My Biggest Problem With ‘Pro-Life’

2013-11-29 15.34.36
Artwork at the theater where D and I saw Wicked

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Let me start by saying that I have no problem with people who believe abortion is wrong. You are entitled to your opinion and you can even believe each and every woman who gets an abortion is going to hell. That’s totally cool. It becomes a problem when you start to make laws forcing your beliefs on others.

Every law made surrounding abortion seems to be hidden under a guise of good will. Want an abortion? See a doctor and then wait 72 hours. On Monday, I read about some wonderful women who spoke out against this law. She stood up and said she had an opinion, but would like to wait 72 hours to give it so that the senators would know she was serious. While I applaud this protest, we all know that politicians aren’t creating these waiting periods out of concern for anyone. They just want to make it that much harder to access safe abortions.

Every Pro-Life opinion I’ve read and heard seems to be centered around the idea that abortion is the ‘easy way out.’ They reduce women down to whores who choose abortion as their brand of contraception. Please. No one wants to get an abortion. No one expects that they will ever have to make that decision. A huge amount of people seeking abortions are among the most impoverished and/or have at least once child already. They are not taking the easy way out. They are making a difficult decision based upon their needs and the needs of their family.

What Pro-Lifers seem to misunderstand is that most women seek abortions somberly and after much thought. They may be dealing with a poor financial, family or health situation. If a woman has some sort of health condition that complicates her pregnancy, why should anyone but her make the decision to keep or abort? I bet many people would argue that the woman has had her chance at life. Now it’s time to give her fetus a chance. That’s nice. When you get pregnant and then find out you have cancer, feel free to risk your life for your fetus. That’s your decision for your life. Totally okay. It’s NOT okay for you to impose that life changing decision on someone else’s life.

Did you hear about Marlise Munoz, the women, whose wish to be taken off life support was ignored because she was pregnant. My heart broke for that family, who had their grief extended by the law. Even in death, Munoz didn’t have a say over her own body and literally became an incubator for her fetus. She has since been taken off as the fetus isn’t viable. Who would have guessed that a lack of oxygen could hinder the development of a fetus?

People like to say that abortion should be illegal except for these things. That’s shit. You don’t get to decide whether my situation is dire enough to warrant an abortion. You are not living my life, with my family, my income and my health conditions. You will not have to pay for the doctor appointments and prenatal care. You don’t have to do shit besides hold a sign with a bloody fetus condemning me to hell.

At the end of the day, Pro-Lifers who insist on making laws restricting access to safe abortions terrify me. It reminds me of a friend who had an autistic brother. Their family didn’t make much, so they couldn’t always afford to give him the help that would have helped him become a productive member of society. The state would only provide such care if he did something extreme – like hurt himself or someone else. Why does someone have to get hurt before he can have access to health?

Why does a woman have to be raped or at death’s door before she can access a safe abortion?

I welcome people to encourage pregnant woman to avoid abortions. Help them out financially. Donate supplies. Offer to babysit free of charge. Give them support so they know they have nothing to fear. Help them embrace motherhood. For those women whose desire for an abortion is based on more than just fear, let them be. They are not happy about the decision they have to make.

Now that I’ve typed all this, another horror has come into my mind. Can you imagine what it would be like to get pregnant through rape, sit through a trial that finds your rapist not guilty and then be forced to carry your child because they state found your rapist innocent?

Before I leave the topic of a woman’s right to choose, let me share with you this disturbing story about a woman whose was tricked into taking Cytotec and lost her pregnancy. This is, at a minimum, a violation equal to limited access to abortions. Before people start condemning me to hell, I am not promoting that all women terminate their pregnancy. I am promoting the idea that women have the right to choose what happens with their bodies. No religion, government or significant other has the right to take that freedom away.

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17 thoughts on “My Biggest Problem With ‘Pro-Life’”

  1. I grew up in a very religious household. We were taught abortion was evil. I believed this for many years but life gets less black and white as you interact with the world. I have known good people who have had abortions. I used to say under no circumstances would I choose that for myself but I can’t choose for them. Now, as a mother of three, I have to be practical. If a pregnancy threatened my health I would terminate. It would be a horrible decision to make. But my children need me more than the potential of having another sibling.

    1. There are situations in which I think abortion is wrong. That’s my belief. I would force that on anyone, but if someone came to me for advice, I’d tell them where I stood.

      I think it’s important for women to have a choice for people in situations just like yours. Who gets to decide if your health is at risk enough to terminate the pregnancy, you or the government? The answer should be you, but it’s scary to think the government would even consider taking that decision away.

    1. I’ve never been one to back off of my opinions. I almost hope I have a follower who is very pro-life. I want them to know that abortion is more than a single act. The people who get them are not making easy decisions. Whether or not a woman should keep her fetus is not something the government should be commenting on.

  2. TK,
    in nearly 300 articles I’ve yet to write about abortion because it becomes such a decisive issue; if I take the pro life side I risk alienating thousands of readers who will not read someone who is pro-life, if I take the pro-choice side I risk alienating thousands of readers who will not read someone who is pro-choice…and if I take a middle of the road side I risk alienating myself from readers who think I’m too wishy washy! its like I can’t win no matter what.

    for me, it comes down to metaphysics…..and since many people don’t believe in metaphysics my beliefs would have no relevance to their life and that’s why I’m a libertarian; I believe each state should choose what they want to believe on the issue. If people in Illinois want full term abortion right up to the last minute…the so be it. If people in Utah want to ban it altogether, then so be it. As a libertarian I believe that we shouldn’t force ‘one’ view on ‘everyone’…because that becomes totalitarian or even fascism. Its similar to my view on drugs; if one state wants to legalize all drugs for recreational use; then so be it. If another state wants to out-law all drugs; then so be it.

    For me though the subject of abortion has to do with metaphysics as I said; its all about the soul. I believe that at the point a human being receives a soul they should be protected. BUT when does that happen? ha ha there is no way to know!!!! Obviously I can’t even ‘prove’ to someone the existence of ‘souls’….but lets just assume that we all have a soul……..when the hell does our physical body receive a soul?????

    I was on the radio a couple years arguing with a theology professor. He was maintain that at the point of conception the zygote was a human being. I asked him, “so you believe a zygote has a soul” and he said yes. so this is what I said;
    “So Professor, you believe all of the 100,000 or millions of fertilized eggs that are sitting in laboratories all across the world are ‘soul’s trapped in test tubes??? Professor, some of those fertilized eggs have been sitting in ‘test tubes’ since the 1960’s! Are you suggesting those ‘soul’s’ were born fifty years ago and have been living in some kind of bizarre limbo?”

    well obviously the Professor didn’t know what to say. It didn’t help his argument that he was also against artificial insemination so he didn’t have an answer what should be done to those ‘soul’s trapped in test tubes’…..

    it should be apparent by what I’ve said so far that I simply don’t believe that fertilized eggs that are sitting in laboratories have souls…..its seems too silly for me to believe that.

    So ultimately, I can’t argue ‘when’ a baby receives a soul……..this is a metaphysical dimension that is beyond my understanding……

    but what I do know is that if someone trys to tell me they think its okay to abort a baby that has been in the womb for six months for no other reason than that they don’t want ‘it’….well, I’m sorry….but that really sucks big time.

    1. I would argue that not even the state should decide when a woman can and can’t get an abortion. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one and movie on. It’s just far too personal of a decision for anyone other than the individual to have a say in the matter.

      I think we agree when it comes to the metaphysics stuff. I too have my doubts that the soul enters the body at conception. 10-25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriages. The majority of miscarriages happen without the woman ever noticing, with the fertilized egg being lost around the time she would normally have her period. I simply can’t believe that those were all souls. I can’t believe any God would create a soul just to destroy it as an egg.

      There’s a really great NYT article taking a scientific approach to this subject. I wish I could remember the title The part of the article that hit home for me was where it talked about brain activity. While the whole body is being formed, a fetus has less brain activity than a brain dead person. The whole article went into each thing that developed through days and weeks of pregnancy. It’s not until after the 24th week that brain activity surpass that of a brain dead human. Using extreme medical treatment, a 24 week old fetus can survive outside the womb, but will face a very difficult life as it’s brain and lungs aren’t fully developed yet.

      All this is to say, when it comes to my opinion, brain activity is where to look. That’s not the same as the soul, but it’s something we can measure. I think abortion is morally acceptable until the fetus’s brain activity is greater than that of a brain dead person. Still, that my decision about my body based on my morals. I wouldn’t force that decision on anyone else.

      Given that the vast majority of abortions occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, I wouldn’t have a lot to worry about even if I did want to force my opinion on people.

      1. Maybe I’m ‘too’ liberal but the reason I believe in states right is because I feel that people should be able to do what they want.

        For instance, I have a lot of vegan friends that are obsessed with banning the eating of meat, fish, ets…..I wouldn’t have a problem if all the vegans lived in one particular state and outlawed all use of animal products; no eating them, no experimentation, no animal nothing. hell, it could be like India where cows roam around in the streets……

        but then for all the meat eaters, they can live in states like Texas where they can eat meat till their heart’s content……

        and so that’s my problem with people who believe Abortion (and other issues like it) should be legislated at the Federal law; its merely another example of forcing a particular belief on everyone……whereas I believe since we are all different we should have the ‘right’ to live somewhere that represents our beliefs.

        Does that make sense?

        Cause I can apply this to lots of issues, like automobiles for instance. I have some friends who think automobiles (even electric ones) are evil. So I would support them living in a state where all automobiles are banned…….

        Like I said; I’m pretty liberal and feel that people should do whatever the hell they want.

        1. It does make sense and I understand. But I still disagree. I’d disagree on most of the vegan thing too, but the cars are a good example. You could make the argument that driving cars is bad for the public health. If you, as an individual, make the decision to drive a car, your actions are affecting the lives of other people. So, I’d have no problem with that being debated in the court of law. However, who I have sex with is none of the governments business. It does not affect anyone but myself and the consenting adult I sleep with. Since my actions are not affecting anyone else, no one else should have a say. That’s how I see abortion. It affects me and only me, which makes it my decision and no one else s.

          Just to reiterate, I do understand your position. I guess I may be a little more liberal on this issue than you are, is all.

          1. I think what helps our discussion is that it sounds like we probably agree more on this subject then we disagree……

            but can I make a comment on an issue of semantics? (lol well I’m going to anyways)

            Our friends in Europe often tell me that ‘us’ americans use the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ incorrectly and I think that in relation to the discussion we’ve been having I’m actually the one who is being ‘more’ liberal and you’re the one being ‘more’ conservative…..let me explain;

            my libertarian position is pretty simple as most everybody in the u.s. is familiar with libertarian philosophy; if one people group (i.e. state/city/etc) wants to legalize cocaine/pot/abortion/fill-in-the-blank then libertarian’s are ‘liberal’ and say do whatever the hell ya want…..and if a different people group wants to make the thing illegal…than go ahead too…

            the liberal position; is let individual people group’s do whatever they want.

            the ‘conservative’ position would be to legislate only ‘ONE” law for everybody…..in essence the conservative position would be to force a particular ideology on all the people; whether it be no abortion for anyone, or abortion for everybody…..etc.

            The problem I would have with someone who wants to force only one law on everybody is what you’ve effectively done is condemned hundreds of other societies around the world. Muslim countries would be very offended with your position…..by saying you believe abortion should be legal everywhere you’re effectively condemning every single Muslim nation that exists in the world…..

            but in the libertarian view; I can say to a muslim country; if all the people in your country want the place to operate as a theocracy than that’s fine……and thus my ‘liberal’ position allows different people groups to have different laws……

            does that make sense? It may sound a bit odd….but from everything I’ve read I feel the libertarian position treats the whole world more fairly…..

            Because of my psychological background I had to spend countless hours in college writing about ethnocentrism and how us americans are too ethnocentric; we see things only from our viewpoint as though ‘our’ standards are the only ‘right’ standards…….

            like I said…..this response was only in relation to semantics…I think when it comes to the subject of abortion it sounds like we probably agree more than we disagree 🙂

            1. When I was in Europe, I found my liberal views were taken as conservative so that may ring true. I don’t have a problem with states making laws for their own people or Muslims making laws for their people. I guess I see abortion in the same way I do equal marriage. These are personal decisions that effect the individual. If a Muslim country had legal abortion, that doesn’t mean that Muslims HAVE to have abortions. If you don’t want one, don’t get one. End of story.

              My interpretation of libertarian (from what I’ve read. I might not be right) is that they believe people… that is, the individual, can do whatever they want. Protect me when I am attacked or dying. Provide me an education so I can contribute to society. Otherwise, stay out of my life.

              This goes back to the type of issue. If it’s an issue that effects many people (for example, smoking in public not only effects the smoker, but the people around him/her) then I have no problem with there being a law about that. If an action has no effect on the group, be it city, state, or larger, then they don’t get a say.

              I agree that we do seem to agree on the large subject. That said, if I state makes a law against abortion, I have to be against it. It’s my life, my body and my decision. It’s not for the masses to decide.

    2. Kenneth, sometime I would like to talk with you at length about the whole “soul” topic. It is tied up with religious beliefs about the afterlife and is part of why it remains the weirdest of topics.

  3. bottom line: everyone needs to mind their own freaking business. whether you’re pro life or pro choice, it’s a choice that you have to make for yourself and ONLY yourself, not those around you. those who are harping on about abortion is murder and all that other nonsense – they aren’t the ones who are living that woman’s life or support that woman or even know her reasons for wanting to terminate a pregnancy. these silly “debates” of hardcore extremists just need to STFU and keep their opinion to themselves.

    1. There’s a meme I often see on Facebook that says “Pro-Choice: the radical idea that women have more rights than a fertilized egg.”

      You are right, that people need to mind their own business. What blows my mind is that the people who are against abortion also tend to be against things like birth control. How does removing access to birth control reduce abortion? It makes no sense.

  4. “I welcome people to encourage pregnant woman to avoid abortions. Help them out financially. Donate supplies. Offer to babysit free of charge. Give them support so they know they have nothing to fear. Help them embrace motherhood. For those women whose desire for an abortion is based on more than just fear, let them be. They are not happy about the decision they have to make.”

    I agree with most of what you said in that paragraph. I have a question though. Can you give an example of why a woman would still desire an abortion even if she received all the types of support you mentioned?

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