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. 😀 )