I think I do need to say I'm sorry that I became emotional with my post. Words like 'Pro-Abortion" are fighting words to me - that I feel are meant to distort reality - and I think we can do so much better on this forum. This is an understandably passionate issue – after all - we’re talking about human life and human rights.
Most pro-choice advocates wish that abortions weren’t ever necessary – I wish conception and birth would always be planned and without risk, that birth control would always work and that women would never be raped or abused leaving them with an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is not a choice that women make easily.
I’ve read posts on this forum that insinuate that those who have abortions are loose, immoral, irresponsible, uneducated women/girls who the pro-life side insists should pay the price for their actions by enduring pregnancy, birth and child rearing or adoption (‘take responsibility’). I have to believe there are other pro-life folks who don’t stereotype all people on the other side of the fence as being less deserving of having a say in what happens with their body.
A friend of mine posed a question to one of her pro-life friends and was amazed at the response: “Sally” raised two children and is a healthy, married, working professional woman. Because of complications she had during the birth of child #2, her doctor recommended that she did not become pregnant again. Her husband had a vasectomy to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Unfortunately, at age 47, Sally became pregnant by her husband who she thought was unable to impregnate her – (apparently even vasectomies are not 100% effective). She immediately recognized the symptoms of pregnancy and went to the doctor for confirmation. Her doctor advised her to abort the fetus because he felt that if she carried the baby to term, he was certain it would end her life.
If you were in this position – wouldn’t you like the option of discussing this with your husband and children to decide what is best for you and your family during this deeply personal and emotional time? I can’t help but to wonder how you would feel, super, if this was your wife? Would you be willing to give up your prime years with your wife to start raising a baby alone? Would you want your wife to have any say in her fate? And for the men – I wonder how they would react to the government telling them that they will give birth against their will – even if it didn’t threaten their existence.
Why do some people think that these microscopic cells have more rights than this woman? What happens if this woman is poor and can’t afford to travel to another state or another country to have an abortion?
My friend was amazed with the response she received from her pro-life friend. Her friend said, “God’s Will” end of story. Who are you to say what God’s will is? Who says you have a direct line to HIS will? Whose God? What happens if Sally’s God tells her to stay there with her family – that her children and grandchildren need her? What happens if Sally doesn’t believe in God?
I realize that failed vasectomies are not a common cause of unwanted pregnancy – but the fact is -birth control sometimes fails. People make mistakes. They make what they think are good, thoughtful decisions and they can still end up in bad situations (i.e. falling in love with Mr. Right and finding he’s not who you thought). And then of course there’s date rape or stranger rape (one out of 3 women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime!) - and very smart, young people from even the best of homes sometimes rebel and regret. Unwanted pregnancies are not going away – they have been happening forever. If abortion becomes illegal – women with money will have abortions, poor women will suffer.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take all of this energy that we put towards trying to ‘win’ the fight into educating our children about birth control and self-esteem? Are there things we can do to prevent the need for abortion? As someone mentioned earlier – Planned Parenthood is on the frontlines making a difference – educating and helping provide birth control options. What are we doing to protect the lives of those who are already born? How can we make this a safer world for women/girls?
I also found the conversation about statistics interesting and I was wondering the same thing. There seems to be some very questionable statistics floating around from both sides. This issue deserves a real look at the facts without all of the distortions and then some determination to make a real difference. I would like to see our political system work toward leadership and solutions rather than warring words and division.