Sunday, February 08, 2009

What I Think
Mark and I had our semi monthly "discussion"on abortion last night. He is Pro Life, I am pro choice. We cannot agree on this subject. I'm not even sure why we continue to debate it. In fact last night it got so heated that his cat got alarmed and bit me, twice. Pretty funny. I really don't get to say everything I want to say clearly when we "discuss" it so I thought I'd do that here where he can't interrupt or disagree.
Okay so our first argument is one of the decision making process. He doesn't like that the decision is solely in the hands of the woman. If she decides to have an abortion he has no say and if she decides to have it he has to pay. I will admit my whole take on this part of the argument is a little unfair but here goes...
Too flippin' bad. If you don't want to make a woman pregnant then take responsibility for your own sperm. Otherwise sleep with her knowing that could be the consequence. Wear a condom, get a vasectomy, watch her take her birth control pill everyday, buy her a IUD. Or if you really can't trust her, don't have sex with her. For far too long the responsibility for not getting pregnant has been left in the woman's hands. Men can have sex and run away, women can't. Women have that consequence for nine months. BOTH need to try and prevent pregnancy.
Men need to stop blaming the woman, denying their parentage and trying to duck the responsibility. They pretty much get away scott free. There is no social stigma for being an unwed father. There is no damage to their body. There is no child in their womb. I know some who have had a child with an absent father and it's very hard to force a man to be a parent. You can't easily force him to take the child so you can work. Or pay you to buy diapers. Or merely have a father for your child. To me the consequences aren't equal to man and woman so neither should the decision to keep or abort.
The other issue we have is whether or not it is murder. Let me just say that I am not a fan of abortion beyond the first trimester or used as a form of birth control. However, I will defend it in all its many forms just as I would defend the KKK's right to free speech. I don't want the right whittled away. I look forward to a day when all have access to birth control and education on sex. When there is no incest or rape or abuse. When abortion becomes unnecessary. I was told what sex was very early in life. I didn't have it until I was twenty and not once without birth control. It really pisses me off that the first thing our last president did when he was elected into office was take away funding to groups overseas who counseled women on abortion. He knew full well that wasn't the only thing they were taught. Clinics lost funding if they dared even mentioned it.
No one wants an abortion and I doubt if it's the first thing out of any clinic workers mouth. The abstinence only teachers need to grow up and take their heads out of the sand. My mother told me that's what she would like from me but then told me how everything worked too. Ignorance harms people.
Is it murder? Does life begin at conception? I don't know. I will be completely honest here and take the possible slings and arrows....
My concern is for the woman who is here above the fetus who isn't. I have a friend who became pregnant at 12 and aborted. She is happy with a child now. She gets a little sad if she thinks of that time in her life. It wasn't a good thing. But would it have been better for her to have it and very likely not have gone to college, be financially unstable? Possibly have harmed herself because her child's body wasn't meant to have a child. That child more than likely would have grown up in terrible circumstances. Do we need more of those? The earth groans with the population we have now.
Anyone who is pro-life should be pro-life for those who are here. Help them get away from abusers, get access to birth control and sex education. Be proactive, help those who already exist and need help.


Travis said...

I hate abortions, I am so glad as a man I never have to have one.

HOWEVER...I cannot and will never be able to fully understand a woman in that situtaion BECAUSE I will never be in her situation.

So no matter what I personally feel, this is not a decision I can make. Ethically, legally, is the choice of the woman. We need to protect that choice for all the reasons you list and more.

We need to better equip our kids to deal with the risks of sex, we need to be honest about it with them, and then when they do find themselves in tough situations we need to support them.

We should be funding all the alternatives...adoptions, foster care, contraception, and abortion services. The more honesty we can provide from beginning to end the more abortions we can avoid.

If pro-lifers were REALLY interested in what they say they are...THAT would be their strategy...preventing abortions before they become necessary. But instead it seems most of them are simply concered with retribution and inflicting their own twisted morality on everyone else.

hopemcp said...

Heya, Melissa. I hope I didn't start an argument between you and Mark -- but I'm glad to help you keep things interesting.

We may agree more than we disagree.

Like you, I believe before someone gets pregnant, both partners need to be grownups (i.e., responsible). (btw, I'm pro-life across the board: anti-death penalty, too.)

But I think once a life has begun, the moral obligation is to allow that child to be born. This doesn't not mean that a woman should be forced to parent an unwanted child. And arguments about viability and disabilites make me think about an Aryan race and Stephen Hawking's worth, so I get nervous.

There's also something weak about the argument that if a woman doesn't want a child, the child is unwanted -- or is better off becoming the "products of conception" in a plastic garbage bag.

A lot of couples and singles are waiting in line to adopt.

I have three adopted siblings who, had they been conceived after 1967, probably wouldn't be here. One was conceived in an extra-marital affair; one was conceived by a college student away at college; one was conceived by a best friend's boyfriend.

We can never know what will happen if we let what seems like the worst thing in the world play itself out.

Kristin said...

I wrote an entire comment and then it was deleted. UGH. I was just saying that its a woman's right to choose, and we need to protect that right. As you say, we need to work on prevention, rather than controlling a woman once an unwanted pregnancy happens.

As for whether its murder, in the first trimester I don't think so. The embryo is barely developed, and without a brain, I don't think there is conciousness yet. There may be a soul, but I think that soul will probably just be reborn at another time. I heartily oppose second or third term abortions, unless the mother's life is imminently at risk.