Some of our countrymen, like those in the New York State legislature, are having trouble understanding why some Americans (a lot, actually) would oppose abortion-up-to-birth laws. Just the other day a Democratic presidential candidate likened pro-life Americans to—yes—racists. This moves me to paint an analogy for these folks, as rudimentary as it may be.
Let’s suppose that a woman decides to make a chocolate Bundt cake to serve for dessert one day. As it is baking, she realizes that she has no whipped cream to accompany it. She also realizes that it will not go well at all with the entrée she will be serving. She considers and considers, and decides that she is indeed unprepared to serve chocolate Bundt cake that day. One minute before the timer dings, she puts on her insulated mitts, pulls the aromatic cake from the oven, and sets it on the stove.
It is perfectly formed, and she can easily picture it on a plate, with its lustrous chocolate finish. Still, it has to go. Grabbing her spatula, she scrapes the rich cake from the pan and lets it fall into the kitchen trash can, then bundles it away.
A few minutes later her neighbor arrives to return some books she had borrowed. Upon entering the house, she breathes in the tantalizing smell of chocolate cake. Her face lights up as she exclaims, “Oh, you made a cake!” As our baker knows, this woman, even with the help of her husband, has never succeeded in making a cake, as many times as she has tried.
Our baker explains that the cake turned out to be all wrong for tonight’s occasion, so she threw it away. Wide-eyed, the cake-starved neighbor rushes to the kitchen trash, hoping to rescue the unwanted product-of-confection. She stops short, seeing a clean plastic liner in the can. Just then she hears the trash truck out front and realizes that the cake is now beyond anyone’s reach.
Cakes like this one, which women think they want but later change their minds about, or that come together in the pan accidentally while the woman is planning something else, are tossed out each day at various stages of baking. Sometimes, indeed, it is the decision of the boyfriend who comes home and storms, “You haven’t made another Bundt cake, have you?” and insists on its disposal. Would it not be more compassionate to the cake-deprived people of the country, desperate for a cake of their own, to let the cake fully bake and offer it to them?
Of course, this analogy breaks down in many ways. For one thing, even the most cake-addicted foodie would not claim that a cake is human (yet). But if the flagrant waste of a perfect chocolate cake makes your stomach contract, how much more the waste of a perfectly formed human child?
Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Cuomo, I hope this helps.