people are informed by religion when it comes to abortion. The best I can offer on that front is that most religions are based on ancient thoughts about the universe and world we live in, beliefs, and suspicions long before there was science and higher education. Well-meaning as the authors of those religious texts may have been, one must admit they were seriously under-informed on most worldly topics.
   As far as we know, only the human species has evolved philosophies that elevate us to a god-like status (we are made in His image), promising us eternal life if we simply adhere to the beliefs and suspicions of these ancients who believed the world was flat and that the entire universe revolved around us. Let us set aside religion for the moment if that's possible, and examine the human condition in the same light as all other life on our planet.
   We accept the role of nature when it comes to other animals, our pets, our agricultural animals, and wildlife in general. We understand spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, and difficult births that sometimes result in the death of the fetus and/or mother. Yes, we have developed veterinary science to a point where we humans can step in and alter what would have been a natural outcome that would be negative. We help the mother give birth. We can do C-sections on dogs, cats, and many other animals and bring forth a baby that might otherwise have perished. And that's a good thing.
   But, we don't do this because we think the animal has a soul, or that our God wants us to save that litter of puppies so they can someday go to heaven. We do it because of our feelings about our animals, or in the case of livestock, because the loss of a cow or calf is a financial loss. Our decisions pertaining to animals are not religion-driven. In fact, most religions suggest that the animals were put here by God for our enjoyment and, of course, consumption.
   Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fiber, milk, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, management, production, nutrition, selective breeding, and the raising of livestock. Husbandry has a long history, starting with the Neolithic Revolution when animals were first domesticated, from around 13,000 BC onwards, predating farming of the first crops and the rise of modern religious beliefs.
   The cow, the horse, the dog or cat, and we humans all follow the same biological rules for procreation. So, how is it that we humans are the exception to the rule of nature? We seem to have elevated ourselves about all other living things. Religions tell us that this prophet or that one heard from this God in some way, telling us we were special among all the things He created. That sounds rather self-serving, in my opinion, rather Trumpian, in fact.
   It’s been close to 2,000 years since we've had a prophet who spoke to this God. Oh, we had a few, like Pat Robertson and David Koresh, and others who have claimed that God spoke to them or that they were the second coming, but they have generally been dismissed as being a bit mad. Why is that? Could it be that down through the years, as we humans have become more knowledgeable about our world and universe, birth and death, and matters of science, we have left behind the superstitions of the past?
   All the above is meant to recognize that human birth is no different from that of other animals. We spay and neuter millions of animals a year to have some control over their populations. I don't hear anyone crying out that we are violating God's grand plan. That plan seems to be only for us. I'm not suggesting we have abortion clinics in the back of Walgreens. It does need to be a decision made by the mother, with her full knowledge of the meaning of that decision for the rest of her life. But it must be her decision, and hers alone, not one made by a bunch of politicians who will never meet her or a panel of robed judges. A woman's decision about how to use her body is as sacrosanct as the decision of a man to have a vasectomy. It's a medical procedure, nothing else.

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