Michael Shannon, 8/12/2016 [Archive]

Decreasing Abortions... and Tattoos

By Michael Shannon

In an effort to prevent a huge mistake ---- with dreadful repercussions ---- that can haunt one for the rest of their life, I'm advocating the required viewing of images before undergoing a particular out----patient medical procedure.

Many readers are now thinking this is an abortion column, and that I'm urging potential mothers be required to view a sonogram of their unborn child before submitting to an abortion. Not really, but that's how I plan to prove my point.

Sonogram images have saved lives and spared women future regret and guilt. I think images can make for an equally informed decision in other areas of modern life.

Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute told me of a study done by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. Women who were unsure or conflicted about the decision to abort their unborn child visited the centers for counseling. As part of the process they were shown a sonogram of the unborn.

After viewing the image 83.5 percent of the women chose life for their baby.

Okay, so some may ask what about the women who weren't conflicted and just wanted to get it over with?

New says there are currently 23 states with informed consent laws where "women seeking abortions have the opportunity to see color photos of fetal development prior to the procedure." Even in a setting where their mind was already made up, anywhere from 2 to 7 percent decided to keep the baby.

And as the Left always says: If it saves one life, it's worth it!

Now I want to apply that protocol to the decision to get a tattoo. Before our culture decided to cheerfully jump into the abyss, particularly daring men and women might have had a tattoo branded on a patch of skin that was normally hidden by clothing.

That way the rest of us were spared watching the Mickey Mouse you had on your hip gradually elongate over the years into Goofy.

That mercy is denied us now as people have decided to become human billboards. For a generation that revels in spontaneity (the decision to get the tattoo), they are sentencing themselves to a life of monotony. Even worse they are paying tattoo "artists" $100 to $300 an hour and providing the canvas for free!

As my wise wife has pointed out, getting a tattoo is like deciding the wear the same tee----shirt for the rest of your life. And skin is less resilient than your compression wear.

Thirty years from now that tight tat of The Punisher's logo on your chest is going to look like Edvard Munch's The Scream after gravity and Anheuser Busch have done their work.

This is where my Informed Tattoo Consent law comes into play. Potential tattoo customers, after they've made their selection, will then watch as the design is placed on a computer simulation of the human body and they witness what happens to the "artwork" after aging has its way with it.

This solution to visual pollution has the advantage of using science. There is no discussion of short time horizons and poor impulse control. Or even the possibility that the Jerusalem Cross may potentially clash with the Playboy logo.

Which brings up another point. The vast majority of people simply aren't creative. It's bad enough when they decide to invent a name for their child. So what makes them think they can tastefully embellish the exterior of their body?

They can't, as sitting in the food court at any major mall will prove.

Furthermore, tattoos make social interaction just that much more complicated. It was distracting enough to hold a conversation with a woman without one's eyes wandering down to the canyon of cleavage that's so common these days. Now try concentrating on a spirited discussion of the weather without wondering if the ornate script on their upper arm spells out "Faith" or something else.

Sure the majority is going to remain hell----bent on going under the needle, but the percentage that change their mind based on the informed consent simulation are worth the expense. And the contribution they make to a one less tattoo future is priceless.

Meanwhile, I'm going to ponder the conundrum of a generation that won't commit to marriage, but will eagerly agree to spend the rest of their life with a tattoo.

--------

© Copyright 2016 Michael Shannon, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times." He can be reached at mandate.mmpr@gmail.com.

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