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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Coulda been, shoulda been, never woulda been

Apparently October 9th is National Pro Life Cupcake Day. Did you know? It's a day when pastries become  political...poor pastries. Pressed into service on behalf of highly controversial issue which doesn't have, so far as I can tell, any direct connection to wax paper wrappers and frosting. But, one might ask, how is this joyous holiday celebrated? Well...
Here’s how we celebrate: once a year, on October 9th, we would bake as many birthday cupcakes as humanly possible and hand them out for free wherever we can.  When people asked whose birthday it is, we tell them these cupcakes are for celebrating the birthdays of every person who never gets to have a birthday.  People respond in all ways – from refusing the cupcake, to sharing about abortions they’ve had in the past and the regret they carry, to just wanting to know more.
Amanda Marcotte offers up some lovely snark in response:
But really, they're selling the whole "never will get a birthday" thing short!  After all, there are many, many, many more potential people that never come into existence than just those who may have been but for an abortion. After all, there are children you never had because you use contraception (to be fair, anti-choice activists are also against that).  But there are also children you didn't have because you didn't have sex in the first place.  Not fucking is clearly murder in these cases. Every time you're ovulating and you elect to go to bed alone, you have deprived someone of a birthday!  So women like Lila Rose and Jill Stanek, who claim that contraception is a sin and therefore expect us to believe they simply use abstinence to keep from having babies, are also horrible deprivers-of-birthdays with all that abstaining. Stanek is in her 50s and has only one son, I do believe, meaning she's deprived approximately 400 children of their chance to have a birthday. That's a lot of cupcakes!
All I can think of this quote from Richard Dawkins' book Unweaving the Rainbow:
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
 Have a cupcake.

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