Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny. Edmund Burke

Last night was a wonderful celebration for two people at Toastmasters that have achieved the pinnacle of Toastmaster achievement, becoming Distinguished Toastmasters. Indeed one of them has walked this long demanding path twice. When we listen to the stories of the journey to Distinguished Toastmaster and the conduct of those who have achieved this distinction the characteristic that comes to mind is being of service. They are ready, able to assist, encourage, and mentor.

I have a position with Toastmasters only because of encouragement from one of our newest DTM’s. It never crossed my mind to apply to be Area Director, she said, “Keep it in your pocket until you need it for your DTM.”

“Are you achieving your DTM this year?” Is the question I get asked most often as people realize I’m an Area Director.  No, I’m just taking the next step presented to me.  When I listen to the stories of the DTM’s often it wasn’t planned. You do this and you do that, and then someone comes along and says, “You know you are really close to achieving this, if you did, this, and this, and this, you will be a DTM.

Isn’t this how it is in life we don’t have a plan, goal, etc? We start on a path that didn’t even look like a path but if we take on every opportunity that presents itself we grow and develop until one day we can’t believe how far along the path we are. We may even be an example to other people. We can’t even believe that we are an example of accomplishment. “We were just walking the path,” and that is all it takes.

On a crazy note, my husband tells me a pregnant woman shot in Alabama is being charged with the death of her fetus. “You mean the women who shot her?” I say.

No, the pregnant woman is charged with causing the death of her own fetus and the woman who shot her has not been charged at all. Because the pregnant woman started the fight that ended in the death of her fetus she is being charged. If someone can explain this logic I’m open to listening.

My husband and I have long argued over my belief that life begins at conception. To pretend otherwise is not to face the true facts of biology. That does not color my ideas about abortion. To me, abortion is an unfortunate choice some people may feel they have to make. It isn’t my right to force my ideas on them.

Every embryo will not be a live birth. It is foolish to expect that even if we never willingly terminate another viable pregnancy.  Women are subject to our biology. Some people want women to be of less importance than the child they carry. How does that seem like a win for anyone?

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. Aristotle

Women generally happily take on the challenge and joy of motherhood. Criminalizing the unfortunate things that can happen between conception and birth serves no one. We cannot be careful enough to ensure we couldn’t be charged with wrongful death if this becomes the general view.

My husband has been telling me for years, you don’t know what you are saying if life begins at conception. That it is an inconvenient truth does not deter me. Some things are absolutely true and some things are not. There is a point where a seed goes from a seed that has not sprouted to one that has. There is a point where an egg goes from one that is not fertilized to one that is.

Women have the children; we have been elevated and controlled because of it. Women should not be in a cage of our own or someone else’s making because we bring forth the next generation. Unnecessary and unwanted death is a fact of life, criminalizing people and especially women for it does not make sense or move our civilization forward.

If every life is so sacred why isn’t it sacred after birth? The crime is not that every fetus doesn’t become a full term live birth. It is that some of those live births become unwanted, abused, and taken advantage of. That‘s the real crime.

Life is a journey. One of the most courageous things we do is bringing forward the next generation. Making pregnancy harder than it already is will not make more people want to do it. If this becomes generally accepted practice then women will no longer be able to work once they are pregnant. What will we be able to eat, where will we be able to go? It is unfortunate all pregnancies are not wanted.

We cannot control everything in life, let women look after their pregnancies, and don’t make them criminals when a pregnancy ends in heartbreak. Surely when this happens a woman and family have suffered enough.

Apathy is why we end up with ridiculous laws. People say, “That is crazy and will never pass,” but then it does. Michael Maddox

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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