By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
I was nice on Saturday—I usually am, in person. I didn't tell a single person I met that I wished their children had never been born.
You kind of expect The Children of the Corn when you hang out with the Snowflakes—the formerly frozen embryos who've been saved from eternity in a Petri dish by a load of adoptifyin' Jesus freaks. They're not AI robot zombies at all: they're as apple-cheeked and bouncy as any real child. Really, they're lovely, and I hate them nonetheless.
For decades it's been a truism that those on the Right only love you till you're born, and then you've got a freaking bull's eye on your head.
But it's never been truer than today: in a new front on the abortion wars, the Right is encouraging adoption of embryos—that's eight cells each, y'all—and encouraging the adopters to apply for a $10,000 federal tax credit, while they're at it. That's the tax credit that's meant to help out folks who take in post-born homeless waifs, and how it got twisted to include infertile couples helping themselves to some donated eggs while singing choruses of hallelujas to their own beneficence I haven't the faintest idea. My money's on Sam Brownback. He's a real prick.
The pro-life crowd can't call in vitro fertilization "murder," of course—just like they can't advocate that women who get abortions go to jail—despite the number of embryos left in limbo. But they can call stem-cell research from those embryos murder. You all remember, I'm sure, that during El Prez's nauseating speech about stem-cell research, explaining why after six years in office he was finally breaking out his veto pen, he was surrounded by little beauties—true beauties—who had been adopted from frozen embryos. But they weren't little frozen things: the Blue Fairy came down and made them real live children.
So this is the Right's new focus? Saving embryos comprising eight cells each? People can disagree on abortion—hell, I disagree with myself on abortion—but eight cells? You'll make them your cause when there are more than 100,000 foster children in California alone who are dying for a permanent family, and 5 million children in California who live in poverty?
Meanwhile, those on the Right who moon on and on about the rights of the unborn are the same people you will hear describe welfare to help little poor children whose mothers didn't abort them as "the transfer of wealth through force and coercion," or, more simply, "theft." Reducing unwanted pregnancies in the first place, through sex education and readily available family planning services? "Immoral." (The most cuckoo among them even think The Pill is murder—and will call my radio show to tell me so—because it doesn't let the egg get fertilized in the first place. If that means we have to start burying our Playtex in consecrated ground, so be it.) Lobbying against the FDA approving a vaccine for the human papilloma virus (better known to many of us as Our Friend the Genital Wart) even though HPV is responsible for 250,000 cervical cancer deaths a year, because curing the disease would "encourage promiscuity among young women"? I've had just about enough of the "pro-life."
If people who had Snowflake children just said, "Yes, we really wanted a baby and couldn't have one on our own, but luckily a nice lady with extras donated an egg," I wouldn't be making any hay here. I'm not personally a fan of IVF—if people who can't bear children don't adopt, that really screws up the invisible hand of the homeless-waif marketplace—but people do their things and make their choices, and to some people (some people who are assholes) having a kid who looks like you is the most important thing.
It's the sanctimonious cause, the saving of these cells when there are actual post-embryo children who'd sure like to be saved (and the sanctimonious plucking of that lovely tax credit), that makes me fucking crazy.
I listened while the speaker introducing Congressman Ed Royce thanked him for working on behalf of "those of us who have values"—his emphasis—and I listened as Hannah's mom told the crowd, "She knows she's adopted, and knows she, mommy and daddy were all adopted into God's family because Christ died on the cross." I listened to one person say, "We have to be defenders of life," and I listened as another mother said, of her desire to have children, "God said, 'No. It's a good plan, but it's not My plan.' So we prayed about it and prayed about it, and then we heard about Snowflakes, and we said, 'We think we need to try this and see what God does.'" Honey, that ain't God. That's Repronex and Gonal-f. God had already answered you, remember?