In art, contrast is a powerful tool. An artistically inclined girlfriend once illustrated this for me using Dynamite Hack’s rendition of “Boyz In The Hood.” Instead of Eazy-E’s menacing glare, the video opens with a collection of friendly, peaceful looking men and women gathered in front of a luxurious home. The camera zooms in on Mark Morris, the smiling lead singer, as he strums his acoustic guitar and blissfully croons about…“bitches,” “40’s,” “MAC-10’s,” and “slappin’ the hoes.” He continues with accounts of drug abuse and alcohol fueled domestic violence, all recited against a serene backdrop. A powerful contrast was thus achieved by juxtaposing inviting images and lyrical references that I found abhorrent–with one partial exception: my relationship with the MAC-10 pistol has been both affectionate and longstanding.
A similar contrast can be seen in the “pro-choice” movement. Just as Dynamite Hack filled their video with pleasant scenery, the abortion lobby adorns their effort with uplifting rhetoric about “freedom” and “empowerment.” The actions that they promote, however, tend to be less inspiring. A standard bearer for this incongruity is the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.
“Wow. Don’t we love Mayor Mike!” Those were the words of Planned Parenthood spokesperson Roger Rathman upon learning in February of 2002 that Mayor Bloomberg planned to “make abortion a standard part of OB-GYN instruction in the city’s hospitals.” This was important since, as Bloomberg later explained, “Reproductive choice is a fundamental human right, and we can never take it for granted.”
Someone who evidently didn’t feel the love was Sekiko Garrison. A former employee of Bloomberg’s financial services company (Bloomberg L.P.), Ms. Garrison filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the future Planned Parenthood crush in 1997. She alleged (among other things) that after becoming pregnant, her employer instructed her to “kill it.” Bloomberg denied these claims (along with allegations from two other women), but opted to settle them out of court.
If Ms. Garrison’s statements are truthful, then it would appear Michael Bloomberg believes that life begins before birth, since, outside of a George Romero film, it’s difficult to kill someone who isn’t alive. Such a belief would be entirely consistent with what we know of fetal development: according to the Mayo Clinic, a fetus’ heart starts beating within six weeks of fertilization. Further, there is evidence that a pre-born baby is capable of suffering. Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, a professor at the University of Tennessee, argues that a twenty week-old fetus can experience pain, a view also expressed by Dr. Jean Wright when she testified on the matter before Congress. In fact, Dr Wright suggested that a fetus’ ability to feel pain might actually begin weeks earlier in the pregnancy.
Given the obvious signs that a fetus is (as even Mayor Bloomberg agrees) alive, what do these noble sounding “reproductive rights” really look like in practice? There’s a woman in Tennessee who can help answer that question.
Gianna Jessen is a recording artist, public speaker, and athlete who ran the London Marathon in 2006. What makes that achievement especially notable is that Ms. Jessen suffers from cerebral palsy, courtesy of Planned Parenthood. In 1977, her pregnant mother had been carrying little Gianna for over seven months when she decided that she needed a do-over, something Planned Parenthood was happy to help with. The game plan was to “terminate the pregnancy” (i.e. Gianna) with an instillation abortion. Things went awry when the inconsiderate Giana chose to disregard her mom’s “right to chose” by surviving the procedure and exiting the womb very much alive. Gianna continued to be obstinate by living past infancy and reaching adulthood, helped along the way by her adoptive mother.
Instillation abortions involve exposing a fetus (like the pre-born Gianna ) to a saline or urea solution that caustically eats away at and eventually kills him or her. They’re done infrequently, however, partly due to the risk of complications that they present. In the early first trimester, aspiration abortions are the norm, and they consist of sucking a fetus out through a tube. For those fetuses aged sixteen weeks and up, dilation and evacuation abortions are preferred. In this method, a physician uses a pair of forceps to reach in and pull the unwanted fetus out, one piece at a time. You can take a gander at the “medical waste” that these operations produce by clicking here.
“Wouldn’t you know? I reached back like a pimp, then I slapped the hoe!” As Mark Morris belts out these words, the camera shows an attractive young woman contently munching away on a hotdog. The dichotomy between that idyllic image and the violent lyrics that overlay it is jarring. However, as skilled as the “boyz” of Dynamite Hack were at employing contrast, they’re simply no match for Michael Bloomberg and his fans at Planned Parenthood. The gap between the heroic rhetoric of “freedom” and the reality of miniature corpses is one that few artists could successfully bridge.