Thursday, May 14, 2009

Abortion and our society's responsibility to women (and all)

First, I want to start with a disclaimer: Although I am adamantly pro-life, I am not writing this against women who have had an abortion. While I do believe the act of abortion is wrong, I am in no way passing judgment on women who have had an abortion (just as people can think eating meat is wrong without judging me as a person just because I eat meat, though they may disagree with my decision). What I want to talk about is society's role in abortion. I'm also not getting in to when life begins, etc., etc...

I want to paint a scenario: You do something that somehow ends up crushing one of your legs terribly (below the knee). You go to the hospital. They tell you it's not life threatening (you don't need to amputate to save your life or your leg). However, if you don't amputate it, you will be crippled for the rest of your life. You will never be able to walk without crutches or some kind of help. However, if they do amputate, you can get a prosthetic leg that will allow you to walk, though not as you could before. (Obviously this example is a far cry from being pregnant- the majority of abortions aren't chosen because of an injury, life-or-death situation, or even because of a problem. Also, the fetus has it's own, separate, human DNA. But bear with me...)
Now, your doctor comes to you and tells you, "I think you should get it amputated. Things would be easier." Your friends and family tell you, "yes, get it amputated. Don't find out about other options. Don't ask about other options. In fact, the doctor shouldn't even give you other options!"
Would you make the choice to get rid of your leg without knowing your options? Without finding out how they will take it off or what it will do to you? Without information on what would happen if you did keep your leg?
Many people are pro-choice because they think it gives women liberty and freedom. I believe, though, that the way abortions are performed in the States actually distorts freedom. Freedom, in my opinion, is making choices knowing fully the consequences, and being expected to deal with the consequences. I don't believe we are empowering women by allowing abortions without feeling the necessity of letting them know the consequences for abortions. Until I see an abortion clinic that brings women in, says, "Here is what your baby looks like right now. Here's what will happen during the abortion. Here's how the baby will react. Here are other alternatives to an abortion if you desire them. We want to give you all the information to empower you to make the best choice possible for you and your unborn child. If you choose not to have an abortion, great. If you do want one, come back and talk to us."
Until I see that, I don't believe that pro-choicers even have a right to argue their case. If I did see that, I still wouldn't agree with abortion, and I would still use my right as a citizen to respectfully argue against it, but at least I would believe that society and the government actually cared about women and their unborn children (even if I still don't believe abortion should be legal in most cases).
Take another scenario: I serve meat to my children (yes, I do eat meat). I try to hide from them that what is on their plate ever looked like a cute cow. I don't want them to hear that the cow was butchered. I don't want them to be told how the cows are treated before they are killed and about what happens afterward. I do not believe this is empowering my children. I want my children to make decisions based on all the information. I want them to know where their food comes from. If they decide they will continue to eat meat, okay. If they decide to become vegetarians, that's okay too. But in truly helping and empowering my children, I want them to make decisions based on all the information and, most importantly, I want them to deal with the consequences! I desire this because I truly love them and want them to grow in character and maturity. I believe it would do my children a great dis-service if I let them do whatever they wanted, but tried to hide the consequences of their actions from them.
We live in a culture that very much wants to do what it wants without dealing with the consequences. Many (not all, I know, but "93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient)." according to this website, that obtained it's information from pro-abortion sources.) abortions occur because people want to sleep-around without dealing with the consequence. By saying, as a society, that it is okay to do that, we are teaching current and future generations that they can do whatever feels best without thinking about the outcome. Instead of empowering women and giving them choice, I believe it is actually stripping women of power.
If someone is truly pro-choice, I believe they should foster wise, empowering choice making. Women and girls should be treated as mature adults and given all the information. No woman should ever have to say, "If I had known what abortion really did to the child, I would never have done it..."
Most importantly, we need to let women, and all people, deal with, and be aware of, the outcomes of their choices. Hiding ourselves and others from our consequences stunts growth and twists the idea of "freedom." To see true pictures and videos of abortion, go to this site. If you are pro-choice, you should be willing look at the reality of abortion and know what you are fighting for when you fight for/accept legal abotions.

2 comments:

Jes said...

This is a great post. Thanks for being bold. You make great points and I hope people do go look at those videos.

ajjacobson said...

I'm pro-choice. And although I could argue my case, I rarely do. Mostly because I also agree with you. I think women should make knowledgeable, informed decisions before undergoing ANY medical or surgical procedures. I have known women who have used abortion as a form of birth control, and I very much disagree with it; I don't think that is a responsible way for an adult to behave. I have also known women who have had abortions due to medical necessity. One woman in particular, who I am quite close to, consulted the head of her house of worship, and multiple doctors, before choosing with her husband that this was the safest choice for their family. And I supported her in that. I am pro-choice for just that reason: I don't feel that I could ever have a part in taking away the option of a necessary abortion for a knowledgeable, well-informed individual. My friend's procedure took place in a respected hospital, and now, months later, she is pregnant again with her second child, and we are all hoping and praying for a safer pregnancy this time. If there hadn't been that medical option available for her (or for hundreds of other women every year), the outcome for her family could have been very different. I feel comfortable saying that I, personally, would never have an abortion, but if I were in my friend's shoes, I can't say that I wouldn't have made the same choice for my family.