Complete Pro-Life Myopia
Why a balloon release to “celebrate life” is a terrible idea!
I couldn’t believe what I saw happen this weekend at the Canyon Lake dam.
I was there over the weekend on a luxurious writing retreat, and had ridden my OneWheel down to Overlook Park to enjoy my breakfast in the cool morning air with a gorgeous view.
There was a small group of people sitting at the picnic tables. I thought with the kids running around and a few ladies blowing up balloons that it was probably a lucky kid’s birthday party.
More and more folks arrived. Folks of all ages. The only common denominator is that they all seemed to be in pretty terrible health. Lots of canes and walkers even for the folks that didn’t seem very old. Several women visibly suffering with crystal clear signs of advanced lipedema, which I find hard to ignore now that I’ve shared in on Shannon Ashley’s journey dealing with that disease. And the chatter that floated over from the table was surprisingly negative. People complaining about the idiots they had to work with at their jobs, the prices at the stores, and of course politics.
Seemed like a fun group. Not.
But when I saw the professional photographer show up, and the balloons handed out to nearly everyone — I knew something different was up.
Looking more closely, I saw the pink and white balloons were marked with words that said “Celebrate Life,” which, considering my prior observations of the group seemed a little ironic.
They picked up and headed out towards the walkway over the dam. I thought perhaps they were going to walk across and back in some kind of pro-life celebration of sorts.
Despite the fact that I strongly resonate with the concept of a woman being a regarded as a full person who should be able to make her own decisions around fertility, childbirth, medical care, and personal destiny — I tried my very best to feel empathy towards this crowd.
They must really care about babies, I thought to myself.
But then, they proceeded to do something that blew my mind with it’s myopic idiocy.
They laboriously made their way through the entrance gate, and then took about 15 steps onto the dam before posing for a group shot with the photographer.
Then, to my breathtaking dismay, they all let go of the balloons together, letting them float up into the sky while the photographer busily snapped shots of their release.
Then I saw people turning with tears running down their cheeks, looking for support from each other as they expressed their sadness.
Do these people not know how to connect the dots? I wondered to myself. The balloon release tradition is TERRIBLE for life!
Balloons that are released into the air don’t just go away, they either get snagged on something such as tree branches or electrical wires, deflate and make their way back down, or rise until they pop and fall back to Earth where they can create a lot of problems.
Many balloons that are not properly disposed of end up in the ocean and along shores, becoming marine debris….Balloons can be mistaken for food, and if eaten and ingested, balloons and other marine debris can lead to loss of nutrition, internal injury, starvation, and death. String or ribbon that is often found attached to balloons can cause entanglement. String can wrap around marine life causing injury, illness, and suffocation. Forbes
But it seems like the only life they were concerned about was the unborn kind.
I don’t want to think these people are evil. I can see and admire the fact that they think they’re standing up for unborn babies with their action. I want to be able to believe that at least their INTENTION comes from a place of love.
I feel like these folks have been manipulated badly. Religion and politics, along with a cumulatively unsustainable approach to overall health have turned groups like this into passionate forces for control, degradation, pain, and suffering for the rest of the world.
Do they know that somewhere between 31–50% of pregnancies end in natural abortion? This is without any active termination action on the part of the pregnant woman. This is just what happens. This is what nature has designed! Miscarriages are a natural way to protect a living woman who really probably shouldn’t be procreating in a situation where they are under stress, chemical stress, or other kinds of dangers.
If we wanted to really protect more babies — maybe we should be taking better care of adult humans and our environment as a general rule.
If this group of people was REALLY pro-life, maybe they wouldn’t be in such terrible health. I know shit happens. I know people suffer from conditions. But 50 odd people, ALL looking terrible? This is more than sheer coincidence or bad luck.
If they were REALLY pro-life, maybe they wouldn’t be spending their breath bitching about all the things that are wrong in the world? Maybe they’d have learned by now about the correlation between gratitude and appreciation and quality of life?
And if they were REALLY pro-life, they might recognize that littering into the sky with plastic and string that is pretty much destined to kill something out in nature — is a really stupid idea.
But I didn’t know how to break it to them. And I didn’t want to start a fight. We have enough fighting in the world these days. I just wanted to appeal to their broader sense of life-appreciation to ask them what they hell they were thinking!
When will we stop being such idiots on this planet, and REALLY working in service of life — instead of just giving it lip service while we act as agents of pain, suffering, misbegotten attempts at control, and untimely violent death for everyone and everything but a small clump of cells that might one day become a human being.