Student comes up to me after class, inquiring about a possible research paper topic. She was wondering if she could oppose the defunding of Planned Parenthood by the state of Texas.
"Uh, sure, I guess," I said (frankly not having heard of the matter, since I spend too much time in my cave). Apparently (I've now discovered from CBS), "Texas legislators cut Planned Parenthood out of the state's women's health program by banning participation of groups that support abortion rights." One judge said Texas couldn't do it, but then another judge on a federal appeals court said it could.
"Why is defunding Planned Parenthood a problem?"
Because, she said, of all the health services they provide to women which they won't be able to get anymore.
Well, I said, isn't Planned Parenthood's main money-maker abortion referral? That's probably what Texas objects to. Could be, she said. She wasn't sure. So the abortion angle doesn't bother you? I asked. Oh no, I'm pro-choice.
Young, bright, energetic, hard-working, participates well in class. Smiles a lot. Seems a very nice person. Could be your daughter. And to all appearances possessed of an imagination unmoved by the vision of tiny humans being cut to pieces.
I've heard it before, of course, a thousand times. But the last occasion of it is as depressing as the first. In fact, it gets worse with time. This being the last exchange of the day, I drove home feeling somewhat deadened, as if for company some dark angel of despair were riding shotgun. This seems a disproportionate reaction, but there it is and, as I get older, more frequent in occurrence. It's a thing I haven't learned to steel myself against.