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Stats: 2,092,930 members, 4,525,218 topics. Date: Monday, 15 October 2018 at 11:33 AM
|Dinner Conversation by MissWrite(f): 9:53pm On Jan 07|
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“I am not against abortion.” Nhlolanti stated emphatically, “I haven’t decided to keep this baby for any moral reasons. I absolutely believe that a woman should have the right to decide issues regarding her own body. She should be allowed to assess her circumstances and decide what is best for her physical and mental health – her total wellbeing. Those rights should be non-negotiable.”
Nhlola sat in her kitchen nursing a cup of herbal tea as she watched Abram conscientiously dice tomatoes. He was making Spaghetti with Tomato sauce, the one thing he knew how to make to perfection, and he never stopped bragging about it. But Nhlola decided she could live with his feeling of superiority if it guaranteed the quieting of the rumbling in her belly. It had been a long day at the office and she was tired and so hungry that she could devour all six-feet of the thinly muscled chocolate skinned man she had in her sights. But she would wait for him to finish dinner instead. She was not about to make supper out of the only boyfriend, in all of her thirty-four years, she could actually stand to be around for longer than five months. Maybe she would have him for desert with some whipped cream………
“What about the baby’s rights. Should they be ignored?” He asked patronizingly, interrupting her thoughts.
“It’s a fetus. Not a baby.”
Abram patiently absorbed her defiance. “So, you’re saying that you don’t consider that -” he pointed to her belly, “- a baby?”
Nhlola instinctively placed her palm protectively over her abdomen. “This one is different.”
“Because I have already made my decision. And as a result of that, I have endorsed it with a purpose – with individuality. It is technically still a fetus but….. She’s also a product of my hopes and desires for her. So, she is my baby.”
“She?” Abram smiled derisively.
“I can only dream.” she quipped, “The point is, I made that decision. Me. And I know that I will probably go to prison for the rest of my life for this, but still, it’s my body and I should decide.”
Abram noted the anxious inflection in her tone and paused his chore. Ever since they learned that Nhlola was expecting, they had swung erratically between feelings of pure joy and utter trepidation. They weren’t married and worse still: they did not have a license from the MFA (the Ministry of Family affairs) to become parents. Their situation was precarious and Abram did not see any easy way out of it, but he had to stay positive for both of them.
“No one is going to prison. We are going to get through this.” He promised.
“Sure.” Nhlola said, but she still seemed distracted.
“And a fetus still has rights.” he remarked to keep her engaged.
“Is that a fact?” Nhlola arched a perfect brow.
“Yes! Or it should be. You know how it is with these things, it’s all still debatable. But it is a fact that a fetus has valid life and, therefore, is a person. A fetus is a human being from the first day of existence – at conception. It has a beating heart in its third week! And brain activity within a month and half, how is that not a human being? A human being has rights, and the right not to be killed is a fundamental one. It should trump the mother’s right to decide what to do with her body. Therefore, the moral thing to do would be to suspend the rights of the mother to accommodate the life of the innocent child. Abortion is and should be considered murder.”
“Wow, so that’s the resistance I would have faced if I had decided to terminate this pregnancy?”
Abram snapped his fingers at her “Stay with me, darling, we are talking generally now. Let’s not do the ‘what-ifs’ regarding our particular situation?”
“Okay..” she indulged him, “say a fetus is an actual person and worthy of legal protection by the Government, he would have the inalienable rights germane to all persons -” she counted on her fingers, “- the right to freedom and equality, the right not to be discriminated against, the right to life, the right to protected by the law, the right not to be unfairly detained… etcetera, etcetera”
“So, if a woman were to – say - murder a person and get convicted for it by a competent court of law, and sentenced to do time in prison. If she were also three weeks pregnant, would that not amount to a conflict?”
“No. Not, necessarily”
“Yes. Necessarily! If she went to prison three weeks pregnant, the system would be unlawfully detaining a minor. If the fetus is a person with rights, then that’s how it should be interpreted. He should even be entitled to his own legal representation, which is essentially what Pro-life advocates have been doing – presuming to know what is in the best interest of the fetus.”
“The fetus is in its mother’s womb, there’s nothing that can be done about that. Laws aren’t perfect, but we have to do the best we can with them.”
“No, I don’t accept that! That’s not good enough. The fetus’ right not to be unfairly detained has to be respected and protected. Maybe the court could suspend sentencing until its ruling does not interfere with the inalienable rights of an innocent fetus.”
“Maybe” Abram shrugged casually. “How does it work with conjoined twins?”
“However it works with conjoined twins, first, they would both be the same age and the issue of one being a minor would not arise. And secondly, the one who would be considered the accomplice would actually have had knowledge of the crime being committed. Unless he is physically challenged in a way that compromises his ability to be aware of his physical surroundings.”
“Hmm” Abram absent-mindedly strained the pasta. “So, say the judge rules that the fetus is free while the mother remains under arrest. And he decides that, if it is possible for the fetus to leave the prison, then it is free to do so. And it is on record that the fetus is not confined by any sentence or the prison walls but by the mother’s womb. And what difference does it make, anyway, whether the mother is in jail or at The Ritz; it’s all the same in there?”
“It does make a difference. The fetus is still feeding off the mother and shouldn’t be having prison food, prison air and second-hand trauma. It is an environmental adjustment forced on the fetus. And if the judge rules in favor of the separation of mother and fetus thinking he can just pass on that Gordian knot to be untied by the mother, then that’s an endorsement of abortion. Remember Alexander didn’t actually untie that knot, he arrogantly slashed it with his sword and voila! Technically the job is done. That kind of ruling simply means: try and oops! I couldn’t live without her after all. It’s an irresponsible decision. And by that I mean – it is shameless attempt to avoid responsibility.
The mother should insist on the release of her child, even if the court decides to punish her for reckless endangerment at the time of the crime and extend her sentence. A fetus would be the saving grace of delinquent mothers unless they can be safely transplanted into a surrogate. You can’t convict two people for the crime of one.”
“Maybe sentencing should be suspended.” Abram conceded.
“Okay, what if a mother decides to file for separation from the fetus?”
“Are you joking?”
“Well, it is a person and it can be sued. Even as a minor. The law only requires that the person who brings the suit be at least eighteen.”
“What would be the grounds for separation?”
“Any number of reasons, from the sound to the absolutely ridiculous, take your pick – health, lack of mental preparedness, ambiguous paternity, financial constraints – whatever.”
“No judge would entertain that suit.”
“No, they won’t. Because the Government has decided that the right to life of the fetus trumps mother’s right to liberty. But not, necessarily.”
Nhlola ignored Abram’s gibe, “Supposing the mother then sues the government for infringement. She did not give her consent for her body to be used in gestation. I know what you’re thinking: pregnancy is a consequence of sex; therefore, consent might be implied by engaging in coitus. But you see, it is not! A woman’s decision to have sex could consent to an orgasm, and not motherhood. Just like my ordering a meal at that lousy restaurant down the street consents to getting stuffed, but not the food poisoning that is a common consequence of their dreck. So, since the woman does not consent to pregnancy, then the Government, in its bid to bestow ‘personhood’ on the fetus, should take responsibility in resolving the conflict. So, they should be made to compensate the mother in liquidated and ascertained damages for using her body as a ‘Surrogate under Duress’ and also forcing her into motherhood against her will. In addition, they would have to cover medical expenses and life insurance premiums – because pregnancy is a risky business. After which the baby could be placed for adoption at the Government’s discretion. This way, the Government has acknowledged both the right of the fetus to exist and the mother’s right to liberty.
Or they can simply stop being silly and properly define what and who constitutes a person. Personally, I consider it important to be: first, of the human species – regardless of color, gender or age; and secondly, an independent entity capable of independent association in the real environment – if it rains, can it get wet?”
Abram placed a deliciously steaming plate of food in front of Nhlola on the counter, “Eat!” he commanded as he pulled up a stool beside to her.
“I think I might need a drink first” he smiled.
“Did I upset you?” Nhlola scrunched up her nose.
He shook his head, “I just didn’t realize you felt this strongly about this….stuff. I guess I should be thankful you love me enough to want to keep my baby”
“I do love you” she assured him with a kiss on the lips.
“Mmm hmmm” she affirmed nuzzling his nose with hers, “But if I didn’t, I probably would still not be running out to get an abortion. I am ready for this. I am not an abortion nut, if there’s a thing like that. I’m just not opposed to it as an option should a woman, for any reason, choose to have one.”
Abram exhaled in mock irritation, “Eat your pasta” he said again as he went to the bar to mix himself a screwdriver. He always did it with way too much orange juice – whom was he kidding?
“You gave me all of two seconds to feel good about myself – thinking I had anything to do with your decision.”
“Who are you again?” Nhlola blinked in mock bewilderment.
His drink in hand, he sat back down at the counter regarding her intently, “Seriously, what’s a father’s say in the matter?”
“You’re being really sensitive right now.”
“No, I’m not. I promise” he waved off her concerns, “But it sounds like you think that he has no say”
“Not ‘no say’….” She hedged.
“Alright, tell me”
“I just think that the father, just like the Government has no right to force a woman to commit to a pregnancy which she isn’t emotionally prepared for. It is her body”
“Okay, and following your reasoning, if he sues her to court and wins the case, he becomes liable to pay liquidated and ascertained damages for forced surrogacy in the counter suit. And thereafter gets sole custody of the child.”
Nhlola nodded exaggeratedly compensating for the absurdity of the supposition, “That would be correct.”
“And if a woman decides to keep it and the man wants an abortion? It is his sperm”
“If a woman is opposed to the operation, she shouldn’t be made to do it. The man is free to give up paternal rights and responsibilities because it should be his right to consent to or refrain from fatherhood.”
“Yes, but there is still the matter of a child with his DNA out and about. Does he get compensation for that?”
“Maybe. If a case for reckless abandonment doesn’t resonate with the Judge.”
“You think you have all the answers, don’t you?” he chided, emptying his tumbler, “Well, I think that a fetus absolutely is a person and should be regarded as such. What you suggested earlier about re-negotiating the ‘personhood’ of a fetus is another convenient way to avoid taking responsibility for the gravity of one’s actions, and that’s disgraceful.
Have you forgotten how black people were once disenfranchised in North American history by the two-fifths compromise? You can’t just label people to your convenience and do with them what you like.”
“Yes. I hear that” Nhlola was subdued by Abram’s surge of passion. He hadn’t shouted but his tone had been uncharacteristically terse. “But -”
He placed a finger on her lips, “No buts, please”
“This pasta is absolutely fabulous”
“I know” he smiled as he planted a kiss on her lips.
3 Likes 4 Shares
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Missnande(f): 7:09pm On Jan 08|
Beautiful! I have to ask though, are you a lawyer?
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Mrphylor09: 6:52am On Jan 09|
|Re: Dinner Conversation by sodiqapril(m): 6:57am On Jan 09|
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Jwonder(m): 6:58am On Jan 09|
Wonderful, so many beautiful writers on Nairaland..
|Re: Dinner Conversation by pweetyz(f): 7:17am On Jan 09|
I love this a lot.
If this is Nigeria however, the definition of a person would be considered wrong. Can't say about other countries tho.
Our Law provides that the foetus only becomes a person when it is independent of its Mother. This entails that a Baby is a person only when it is delivered of.
It's your story tho, so you have got the liberty to decide on your definition. I love the vast imagination and your lines of arguments too.
Kudos. You have done great.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by press005: 7:25am On Jan 09|
All dis NL writers, i wish to ask pls, do they copy it from another Novel or they actually write it themselves?....if the latter, then huge kudos to them cos they are doing a fantastic job...Nice one OP.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by sylve11: 7:32am On Jan 09|
"“She?” Abram smiled derisively."
A lot of memories pours in.
well done ma!
|Re: Dinner Conversation by sylve11: 7:32am On Jan 09|
"“She?” Abram smiled derisively."
A lot of memories pours in.
well done ma!
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Shanana1(m): 8:01am On Jan 09|
press005:This guys re doing excellent work here.. good imagination nd right sense of humour. kudos 2 u
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Nobody: 8:13am On Jan 09|
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Nobody: 8:16am On Jan 09|
nice one @ misswrite
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Dinner Conversation by oluangelkay(f): 8:18am On Jan 09|
I love this story, Kudos
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MissWrite(f): 3:43pm On Jan 09|
Thank you . No, I'm not a lawyer.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MissWrite(f): 4:11pm On Jan 09|
Thank you . I'm guessing you're a lawyer?
Yes, you're right. This is actually an excerpt from a book I started writing. The context is totalitarian. A popular pro-life argument is that personhood begins at conception (Peter Kreeft. This is real) and so, after the pro-life argument wins the lingering debate, the Government doesn't stop at just regulating women's bodies. It takes charge of everything else for an "improved" society. Like ensuring children are well cared for, by vetting and licensing parents and running routine domestic checks. Like imposing a legal BMI limit to enhance the cost-effectiveness of compulsory health insurance......and so fat people are incarcerated to work off the weight; and people with bad genes or scant means (and a host of other lapses) are denied a parent-license. Even though it would be easy to see the good intentions behind the stringent measures, it's an oppressed society that seeks to break free.
2 Likes 2 Shares
|Re: Dinner Conversation by Tozara(m): 12:43am On Jan 14|
MissWrite:An excerpt? That's quite interesting. I'm loving it already. Each point of the argument/discussion absolutely fundamental and significant, and not in the least immaterial, to the entirety of the debate concerning abortion. It's very well-written. And do you know you actually sounded like a lawyer?
The excerpt is wonderful. The book looks promising. It would be great, no doubt.
Keep writing! You're good.
2 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Dinner Conversation by AvatarMode(m): 12:22am On Apr 30|
This is so amazing. You write exceptionally well.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MissWrite(f): 9:13am On Apr 30|
Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. I looked up some of your stories and you're impressive.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by AvatarMode(m): 10:56am On Apr 30|
MissWrite:Thank you. I'm still learning, you know.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MISEDUCATIONS: 9:29am On Jul 20|
my short story came in at 17, 000 words and NL rejected it as too long and i lost interest in literature section.
but you MissWrite, you are the real deal. you have a way with words in a way i envy. if you were in SA we could be tag-teaming on my film script. my dialogue isnt the strongest and that seems to be your strong suit.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MISEDUCATIONS: 5:09pm On Jul 20|
in some countries like Zimbabwe a woman's prison sentence is divided between her and her unborn baby.
in feminist countries where abortion is legal that is rare because to begin with a fetus is not taken to be a real human.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MissWrite(f): 6:49pm On Jul 20|
......compliments from Bunjy?
Lol, 17,000 words is not a short story; it's a novelette. I didn't know you're a writer; movie scripts for that matter! That's great.
Thanks for the compliments
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MissWrite(f): 6:53pm On Jul 20|
Really? I've never heard of it. I'll check it out.
|Re: Dinner Conversation by MISEDUCATIONS: 6:56pm On Jul 20|
MissWrite:thats me. not only do i drive people nuts with anger i also make them feel good. what emotion lies beyond my control?
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