Letter written to a fetus 32 years ago after attending a Pro-Life rally on the Island of Guam.
You don’t know me, but I’m your friend. There is a real storm of controversy going on, I don’t think you are aware of. Some say that a fetus is just a blob of tissue. Others say that you can hear even while you are inside your mother’s womb. I really don’t want to cause you any worry or alarm, but your mother is having trouble deciding if she wants you. There has been talk about how your coming was “inconvenient.” Under ordinary circumstances you could live safely where you are for nine months, but it seems that you have just come at a bad time.
Again, I don’t want to unnecessarily frighten you, but your Mom does not like you. I know she would if she just gave you a chance. If she could read the DNA signature in your genes she would see that you have your grandfather’s eyes and your uncle Henry’s height (even though you are now no bigger than a mouse). She would also see that you have her sister Sarah’s disposition (that might not help however since your Mom does not like her either). You certainly do not have anything like a personality at this point. I think that is why you are not considered to be a real person yet. I guess you have to have a personality, even if it’s a bad one before you can join the human race. You might not be as bright as some, but you have potential. You might have to study and apply yourself harder than most, but with the right kind of education and encouragement you could be almost anything you might want to be. In that regard, life is great and I highly recommend it.
Let’s face it, taking care of a child is a real pain at times, and it can really cramp your style; so I know how she feels in a way. But your Mom does not realize that if given a chance you would be willing to live with someone else until you grow up, and that you could promise not to bother her or approach her for money, so she could still get those nice things she wants and she could concentrate on her career.
As I said, there is a lot of confusion out here over the issue of abortion. Abortion? Ah, that is something I have not mentioned yet. It is hard to tell you this, and I don’t expect you to understand. I guess you have to have been in the world for a while to understand it. Abortion is the sort of a “final solution” for unwanted pregnancies. At least some are comparing it to the Jewish Holocaust, but believe me, you don’t want to know about that. Sometimes the world is a very mean place, but most of the time it is nice. Pregnancy? Oh, you will have to be much older before I can tell you about that. It’s kind of complicated.
Now, about these rallies: At times it is like going to a football stadium to watch the homecoming game. The Pro-Choice people are cheering on one side and the Pro-Life people are on the other side. We sings songs and hold up signs. TV cameras Zoom-in on the most creative slogans. If one is lucky they can get their picture in the paper. On one side there are usually lots of religious people. Many of them really don’t really like each other, but they usually get along during these rallies. Some say, that alone makes these events worthwhile. People get up and make speeches, and the crowd claps, applauds, and cheers as the speaker makes points for their side. People hold up pictures of dead and mutilated babies. That is very sad. But we get to meet old friends and everyone seems to have a good time. At the last rally people passed out song sheets, and there were cold sodas, and it was all great fun. The politicians come to these rallies and are challenged to take a stand. (It seems showing people where you stand is very important)- Standing, however is a very difficult thing for most of our elected officials. Part of the game is to count the numbers on each side, check which way the wind is blowing, and calculate just where they will land if overwhelmed by the opposition. In Idaho, for example, the Pro-Life movement seems to depend on just how important their famous potato is to them. Many people threatened to “spoil their spud” if the Pro-Choice side loses in the State House. So in Idaho, it seems to have come down to being either Pro-life or Pro-potato.
Sometimes a “game” is not a good way to explain all this. Sometimes it is more like a war. Some Pro-Lifers have been known to use bombs and are willing to kill for life. Don’t ask me to explain that. It’s just that people get very emotional. You see, fetus’ often forget what they were, and become people; and people can sometimes be very unreasonable. Some Pro-lifers will fight to make sure you are born, but after that they will not recognize you; and may sometimes treat you bad, especially if you are not their favorite color, race, or religion.
In Ireland the Catholics are killing the Protestants and the Protestants are killing the Catholics. In India the Hindus and the Muslims are killing each other. In the Middle East, the Arabs and the Jews are blowing each other up. In South Africa the Whites are fighting with the Blacks. Isn’t there some good news out here in the world? Yes, In case you have not heard, the “Cold War” is over and peace is breaking out all over the world, especially in the Soviet Union. But because of the new spirit of freedom the Azerbaijanis are killing a lot of Armenians. It seems peace is very complicated also. But even with the “Cold War” ending there is trouble in the Philippines, Korea, China, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Iraq and Iran. Then there is Haiti, and Panama, and the Americans are trying to kill the drug lords of Columbia even though America is their best customer.
I don’t think I have time to tell you about Aids, and the homeless problem (that has to do with fetus’ who grew up, but for some reason have no place to live and are living in cardboard boxes and over subway gratings). Then there is racism. That is when one former fetus thinks he is superior to another former fetus and they do unkind things to each other.
Now, here’s the situation. It’s not all bad. Although you might think that hard to believe after this little introduction to life here in the World. There are lots of great causes you could lend yourself to. After you grow up (If you grow up), you could join the Pro-Life group or the Pro-Choice group and go to these rallies. But that is not the only thing you can do. There is a need for hospitals to be built, and schools to be established, you could become a teacher and fight the war against ignorance and stupidity. If we are all still here, you could work on saving our water supply, discover new ways to grow food, house the homeless, or stop starvation in Ethiopia where millions are dying. They say the world is running out of resources. I think we are really running out of common sense.
What most fail to recognize is that planet Earth is unique in having a resource that no other planet has in the Universe. It is not Gold. We might yet discover gold on Mars or Venus. It is not water, for we might yet discover ways to make it in a laboratory. The resources that we have which makes earth so unique is you. Today you are just a fetus, but you might have a brain that is ten times brighter that Einstein’s. Or you might be able to balance the budget or eliminate the national debt. You might have the ability to lead humanity out of the morass and mischief of political animosities. On your little hand might be the finger that can point the way.
I know your Mom has her reasons, but personally I hope she would have enough faith in you and in herself to see that as dangerous a place as the world is, giving you life gives you a chance to make things better.
PS. If you were holding out hopes for the Supreme Court, you might as well forget it. As far as they are concerned, you don’t have a prayer. The mother’s against fetuses seem to have won that battle. If you don’t “make it” or get your day in court here, I guess you’ll just have to wait to meet your mother on Judgment Day.
Sincerely, Ingimar DeRidder