Another Modest Proposal

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Jul 28, 2016 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

This column was written on November 15, 2001.  It is a satire!

It is a melancholy object to those who live in this great country when they see the great numbers of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children — all in bluejeans — and begging their mothers for Gameboys. It is so sad — these mothers, instead of being able to enjoy a night out at the movies, or a candlelight dinner with their boyfriends, are forced to employ all their time to care for kids and infants.

Pesky human fetus at 36 weeks

Pesky human fetus at 36 weeks

It is agreed by most parties that several solutions to such a problem exist, but the difficulty lies in disposing of such unwanted brats without offending a significant section of the populace commonly known as conservatives, or even worse, the religious right. You may be interested to know that this conundrum is nothing new.

As far back as the eighteenth century, creative problem-solvers were finding new and innovative ways to deal with unwanted children both in and out of the womb.

Said one:

“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or broiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally service in a fricassee or a ragout.”

You might think that such a solution would effectively close the argument; after all, this scenario not only deals with ridding young mothers of unwanted offspring — it finds a way to utilize them in a healthy and nutritious manner. And in these current days in which we live, recycling is so important.

But no; the idea failed to catch on in 1729, and it will never work today.

Too much unpleasantness involved. That is to say that the slaughtering and dressing of a child would be a messy business, and if photographs were to be distributed to the masses, all heck might break loose.

Besides, in modern society, every child is a wanted child.

The problem today is fetuses. Children who are born can often provide a young mom with the prerequisites to make a claim upon taxpayer money that she might otherwise be forced to do without. But of what value is the unborn child? It represents little more than morning sickness and the promise of inconveniences to come.

And this brings us full circle to the solutions that remain at our disposal. One, abstinence, is not in tune with current societal evolution. Another, adoption, is fraught with governmental regulations such as papers to sign, most likely in triplicate. So what remains — a woman’s right to choose — must be considered the most viable of all options.

But there is still the matter of unpleasantness should photographs of this somewhat grisly procedure be disseminated among the masses — most particularly at our hallowed institutions of higher learning. One could readily assume that students and faculty alike would not enjoy an involuntary subjection to such graphic displays. Such things as little hands and little feet, having just been removed from the womb and discarded, play badly in pictures.

That’s where our modest little proposal comes in.

Believing that there must be a way to be sensitive to all sides, we wish to be fair to those who believe that the unborn are children of God and should not be disposed of so casually — and to those who believe the fetus is little more than an inconvenience. So we look to a simpler time — the sixties — in which your humble writer was fortunate enough to have an unwanted appendage plucked out by a surgeon of some repute.

The offending body part — in this case, tonsils — was placed in a jar of preservative liquid and was waiting by the bedside table so as to be kept and remembered as long as desired.

Could it not be so with the fetus?

Once removed, it could be placed inside a decorative jar with the words “my baby” or even “my fetus,” suitable for displaying on the mantle.

The unborn child is thus remembered, no sensitive college campus would have to endure the abortion-room photographs, and yet the inconvenience of the pregnancy is at an end, freeing the young mother to pursue leisure-time endeavors at her own pace.

With apologies to Jonathan Swift, this proposal seems even more modest than his own.

Lynn Woolley’s e-mail address is

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