1000 Words: Pro- or Anti-

I’ve passed the sign countless times on State Road 46 just this side of Ellettsville. And it wasn’t until the other day that the full meaning of it hit me: WOMB radio. I don’t have a pic of the actual LED sign but here’s the logo from WOMB’s webpage:

Filling the O, naturally, is the image of a fetus, probably about six or seven months along in its development, far past the time the average pregnant woman gets an abortion. The Pew Research Center reported on January 11, 2023: “In 2020, 93% of abortions occurred during the first trimester – that is, at or before 13 weeks of gestation, according to the CDC.”

Now, the Roman Catholic Church isn’t the first or only advocacy organization to exaggerate to makes its point. Hell, I recall seeing one environmental group try to scare the bejesus out of the world by claiming climate change just might wipe out life on the planet by the year 2050. You don’t get very far by saying, “Hey, folks, we’ve got a really serious problem on our hands but it ain’t gonna affect us for a few hundred or even a thousand years.”

No, if you want to motivate people, if you want them to dip into their wallets to contribute to your cause, you make them think disaster’s right around the corner. Or, like WOMB radio, you portray the statistically least likely potentially aborted fetus in order to shake up the largest number of drivers passing by its LED sign.

For pity’s sake, during The Loved One’s and my weekly Sunday drives through Southern Indiana, we see any number of anti-abortion billboards featuring a cuddly tot, grinning and half-tented in a crib blanket, accompanied by a message reading, essentially, Why Would You Kill This?

Well, you wouldn’t, because that kid’s already been born and abortion is a procedure done almost exclusively during the first trimester of pregnancy. The 45th President of the United States, when he was running for office sometime in 2016, even claimed many doctors were performing abortions after the child had been delivered which, like so much of what he’s ever said, is utterly dishonest. That would be called murder and if such a practice does hold in this holy land, the twice-impeached president would have been the very first to point it out, a terribly unlikely possibility considering he’d never before shown any concern for the life of any human being, whether recently delivered, ten years old, 25, 55, or 95.

I can’t explain why the WOMB sign eluded my close attention until now. Generally, I’m alert to all road signs, even reading them aloud, much to The Loved One’s mild annoyance. Certainly the bazillions of anti-abortion signs on SR 37, US 50, Interstate 69, and pretty much every paved byway in the state imprint themselves in my memory. Maybe it’s the high-tech aspect of WOMB’s sign. There’s this quasi-Luddite aspect of my nature that causes me to shy away from tech for tech’s sake, as evidenced by my refusal to carry a smartphone. But that’s just me.

But now WOMB is etched in my brain. Again, I’m moved by how obsessed half this nation is with abortion. All the churches of whatever faith TLO and I pass every Sunday seem compelled to post a sign or billboard. And the vast majority of said signs and billboards carry an anti-abortion message. Of all the ills in the world abortion, apparently, is the only one that counts with people who believe there’s such a thing as a god.

Back to WOMB’s website, the footer message on its main page reads (all sic):

From WOMB to the TOMB we are 100% pro-life. No contraception. No abortion. No euthanasia… NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

Given their exuberant use of capital letters and exclamation marks, the people who run WOMB really mean business.

Funny thing is, there’s no mention of capital punishment, which is odd considering so many religious types are spectacularly mistrustful of the government. I mean, governments from the township level to the superpower seem too often incapable of efficiently, quickly, and properly filling potholes, keeping banks from collapsing, preventing enemies from floating spy balloons over their territory, and even making sure trains carrying highly toxic chemicals are operated without fear of derailment and explosion. Yet, those same government officials are given a free hand to snuff out the lives of convicted criminals.

Criminals, of course, who’ve been convicted by a justice system demonstrably warped by money and racism. I’ve never yet seen an Indiana church sign or billboard saying No Capital Punishment Ever!

Church folks like to tell the world they are caring and loving, that helping their sisters and brothers is the highest form of dedication to godly principles. Yet their refusal to consider abortion even at risk of the mother’s life or her inability to care for and provide for her unborn child, coupled with their abhorrence of mercy killings and assisted suicides for people wracked by unbearable pain, untreatable cancer, inability to take a deep breath, or soul-crushing dementia appears to me to be flat out mean.

To be sure millions and millions of pious folks care deeply for humanity and might well perform supreme sacrifices for the benefit of others, but the obsessive anti-abortion gang doesn’t strike me as being part of that altruistic subset.

The anti-abortion movement seems a symptom of tribal supremacy. We don’t want our women to abort, it sounds as though they’re saying, because we have to have the most people. And it’s been the countries with the most people who traditionally have ruled, either over huge swathes of the planet or the entire globe.

I suppose this instinct was important when small, nomadic bands of people lived in fear of other small, nomadic bands of people on the other side of that big hill and across that wide river. They had to have more warriors than the other side did. Perhaps that still holds today. China boasts nearly five times as many people as the United States does. Should the two nations go toe to toe, China’s got a hell of a lot more cannon fodder to lose.

Perhaps being anti-abortion isn’t pro-life at all.

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