see this young lady? she died over 100 years ago, at about my own age. she's been dead many times longer than she was alive, but you owe her big time, for without her, none of this stuff here would exist. al gore did not invent the internet. SHE did.
well not exactly. but she still had a fairly strong impact on the world, even though she didn't know it while she was alive, and her legacy continues to flourish. her name was mary, and she was MY great-great-grandmother. without her, this site WOULDN'T exist, because I would not exist. i'm sure if you give this just a bit of thought that part makes perfect sense. but you're probably still wondering why the hell i'm going on about her like this, as i never actually knew her, neither did you, and other than being my ancestor, she really doesn't seem too extraordinary. have patience. this will all fall together once i've explained myself. a few visitors to this site who know the story i'm about to tell you pressed for it to be posted here, so i've finally concurred, NOT, as they might believe, to expose myself as the semi-british mutt child they all know i am ;) but rather to support my abortion theory with a physical, non-religious, non-sanctimonious example.
mary here was an englishwoman, married to a rare irish landowner in the treacherous mid-1800s. while she did have cash enough to have her picture taken (not nearly as simple a proposition as it is today, let me tell you) she did NOT have cash enough to have the proper medical tests performed to tell her she had a fairly severe heart condition that would worsen with each child she had. no-one had such cash at that time, cos in those days, echocardiograms didn't exist. the doctors barely had the technology to tell a lady was pregnant, let alone something like that. so she got herself up the pole the first time and nine month later had the baby, my great-great aunt the old maid, weakening slightly after the birth. a few years later, she got knocked up again, and halfway through THIS pregnancy took awfully ill. she made it to term, but had a massive heart attack during labour. my great-grandmother catharine was born, but her mam never lived to see it. as the story goes, she was dead before the baby was even out of her.
this is an awful enough story, but it gets worse. the old maid daughter grew up to be a hellish individual who served little purpose to anyone, and THIS, my friends, is according to people who knew her. i could go into more detail here, but i will not, out of respect for the dead. the second daughter, my great-grandmother, married and gave rise to one son and three daughters of her own, whom she abused pretty badly (pots of boiling water were involved). the eldest lad died at 22, engaged but not yet married. the eldest girl (my grandmother) married and had 6 kids, the next down married and had one child, and the youngest married and had 5. so while in the 20s and 30s the outlook for old mary's progeny didn't look so hot, by the 50s the family was booming out of control. by this point, great-grandmother catharine had passed on to her eternal...errmm...reward, as had her big sis, but the third generation and now some of THEIR kids were reproducing like there was no tomorrow. now, if i keep giving you the play-by-play, you're going to get really bored, if you haven't already. so i'll fast-forward this great lot to the 1980s. my aunt lil, catharine's second daughter, did not fare so well, i must admit, as she, her husband, and their only daughter had all perished from cancer by 1988. my grandmother and her youngest sister, however, had more than made up for that in the population department. from grandma's 6 kids had arisen 41 grandchildren, and marguerite's 5 took up second with a hardly shabby even 20 (one of whom's a priest...and every family needs a priest, right?) in addition, by the year of 2000, survivor grandma had also raised her grand-total of GREAT-grandchildren to a kick-ass 19, ranging in age from newborn to 20. grandma died earlier this year (2001) at 97, but not before hearing her oldest great-grandchild, now 21, is about to become a da himself. and i doubt seriously if he's going to be the last of them to multiply.
so. what the hell has any of this to do with abortion? well, really, nothing. there was not one single abortion mentioned in this entire tedious story. but here's the kicker...there COULD have been. you do realise, don't you, if great-great-grandmother mary had been alive today, in the usa or in england, the hospital would've insisted she abort my great-grandmother...FOR HER OWN GOOD. had she lived today in ireland, the results would've been similar, except she'd've had to take a trip to england to have it done (perhaps visit some relations on the way, eh?) and the bloodline would've ended at the nasty old-maid daughter. i am not saying this world would be lost without me (that bit i'm leaving up to you ;)) but what i AM saying, seriously, is if that one baby was killed, there would have been 94 fewer people gracing this earth. 94 fewer people to make whatever little difference they could...94 people AND COUNTING. as it is, we can claim in our ranks a veteran of 1916, a vietnam vet, an MD, a priest, several nurses and teachers, and a whole hell of a lot of kids who havenít even BEGUN yet to show the world what they can do. not to be presumptuous, but one of mary's accidental descendents could yet find the cure for cancer or AIDS, bring about a united ireland, be president of the usa or taoiseach, walk on mars, or invent something that could change the course of history (maybe even something BETTER than the internet) or maybe for the rest of eternity, we'll continue being mediocre and unassuming, perhaps in our lifetimes just serving to make one or two people happy. at any rate, i like to think the lot of us (or some of us anyway) have long since given meaning and purpose to mary's entirely-too-short life, and we've yet to stop. as i said, maybe we'll never prove newsworthy, but there's still more of a chance of that happening now than if none of us were ever given the chance to live. and this doesn't just count in the case of us. what about the progeny of all the OTHER coulda/shoulda been aborted babies? or the prospective progeny of the ones who WERE aborted? ever wonder what the world would be like today if jonas salk's nan had hooked herself with a wire hanger cos she just didn't think she had the cash to support his mam if she had her? hey, it's not totally unfeasible. these people were poor bronx jews, immigrants. it would've made things easier at the time. but what would it have done for all those kids with polio? not much. and what about yourself? ever wonder if your mother or grandmother ever considered an abortion? it's not like they'd ever admit it to you if they did. but at any rate, aren't you glad they DIDN'T?
think about THAT for a minute, why don't ya?
i TOLD you i had a point...