Obviously there is pain in childbirth. But giving birth is also a moment of awe and wonder, a moment when the true miracle of aliveness, and of a woman's amazing part in that miracle, is suddenly experienced in every cell of one's body. It is in that sense truly an altered state of consciousness.
The only life many of the leaders of the anti-family planning movement seem to care about -- indeed obsess about -- is life before birth and after death.
[On the ancient Venus figurines:] If the central religious figure was a woman giving birth and not, as in our time, a man dying on a cross, it would not be unreasonable to infer that life and the love of life - rather than death and the fear of death - were dominant in society as well as art.
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