“Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.” — “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” 1989
I thought I settled all of this 33 years ago, dammit. Here’s the text of the January 27, 1989, Barbwire entitled “An Elegant Solution to Abortion.”
The abortion quandary revolves around the classic question of cake: how to have it and eat it, too. Pregnant women want to become unpregnant.
Anti-abortionists want pregnancies carried thru to birth and have been increasingly willing to resort to violence to make their point.
INSTANCE IN POINT: On October 23, 1998, Dr. Barnett Abba Slepian was murdered in Amherst, New York, by anti-abortion militant James Charles Kopp. Dr. Slepian was the brother of then-Reno Wooster High School Principal Serena Robb.
Back to 1989.
Before any more on either side get killed, consider this: For the price of a couple of B-2 Stealth Bombers, we might solve this once and for all. My idea is simple: a new, liberal spending program to facilitate embryo/fetus survival outside the womb at any point in pregnancy’
STUPID QUESTION FROM A DUMB TEENAGER. In 1963, I asked my Fresno State freshman psychology Professor Dr. Powell about exactly that. He looked at me like I had set him up for joke.
“How are they going to do that without a placenta?” he dissed me. If only I knew then what I know now.
Back to the 1989 Tribune:
Today, not only can in-vitro fertilization take place in a laboratory, but embryos can be removed from one womb and transplanted to another.
This constitutes difficult but “basically surrogate mothering,” one doctor told me awhile back.
Survivability is now limited to early and late stages of pregnancy, leaving the mid-portion for research. The mid-pregnancy time frame continues to shrink. No less than U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has recognized that the law and medical technology are on a “collision course” on this issue.
Controversial British researcher Robert Edwards has had embryos growing for over a month in lab dishes. Fertilized eggs can be frozen and last for years. The collision course of law and medical technology can be utilized to end the counterproductive collisions between people of radically different views. All it will take is putting the right amount of taxpayer money into the program.
So there you have it. Put your pro-life money where your mouth is.
Support the answer to abortion: a classic liberal spending program to research and implement the perfect solution. While the research is underway, another question must be posed: How many pro-lifers, male and female, would be willing to volunteer their bodies as hosts for these saved kids? (A recent report stated that male pregnancy is now technically feasible.)
UPDATE: In 1994, supermacho actor and future conservative Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in “Junior,” a comedy in which he became the world’s first pregnant man. What Terminator?
Back to 1989.
Pro-choicers to whom I’ve presented this idea have unanimously committed to support it with their tax dollars. Anti-abortionists have accused me of sanctioning murder and violating God’s will. I can’t seem to get thru to them that the transplanted embryo/fetus would not be trashed, just relocated to eventually become little Johnny. No sale.
Why? Because elimination of the abortion controversy would destroy a lot of hobbies. People who enjoy proselytizing, publicizing, pontificating and prevaricating to their little corner of the world would find themselves fresh out of a cause. People get mad when you threaten their favorite pastimes.
So concluded my since-ignored advice. A guy even wrote Dear Abby with the transplant idea a decade or two later.
In one of his last newscasts, the most trusted man in America, Walter Cronkite, decried the emergence of single-interest politics.
Anti-abortion is (pardon the expression) its poster child.
Zealots avoid “tangential” issues like who pays the societal costs for all those new kids? The 2005 bestseller “Freakonomics” noted how sociologists accurately predicted that the national crime rate would drop starting in 1998, precisely 15 years after 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. Why? Far fewer unwanted young males age 15 to 25, the demographic responsible for most crimes.
We already have an embarrassingly high infant mortality rate in this country (33rd among 36 countries). Mississippi is our worst state and Mississippi West Nevada last month earned the dubious distinction of fourth in the nation for syphilitic babies.
Alas and alack, narrow focus is smart follytix. Lots of “fiscally vigilant” anti-abortion pols vote against “commie-liberal” programs like food, Head Start, child and health care — like diagnosing and stopping parental syphilis with two bucks worth of penicillin.
“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament” advised a recent protest sign. Amen.
I’m basically a Buddhist-Newtonian: Matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, they merely change form. Thus with any inchoate individual who doesn’t make it all the way. Catholic dogma recognizes an immortal soul. I’ve never gotten over Father Sergio Negro telling my high school senior religion class that if it’s a tossup between a mother’s life or the fetus, doctors should kill the mother in order to give the kid a chance at baptism and a higher place in heaven. My all-male classmates were uniformly aghast at this unintentional but callous marketing strategy.
I will let my first and last wife Betty (1941-2005) close with this until-now unpublished commentary on my 1989 piece: “The only thing I might add is this thought: Right or wrong should not always be equivalent to legal or illegal. People grow and advance as a human race when allowed to choose. People become divided and law enforcement ineffective when all choices are ruled legal or illegal. Mankind must grow through conscience, not fear. Fear of breaking the law is not necessarily based upon fear of God or morality, nor should it be.
Government is not God. (God help us for making it seem this way.)”
The mother of five, grandma to 11 and great-grandma of one (so far) was always much smarter than me. And demonstrably a better and more concise writer.
Take care of each other and be careful out there.
BARBWIRE CONFIDENTIAL: Monitor KRNV TV-4/Fox-11 starting today for the latest on rent control. (Barbwire 5-4-2022)
Pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Quarantino Barbano, a 53-year Nevadan, is editor of Rentvolution.org, MississippiWestNV.org and NevadaLabor. com/ Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail