Thursday, March 09, 2006

Talking to my son about abortion

Last night, Geeky Boy watched the video I linked to in the post below. If you haven't seen it, the creators go to an abortion clinic protest and ask each participant one by one if they think abortion should be legal or illegal. They all say illegal, of course. Then, they ask what the punishment should be for women who have illegal abortions. Almost all of them are stumped by this question. Almost all of them have to think for a minute and then most admit that they haven't thought about that. And most say that they don't think the woman should be punished, but should be prayed for or has suffered her punishment already or some such thing like that. One person does suggest life in prison, which I actually commend her for because if you're going to make something illegal and call it murder, then there should be punishment. (You really should watch the video; it's stunning.)

Anyway, Geeky Boy says, "I think abortion should be legal. Because if you're not ready to have a kid, then you shouldn't." Then he goes back to reading his book. When Mr. Geeky goes to put Geeky Girl to bed, I ask Geeky Boy what he thinks about abortion. He says it should be legal, but you should tell someone if you're going to have one, like your parents or a judge. I thought this was cute and probably came from his sense that for something that serious, an authority figure needs to put their stamp of approval on it. I asked him if he wouldn't be afraid to go talk to a judge. He said maybe. And I explained that I thought if someone wanted to get an abortion, they should be able to without having to ask anyone. They should be able to go somewhere like Planned Parenthood and be taken care of. Then I said, ideally, a teenager wouldn't get pregnant in the first place and I asked him if he knew how to prevent pregnancy.

He said, Yeah, you use those sticks or something, Pamprin? I did not laugh. I wasn't even close to laughing. I explained that girls could take birth control pills and that they have to go to the doctor to get them. And I asked about how boys prevent pregnancy, because you know, I said, it takes a boy and a girl to get pregnant. He said he didn't know. So I explained what condoms were and told him we'd always keep some in the bathroom or he could buy them at the drug store.

And then that was it. That was all he could handle for the moment. And you know, it wasn't hard at all.