Biogenesis and Abortion

 Let me be perfectly clear: I do not support abortion. I believe that is it wrong, not because of some antiquated Judeo-Christian moral set, nor because of any desire to take away a woman's right to choose.

I believe that is it wrong because of biogenesis - life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material. The fetus is as alive as the female host carrying it. It is true that it can not survive outside of its host during the early stages of its existence, however I think far less abortions would take place if the need to "terminate unwanted pregnancy" involved termination of the host itself.

The argument can be made that we terminate life in order to eat meat; I can't think of any human being that would eat her own aborted material.

It doesn't matter to me if people disagree with my stance. I certainly won't campaign that the world take away a woman's right to choose.  


For Sunday Scribblings...

The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all. ~ Proverbs 22:2

The offerings given for the sake of God are [meant] only for the poor and the needy, and those who are in charge thereof, and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage, and [for] those who are over burdened with debts, and [for every struggle] in God's cause, and [for] the wayfarer: [this is] an ordinance from God - and God is all-knowing, wise. ~ Quran, 9:60

Baahir sat on the low plaster wall and let his heels bounce gently on the warm beige stucco. He had a game of it, bouncing each foot a set amount of times to match the resonant and uniform thuds caused by the strange hand-cranked machine that was here to dig a new well. The seismic shocks rippled out from the site, rolling along the ground and racing up the wall. Baahir smiled and felt the well’s birth pangs in his chest (for that’s what he thought they were.)

“Water muddy water, up from bottom deep, lapping over bucket, and I drink and drink and drink,” he chanted. He licked his bottom lip and then quickly regretted it; the machine was kicking up dust and the winds had placed a fine layer of powder on his face.

Tiny feet slapped upon the warm stone, and a shock of kinky brown hair heralded his sister’s arrival as she lifted her head and peered at the workmen from her hidden vantage point behind the wall.

“They done?” she asked as she tugged her rainbow colored shirt back into place.

“No, Alia,” Baahir replied. He reached over and tried to pat her hair down, but gave up after a while. Nothing could tame her hair. Not even their mother. Baahir felt a sharp pang of remorse. How much time had passed since the Bad Day?

Baahir helped his sister up so that she could sit next to him. “Do you remember mama?”

“Some,” Alia said. “I remember her laugh but her face is going away.”

The boy put an arm around his sister and pulled her snug against his side. He remembered mama’s face. He remembered the morning she tried to braid Alia’s hair. Mama had said, I will have strength or I will perish trying. Mama always said that when trying to get Alia’s hair into place. Who knew mama would finally be right? Who knew mama would run with each of them uncomfortably pressed into her ribs as she fled towards the scrubby bushes behind the house?

Her heart beat fast. Baahir remembered that, and he could even smell her sweet sweat as it spread across the fabric between his body and hers. She had no air for prayers. She panted and he watched the ground speeding under him, marveling at her feet as they propelled her forward. The jostling hurt badly but neither he nor his sister would protest. They sensed that something was wrong. He felt her wrappings billowing out behind them, around him, his world a prism of mama’s favorite reds and golds mixed with the lighter oranges of her hijab. Their father always pampered mama with beautiful things that he found on his business travels.

The brush was right before them, prickly and sticky, the wild part where civilization... where home... ended. Baahir was afraid mama would run right through it and he tried to hitch himself a little higher up to avoid the nasty leaves and twigs. Mama’s breath left her in a puffed oof then, the same silly sound his sister made when he shoved her between her shoulder blades. Mama didn’t sprawl forward like Alia would do; she staggered a few steps into the scrub and then he felt something impact again. He was dimply aware of a loud crack rending the air. Then they fell, he and mama and Alia, and the scrub swallowed him painfully. He was smothered and frightened. He instinctively curled against mama and pushed his face into her body. He heard her heart beat slowly and then become still. He knew no more.

“Baahir? Baahir!” Alia protested, squirming next to him in the hot sunshine. Her brother was practically squeezing the air out of her. “Ow Baahir!” She pushed his arm off and he slid off the wall.

“Is it the dream, Baahir? The sleeping one where mama doesn’t wake?”

The boy rubbed his face with his arm, the angry tears mixing with the dust to form gritty streaks. This was their life now. He was powerless to change it, just as he’d been powerless to save mama. His sister would forever have wild hair because mama had said she would die if she couldn’t tame it.

Loud voices shouted in a foreign language. Alia skittered back over the wall and snaked her way toward the front of the building. Baahir followed, protectively pushing her closer towards the cooler shade provided by a wall. They peered around the corner.

The Ewni’ceph man was there and he was talking loudly to the well digging supervisor. They spoke in the foreign language, bantering back and forth while pointing in the direction of the well.

Alia tapped Baahir on his shoulder. “They give us the shots and some extra mash?” That’s what usually happened when these people showed up at the refugee camp.

“No, I don’t think he’s here for that. No women or doctors with the Ewni’ceph man.”

“He's here to make them dig faster,” she said, and offered her brother a smug grin.

Baahir gazed at the man. He didn’t like the way the man’s eyes looked. They were dark and tired, resigned and sad.

A third figure, a girl much better cared for than Baahir and his sister, carefully picked her way through the loose rubble.

“He speaks English and says ‘I’m sorry, but we’re pulling out of this area. There’s nothing more we can do. I’m so sorry.’ The Ewni’ceph peoples will leave now.” She made eye contact with Baahir; the look spoke volumes.

“What do we do?” Baahir said. “We can’t follow them and we can’t remain here.”

“We do what’s expected of us,” the girl said flatly. “We do what they wanted us to do all along, because it’s why they took our homes and families. We do as they want because all that we have, all the riches of life, are gone.”

“What do we do?” Baahir questioned again.

The girl shrugged. “We die. It’s not as if anyone cares about the rich or the poor of our peoples.”

Baahir shook his head. “We walk through the to the next camp.”

“The road is paved with the dead,” the girl replied. Alia began to cry.

The Darfur Genocide in Darfur, Sudan began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in favor of Sudanese Arabs.  .  There are various estimates on the number of human casualties which range from around 70,000 to several hundred thousand dead, from either direct combat or starvation and disease inflicted by the conflict. There have also been mass displacements and coercive migrations, forcing millions into refugee camps or over the border and creating a large humanitarian crisis and is regarded by many as a genocide. These refugees faced starvation, disease, and rape, while those who remained in Darfur risked torture, death, and displacement. Over five million people have been affected by the Darfur conflict and life is still bitter for so many children. There is a peace treaty now in place, but that does not change the fact that atrocities happened.

Due to the lack of funding in 2009, UNICEF had to scale-back measures and plan strategies for handing over lifesustaining and life-saving programmes to the government, despite its limited capacity to fund and manage activities. I wrote this short story to reflect how urgently UNICEF needed donations. The organization is still in need of your support worldwide.

Plant Quest

Today was our garden day. We thought we’d drive to our Home Depot in Robinson to pick up two Roma plants, two basil, two banana peppers and two ferns. It’s our annual pilgrimage.

The back road to Robinson Township

We stopped to wash the dead bugs from the windshield and met a very sweet Baptist Minister, Jim Rhodes from Mercy Baptist in Weirton. He was a pleasure to chat with and didn’t mind at all that Better Half is agnostic. It would be fun to visit his church one Sunday.

A side detour to Iannetti’s was a “must do!” and we discovered some beautiful basil plants and a gorgeous petunia hanging basket for a phenomenally low price. Iannetti’s always has wonderful plants and employees.

We eventually landed at Home Depot in Robinson, PA, and were disappointed. They did not have any Boston ferns. We did find one Roma plant and made due with a cherry tomato plant. There weren’t any banana peppers. The trip would have been for nothing except that we wanted to price solar lights and pick up some indoor insect killer (it’s ant season).

Ianetti’s was already closed by the time we were on the road back to home. A quick stop at the Robinson Lowes proved useless as well, but we had better luck when we returned to Steubenville: banana peppers and Boston ferns.

Our back deck now hosts young veg in pots. We lost one hanging basket (newly planted basil) but I’m not too worried – we replanted them and put them on a plastic table; they are hardy plants and should bounce back again.

Tomorrow we’ll weed the front and back.  


May Thoughts

“The library in summer is the most wonderful thing because there you get books on any subject and read them each for only as long as they hold your interest, abandoning any that don't, halfway or a quarter of the way through if you like, and store up all that knowledge in the happy corners of your mind for your own self and not to show off how much you know or spit it back at your teacher on a test paper.”  ― Polly Horvath, My One Hundred Adventures

There are many things that mark the approaching of summer. For us, it is sweeping the back deck, lighting the BBQ and turning on the AC. For me, specifically, it is bringing my laptop outside, arranging myself to avoid the glare of the sun, and catching up on blogging.

I anticipate all the wonderful adventures I’ll have while sitting on the porch, a stack of library books nearby and a cold glass of tea at my elbow. Late spring and early summer are also the only time of year that I bother to light up a cigarette and accompany it with a chilled glass of quality wine. (Alas, having not planned ahead today, I am making due with Turning Leaf!) By the way, I wouldn’t decline a nice cigar and a glass of port were you to offer them.

My front garden is already a visual banquet, spring bulbs giving way to early summer delicacies such as woolly lambs ear and tantalizing dianthus blooms, and bleeding hears mounding over the beds edges as haphazardly as a toddler with a crayon and no sense of “staying in the lines”.

Our front garden, late spring 2012

The finches, cardinals and sparrows have awakened me with morning song for a month. Now robins and woodpeckers have added their voices to the chorus. All yield their place to evening frogs and crickets. Fireflies are soon to come, lucibufagen-crammed coryphées joining nature’s ballet and imbuing the humid air with tantalizing yellow sparks.
photo courtesy of

The carpenter bees have returned, beautiful queens probing my deck posts and beams in search of a nesting place. I adore these placid gems. Their buzzing is hypnotic. They’ll keep the wasps at bay. It takes a lot of effort to piss off a carpenter bee (they’ve survived the slimy confines of Nutmeg’s mouth without offering a sting).

Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica), our porch 2011

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I do not know what summer will bring. I would like for it to be productive. I’m in search of a job. I’m part of the Air Force auxiliary (a wonderful organization which I shall not name here lest I represent it in a bad light) and I serve as part of a flight crew, a mission observer during search and rescue missions. This is our busy season. Its public service and I volunteer myself gladly for it. It allows me to enjoy a bit of aerial photography, my favorite hobby. It does not pay, however, and our funds are especially tight this year.

I have only one “honey do”project to work on, thanks to those limited funds. We’ve taken up the carpet in the hall and on the stairs and I intend to repaint everything using leftover paint from our kitchen renovation. I’m absolutely tickled that the contractors left the cans with us.

We’ll also scrap together some spare cash to purchase a few garden goodies. I can’t live without my Roma tomatoes, banana peppers and zucchini. These I’ll grow in pots on the deck, tending them with love and water and fanatically checking them each day to see if anything has grown large enough to eat. Nothing is as satisfying as plucking a juicy tomato and eating it raw seconds later.

Hungarian (banana) pepper bloom, our porch 2011

The sun has set and the frogs have made their locations known.  The moon will be close to the earth tonight and we’ll have a lovely treat if the clouds slip away.  I’ll join Better Half shortly and we’ll perhaps put on a movie.