Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog for Choice

A single woman in her late 30’s starts to feel the pressure of her ticking biological clock. The woman is raped, and finds herself pregnant. Despite her desire to have a baby, after days of anguished thought she realizes she can’t bear to have a rapist’s child. We are grateful she had a choice.

A happily married couple is overjoyed to be expecting their first child. But the woman has a chronic illness, and despite all the careful medical care and preparation for the pregnancy, her health quickly begins to fail. The couple must make a hard decision. Thank goodness they have a choice.

A 12-year-old girl becomes pregnant after years molestation by her father. Luckily, she lives in a state that does not require parental consent for an abortion. It is fortunate she has a choice.

A woman learns she is pregnant with her second child. Her husband has been abusing her and their first child for years. She has tried to leave him repeatedly, but he manages to find her and woo her back every time. She is too afraid to file charges against him, and too afraid to bring another child into the situation. Spousal notification on abortion is not required in her state. At least she has a choice.

These are just a few situations thousands of women across the U.S. face when trying to make a decision regarding having an abortion. These women must continue to have a choice.

I know that it is difficult to accept a pro-choice position if you are a Christian. Abortion is considered murder to many Christians, and murder is immoral. Yet I have to wonder, in light of everything Jesus says in the New Testament, if it is not more immoral to keep these women from having a choice when faced with a difficult pregnancy under harsh circumstances. Is it not immoral to force desperate women to maul themselves with coat hangers or other, equally dangerous methods of ending their pregnancies?

There is one thing that many pro-lifers don’t seem to know or understand: rarely is it easy for any woman to make a decision to have an abortion. It isn’t a game. It isn’t a source of joy. It doesn’t bring pleasure. If you could release the collective grief of all the women in the world who have had abortions, the sadness would be more than the world could bear. It is a choice rarely made lightly. But at least there is a choice.

We must keep abortion safe and legal.

We must always allow women the choice.

Thanks to the folks at BushvsChoice for the blogging effort.

8 comments:

deviousdiva said...

Thank you

J.Doe said...

great post.

Tracie B. said...

gosh mel, i wish you would stop being so superficial.

;

Jay3gsm said...

I'm not here to stir up trouble, love your blog as always Mel, but....

You said: "If you could release the collective grief of all the women in the world who have had abortions, the sadness would be more than the world could bear"

How true this is. The taking of a life is something you can never go back on. Those unborn children are human beings. Someone needs to protect THEM, too. The grief of knowing you took the life of an innocent person who could not defend themself must be immense.

and

"....a difficult pregnancy under harsh circumstances...."

I really can't see where difficult, and harsh, justifies taking a life. The examples you give are regularly given by Pro Choice supporters, as if in some way the misery of the examples justifies murder. The taking of a life is never justified, by anybody, for any reason. There are no grey areas.

I cry, literally cry, when I see such injustice in the world. The injustice of a rape victim. The injustice of a sexual abuse victim. The murder of an innocent person, unable to protect themselves. I cry.

The examples you give are extreme. They happen, but they are extreme. It is true to say that a larger majority of women who choose abortion do so for 'lifestyle' reasons. Whilst you can have sympathy with someone who has suffered, a woman who chooses abortion for lifestle reasons deserves none.

I am yet to see any valid reason that justifies the murder of innocent children.

Emily said...

Thanks Mel, for being so eloquent about this issue.
I guess there's almost no way to convince someone who believes that abortion is murder to come around to the other side. But I'm glad you acknowledged what a difficult decision it is to have an abortion, and why that makes it necessary for choices to be available.

Emily said...

Thanks Mel, for being so eloquent about this issue.
I guess there's almost no way to convince someone who believes that abortion is murder to come around to the other side. But I'm glad you acknowledged what a difficult decision it is to have an abortion, and why that makes it necessary for choices to be available.

Thanos said...

Well, I find myself in the middle here and I wonder how many others do. I am a christian (or I'd like to think I am) and I am a scientist (again...) and I am a human being, capable of basic thought and compassion.

I won't get into it in great detail - I have posted about this issue before. I do think Life begins with the fertilized ovum. Once that first mitosis takes place the miracle is underway and we - humans - should not interrupt it. For me it's not at all an issue of morality (after all what's moral changes every 10 years or so). It is not entirely about religion or God either. After all, no clear instructions were left (although certainly implied ones). No, for me the issue is the same as the death penalty: We, humans cannot grant life, cannot create it, cannot truly extend it and therefore we are not "allowed", existentially, on a metaphysical level to extinguish it.

Having said that, I also firmly believe that abortions should be legal and should be safe. For God's sake, let's put the time of the coat hanger, the time of the dubious "root", the time of the shady midwife and her "remedies" behind us. Once a couple (do you hear me? A COUPLE) has decided to abort, they should be granted a safe medical procedure.

There should be terms, there should be limitations. Couples should not use abortion as birth control. Couples should go through rigorous counselling before making a decision and yea, mind control is fine here. Options should be stressed (carry to term and give up for adoption is my favorite) and groups should be held with women who have gone through an abortion, counselling, all kinds of visual aids.

I read that some places do not allow abortion even if the mother is in danger. Even if the pregnancy is a rape. Even, even... No civilized community could make such demands. Sure, I would admire a woman who might have the courage to give life to such a child, allow a chance for adoption, but I cannot demand it. Nor can I judge a raped woman for having an abortion.

I read the other favorite of many women's organizations - no consent from the partner. No notification even! I am 100% against that. Women need to realize that it's not just THEIR bodies, it's the body of the partner also.

Finally, I want to say that it is a tragedy, in this day and age to abort our children in such haphazard manner. In a shrinking western world we forfeit our future - mostly - for ease, for "oops, not planned so bye bye!".

Everyone needs to be more responsible. Give Life a chance.

melusina said...

Jay, I appreciate your point of view, I really do. I understand that some people consider abortion to be murder (including my husband) but as you see even he thinks abortion should be legal and safe. I don't think a baby is a baby from the point of conception. Obviously, a baby can't survive without the mother up to a certain period of time, and at least until that time, when it is a parasite only, the mother should have a choice. I don't think abortion should be used as birth control but it happens. I can't and won't judge other women's decisions. I just want them to have a way to do it safely, because even if it wasn't legal, they would try. And the results are even more terrifying in those cases.

Obviously, Thanos and I disagree about the spousal consent issue, which we debated a bit this time last year here on the blog. It is another situation where I don't feel I can judge why a woman wouldn't want to tell her spouse about a pregnancy or abortion, but there are cases where it would certainly place an undue burden.