What Would You Do?

Once again, America’s most contentious issue raises its ugly head: Abortion. It divides communities and even families against one another. It is, simply put, the most glaring example of what can happen in a free nation when the rights of two people come into conflict. In this case, the rights of a woman and her unborn child.

Roe v Wade for many years provided at least a small measure of sanity. Women were given the right to be in control over their own bodies, and that is as it should be. I always hope that a woman would “choose life” over killing the child growing within her. But ultimately it was her decision to make. Now, rather than a uniform if not altogether pleasant ruling we will have a mishmash of laws scattered across the nation. States like Mississippi and Texas plan to severely restrict abortion rights. Other states have stated intentions to protect those rights. A woman might end up having to travel hundreds of miles to procure a needed medical procedure. All because a bunch of Republicans have a fear complex about sex.

Let’s examine some of the arguments for and against The Right To Choose:

Short of murder, sexual assault is the worst crime that can be committed against a woman. It’s a traumatizing experience that will haunt her for the rest of her life. If she gets pregnant from it, she’s faced with bearing the child of the sub-human monster who attacked her. Should she be allowed an abortion? Some would say “Yes” without hesitation. Others would equate it to punishing the unborn child for the crimes of the rapist. What do you think?

Gross. Disgusting. Ew. Yuck. A child born to close kin will often have multiple birth defects, mental issues and more. Do we force the woman to have this baby? Do we force a deformed child to live out a life of misery? Was the pregnancy the result of molestation? If the mother is quite young then she likely isn’t mature enough to make such a decision. It would fall to her parents to decide. What do you think?

Imagine a single mother, living on her own and likely at least partially dependent on a monthly government check. She gets pregnant. Again. Why? Was it carelessness on her or the guy’s part? Did the condom spring a leak? Was she raped?

The end result is the same regardless of the circumstances. She’s pregnant with another child she can’t afford. Likely the child will not get proper care. No structure, poor discipline, gangs, dropping out of school, so on and so forth. !6 years from now that might be the young thug that guns you down just to take your wallet. So I ask you, should this poverty-stricken woman be allowed an abortion if she wants one?

On the opposite end of the cultural spectrum, here’s a woman who worked hard, excelled in school, and has a successful career. She’s happy, independent and loving her life. But then she takes a vacation to the Bahamas. And she has a roll in the hay with a local. A month or so later she discovers she’s pregnant. What to do?

What if she simply isn’t emotionally ready to be a mother? What if she’s zeroed in on her career? Can she even be a good mother? Maybe she just does not want a child? Sure, she could look into adoption. Personally that’s the option I’d suggest if she asked me. She gives up nine months out of a lifetime to save a life. Then if all goes well the child ends up with a loving family and she is free from what for her would have been a burden.

If she gets an abortion, one can make the case that she put her career ahead of a defenseless human life she could have saved. One can also make the case that keeping the child would have drastically altered her life. She likely would have lost many opportunities for personal advancement. What would you do?

People are all over the place with this. Some seem (to me) to regard an abortion as a viable alternative to proper contraception. Others claim that “all life is a gift from God” and so the woman has no right to an abortion regardless of the circumstances. These are in my opinion the two extremes. And as is usually the case the common sense solution is to be found somewhere in-between.

The theist position is as stated above that life is a gift from God. Therefore no one but God has the right to end a life. According to Christians, whatever their god decides to do about anything is fine and dandy regardless of how horrific it may be (The Great Flood, The Passover, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc). So while God can kill all the babies He wants, a woman doesn’t get to end a pregnancy.

Not all theists are this short-sighted. I know many who regard medical reasons as justification for abortion. Also rape and incest. But many others would absolutely forbid an abortion even if it’s medically necessary.

And is it right for a bunch of gray-haired old men in D.C. and our state capitols be to making these decisions and inflicting them on women? Is this not yet another example of how women are denied the right to make decisions regarding their bodies and their future?

Conversely, what’s wrong with our culture when some people don’t even regard a zygote / fetus as a human life? I for one believe that life begins at conception. Even if abortion occurs just a week after conception, a human life was denied its potential to be whatever and whomever it might have been. And that’s sad.

I have seen some on the left actually use the word “parasite” to describe an unborn child. It’s sad to think what sort of life and / or upbringing a person has to have had to feel that way. Chills me to the bone. No respect for life.

So yeah, I believe it was wrong to overturn Roe v. Wade because women in principle at least, should have the right to choose. I’m a realist. Life is not a “gift” from some unseen and unprovable deity. Our lives are our own. And for a time, the unborn child’s life belongs to the mother. Her life. Her body. Her choice. I just hope she chooses life. But on principle I will respect whatever choice she makes. It is not my place to say.

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