Kirby: Wait 3 days for a Utah abortion? Why not wait to have sex, too?

Published May 7, 2012 7:59 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For the record, I do not support abortion. It's not a religious thing. The idea of terminating life for the sake of convenience just gives me the creeps.

Wait, it gets worse. Seriously … no, wait. C'mon … HEY! Shut up and let me finish. Damn.

There's also something else I'm not. I'm not a woman with a kid inside her wondering what I'm going to do about it. Abortion may creep me out for any number of reasons, but I'm a guy. For me, the issue of abortion exists largely in theory.

See, I'm not the person who has to wear that kid for nine months and then be personally responsible for it when the weasel half of the parenting equation disappears or won't man up. So.

Know what else I don't support? I don't support government making any really personal decisions for me. I hate a government that promises to reduce its involvement in my personal life yet grows more meddlesome and domineering every year.

However, I do like mandatory 72-hour waiting periods. This is a religious position. I have an unshakable faith that people are morons — including you and me. But especially you.

For example, Utah recently enacted a law requiring women to wait 72 hours before having an abortion.

The idea, according to its sponsor, is to give abortion shoppers time to think and become fully informed before they make their purchase. Like they haven't already been doing that since the moment they found out they were pregnant.

With this sort of logic, there are all sorts of things for which the government should require a 72-hour waiting period. At the risk of giving them any ideas, let's examine a few.

Why shouldn't you have to wait 72 hours before getting drunk or high? Lots of really bad decisions get made when you're hammered, so it's only fair that you sign a letter of intent, then sit in a room for three days before being served.

I also think you should have to wait 72 hours before going to church every week. Church is a deeply personal matter, but it's often where one's view of the world is reinforced to the extent that it becomes imperative to impose it on everyone else.

If waiting 72 hours before resolving an unwanted pregnancy is a good idea, why not a 72-hour wait before getting pregnant on purpose? Given issues of overpopulation and increasing poverty, it's only fair to the rest of us that you go through a cooling-off period.

Granted, waiting three days to have sex may not be anything out of the ordinary (and might even be considered the fun part) but it's the legal paperwork and license that would put a damper on it.

A three-day waiting period should be mandatory before buying a pet. If you live within half a mile of another human being, your dog or cat isn't entirely your problem.

All sorts of things should require a waiting period that allowed you to reconsider and make a more fully informed choice.

Eating a meal containing more than 1,000 calories is one. So is buying a cell phone. Ditto watching "Oprah," buying a lottery ticket and exceeding the weight limit of a pair of shorts.

There's already a 72-hour waiting period on what I write. That's why this column only comes out three days a week.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/notpatbagley.



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