Abortion, revisited

I have posted on this topic before, but every six months or so it seems to bear repeating as new readers come and new questions are raised.

So I shall explain my views again.  I am pro-life as well as pro-choice.  While I have a certain set of personal views and a personal morality, this doesn’t always extend into the political arena and I know how confusing that can be.  I believe that God created humanity.  He breathed into the first man and first woman of his breath, his divine breath.  I believe that every child is born carries that breath, the breath of Yahweh, as their inheritance.  What I don’t know is at what point their divinity is inherited.  Some people say it’s at conception, some people say it’s when the first neurons in the brain stem start to fire, some say that it is when the first breath is drawn…  I don’t know.

What I do know is that pregnancy is hard.  I know the fear of realizing that you’re pregnant with a child you can’t afford to take care of.  I know the physical and emotional strain of carrying said pregnancy to term.  I know what it’s like to have to deal with the anger and despair that accompanies planning out a life for a child that one simply didn’t expect or didn’t necessarily want.  Now, I say this also knowing that I gave birth to both of my children and would not trade a single second of their life for anything, not even my own comfort or stability.  I love my kids.  They changed my life.

But I also know how hard and heartbreaking it can be, and that is why I am pro-choice.  Because I cannot expect someone who doesn’t share my morality to make the same decision I made.  Because I cannot force my morality or beliefs on someone else.  Because we live in a world that has been given free choice, and choice is the consequence of that. I believe that abortion should be legal but should be safe and rare and only occur in the most urgent of circumstances.  I believe that as a medical procedure it should be relegated and treated with equity.  I believe that informed consent should be applicable and that women should be aware of the possible cost to their body and further pregnancies before undergoing an abortion.  I believe that adoption should be made easier, that finding assistance should be achieved with less red tape, and that young girls who find themselves pregnant should be able to find good counseling outside of churches if they do not have religious beliefs (because, as we all know, young kids tend to go the opposite way when pressured, and church organizations that offer counseling too often shoot themselves in the foot when they try to force girls away from abortions).

Were abortion outlawed tomorrow it would come at a high price for society.  We don’t have the means to care for all of the babies that would be born, a lot of them born with chronic problems from mothers who did drugs or drank heavily before they were aware of the fact that they were pregnant. It is considering all of these things that I eventually came down on the side of being pro-choice politically, because I find that Senators such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama actually have gone further in protecting the breadth of my beliefs on abortion than the pro-life crowd which symbolically attempts to overthrow Roe V. Wade in election cycles but does little to actually reduce the amount of abortions performed.

There’s a lot more to say on this topic but this post is getting long, so I’ll save the whole “think about the mother” and “unless you’re willing to take in the mother and baby you should hold your tongue” lecture for another day.

Questions, comments, disagreement- you know where it goes.  (The comments thread, silly.  😀 )

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14 thoughts on “Abortion, revisited

  1. I’m with Hayden and just for the record I think you are what a Christian should be in my books – that sounds totally weird but erm like I said yesterday – you give Christians a good name.

    Now anyone who says you’re a bad Christian should probably look at their own selves before they cast judgements!

  2. Lindsey – you keep this up and you’ll have people going to church and seeking out a personal relationship with Christ, oops I forgot, that’s what a Christian is suppose to do. Well you keep doing it then.

    Through my name in the pro-choice hat as well. Admittedly, I’m a dude and I don’t own a uterus, but I do have one on loan from Mrs. PolitiPornster. Since she’s the landlord, I’ll let her and other uterus owners make the decisions.

  3. Lindsey… again.. having a brain in your head doesn’t mean you are not a Christian. People are far too quick to judge one another in my opinion. Jesus was about forgiveness, love, tolerance. Well… thats the message I got. Don’t you?

  4. This matter has come up big time in India now thanks to the Nikita Mehta case. Pro-life or Pro-choice…so many debates on so many blogs!! I guess it does not matter whether you are Christian or Hindu or whatever!

  5. Okay then let me be the first to throw the proverbial stone.

    I’m not sure if life begins at conception but where I’ve landed (currently) is her. I believe that life begins in that little human being when there is a heart beat. Here’s how I rationalize that. Organ donars who have an accident then no brain activity get “unplugged”. The medical staff then waits for the heart to stop beating. That life has stopped existing, so I figure if there is a beating heart then there is a life.

    Please, someone, ask me if my family would be willing to adopt those babies.

    I did notice that the father of the chld was conviently left out of the equation. Typicle.

    Senator OBama said the the first thing he would if elected is to restore tax payer funding for abortions. I wold rather he use the tax dollars to help people like myself to take big game hunting trips. I mean if we are just going to take my money and give to some one else for what they want….

  6. Thanks for posting this. There’s no search box and no category labelled abortion so that’s why I asked. I disagree but to me you’re still a good Christian and you still get my hugs and love. This is more a place holder for me to come back here and post more fully when I have the time.

    Be Blessed sister

  7. Lindsey – I’m pro-choice too – and with reason – I was raped – got pregnant and made the choice to have an abortion rather than kill myself carrying a child I would always associate with rape. It’s a hard decision – and I wouldn’t wish the decision on anyone – and yes – I’ve seen and heard the “bad christian” label too many times – in my book – a christian is someone who loves and doesn’t judge another – a person who tries to recognize that we all have different paths to walk and all we can do is try to help each other walk those paths. So in my book – you are a wonderful christian and a wonderful human being – thank you!

  8. Everybody: Sorry, I don’t have time to reply to every single comment, some of which are really, really great. Thanks for commenting, in any case. Now, for the ones I really feel I have to respond to:

    Mssc54: I understand your frustration, I do- and I would adopt many of those babies myself, and in fact have offered to do so for specific people in the past. This is a HUGE issue, though, and can’t be simply tamped down without taking society as a whole into consideration.

    And as for your “of course the father was conveniently left out of the equation”- frankly, that offended me. You should know by now that I don’t conveniently leave ANYTHING out of the picture. This post was getting long enough, Abortion is so many-sided that it’s like a geode, there simply wasn’t time to take EVERYTHING into consideration and lay it all out. As with my posts on Homosexuality, I had to select a single line of reasoning and follow it, blocking out other points of contention that would have made the post too multi-faceted to be read quickly and digested.

    I also “conveniently left out” cases of children under the age of sixteen falling pregnant, cases of rape and incest, the health of the mother, and a multitude of other points of interest for which there simply wasn’t time or space. I can, if you like, write another post on why exactly I think that the argument of parental rights of the father isn’t always solvent (Note: I said not ALWAYS, not EVER) and other posts on the other topics I listed here, if you are interested.

    Please, just don’t treat me like a talking head. I’m not taking the party line, as I haven’t a party to be so loyal to. These are my own thoughts, not rhetoric.

    RWG: I know this is cliche, but I have a uterus, which changes things. I was vehemently pro-choice until I ended up pregnant with my son. The fear I carried throughout that pregnancy really changed things. If I hadn’t had God, I wouldn’t have had Josiah, and I can’t expect people that don’t have that faith to be able to make the same choice. I just can’t.

    LittleTiger: Thank you for your honesty. That must have been such a horrible decision to have to make. I hope that God redeems that whole situation for you. I really do.

  9. @Lindsey
    It certainly changes things in terms of how it affects a person as to whether they are a guy or a girl. It doesn’t change anything in terms of the arguments a person makes for being pro-life or pro-choice. They are equally as valid (or invalid) whether from a male or female mouth.

    I’m not saying you espouse this view but I find the sentiment that men have a lesser claim to arguments surrounding abortion simply because they are male to be sexist and demeaning never mind that is one of the laziest and most common logical fallacies. Abortion wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t for men and wouldn’t be such an issue if men made a mantra of as one Presidential candidate put it: “Fatherhood begins at conception”

    I still think you’re a good and loving Christian. Be blessed sister. I know you have blessed me with this blog. I can only hope I’ve done the same 🙂

  10. RWG: I wouldn’t mind going to email, but comments are also fun!

    I don’t think that the arguments for or against abortion carry more what based off of one’s gender, but I do know that a lot of women feel a great deal of frustration based off of the fact that they DO have a uterus. Men simply do not and never will understand the psychological and emotional strain of carrying a pregnancy to term, especially an unwanted or unexpected one. And men don’t seem to always comprehend the extent to which pregnancy changes one’s body for the rest of one’s life. It is an AWFUL lot to ask of someone to go through with a pregnancy, especially if one doesn’t have the money or resources to properly care for one’s self.

    Several of my readers have expressed that they would happily care for a pregnant woman who was considering an abortion if it meant the survival of the child, a sentiment I wholeheartedly share. And honestly, I think it’s the only way one can require that women carry pregnancies to term.

    If the government offered to pay for all aspects of pregnancy, including the increased cost of food and wages from workdays lost to OB care, I would actually consider switching my stance- with the caveat that women who were raped, abused by the father, girls under sixteen, and women with chronic conditions that would be exacerbated by pregnancy still be allowed to abort.

    *sigh*

    And then there’s probably a whole lot of other stuff I still haven’t mentioned. 😀

    And your blog means a lot to me, as well.

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