Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter on Facebook about birth control and a little about abortion. This is probably due to all the presidential stuff going on. “The Issues” are being discussed again so people are getting more vocal about their opinions. Normally I don’t tackle big issues like this partly because Ms. Non Confrontation pipes up and partly because I want my writing to be well researched. The problem is I hate doing research. I start strong, thinking I’m going to find what I need to know then get frustrated because the Internet is so damn huge and everyone is posting whatever they want. I can’t know for sure what is right and what is bullshit. So I guess I’ll just preface this by saying, I did some research. But most of this post is purely my opinion as viewed from my, admittedly limited point of view. So let’s dive right in shall we?
I started thinking seriously about my feelings on abortion in college. I went to a Christian university so I know I was supposed to feel one way about abortion and that was the pro-life way. But I just couldn’t get behind people who use fear, judgement and shame to try to guilt people out of having an abortion. I’m sure the woman getting an abortion feels bad enough already without being tormented as she walks in the door. I know, I know, not all pro-lifers stand by abortion clinics holding big signs of dead babies, shouting “Whore!” at every woman who walks in the door. But that’s what you think of first when you hear pro-life right?
I decided a long time ago that I’m pro-choice. Let me explain. This is my body. I have free will. I’m an adult. I am capable of deciding what happens with my body. Just like deciding to drink, smoke, exercise or sit on my ass all day. I should be the one making the choices that affect my body. My biggest issue with overturning Roe vs. Wade, or making abortion unconstitutional is the government’s involvement. I don’t like the idea of the government telling me I can’t make a choice that directly affects my body and frankly my entire life. I’m the one who is going to be impacted the most by the pregnancy (duh!). My body is going to be the one that morphs over 9 months not the government’s. Even if I don’t keep the baby after birth, my entire life is going to be different and it will probably never be the same again. For a decision that huge I think I should be the one pulling all the strings.
I’m going to be clear about something. I don’t think of abortion as a form of birth control. I’m not going out having unprotected sex thinking if I get pregnant I’ll just abort the fetus. I’m well informed. I know where to buy condoms and how to use them, I know about the pill, and diaphragms and spermicides. I was married for four years without getting pregnant. I also don’t think of those methods as abortion (which is a whole other topic). I’ve never had to deal with an unplanned pregnancy, so I can’t say for sure what I would do. I will say that raising one child on my own is hard enough and adding another child would be overwhelming; I’d probably have to move back in with my parents…which wouldn’t be ideal. It would be especially hard if the father wanted nothing to do with the child.
Second reason for being pro-choice has to do with rape. I’ve read that the instance of pregnancy caused by a rape is rare, but it’s not unheard of. Imagine being the victim of a violent crime and having a constant reminder of it. Being forced to continue the pregnancy would be somewhat comparable to being forced to live with the person who killed your family. That person is always there, reminding you of the violence against you, but you just have to live with it and deal.
Pro-lifers say that with the proper support rape victims can turn out just fine and then put the baby up for adoption. Here’s the key, with proper support. “Proper support” can cost a pretty penny and what if the woman can’t pay? Is the government or those pro-lifers going to step in and pay for it? How long will they need proper support? What about after giving up their baby? It’s probably true, that with help, eventually, the victim will be alright, but the question of how that is paid for still lingers.
The last thing I’m going to mention is one of the arguments against abortion. There are many, but as I was doing research for this post I came across this article: http://womensissues.about.com/od/reproductiverights/a/AbortionArgumen.htm. I’d like to pay special attention to reason #2 against abortion. It says “No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.” Really? You think so? Then explain how the death penalty is not a civilized society taking the life of another human without punishment. And then explain this “The concept of personhood is different from the concept of human life. Human life occurs at conception, but fertilized eggs used for in vitro fertilization are also human lives and those not implanted are routinely thrown away. Is this murder, and if not, then how is abortion murder?”
I know I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on this topic. There is so much more involved (isn’t there always?). What are your personal thoughts on abortion?