I never quite know what to think about messages like this.They are intended to fly below the radar of conscious thought. Part of that is a good thing, but they do tempt people to elide past careful thought.What do you think is the takeaway from this poster? I'll bet people have different responses.
My primary takeaway, which is off the apparent message of the image, is in the OP. But there is at least one other: the pregnant girl's thought implies (though it does not prove) that there is a communication problem between her and her mother (and the baby's grandmother). The image also assumes that abortion is a foregone conclusion, which I think doubtful except for those few for whom the procedure is just another form of birth control.Eric Hines
My takeaway (that is, my interpretation of what the poster wants to say) is this - "You're sacrificing a life to avoid a chewing-out. Reprioritize."
A set of messages like this can also provoke careful thought. If a young woman in this condition were focused on upsetting her parents, it might introduce another point of view; it might also, as Mr. Hines says, cause (grand)parents to consider carefully and then talk to their children about the support they would be prepared to offer in this case.The linguistic aspect of it also invites some thought. The inversion of the common phrase points up that the metaphor is literally true in the second case, which is a nice distinction.At the same time, it invites us to consider the degree to which the second thought is possible at all. To what degree is a baby in this early phase conscious, and to what degree is it important that it be conscious? It certainly won't have the language to construct a sentence, but we do have reason to believe that there is basic sense perception pretty early -- e.g., pain avoidance, and response to mother's voice. I'm not sure that full-consciousness-at-this-instant is all that important as a criterion, because if it were you could kill sleeping people (or, perhaps, actively kill rather than simply remove-from-life-support those in comas whose recovery was uncertain). For that matter, the sliding range of consciousness doesn't stop with birth: your consciousness increases over the next several years in dramatic ways, and doesn't stabilize until well into adulthood. We predicate some rights on that distinction (e.g., voting), but it's not clear to me that we should predicate the right to existence on linguistic capacity. However, Dr. Pinker and others who have followed this line want to do just that, and license infanticide based on -- so to speak -- a failure to communicate.
Suppose that it is not a lack of communication - the girl believes that she is likely to get a violent response from her family?
That's a good question. The one moral case for abortion is one in which the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother, because otherwise one loses both mother and child. Normally that has to do with the zygote implanting at the wrong part of the body, so that the physical development of the child will kill the mother (and the child as well). You might be posing an alternative case of the same type.Thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?
Saving the life of the (pregnant) mother through abortion because the mother can't otherwise escape the death mechanism internal to her body is one thing.The death threat external to her body--e.g. a violent mother--is a separate matter. She can "always" escape her mother. She may not have the wherewithal to survive for long (for instance, privation, or no where to run or hide) absent even an abusive mother's support, or she may not have the mental wherewithal (without going into any causes of the deficiency) to conceive of leaving, but the potential exists.I think this severely weakens (but does not necessarily eliminate--this is a child, if we take the image more or less at face value on age, and so she is not thinking as clearly as an adult might) the legitimacy of abortion in such a case.Eric Hines
At the same time, it invites us to consider the degree to which the second thought is possible at all.Does it? I think Cassandra has the right of it - that it's trying to bypass that kind of thought. Sort of like having Bambi and Thumper talk and think on a human level, and addressing the morality of hunting that way.
I'm not even sure it's a bad idea to bypass the literal/rational though process. In a way, it's an appeal to gut instinct or aesthetics or emotion, but I would argue that should be part of the decision process.What I saw in this was:1. The girl is worried about her parents either being disappointed in her or punishing her for having gotten herself (with help from the father) into trouble.3. When the girl says her Mom will "kill", it's not literal. Her parents won't actually kill her because they love her (hopefully) and understand that children make mistakes and it's a parent's duty to help them.4. When the fetus/babv says "kill", it's quite literal. And yet the baby is blameless. 5. In both cases, the "child" (girl or fetus) is going to cause considerable trouble and inconvenience to its parents. But in the case of the girl, the parents will probably support or help her. In the case of the fetus, the parents feel no duty to do so and want "the problem" to go away.Here are the logical problems I see:1. As Grim points out in his first comment (which I quite liked), the baby isn't a sentient being yet in the way the girl is. But then neither is a 6 month old baby, yet if a mother killed her 6 month old we would call it murder. So the implication of awareness on the part of the baby is disingenuous, I think.2. There's a possible implication that the girl is having the abortion b/c she's afraid of her parents' reaction. I do like that suggestion because it rings true to me. If it motivates parents to discuss what their reaction would be to an unplanned pregnancy or simply make sure their kids know that deception or concealing mistakes isn't the right course, that's a net positive.
I agree with Cassandra -- the girl's mother isn't really going to kill her, though she feels that way because she's in such a jam. But the fetus is made to express that same thought metaphorically, and in its case, the threat really is fatal. Also, the girl is thinking of herself as a child, and the "thought bubble" from the fetus makes us realize she's also a mother, with a child capable of being more threatened by her than she really is by her own mother. It's a way, as Joseph says, of making us put things back into perspective. Pregnancy is a real and terrible problem for the mother, but almost never even in the same class of problem as abortion is for the baby.
"Pregnancy is a real and terrible problem for the mother, but almost never even in the same class of problem as abortion is for the baby."Even having a ring-side seat when Walkin' Boss gave birth to our two children, me being a knuckle-dragger means that I'll never be able to truly appreciate the experience of being with child, or of passing within a hair's breadth of death in giving life to that child. Without a doubt, that vantage point allows me to suppose, in almost any circumstance, the birth of a child can be redefined as the miracle it is, rather than a problem. I also have no doubt that in some circumstances much help and support would be required to redefine that problem to be the blessing of a new life. For instance, if I stop to think of the number of people who are unable for whatever reason but desperate to have their own children, I can not understand why placing a newborn up for adoption is not preferable to killing the child. The child lives and the childless people now have their child. Finally and as usual, IMHO*, parents/grandparents, from day one, must instill the notion of their unconditional love and support for the child/mom-to-be. Especially when things such as, in this instance, teen pregnancy derail the presumption of being entitled to an idyllic child/parent/life. Easy to say, not so much in practice, but if the parents are successful in little else, the young lady will most likely never need to consider the uppermost thought bubble in the picture.*5¢ worth from the cheap seats.
parents/grandparents, from day one, must instill the notion of their unconditional love and support for the child/mom-to-be. Especially when things such as, in this instance, teen pregnancy derail the presumption of being entitled to an idyllic child/parent/life. Easy to say, not so much in practice..Amen, Brother Bthun.I did a pretty darned good job of discussing *getting* pregnant with my sons but never (or at least I don't remember doing so) did I convey to them that if that ever happened, I hoped they'd choose life, even though that vastly harder path is full of "inconveniences", to say the least.Part of that may be because they were boys, and thus I sort of assumed they wouldn't have as big a say-so in that decision as the mother would. You can say that's right or wrong, but it's a fact. Still, looking back it was an omission on my part.Despite my belief that abortion takes a human life, I will confess to being uncomfortable with the notion of forcing any girl or woman to bear a child she does not want. I have never really been able to reconcile myself to the idea. I am cognizant of the many and varied biological unfairnesses of the situation, but don't have a solution that I am comfortable with in all cases.
FWIW, I did (when they were old enough to understand) tell both my sons that I was pregnant when I got married, and also shared my thoughts and decision making process with them. But I don't think I ever explicitly said to them, "Hey, if you and your girlfriend ever find yourself facing an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy, I hope you'll consider the baby's interest too."As usual, all of your comments are very insightful and help me see sides of this I wouldn't on my own, even having lived through it.What a gift that is.
"I did a pretty darned good job of discussing *getting* pregnant with my sons"M'lady, of that I have no doubt. =:^)I must confess that during my daughters early years, OK, on through their teenage years, I was more comfortable talking with their young male friends about how babies are not made.* Luckily, I had the benefit of Walkin' Boss to cover the girl talk side of the matter with the daughters."As usual, all of your comments are very insightful and help me see sides of this I wouldn't on my own, even having lived through it."I agree. Rarely can I be induced to remark on this subject outside of the family, but the thoughtful comments in this thread compelled me to let slip the blather**."What a gift that is."Indeed it is, and as this topic always suggests to me, another priceless gift was given to us by our parents. Without their decision to have us where would we be?*Those conversations revolved mostly around ballistics, the art/science of field dressing, and how hard it is to hide from someone determined to find you in the modern world.**Bubbasetta Stone translations available upon request.
Heh. There was a post on Jezebel recently where the women were ridiculing the notion that having a young woman's father leave a young man in no doubt that he was paying close attention to how his daughter was treated might just affect how said young man viewed (and treated) said daughter.The men, for the most part, pointed out that their youthful experiences cast some doubt upon the prevailing theory :p
One can kill the unborn, but the ghost I think, will haunt one forever.
Texan99 says it about right, to my mind. that's the first meaning of the poster. Other meanings add harmonies to that.Her mom's not going to "kill" her, but it is going to be emotionally painful = perhaps more than anything she has known. But she has entered a new world, where she is now in that role as well.I tend to be squishy pro-life: heartbeat or brainwave seem as good a line as conception to me. It does sometimes seem to me that some pro-lifers do not appreciate the corner that young women are in - though some pro-lifers are the most compassionate and best rescuers.
Put that woman in a burkha, and the meaning changes immediately. But as presented? Yeah, I will stick with Cass' interpretation/hope.
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