Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The abortion debate rages on...

Yesterday, I posted a comic by Andy Singer on my Facebook page.  It depicted a man walking out of an adult movie theater to people holding up signs that read "Masturbation is murder!" and "Life begins at conception!"  The caption read "If birth control 'logic' were applied to men."

When I posted the comic, I thought it was kind of funny.  It reminded me of an old Monty Python song.

"Every sperm is sacred."

Naturally, what followed was an abortion debate.  I mostly stayed out of the arguments, which were pretty much being carried out by several opinionated males on my friends list.  Finally, I decided I had to say something, so I posted this:

I think it's interesting that so many people who will never face the risks of pregnancy care so very much about whether or not a woman carries a fetus to term. These people are not going to be there to deal with the aftermath of an unintended pregnancy, nor do they care that in some situations birthing a baby may be much crueler than having an abortion. I personally find abortion sickening, but I do believe in a woman's right to choose whether or not she wants to be pregnant. And I really don't think that decision is anyone else's business.

A very pro-life Catholic dude then decided to take me on.  I noticed that I was getting more and more upset by the overbearing attitude that a pregnant woman must be forced to stay pregnant when she doesn't want to be.  I personally think abortion is horrifying, but I strongly support a woman's right to choose.  I support that right because I have seen firsthand what happens to kids who are born to parents who aren't ready for them.  I have thought long and hard about situations when a woman might want or even need to have an abortion-- heart wrenching situations where a woman's health is in jeopardy, the fetus is severely malformed or ill, or the prospective mother has been victimized.  These are situations that should be handled privately and sensitively by the people involved and a licensed physician, not an uninvolved anti-abortion activist holding up shocking signs with pictures of dismembered fetuses on them.  

Dad confronts anti-abortion activists after he and his wife made the gut wrenching decision to abort their baby...

No, I don't think it's morally right for women to have abortions simply out of convenience, but I also don't think it's right to have selective ethics.  If it's okay for an abortion to take place after rape or incest or to save a woman's life, I think it has to be okay in any situation.  A fetus conceived out of rape or incest is just as innocent as a fetus conceived due to irresponsible behavior.  And if we allow abortions only under certain circumstances, there will be a lot more lying going on... and potentially more men going to prison for sex crimes they may not have committed.  We have enough people in prison.  Indeed, the United States is the world's largest jailer.  So much for the land of the free, right? And, guess what pro-lifers...  your tax dollars go to support the prison system.

Aside from that, I find it extremely objectionable and scary that there are people out there in the world who think that pregnant women should have fewer civil rights than other people do.  Apparently, there are folks out there who think pregnant women should be subjected to forced medical treatments or incarceration.  There are people who apparently see pregnant women as "vessels", useful only for incubating babies.  And I won't even get into the scary laws cropping up that seek to punish pregnant women if they happen to miscarry.  Frankly, I think this attitude does nothing for safeguarding the health of fetuses.  What it really does is scare women away from pre-natal care.

Despite the new Affordable Care Act, we still have a huge problem with people not having access to affordable medical care.  And a lot of the people screaming about fetus rights are also screaming about paying for people who are using welfare, the cost of Obamacare, access to birth control, and other social programs that might be of use to a pregnant woman who is considering abortion.  

And... I guess that when it really comes down to it, I just feel like a woman's pregnancy is entirely her business.  It's her body.  She is the one who assumes the most risk.  Women can still die during childbirth.  Once a child is born, yes, I absolutely support father's rights. But before then, the fetus is a part of the woman's body and it's up to the woman to provide for its needs.  Sometimes women are in situations that make it impossible for them to provide for their own needs, let alone an unborn child's.

I think giving a child up for adoption is very admirable and even preferable to abortion.  I also understand that giving a child up for adoption is extremely difficult for many women.  I don't think that's a choice that should be forced on her.

So, while I personally find abortion revolting, I find that I must be pro-choice.  I don't think I will ever change my mind about that.  Honestly, though, when I posted the comic by Andy Singer, I did so because I thought it was kind of funny.  I didn't know it would turn into a debate that would have me feeling so upset the next day.  Fortunately, just like the pro-life Catholic dude who argued with me, I will probably never be in a personal situation that would require me to consider having an abortion.  Thank God for that.  

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