September 15, 2003

Can of Worms

Dean Esmay, I think, is pointing to something that has become increasingly obvious to me over the past few years. Yes folks, we're gonna discuss the "A" word today. Read onward if you want, but save the flamage for someone who gives a rat's ass, 'cause I ain't your girl. This is going to be an explanation of how I went from being the Queen Supporter of Abortion on Demand to my current position, which can be summed up as Legal but Wrong. And you know what? I don't think that I've betrayed the sisterhood, become a right-wing nutjob OR condemned us all to minor roles in Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale by doing so.

The reasons for my conversion are myriad, and believe me, I've spent more than my fair share of hours analyzing them for a whiff of hypocrisy--you know, the whole "now that you're older and married and want children, you're out of touch with youthful reality" spiel, or the "you've never faced the situation, don't judge me" spiel. I'm not judging anyone. I've got two friends who had abortions; I've got one who chose differently. In the final analysis, the one who kept her baby is a much happier person. Can that be boiled down to one choice? No. But when I talk to one of my friends from the former category who wants to now hurry up and get married and have kids because she's 35 and they found some precancerous cells in her last pap smear, I can't help but think that she'd have a five year old right now if she'd chosen differently. And if I have that thought, no matter how fleeting, is it any stretch for me to wonder if she has it, and if that affects her emotionally?

Before I was married, I spent all of my time protecting against the unthinkable--pregnancy. I didn't do casual sex, ever, period. And when I was in a relationship, I was all about the precautions, because to my way of thinking, an unwanted pregnancy would be the worst. thing. ever. I realize now that the pregnancy wasn't what I was afraid of so much as of being forced to choose whether or not to continue it. Even then, I had an idea that we weren't able to definitively say when life began, and I was reluctant to assert that I could make that call. After I was married, and we decided to have a child, my nervousness ran to the other end of the spectrum--what if there was something wrong with the baby? I had an ultrasound at around 10 weeks and that was it--there was no way I was going to be responsible for the death of a person who was very much alive and kicking in there, even if it looked like a tiny peanut with flippers and I couldn't feel it at that point. I didn't do the AFP test because I didn't want to spend 9 months freaking out if I got a positive, since abortion was out of the question. I was lucky, and The Boy is happy and healthy.

But now we're thinking about a second child, and I just hit the magic "end of fertility, beginning of all sorts of hideous things" age, 35, this past Saturday. If we do get pregnant, we'll spend nine months on pins and needles I'm sure. But I don't want an amnio, because it increases the risk of miscarriage. And I am well aware of the increased risk of Down's Syndrome as well as a myriad of other problems that could arise because the OB/GYN gods have declared me decrepit. But life isn't about guarantees, and I think that abortion for the sake of convenience is wrong. Ta-da. Let me repeat that: abortion for the sake of convenience is wrong. There are always rape/incest/medical exceptions, so let me define convenience a little further for you:

I was at a the funeral of a friend's father last January. One of her other friends was there and pregnant with her second child. As we sat around making small talk, she said that she's just gotten her amnio results back and that everything was normal, and she was relieved, because she didn't want to burden her young daughter with a handicapped or Down's younger sibling, the inference being that she would have aborted this one and tried again to achieve a proper pregnancy. Her oldest daughter is two and a half. Please. What she was really saying was that she didn't want to burden herself with a "sub-standard" child who would ruin her idea of the perfect life. This woman has a 20 million dollar trust fund, so of all the people I know she would be best equipped to deal with the financial realities of a special needs child. That was my final moment of clarity. I smiled and said, "Well thank God she's healthy," and left with a sick feeling in my stomach. That, my friends, is abortion for convenience.

Abortion is legal. In my world, that's fine--I don't support folks who want to just change the law. I would prefer that the battle be fought for hearts and minds, one ultrasound at a time. And for those of you who argue for abortion on demand anytime, anywhere for any reason because I don't come with a ready-made solution for every eventuality, well I'm sorry that life isn't neatly wrapped up in a bow and delivered on your doorstep. It's legal to choose, and I don't foresee that changing. So choose, and godspeed. As for me, it may be legal, but it's still wrong.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at September 15, 2003 10:24 AM

You've just said what I've been struggling to articulate for years now. Plus you're a woman so you have the moral authority to say these things, something a male lacks. Thanks. Hope you don't get too many nastygrams.

Posted by: Jonathan Elliott at September 15, 2003 11:38 AM

Jonathan -

I've never bought the whole "men have no say" argument. Yeah, it's the female who gestates the child, but making it is a 50-50 proposition. It's not like men took a vote and decided not to carry children, it's just the way things are. People who would deny a co-creator a say in the welfare of their offspring because of an accident of genetics in order to make some sort of political power play are morons. Moral authority is not dependent on gonads. Don't believe the hype.

As you can see, I had some trouble in my feminist literature classes in grad school. ;)

Posted by: BAW at September 15, 2003 12:59 PM

exactly how I feel. I've used the term "legal but extremely rare" to explain how I feel it should be.

the idea of it as a "back up" form of birth control sickens me. I am also deeply uncomfortable with the idea of deciding "whoops, this one isn't 'good enough'" based on pre-natal testing.

still, I think delegalizing it would cause more problems then it would solve.

Ironically, unlike you, most of the arguments I get into are with people more conservative than me who are shocked that I would even permit the heathenish idea of legality of abortion into my mind.

Posted by: ricki at September 15, 2003 01:54 PM

Bravo and thanks for sharing and illuminating how our views change over time - but for a variety of reasons and because of our experiences - not just because we "get old"

It's too bad that it's not publicized more how hazardous is it to have children too young - both the physical risks (toxemia and still birth) but also the emotional and psychological risk of not knowing enough about yourself first to share enough with another person you created. We only seem to focus on the other end of the spectrum. And, I still wonder why it works so that men can create children at almost any age but not always deal with the risks that come along with carrying a child at various ages . . .

Thanks for another throught-provoking post.

Posted by: Kelly at September 15, 2003 10:29 PM

While women do have a certain "moral authority" on the matter--which is why it's so significant that more and more women are turning pro-life--the assumption that men have no right to an opinion is horribly misandrist.

Let me tell you something: while I am pro-choice, I will never forget the experience of hearing my son's heartbeat while he was in his mother's womb, and seeing him move on the ultrasound. The notion that I have no right to an opinion on this matter? I tell anyone who says that to go to hell.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at September 16, 2003 01:17 AM

I'm 47, have never had a child, and have always genuinely been uninterested in bearing a child myself. However, of course I have always thought about the issue of abortion, and I always supported abortion and preferred to believe that it is a relatively simple issue: women's bodies, women's right to control what happens.

However, in recent years, I began to work with kids through my church, and found that kids are the most interesting people on the planet; every one is precious. Increasingly, the wonder and magnificence of pregnancy is obvious to me, and I have come to think abortion is horrible.

I *still* think we need the right to choose, but I also wish that we would make a huge, concerted effort to make abortion rare, because (1) birth control is freely available without stigma; (2) young girls are valued and respected and supported in their choices to refuse the overtures of older, irresponsible men; (3) pregnant women are supported by people who are NOT simply vultures waiting to sell their newborn like a hot commodity.

ALL of these things in concert would render abortion very infrequent, I think.

I think that the discussion of abortion is becoming more nuanced as many of us get older and begin to see many things with more complexity than we could perceive when we were younger. Or maybe I'm just generalizing my own experience!

Anyway, thanks for your post.


Posted by: Nancy at September 16, 2003 11:50 AM

Oops, I think I didn't write as clearly as I should have. I don't mean that the three conditions I listed exist now; I meant to say that I wish we could make abortion rare, by ensuring that (1) birth control is available . . . etc. Those are the goals that I think would lower the abortion rate.

New thought: And it could be done without terrorizing women at the abortion clinic gate. The worst possible way to try to reduce abortion is to demonize the women who have them.


Posted by: Nancy at September 16, 2003 11:54 AM

Nancy -

I wonder what would happen if pre-abortion ultrasounds were required by abortion clinics?

That's not demonizing anyone, but it is requiring that the woman realize exactly what her choice entails.

Emotional blackmail or reality?

Posted by: BAW at September 16, 2003 12:56 PM

Hi, BAW.

It's an interesting idea. It's definitely coercive, just as waiting periods are . . . it's really quite a stunning idea. I'm trying to process it!

You know, I think it could work as part of a counseling process which must not be in the hands of ideologues of any persuasion. The tone of the process could be

"You need:

(1) to understand what is happening in your body. An amazing number of pregnant girls and women don't know the most basic things about their own bodies.

(2) to have a chance to review the circumstances of your life with a concerned but impartial stranger, someone you can tell about what's going on at home, under what circumstances you got pregnant, how you feel about being pregnant, what your plans were before getting pregnant, etc;

(2) to learn something about the costs of raising a child, especially if you don't complete school,

(3) to learn about the possibilities of adoption, including perhaps the chance to stay in touch with your child

4) to have a chance to think about your moral understanding of abortion, personally, or in terms of your religion or some other aspect of your culture

(5) to consider the prospects for a child born into tenuous circumstances, especially if sick interpersonal dynamics are involved, like physical or emotional abuse. A few pictures of battered, abused children lying on gurneys at the morgue should also be shown. A prospective mother must think seriously about the home she may bring her child into. (I personally would hope that this information could steer her toward adoption, not abortion.)

In the context of this process, I think an ultrasound image (and images of abused children) might provide useful, even shattering information -- but not be totally coercive and manipulative. As contradictory as that sounds. They're powerful, tough images, and NOW is the time for that young woman to think about the realities they represent, before her baby is born or aborted.

This would all take a huge commitment of money . . . . but if we gave a damn about pregnant women and kids, we'd spend it.

To spread the pressure around a bit, I think we should also use DNA to identify every father, and dock a percentage of the guy's pay for the next 18 years, and deliver it directly to the mother. Boy oh boy would the guys get serious about birth control then.


Posted by: Nancy at September 16, 2003 01:32 PM

You write with energy but this is a perfectly pointless pie-in-the-sky posting. Where on earth is this army of latter-day Solomon "counselors" - let's just review the list of requirements - (primly non-ideological, medically literate, obviously qualified in psychiatry so that they "can review the circumstances of your life" - hey that's a pretty big order!! - up-to-date on everything from the financial realities of child-rearing to the most recent wrinkles in adoption law, intellectually nimble mutli-cultural savvy - but neutral - moral philosphers) supposed to come from? Beats me.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at September 16, 2003 05:28 PM

Jody, I think you are misreading the purpose of my post. BAW asked me what I thought of showing a pregnant woman pictures of her child. I am very concerned with not demonizing the woman who is considering abortion, and not simply landing on her like a ton of bricks. Therefore, I chose to answer by describing the situation in which showing sonograms of an unborn child would be useful, and not simple browbeating.

I did not offer a fiscal analysis of my thoughts because that wasn't my purpose in writing. You have quite ably pointed out that it would be expensive, and I concede the point.

Posted by: Nancy at September 16, 2003 06:42 PM

I'm in the middle, which means I often infuriate people on both sides of the argument. I support no legal restrictions during the first trimester, some restrictions (which I haven't articulated yet) in the second, and extreme restrictions (such as discovering that the child is so severely deformed that it will die soon after birth anyway) in the third.

I'd rather have better methods of birth control and even though I hate government spending, I'm fully in favor of actual (not abstinence only, but actually teaching teenagers about their bodies and how they work) sex-education and low-cost/free birth control to anyone who needs it.

I don't know what the legalities are in various states, but shouldn't it be possible, if a fetus is viable, to require that it be delivered and put out for adoption if the mother wants to end the pregnancy?

Posted by: shell at September 16, 2003 08:46 PM

My viewpoint might be based on some emotion here, as I was adopted as an infant. Every day I thank God that abortion was not easy to come by when my birth mother was pregnant. (I'm 50 years old now).
I am really distressed that so many 'feminists' act as if adoption is worse than abortion. I'll have to look up some quotes and mention them on my blog.
I have one son, now 18 and in college, when I was 32. After that, I had 3 miscarriages. Each of those miscarriages hit me like a brick, especially the last one, because I had managed to go 4 months, and had just had a sonogram the week before and all looked well.
There is no doubt that life begins at conception -I learned that in biology. Now, that new life might not make it through all 9 months for many reasons, but it is life nonetheless.
I have friends with adopted children and friends who gave children up for adoption.
They are all thankful that abortion was not chosen.
Personally, I don't think that Open Adoptions are a good idea - for many many reasons. The courts have too often relented and allowed birth parents to remove a child in a loving home because they have changed their minds after even several years.
Well, I could go on, and I probably will, later today.
Thanks for bringing this up, BAW.

Posted by: Beth at September 17, 2003 09:08 AM

Beth -

My darling hublet was adopted as well--all he knows about his birth parents is that they were college students. I am grateful every day for that young girl's courage--I would have neither hublet nor The Boy if she hadn't decided to stick it out.

I also have two couples--good friends of ours--who recently successfully adopted healthy babies after a long and sometimes emotionally wrenching period of trial and error. I sometimes wonder why adoption seems to get such short shrift in this debate.

Posted by: BAW at September 17, 2003 09:24 AM

I find the "Legal but Wrong" characterization to be extremely interesting. Can that be expanded further. I assume your not of the position that Armed Robbery is Wrong, but I believe in your right to Choose? Is this Legal but Wrong position akin to say Cigarette smoking? Or say...Nevada prostitution? Is it wrong because of what it does to the Woman or the Child? What other "Legal but Wrong" social issue do you think your Abortion position is most similar to?

Posted by: Irving at September 18, 2003 07:55 AM

Irving -

Not to be flip, but "Legal but Wrong" is just the easiest label I could come up with to refer to the following sentiments:

Abortion is legal. Attempts to merely overturn the law are I think misguided and doomed to failure for a number of reasons.

Abortion for convenience is wrong. At the risk of being cliched, it does stop a beating heart. In my little moral hierarchy, that's the equivalent of shooting someone. Comparisons to cigarette smoking or Nevada prostitution are insufficient here.

Abortion has lingering effects on the survivor of the process as well, if my friends' experiences are any indication.

So legal but wrong means just that--it is legal to have one, but I think it's wrong (insert medical exception language here, blah, blah, blah, your mileage my vary, the issue is fraught with emotion, blah blah blah judgemental-cakes).

I doubt that cleared anything up, but there you go.

Posted by: BAW at September 19, 2003 08:10 AM

You've articulated clearly, concisely, and carefully where you (and I) stand on the matter (much better than I could, I daresay). Kudos! (FWIW I have two (had second at 32), aborted none)

Posted by: Juniper at September 19, 2003 09:50 AM

Thanks for the attempt at clearing things up, but as you noted you sort of just turned a circle. Legal but Wrong is a good definition of your opinion of the status quo. But then, since you feel that making abortion illegal is "doomed" then you seem to have adopted the status quo as your preferred position. Thus I was curious about a "Legal but Wrong" standard as it were for social issues, and how that plays with traditional Rule of Law concepts...

I see it then as akin to Prohibition, in which the "doomed reasons" or difficulties of implementation caused society to throw up its hands. But again, with you, I have a hard time equating "stopping a beating heart" with Alcohol. This seems entwined with issues of individual freedom and personal responsibility (avoiding the tangent of "Woman's Body," "Man's Responsibility" spin-off).

Libertarians champion individual freedom up to the point of encroachment (thus legalization of drugs & prostitution), indicating that the "good of the community" has little weight in personal liberty. Do you feel the Abortion is Wrong sentiment is a result of negative community impact, a failure of responsiblity, or is it an encroachment on the right of the unborn to life? Yes, it could be a mixture of all three, but it should weight in some direction.

To maintain the Wrong but Legal construct, some parameters need to be established, or any Law could be removed under that banner.

Posted by: Irving at September 19, 2003 02:57 PM

It's right and it's wrong. The question being decided can't be decided because it's empty. It's not a question that can be solved by looking at the fetus because that's not where the action is.

A simpler case: a puppy. When my Doberman died, I called around breeders to see who had one on the way, black and rust, female, uncropped ears, so that when I saw a similar Doberman I would be reminded of my new dog not my last one. I found one, and waited the usual 8 weeks, and picked up the puppy. In the meantime, I'd been puppy-proofing the house, gotten puppy gear, planned the training, got a new trailer for the bicycle for weekend outings.

Now, I had a stake in that puppy. There were plans for it, and it fit in already, even unborn. It had social connections. That's one way things can be. The other, for puppies, is that they're just like tiny animals of any kind, nothing special, and most baby animals die, no big deal.

With people, we're inclined to say we have a soul and a body. The soul indeed is the problem with abortion. But I say that we're inclined to say we have a soul because we're inclined to say we have a body; and the body individuates us, separates us, isolates us. Having a body is a way of expressing that. If that's what the body does, what does the soul do? It connects us to others. That's how we express connection.

That's a grammatical fact about how the words go. In the case of the puppy, I'd be inclined to say that my not-yet-born puppy has a soul, and that's because he fits into plans already. That's the meaning of it. You don't find out about the puppy's soul by looking more closely at the puppy.

So, when you get up around the age where you have plans and a child fits into them, you discover that the baby has a soul; what you have discovered is the grammar of the word. It's why the word soul is there.

On the other hand, a very young woman has no plans, and you have the case of the unwanted puppy fetus. It has no soul; and woman has a right to her body.

So you have to figure out what question you want to answer, and whether the answer doesn't come from your motivation in asking; yet no mistake is made either way.

If you're anti-abortion, you have to deal with Marge Piercy's poem ``Right to Life'' in _The Moon Is Always Female_. Gee maybe it's on the web...

Well there's a few copies but they all redo the enjambments. however try to Life

Posted by: Ron Hardin at September 19, 2003 04:06 PM

Irving & Ron -

I've been thinking about your points in conjunction with one another--the idea of encroachment and (I'm being somewhat reductive here, Ron)the grammatical idea of the soul. Insofar as Ron's comment is concerned, I had the idea of a fetus having a soul even when I was loudly "pro-choice all the time for any reason." I feared an unwanted pregnancy precisely because to my way of thinking, the very fact of the pregnancy gave the fetus a soul--I don't think that we deign to give something a soul just because that something is precious to us. It's a tenet of my religion--the soul just is. If you aren't religious, YMMV, but for me the soul, if granted by anyone, is granted by God, not grammar. In other news from my world, trees that fall in the forest do make noise even if no one is around to hear them.

For me as a young woman, then, the question became whether I wanted to give 9 months of my life for someone else--someone I wouldn't even have to raise if I chose not to. As I grew older, the bald fact of my selfishness became apparent--that I would think that 9 months of minor self-denials weren't worth the life of another human being became intolerable to me. And so I think Ms. Piercy misses the point. She seems to be saying that as long as any child anywhere is abused or hungry abortion should be an inalienable right. Whatever, Queen Fecundity. The world isn't perfect. Possibly committing murder in utero--sorry if I see that as the act of someone unwilling to really be inconvenienced by the imperfections you lament in your lush fertile imagery. Sorry Ron--that one didn't do it for me. :)

Which brings me back to Irving--I suppose the Prohibition comparison re: my feelings about the law itself is apt. I started to make the argument about legislating morality, but that's a silly argument, because we do legislate morality, and then you get into the whole "is it just a convenient coincidence that Judeo-Christian beliefs intersect with our social construct" blah, blah, blah, and that doesn't really help with the situation at hand, does it? But I can answer your encroachment question, and I probably already did. The encroachment here is on an unborn person's right to live. Science hasn't been abortion's friend in this regard, because it has demonstrated that life outside the womb is possible much sooner than we thought, and that many of our "scientific" ideas about when life begins may be flawed. And if that's the case, I prefer to err on the side of caution. The idea that there's some "magic line" separating fetus from baby is flawed, particularly since the "magic line" keeps getting moved backward.

Eh, rambling now. Will stop.

Posted by: BAW at September 19, 2003 10:14 PM

(Good) religion is a poeticization of morality.

What makes something a moral question? It is what makes you unique; and that is you are called on to do something for somebody; you take on his burdens and his sufferings. You are at that point irreplaceable and unique; or anyway that is the origin of morality. (If you say yes, but anybody can help, somebody else can help, just as well, then you move the calling back out of morality.) Well who takes on the burdens and sufferings of the another but the being that says ``me''? That's what constitutes you in fact, as unique. So, done too quickly here, everybody is the Messiah. That is a poeticization of a moral experience.

So God is just returning to the same question of a connection to another; you'll be inclined to say (very important, what one is inclined to say) things about soul and God vs. empty life, when you have a plan in mind for your life that involves a child, school, clothes, teaching, vacations.

On the other hand if the future looks more open and unexplored and ripe with possibilities, you lack the connections and God and emptiness doesn't come up. You're not inclined to say these things yet.

The point is that these things all go together, the question and the surroundings, and they support each other. You can't get at what's going on without letting everything settle out the way you're inclined to let them settle out.

``Not taking chances'' more or less fixes some of the terms outside the question, that have to be inside, at least if you want to follow it like a literary critic does.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at September 20, 2003 01:40 PM

Sorry, Ron I can't buy into that. We are all unique regardless of what we choose to do, and at the basic level we are all faced with the same choices. Morality can exist singularly and can deal with self as much as another. People can define morality differently, but the definition is an independent ideal--distinct from "connectedness." Morlity can be expressed through connectedness, but is not defined by it.

The issue is the encroachment of one life upon another...and the current, somewhat artificial, distinction of when a life gains some or all individual rights. I would make the case that more physiological changes occur during puberty, than during the birth-process (butterfly from catepillar). Thus puberty is a better demarcation line, than birth. Civil society has historically bestowed "adulthood" and civil rights after puberty. Shouldn't abortion also be placed at this line? This way I can "test the waters" and see if I can "support" the child, or whether I like being a parent. I also get to see the child's attitude and personality before I decide to abort. Plenty of criminals went wrong during the early stages of their life, and it would be better for society as a whole if they were weeded out as soon as their proclivities were known. Aborting just before birth means you know almost nothing...aborting at puberty makes for a more informed decision. I make this as a Modest Proposal to rectify a significant social problem in society. If viewed correctly, it could gain "Swift" passage.

Posted by: Irving at September 21, 2003 02:46 PM

One last comment. In searching about for a good parallel for the Legal but Wrong position (I don't think Prohibition solves the encroachment issue), I finally remembered a quote by Thomas Jefferson in regards to Slavery, "It's like holding a wolf by the ears, you don't like it, but you dare not let it go."

Solving the Slavery issue wasn't doomed, but it did cost an astonishing number of lives. Were they worth it?

Posted by: Irving at September 21, 2003 08:39 PM

This is principally to Nancy - sidewalk counselors don't demonize anybody, not even the abortionist. Their message is that somebody will help, that money and shelter and a doctor can be found, and that the woman on her way into the clinic has a choice for life as well as for abortion. Check out Eve Tushnet's blog at for the chilling number of clients at her CPC who tell her, "I just don't have any choice" except abortion, when the whole mess was thrust on us in the name of supposed "choice". Astute of Irving to note a connection between abortion and slavery: I'm old enough to remember when Jesse Jackson (before he got Democratic presidential aspirations) used to point out that abortion was wrong for the same reason that slavery was wrong, because it treated a person as another person's chattel, to be disposed of at will.

Posted by: Elinor Dashwood at September 22, 2003 04:55 PM


Slavery ended when it could no longer be justified. Abortion continues because it's an empty wish to stop it; the anti-abortion person wants nothing specific for the fetus, only that it not be killed. His problem is that owing to his language going empty, he can't say what he wants to say, and the volume goes up accordingly. What he wants is for you (the pro-abortion-legal person) to see the fetus the way he does. Well, that's easy. Everybody can do it. Fine. It's still an empty wish.

It's the mark of the busybody. There's nothing wrong with busybodies, but you don't want them in charge.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at September 22, 2003 07:31 PM

"Slavery ended when it could not longer be justified."

Sure, after 4 years of War, millions of deaths, and the economic destruction of half the country. Would that all social issues matured so gracefully...

I never considered the connection between Abortion & Slavery before BAW characterized the issue in the Legal-but-Wrong manner. In fact, even then I wasn't thinking in those terms. It was only after BAW's striking characterization that I was intrigued enough to connect dots to see what the ramifications of such a position might mean. Trying to see how others in the past may have treated a Legal-but-Wrong scenario, I finally stumbled across Thomas Jefferson.

I'd like to thank Elinor and Ron for helping to strengthen the parallel. The behaviors and justifications are illuminating! The emtpy language defense comes right out of history! Besides the famous "Wolf" quote, Thomas Jefferson argued for the continuation of Slavery from the exact same position Ron has just advanced. Holy parallel's Batman!

Jefferson argued that it was immoral to free the slaves, since slaves were ill-equipped to deal with society. They had neither the education, property, or family structure to succeed in a society so dependent on these attributes. Only if society would step up to the plate and agree to care for each and every indivudal slave, only then would society then be ready to free them. To cast a slave free into a society that cared not for the slave, was an immoral injustice. While Slavery was Wrong, it was worse to have freed-slaves who were unwanted.

Posted by: Irving at September 25, 2003 12:02 PM