To Abort or Not to Abort

Firoze Hirjikaka

So, Alabama has fired the opening salvo in the campaign against abortion and, if the Republicans prevail, the epidemic will spread to many more states. 

The Republicans, evangelicals – and particularly the Trump acolytes – will, no doubt, vociferously defend this regressive move with holier-than-thou pronouncements about the sanctity of “life” – even when it is the size of a pea. They, after all, have a direct line to God and are merely interpreting his commands. Didn’t God also say something about humans being granted free will? Pish…that is merely an inconvenient truth; and insignificant in God’s master plan. As for this also being about politics…blasphemy.

Let’s leave religion and politics out of it for the moment and concentrate on hard reality. In my opinion, bans rarely work.  Remember the heady days of Prohibition, when speakeasies sprang up all over the U.S. and even infrequent drinkers thronged to them, if only for the thrill of doing something “naughty”.  This ban will not stop abortions; it will merely drive them underground and the country will regress to the bad old days, when “abortions” were performed in unhygienic backrooms by non-qualified quacks who often inflicted irreversible damage to so many young girls and women. Which medical practitioner will risk the threatened draconian prison sentence that even a murderer would shudder at?

Whenever the State claims to have superior wisdom to the people it is meant to serve, it is the first step in the path to authoritarian rule. What about peoples’ right to choose? Shhh., father knows best and besides, it is for your own good. Believe me (my apologies for the Trumpian hyperbole), to abort or not to abort is an agonizing decision for most young women. It is taken after a lot of soul searching and heart break. It goes against all their maternal instincts and the mental trauma often lasts a lifetime. And now the State wants to pile on the guilt by virtually branding them as murderers. Way to spread the Christian message of love and compassion, folks.

So, what happens now? The Trump base is already rejoicing and vowing to carry on their crusade until the whole country is “purified”. Their boy delivered big time…Hooray! And with the Supreme Court conveniently realigned in consonance with their views, they have a fighting chance of success. How could they not reward the Great Leader with four more years – for starters. Who cares about his nutty tweets and narcissistic pronouncements and his embarrassing gaffes? He always comes through for them – and that is all that matters.

So, what can the Democrats and the right-thinking public do? Organize protest marches, of course, but that has been tried before; and Trump is still Trump. The Democrats can appear on opinion talkathons on CNN and MSNBC and threaten consequences; but they are not going to sway any Trump devotees, who only watch the Fox propaganda channel. And they would do well not to underestimate the passion and determination of the Trumpians. Like their boss, they talk loudly and carry a big stick. And Trump has very adroitly fashioned the 2020 election as an existential choice for them. If they want to maintain their lifestyle; and not get inundated by the brown horde – not to mention ungodly liberals – they had better vote for him; or else …..

You can be sure they will turn up to vote in record numbers. The Democrat’s attempt to hold Trump accountable is not really resonating the way they had hoped. With a sycophantic Attorney General and Cabinet Members that without a Trump victory, they will become virtually unemployable, the odds are stacked against them. Perhaps it is time to think up a new strategy.

Mr. Firoze Hirjikaka is a retired civil engineer and freelance writer.  E-mail: 


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