“And if you don’t like abortion, Don’t have an abortion, And teach your children How they can avoid them.”

— Ani Difranco

I don’t want to break out the “h-word” (hypocrite), and there’s no way I will ever question anyone’s passion or sincerity when it comes to the abortion issue.

But I have to ask many of the so-called right-to-lifers, who declare that a human life has been created at the moment of conception and that that precious life deserves every opportunity to be carried to term, delivered and lived — no matter the circumstances of its conception — where is that same compassion after that child is born?

I’m not going to throw out the all-too-easy “they say” that is an easy “off-the-hook” non-entity. Instead, I’ll declare that I’ve heard some of the same people who are passionate to the verge of fighting to back up their beliefs when it comes to abortion turn around and declare that all these “welfare babies” are nothing but a drain on society. They declare children who have grown up hardscrabble, often raised by the streets because parents have either abandoned them or are too busy working multiple jobs to raise them, are no more than “thugs” and part of an “entitlement crowd.”

So I have to ask: Where is that compassion that had you ready to fight for the sanctity of that unborn child ... right up until the time he was born? At what point, I have to ask, did that “precious life” become a “thug” and a “welfare baby?” At what point in that child’s development did he or she become a drain on society?

Many people have pointed out that it’s “old white men” who are making decisions now about women’s bodies. If history and commonsense have shown us nothing else, they have definitely shown us that men are the last creatures on earth who possess the knowledge to determine what is and isn’t appropriate for females of the species.

But let’s go beyond that to the ridiculousness of the Georgia law recently passed to much fanfare and backslapping, predominantly among the so-called conservatives in the state — yep, old white men — that declares abortions become illegal after a fetal “heartbeat” is detected. And we won’t even get into the argument of whether life begins at conception or at birth.

I’ll just stick with my admittedly very very basic understanding of human development (I got a D in that class at ABAC, had to retake it) and point out what I consider a pretty major flaw in the very wording of that good ole boy bill. Maybe, again given my limited knowledge, I’m missing something, but how in the world can any pediatrician, doctor or OB/GYN declare that they’ve detected a “heartbeat” in a 6-week-old fetus when — and, again, I know I’m getting redundant, but my understanding — a fetus does not start developing advanced organs until the third trimester of gestation?

Even with my limited understanding, I would be confident in declaring that the human heart is a pretty advanced organ. So there can be no “fetal heartbeat” at 6 weeks of development.

Of course, we know science and reality are not all that vital when you’ve declared that you and your fellow believers — and you and your fellow believers alone — have garnered the support of God and his angels, and any who believes differently has punched his express pass to hell anyway.

And so you say things like, “Let them leftist Hollywood types take their movies and make them somewhere else. See if we care” when a growing group of production companies are leaving the state in protest over the law.

With the angels sitting on your collective shoulders, I’m sure the self-righteousness you and your comrades feel is off the charts. But if any among you were so inclined to consider another opinion and even an alternate reality — which, of course, we know you’re not ... when you’re a fanatic, there are no other opinions — I would suggest that you will care if Georgia loses a considerable chunk of the multiple billions of dollars it has collected from the entertainment industry in each of the last few years.

When those taxes you hate so much start going up to make up for the shortfall, that might get your attention. And when ancillary businesses start shutting down from Atlanta to Savannah and even into southwest Georgia, yeah, you might care that the Hollywood types packed up their cameras and went to a state whose leaders don’t feel they have all the definitive answers to reproductive rights.

I’m not saying abortion is in any way moral or justifiable. But neither am I saying it’s barbaric or sinful. I’m saying that an overwhelming majority of the people of the United States say it should be allowed under certain conditions and circumstances. A few of those who think so most likely are among these right-to-lifers who “had a little slip-up of their own” and suddenly didn’t find the process that barbaric after all.

Maybe the h-word is not so out of place here after all.

Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com. Follow him on Twitter

@ABH Fletcher.

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