A new candidate is in office. And, subsequently, it means that 1 – 3 seats on the Supreme Court could be filled. With Roe vs. Wade still a hot topic, the reality is, there may be some decisions made soon regarding abortion. However, this is not a time for absolutes and extremes. We have evolved enough to really analyze the issues and give them more, credible consideration. So – although this is a topic that is not in any blog ‘safe zone,’ and I’ve addressed it in another article … and because this blog is written for a very special person in particular … it’s time to give it some serious thought. So – what are the issues?
Life. When does it begin? When does it end? We don’t know. But, we do know that an abortion has at least a 50/50 chance of being the equal of murdering an innocent life that cannot speak for itself. That’s a terrible thought. In fact, murdering a pregnant woman is recognized by every State of the Union as a double homicide (contrary to abortion that’s just considered pro-choice?). Frankly, most women who go through abortions suffer extreme, emotional trauma in the process (even suicide). And, we know that giving birth, although very traumatizing on a woman’s body, is an enormous responsibility and can be as equally traumatizing. So, without knowing when life begins, let’s examine the other issues:
1. Pregnant by choice: The mere fact a woman is choosing to get pregnant by choice is pretty clear. I don’t believe this warrants much introspection. If you choose to get pregnant – then you have already accepted that huge responsibility (and good for you! … under the right circumstances).
2. Pregnant by rape: This is one of the tough ones, isn’t it? Let’s consider this: The problem with getting pregnant by rape is that it was forced upon a woman without her choice. Although we want to protect life … if a person was born with a disability, forced upon them without their choice, would we try to cure it? Yes. And, I know we’re not talking about cerebral palsy vs. a human being’s life … but that at least that gives us a pretty sincere basis from which to start. While we have the choice to offer solutions to help these women emotionally, psychologically, and offer immediate adoption services that would relieve them of any lasting burdens or heartaches about murder (which should be a service incorporated into any laws made), the choice to abort is not just about the infant, but about the woman and the pain and suffering she continues to endure. To make it easier though, we can clarify some rules: First, they have to have reported the rape before pregnancy. I know … I know … it’s hard on a woman to report in a lot of instances. But, we can’t leave the door open for abuse of the law and it would be a strong way to help encourage women to report – getting rapists off the street and lessening the frequency of occurrences (ultimately, and hopefully, bringing rape to a near or complete end). Second, women have to decide on an abortion within the first couple of months of their pregnancy (or within 48 hours after they find out medically following those first, two months – which could be expanded to 2 -3 weeks during the second semester with both a visit to a medical specialist and 2 visits with a psychologist). This is hard to require, but this is a hard topic. While we don’t know when life begins, we do have some evidence to show that it’s very early on. Plus, if the idea is to abort to help end the trauma a woman suffers … why would anyone allow it to continue on? Hopefully, support for a mother and services to help her through a pregnancy will be enough to avoid an abortion.
3. Pregnant by accident: A woman who has made it clear to a medical or psychological professional that their pregnancy was an accident, or if it was a couple or consenting individuals who had unprotected sex and can’t pin it on being forced into it – this isn’t grounds for an abortion. Human beings have brains and can choose to use protection. For those who would claim the protection failed, abstinence is an option. The idea is not to take away a woman’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness … but it’s to ensure that an irresponsible person doesn’t take away that right from an innocent child (especially when adoption is an option – and the money saved from not supporting abortion clinics can go to supporting adoptions and expanding that arena). Look at it this way: failure to spay or neuter a pet may lead to pregnancy and it would be against the law to forcibly cut out and abort the kittens (I think … at the very least it would be unforgivably horrific). We don’t allow animals to be abused simply because people made stupid decisions … and so we shouldn’t allow people to be abused for those same reasons, either.
I cannot emphasize enough that abortions are not taking responsibility for one’s own actions (I’ve heard this argument given, too). That’s like speeding down the highway at 160 mph, realizing that you’re not ready to drive, and then jumping out of the car during heavy traffic! You might get banged up and bruised … but guaranteed, someone else is going to die. It’s like a babysitter deciding that she’s not responsible enough to handle the job anymore and up and leaves the house with an infant sitting in the bathtub. Responsibility is seeing something through to the end, giving it your all and doing your best to do the job right. I personally believe that abortions are the result of a breakdown of family values in America. Whether it was the yesterday of back alley abortions to avoid consequences of “black bible thumpers” (humiliation) and bad families (abuse), to modern day abortions that are as convenient as divorce, abortions under the ‘accident’ clause, are definitely a flaw of cultural and moral values. The decline in human sexual behavior and weakness of commitment has been a detriment to our culture.
4. Death from Giving Birth: This one is … in my opinion … the most difficult of all. There are two situations in this arena: ‘potential’ death based on the mother’s health, and a time at which doctors know that death would be imminent. Could we encourage universities to begin studying solutions to this? Absolutely. But, until solutions are found: do we take one life for the other? Under the conditions of a potential death – we need solutions, fast. Allowing a pregnancy to continue that endangers a woman’ life is as difficult a situation as a person who wants assisted suicide to end their suffering. If a person has chosen to get pregnant and not used protection – wasn’t it their choice to take on the risk? If a woman chooses to get pregnant and knows the risks – the answer is simple – be accountable for your choice. If a woman chooses to get pregnant and finds out afterward that her chances of surviving are slim – then we have to be compassionate. Those folks (such as myself), who don’t want to see infants die, need to look at helping fund universities and research institutions, pushing for surrogate mothers to transfer an infant, artificial wombs that have 24/7 attendance to replace the warmth and love of the human spirit, and so on.
Until such time, if we are to support assisted suicide, then we must support abortion to save a life. On the other hand, a woman should have to decide to abort within 48 hours of being notified of the potential risk. This way, we reduce the possibility of taking life, we reduce the harm that can occur to the woman’s body, and we act more responsibly to both (some may argue that the child deserves and wants to live … but it could be equally argued that they don’t want to be the reason their parent died. While a child would love and honor a parent that gave their life for them, it’s still a difficult, emotional struggle). Under an alternative option, up to 3 weeks can be given to make the choice with both additional medical consultation and either 2 – 3 psychology appointments or religious counselings. All of this would have to be within the first trimester. After that, doctors can attempt to incubate the infant outside of the womb – and then if it doesn’t survive … that’s up to a higher source.
Alternatively, under an emergency situation where death is imminent, doctors have an obligation to save the mother unless she chooses the baby, first. Otherwise, they can then attempt to save the infant, too. This would apply in all situations.
5. Multiple pregnancies and abortion: Under the current laws, or any of the foregoing recommended situations (or some reasonable facsimile thereof), if a woman has had an abortion once – unless it’s another instance of rape … up to 1 additional time (and then there’s a bigger problem that needs to involve local authorities and permanently removing that woman from a bad situation, or in the case of emotional instability, provide appropriate, medical services), no further instances would be permitted and potentially include sterilization (sound extreme? Good … then you understand that this could have a tremendous impact on the decision making process to ensure the decision is sincere and has been well thought out). Children are not ‘burdens’ and lives are not to be tossed away so lightly. Other options can be investigated instead of abortion. While this may seem a little abrupt, what better way to incentivize people to use protection, abstinence, or show responsibility than to take away their ‘get out of jail free’ card? Under the current laws, a woman who engages in prostitution and becomes pregnant can repeatedly seek an abortion. Not to judge her choice of profession – but a lack of care for human life is a psychosis that requires counseling and represents a potential danger to the general public (as they could just as easily shoot and kill as abort an infant). That is stereotyping – I agree. But, where do we draw the line? When is it okay to let someone keep committing hari kari without some sort of checks and balances?
6. Spontaneous or unknown pregnancy: Weird … I know. But whether the claim is alien or ‘I don’t know who the father is’, unless it’s rape and there’s a report to law enforcement before the pregnancy is discovered … alien baby shall live!
Okay – this was a tough topic. I know that a general reader will have a million ways to hate everything said and another million will have ways to love everything said. Most importantly, we ask the question: It’s a woman’s body, isn’t it her choice? That is incorrect and ignorant. Tattoos are unique to an individual. Piercings are unique to an individual. Pregnancy, for how difficult a topic this is – is not unique to that individual. An unborn child’s life is involved, too. It even involves the doctor who’s put in the position of potentially being the one to facilitate the act (like being the one who has to provide the final shot for a loved one who wishes to die). And, with no one else to represent the child and the fact that the potential for murder is on the line – unfortunately, it seems to society at large that it does become a national issue. As noted in the scenarios above, there are situations where it is necessary to be compassionate to a woman and do everything we can to protect them. Women who are assaulted (under specific guidelines), deserve a chance to overcome the trauma … and maybe one day have a child … or adopt. Women who face death and tried not to – like getting a foreign parasite in their body that will kill them (under specific guidelines), deserve a chance to live. Pro-life means just that -pro life (for everyone). We must choose to support a woman’s independence and freedom while carefully balancing the ignorant stupidity of the human condition. Otherwise … what kind of people would we be?
On the other hand, sticking our nose into everyone else’s business is … not Christian or representative of a free country. That being said – what do we do? We do what we’re supposed to do – love, protect, give guidance, and help where we can without interference. Empower women and put an end to rape by becoming stricter and more severe on penalties (where there’s evidence … because sadly, there’s too much room for abuse in that area, too). Empower women and offer adoption support and guidance rather than leaving them to struggle. Empower women by not funding abortion clinics and letting it be a regular, highly expensive surgery that requires considerable responsibility and thought before participation. Empower women and end prostitution by not only taking people off the streets – but not relying on abusive prisons and treat it like the illness it is (offering counseling), for both men and women (while offering job training to women that can help get them off the streets rather than abandoning them to that lifestyle). We have ways of doing these things. We have options. We can succeed – without having to intrude on a person’s personal free rights and choice. Murder, of a person that we have concrete facts on regarding their being alive, will always be murder and unacceptable. Perhaps, if the supreme court makes new laws regarding abortion, considering some of the ideas herein, the ultimate goal will be to slowly ween away from being involved and letting the choice fall back on women. But, by then, hopefully we will have established a system that supports life.
See? You can be both pro-life and pro-choice. Extremes are not necessary. That’s the difference between being human … and being a primate (although they don’t believe in abortion, either). Saying stupid things like: “Don’t like abortion – don’t have one,” confuses the issue with objective and subjective claims. Saying that “It’s not a woman’s obligation to have babies,” is like saying that “It’s not a doctor’s obligation to protect you from germs.” Sure, men should NOT be saying a woman “has” to have babies or that a doctor “has” to wear plastic gloves during surgery … but just as much as you might appreciate not dying of a slow, painful infection that literally eats you alive (and thus, the doc shows some responsibility and wears gloves … inconvenient as they may be), a child might appreciate not dying in a traumatic shock or heart attack from an early birth because someone didn’t put on their genital gloves! Again … see? Extremes and ambiguity don’t help … but being clear and concise with options and thoughtful consideration … does.
Sorry – hope I didn’t ruffle too many feathers 🙂 I like the tough topics … hope somebody has a good take-away!