'Granny Aching would have done something about monsters in our river,' said Tiffany ... And she'd have done something about what happened to old Mrs Snapperly, she added to herself. She'd have spoken up, and people would have listened . . . They always listened when Granny spoke up. Speak up for those who don't have voices, she always said.Is it only for witches to speak up for those who don't have voices? Is it only for witches to deal with things? If so, where are the witches who are speaking up for the foetuses of the world? Where are the witches who are dealing with the daily annihilation of the weak and helpless?
'Good,' said Miss Tick. 'So she should. Witches deal with things.
--Terry Pratchett, "The Wee Free Men", p. 43.
There are rights for everyone, even for the down-treading minority, but there are no rights for the unborn. They are alone, silently bearing, in their own tiny bodies, the cost of their parents' irresponsibility. They twist, they turn, they writhe in their agony, but no one hears, and presumably, no one cares, not even the witches.
It is a terrible thing to drown at sea, but okay to die from saline injection. It is a fearsome thing to be approached by a grim-faced soldier bearing a sword. Why is it different when the soldier is a surgeon and the sword a curette? People are appalled and think it an affront to humanity, a war-crime, when Kurds are murdered in their thousands by chemical weapons. But no one bats an eyelid when millions die from RU486.
Where are the witches when you need them? And if they are silent, who will speak up for those who don't have voices?
© Copyright Bruce M. Axtens, 2006