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Jasmine had endured enough parochial schooling before middle school to have a residual attachment to the beautiful parts of believing, the certainty of knowing one is loved by something beyond comprehension, but also a niggling fear of those who believed too much in anything they could not touch. Believers were the sort to wave pictures of dead fetuses at her when she went to her gynecologist for a checkup.
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So where did these cravings come from? I concluded it's the baby ordering in. Prenatal takeout. Even without ever being in a restaurant, fetuses develop remarkably discerning palates, and they are not shy about demanding what they want. If they get a hankering, they just pick up the umbilical cord and call. 'You know what would taste good right now? A cheeseburger, large fries, and a vanilla shake. And if you could, hurry it up, because I'm supposed to grow a lung in a half hour.'
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When, as today, there is a market in human organs, when fetuses are produced to make spare organs available, or to make progress in research and preventive medicine, many regard the human content of these practices as implicit. But the contempt for man that underlies it, when man is used and abused, leads -- like it or not -- to a descent into hell.
Pope Benedict XVI
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The right, like Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbauggh, use women and the black man and the Hispanic immigrant and the gay man as a scapgoat for society's ills. They pretend it's about traditional family values, but that's a bullshit phrase that means nothing to me. They like to use us all. They use pro-life as a way to hate women and slam women, dressed up in the nobility of saving unborn fetuses. I think it's just misogyny.
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There's this anomaly that happens sometimes with twins. It occurs in the womb when the fetuses are growing too closely to each other. The stronger twin develops normally, while the weaker twin crumples and is encased by the body of the stronger twin, where it becomes a parasite. The result is a single child, plagued by a twin-shaped fossil inside. Like a tumor. In death Rose became Linden's parasitic twin. They were two separate organisms once, growing steadily beside each other. Two pulses. Two brains. But she has crumpled and died, and still he carries her inside himself. She goes where he goes, feeling nothing, seeing nothing, a shadow behind his ribs.
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Love is kind, Love endures, Love is the machine fueled by hate, We love our race; we kill in the name of it, We destroy lives, and we raise our flag high, so others can see what we can do, We proclaim our race, and our creed, We love our God, and we kill in his name, Hallowed be the name of love, We love our woman and the choice to murder life, We Love; and the fruits of Love are here for us to see, Love came to show us hell, Love came to give us choice, Love's the machine, and its fuel is hate Blessed be the name of love, the force behind our pride, Love, the flag displayed up high, to show others love is on our side, Love gave us Choice, murder of fetuses, Love your race, hang them if not like you, slaved them, torture them, Murder in the name of Love! 'Love and do what you will' (St. Augustine)
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Jamie came back to the apartment one night to find her spreading a viscous fluid onto a canvas. It was threaded wtih blood. "Good God, " he said. "What the hell is that?" Pia didn't bother to look up but continued to knead the clear slime across the canvas. "It's my new piece." "But what is it?" He kept pointing. He'd never seen something so disgusting in his life. And her hands were completely in it. "It's Jodie's placenta. She gave it to me. I'm going to tack it up and let it dry on this canvas. Then I'm gonna glue-gun pictures of dead fetuses onto Lucite and make them the centerpeice." "Uh huh." She raised her sticky hands to him. "It's about women, you know? The way that the world opresses them, all right? And it's about babies, and... I don't know... I just got the placenta today." "Wow, that's wow... that's... " No words for this. He scratched his chin as she spread her hands in a concentric motion across the canvas. "So, do you really think anyone's gonna want to put that up on their wall when it's done?" he asked. She scowled, displeased.
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There was no Disney World then, just rows of orange trees. Millions of them. Stretching for miles And somewhere near the middle was the Citrus Tower, which the tourists climbed to see even more orange trees. Every month an eighty-year-old couple became lost in the groves, driving up and down identical rows for days until they were spotted by helicopter or another tourist on top of the Citrus Tower. They had lived on nothing but oranges and come out of the trees drilled on vitamin C and checked into the honeymoon suite at the nearest bed-and-breakfast. "The Miami Seaquarium put in a monorail and rockets started going off at Cape Canaveral, making us feel like we were on the frontier of the future. Disney bought up everything north of Lake Okeechobee, preparing to shove the future down our throats sideways. "Things evolved rapidly! Missile silos in Cuba. Bales on the beach. Alligators are almost extinct and then they aren't. Juntas hanging shingles in Boca Raton. Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo skinny-dipping off Key Biscayne. We atone for atrocities against the INdians by playing Bingo. Shark fetuses in formaldehyde jars, roadside gecko farms, tourists waddling around waffle houses like flocks of flightless birds. And before we know it, we have The New Florida, underplanned, overbuilt and ripe for a killer hurricane that'll knock that giant geodesic dome at Epcot down the trunpike like a golf ball, a solid one-wood by Buckminster Fuller. "I am the native and this is my home. Faded pastels, and Spanish tiles constantly slipping off roofs, shattering on the sidewalk. Dogs with mange and skateboard punks with mange roaming through yards, knocking over garbage cans. Lunatics wandering the streets at night, talking about spaceships. Bail bondsmen wake me up at three A.M. looking for the last tenant. Next door, a mail-order bride is clubbed by a smelly ma in a mechanic's shirt. Cats violently mate under my windows and rats break-dance in the drop ceiling. And I'm lying in bed with a broken air conditioner, sweating and sipping lemonade through a straw. And I'm thinking, geez, this used to be a great state. "You wanna come to Florida? You get a discount on theme-park tickets and find out you just bough a time share. Or maybe you end up at Cape Canaveral, sitting in a field for a week as a space shuttle launch is canceled six times. And suddenly vacation is over, you have to catch a plane, and you see the shuttle take off on TV at the airport. But you keep coming back, year after year, and one day you find you're eighty years old driving through an orange grove.
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