Living in the Theatre of the Absurd Concerning Abortion 

by Thea Halo

“Freedom of speech is one of our most important and prized privileges as Americans. Without freedom of speech we would never know who the idiots are.” 

Hopefully, we can understand both viewpoints concerning abortion, i.e. those against abortion who believe in ‘the right to life’, and those for abortion rights who believe in a woman’s right to choose. In other words, those who believe in a woman’s right to have dominion over her own body. Both sides are passionate about the abortion issue. Referring to anti-abortionists as ‘pro-life’, however, only adds to the divide, as it seems to suggest that pro-abortionists are anti-life. In fact, both groups are pro-life. The only discrepancy is when each group believes viable life begins,1 and whether the life of the fetus is more important than the life of the woman or child carrying the fetus.

However, whether one is pro abortion or against, the discussion around the recent Supreme Court ruling ending Roe vs Wade, sometimes truly enters the theatre of the absurd and the tragic. For instance: 

A GOP lawmaker, [Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH] was asked if he’s OK with child rape victims carrying out pregnancy. His answer: ‘You don’t know you were raped for 2 months?’2

“Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., told a crowd at a Save America Rally with former President Donald Trump that the end of Roe v. Wade was ‘a historic victory for white life.’ Her campaign told NPR she meant to say “a victory for Right to Life.”3

Uh huh. 

Let’s start with these two quotes by people Americans elected to Congress to represent us. Not only should we be ashamed as Americans to have elected these people to some of our highest positions in government… positions that have the ability to control portions of our lives in an extremely negative way, we should be ashamed that Americans who presumably received an American education are so incredibly ignorant. What does that say about our system of education?

Can Rep. Warren Davidson really believe that a woman doesn’t know she’s been raped for two months”? Is Rep. Davidson speaking from personal experience? Perhaps he’s used to women being drugged first, or so drunk they aren’t conscious at the time of the rape. However, worse still, the question was about a child being raped, so the drunk and drug aspect is probably not an issue, but if it is, it’s even worse, if that’s even possible. 

In the news recently is the case of a 10-year-old rape victim being refused an abortion because of the recent change in the law.4

Rep. Warren Davidson should be the poster boy to affirm why sex education in our schools is sorely needed. If an allegedly educated 52-year-old man doesn’t think a woman knows she’s been raped for two months, how can we expect teenagers to know the facts of life without sex education? 

As to Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill, someone should have told her that the people most affected by the abortion ban will be people of color. The PBS News Hour reported that: “Black and Hispanic people have the most to lose if Roe is overturned.”5 Here are a few facts:

According to the Brookings Institute in March 2018, the Census projects: “The US will become ‘minority white’ in 2045.”6 If we consider the following figures, the Brookings Institute might have to further adjust their figures. 

“When it [abortion] comes to the effect on minorities, the numbers are unambiguous. In Mississippi, people of color comprise 44 percent of the population but 81 percent of women receiving abortions, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks health statistics. In Texas, they’re 59 percent of the population and 74 percent of those receiving abortions. The numbers in Alabama are 35 percent and 69 percent. In Louisiana, minorities represent 42 percent of the population, according to the state Health Department, and about 72 percent of those receiving abortions.”7

In other words, by overturning Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court will actually help raise the Black and Hispanic populations in the US even further. Congratulations!!! Perhaps the new rallying cry of those supporting Roe vs Wade should be: 

Thank you for supporting Black Lives Matter. Because of your vote, Black and Hispanic Americans will rule in another 20 years.

That should scare the bejesus out of Rep. Mary Miller and her ilk. If the judges of the Supreme Court who overturned Roe vs Wade had the mind set of Rep. Mary Miller, they probably didn’t think that far ahead. 

That’s the problem with our education system. We are sometimes raising semi-literate people who we then elect to run the country, because they have some of the outer trappings of education without the inner learning and wisdom needed to lead. 

Some, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) haven’t even the outer trappings of education. Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn’t seem to know the difference between a delicious cold Spanish soup, and mass murdering Nazis, confusing gazpacho with gestapo.8 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, in advocating for no exception for rape or incest, said: “I just have never believed that having a tragedy or tragic situation happen to someone is a reason to have another tragedy occur.”9 She is speaking of the fetus, even though science tells us that the “pathways mediating pain perception become functional around the 29-30 wk” of gestation,10 long after most abortions are performed. And fetal consciousness begins to occur “after the first trimester, at least three or four months into pregnancy. …Consciousness develops after most abortions occur.” So most abortions do not affect the consciousness or the feelings of the fetus.11 Put another way, perhaps we can say that the fetus is oblivious to having life.

Yet, even in light of the above, the woman or child’s tragedy of being raped plays no part in Noem’s sympathy. In other words, the trauma of the crime the rape or incest victim experienced should be compounded every day for the next nine months, followed by a life sentence of traumatic memories, not to mention how she would feel towards a child conceived by the trauma of rape or incest, or how the child might feel as a consequence of rape or incest. Even children put up for adoption, sometimes feel thrown away, creating a lifetime of further trauma.12 

Adding to the burden that many women/families face is the fact that our government often fails to support struggling mothers/families with essential child care, food, and other necessities once the child is born. In other words, quality of life is not an issue for some of our ‘right to life’ representatives. Without support, the anti-abortion laws often compound the burden many women and families will face.

Were any of these factors considered by those who helped overturn Roe vs Wade?

Then there’s Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders who says “… Kids in the Womb Will Be As Safe as Those in School.” Really? A month after 19 children and two adults were shot to death in their classrooms, while a whole squad of police waited at the entrance of the school for an hour before entering, and parents were stopped from entering to save their children, Ms Sarah Huckabee Sanders makes a comparison with children being as safe in the womb as they are in school?13  

These scenarios would be fodder for comedy if they weren’t so desperately tragic. Even anti-abortion advocates must see that these arguments and representatives are not the best fighters for their cause. They simply reduce this important life and death issue to the theatre of the absurd.

Our system of education is often one of record and recite, rather than: Here’s the problem. Now go out there and find the answers! The record and recite method is a method in which the teacher gives a lecture and/or assigns a portion of a book, and then quizzes the student to see if the student read those passages and can recite them back. That method doesn’t enlarge minds. That method is a way of training future patsies, i.e. people who are easily taken advantage of, or who sometimes follow the person with the loudest voice and most vicious epitaphs. In other words, the person who plays on the fears and prejudices of the masses, because the students were never taught to think for themselves and find their own answers. Those who do think for themselves are too often the exception rather than the rule.

One of the most important questions concerning the overturning of Roe vs Wade is the duplicity of the Trump appointed Supreme Court judges who lied under oath, that they would honor established law. 

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) … said some conservative Supreme Court justices who struck down federal abortion protections … should be impeached for ‘lying under oath’ during their confirmation hearings. …Those justices became crucial to the court’s 6-3 conservative majority that ‘dramatically overreached its authority. …This is a crisis of legitimacy and President Biden must address that. …If we allow Supreme Court nominees to lie under oath and secure lifetime appointments to the highest court of the land and then issue … rulings that deeply undermine the human civil rights of the majority of Americans, we must see that through.’”14

My sentiments exactly!!! Especially since anyone who gets caught lying under oath in court faces penalties of some sort. They certainly aren’t supposed to win their case based on lies, although it does happen unfortunately. Therefore, even if one is ‘anti-abortion,’ if indeed these judges lied to congress under oath in order to get confirmed to the highest court in the land for life, that should not only be grounds for immediate dismissal, it should be seen as a crime, i.e. Fraudulent inducement of employment.15 There should be major penalties, their rulings put aside, and they should be removed from the bench at once. 

As to expanding the Supreme Court to 12 judges, it’s important to remember that one president, Donald Trump, in just one term, was able to seat three judges on the Supreme Court. In fact, During his one term in office, President Donald Trump (R) nominated 274 individuals to federal judgeships. Trump made 245 judicial appointments. Of those appointments, 234 were Article III judges. Trump withdrew eight nominees and 143 received no vote from the Senate.”16

It’s also important to remember that the judge chosen by Barak Obama was not confirmed by the Republican majority Congress. It seems a minor miracle that Ketanji Brown Jackson was affirmed. What will happen if another Trump comes along at a crucial moment for the Supreme Court? Will we then have eight lifetime judges on the bench who are willing to overturn established laws? Quick fixes are not always the best fixes. 

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  1. Multiple sources affirm that the fetus is only viable outside the uterus after 24 to 28 weeks of gestation. That’s 6 to 7 months into the pregnancy, long after almost all abortions take place. 
  2. CNN Politics: https://apple.news/AJX1N09RhQR2qoHJakrugbg
  3. Becky Sullivan, A GOP congresswoman said the end of Roe is a ‘historic victory for white life’. NPR. June 26, 2022.
  4. Edward Helmore, 10-year-old rape victim forced to travel from Ohio to Indiana for abortion. The Guardian. July 3, 2022.
  5. PBS News. May 4, 2022.
  6. William H. Frey, Youthful minorities are the engine of future growth. March 14, 2018.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Adela Suliman, Marjorie Taylor Greene says Nancy Pelosi leads ‘gazpacho police,’ causing collective spit take. The Washington Post. February 10, 2022.
  9. Melissa Quinn, Noem defends no exception for rape, incest in South Dakota trigger law: No reason for “another tragedy” to occur. CBS News. June 26, 2022.
  10. Hugo Lagercrantz & Jean-Pierre Changeux. The Emergence of Human Consciousness: From Fetal to Neonatal Life. Pediatric Research. March 2009. https://www.nature.com/articles/pr200950?error=cookies_not_supported&code=50d19e3c-4bef-43fc-9169-81b68222fb98
  11. To review this research, search the US National Library of Medicine at PubMed.gov for fetal pain and fetal consciousness.
  12. Andrea Ross, I Was Adopted Before Roe v. Wade. I Wish My Mother Had Been Given A Choice. Huffpost. Jun 30, 2022.
  13. Giulia Carbonaro, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Says Kids in Womb Will Be As Safe as Those in School. Newsweek. 6/27/22.
  14. Ron Dicker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Anti-Roe Trump Justices Should Be Impeached For ‘Lying’. Huffpost. June 27, 2022.
  15. 18 U.S. Code § 1031 – Major fraud against the United States. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1031
  16. Federal judges nominated by Donald Trump. The Encyclopedia of American Politics. https://ballotpedia.org/Federal_judges_nominated_by_Donald_Trump#cite_note-1

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Thea Halo is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Not Even My Name, a former news correspondent for WBAI in NYC, and a former producer for public radio in upstate NY. Not Even My Name was instrumental in garnering the first state-level resolutions in the U.S. that recognized the genocide of the Pontian and other Asia Minor Greeks and Assyrians. She was a co-sponsor and driving force, along with Prof. Adam Jones, of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) resolution that affirmed the Ottoman Genocides of Pontian and other Asia Minor Greeks and Assyrians as comparable to the genocide of the Armenians. She has also published a collection of poetry, and a number of Thea’s historical papers on the Genocides of Greeks and Assyrians have been published in books on the Ottoman Genocides. In 2009, Thea, along with her mother, Sano Halo, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 105, were awarded honorary Greek citizenship by the Greek government. In 2002, Thea was awarded the AHEPA Homer Award and, in 2012, the Association of Greek American Professional Women honored Thea and Sano for their “Profound contribution to Literature and to Hellenic Cultural Heritage and History.” Thea has also won numerous awards for her poetry and literary essays.

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