It’s almost impossible to have an intelligent discourse with someone these days when it comes to politics, religion, or any other matter of substance. It’s really not even a simple thing to debate mundane matters if you think about it. But, lately I’ve been compelled to weigh in on some things which have made me quite unpopular. Today, the topic was abortion.
A friend of mine had posted something on social media about whether or not Stevie Nicks’ recent statement about having had an abortion was a fair statement in terms of what the world may have lost when she aborted her baby. Someone of course, chimed in with a statement of sad agreement with the author of the post and yet another lady chimed in with her legalistic, sterile (no pun intended) rant about a woman’s right to choose and govern her own body. So, both sides had been covered and I had a thought. This was my response:
I actually used to agree with you on this, but when I think about it now, it seems there actually is a law that already covers it. It’s also a commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” I am guessing that murder is murder, although for some reason there are many who don’t see pregnancy as being directly connected to housing a living being. And please don’t think I am anti-choice. I just tend to think our choice should occur before conception. God bless.
Of course, this caused someone else to ask the question about cases where the mother’s life is in danger…oversimplifying the matter as always. Isn’t it a given that if a mother’s life is in danger because she can’t physically carry a child that this would be a medical issue more than a moral one? I’ve always wondered why the two scenarios were lumped together in this very broad argument for abortion. So, my response was this:
That’s an altogether different matter. At that point, it is a medical issue and not just a matter of preference. I am a rape survivor and believe me, I have thought about this from every angle. With all of the advances we have made in everything else, I just find it disturbing that we haven’t been able to come up with a better solution to not wanting a child than to simply kill the baby. And I would never judge a woman who has had to make this decision. Nobody answers to me, thank God. It will never be a decision that isn’t painful all the way around.
You see, I always fancied myself to be a pro-choice woman. But the more I’ve turned the situation over and over in my mind, it simply doesn’t make sense to take the stance that the important thing is that the woman be able to make the decision on whether to kill a baby or keep a baby. The important thing should be that every woman out there understands the importance of making good choices before getting pregnant. And please, do not come at me with comments about rape victims, etc. I am, as I said, a rape victim. That situation is not the norm and would not be something that should be treated as a woman simply making a decision about whether on not she wants to be pregnant and have a child.
If you were raped, you obviously didn’t choose to become pregnant and that becomes a different situation. And there are many layers to that particular situation. There are stability issues with how well a woman is able to heal from the emotional and psychological impact of rape as well as the physical. It warrants a different set of rules in terms of whether or not an abortion would be deemed as legal or moral. And people need to remember that God is our ultimate judge in these matters. Any time a woman has to make the decision about whether or not to keep a child, that decision stays with her for the rest of her life. She never gets away from it. It is always there in her conscience and it is something that is truly between her and her God.
I believe a bigger picture response should be, why, in this time of great technological and medical advances, is the only option we have available the option to kill the baby? I’m a huge science fiction fan, so forgive me if this thought seems ridiculous but why haven’t we focused our efforts on figuring out how to remove the growing fetus intact and incubating it to the point where it can survive without the mother? Why aren’t we putting more money into researching ways to remove a fetus without killing it? And then that fetus could be put up for adoption while the mother gets the counseling she needs to deal with the whole situation. Why is our go-to option, hey, let’s just kill the baby? Or she can carry it to term and develop nine months of feelings for the child that will cause her further pain when she has to let go of it because she was goaded into putting it up for adoption rather than aborting the baby.
It cannot be an easy thing to carry a child to term and then give it away. Even if you know that you aren’t equipped to be a mother and that it would be best for that child to be with someone else, that process has to be just as painful for some as going through an abortion. To be clear, I’ve never gone through either scenario, so thankfully, I’ve never had to make such a horrible choice. I’m thankful that God spared me from that trial, though I’ve had many of my own which have shaped my opinions on whether or not we should be fighting so vehemently for the right to have abortions without medical necessity.
I’m not a doctor and I’m not a die-hard, self-righteous Bible thumper. But I am someone who loves Jesus and knows what God has walked me through. I’m also someone who likes to think of solutions rather than beat the issue to death with the same tired rhetoric that never solves anything. God doesn’t want us to be fighting this battle in the way we’ve been fighting it. He wants us to value ourselves more than we do. He wants us to stop getting stuck on the “it’s my right” and “it’s my body” arguments. Yes, we have a right to make decisions for ourselves and it is, in fact a woman’s body that goes through all of the physical trauma related to having a child. All the more reason why we should be teaching our girls how to make better choices about sex and pregnancy before they become an issue. And why we should be teaching our boys to value women and themselves enough not to force sex on any woman for any reason. No one is ever entitled to force their will on any other human being. We have no right to do that. Becoming pregnant comes with a whole new set of rules for women. Once we get there, we must look at it through a very different lens than the one we’ve used to assert our sexual freedoms. At that point, it is no longer just about us. It is about our responsiblity for another human life. And for those who insist on leaving that part out, there will be a very rude awakening when our day of judgment comes.
In the meantime, can we please teach our children (once they are old enough to truly understand and process these things) that there are consequences to our sexual behavior and that if we aren’t ready to accept those consequences and responsibilities, we really shouldn’t dabble in things we don’t understand. It isn’t fair to involve another human being in our immaturity and unwillingness to accept our role as a parent simply because we made a mistake. Waiting several months to decide to abort a child seems cruel and selfish to me, but again, I don’t get to judge the woman who makes this decision. I do get to say that we should make some better options available to women so that this doesn’t have to be an option at all.
If you want to argue, please don’t bother. I have spent a lot of time thinking about where I stand on this issue and trying to decide whether or not I was looking at it fairly. I feel that I am. I think that I am. It’s not just about my feelings on the matter. It’s about having walked through a long period of fear after having been raped and wondering, what would I have done if I had become pregnant as a result of that attack? It’s about seriously considering where I stand on the matter of when a life becomes a life after suffering five miscarriages and losing babies at six weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks, and sixteen weeks. So, it’s not just me telling you what I think to shame you into responsibility. It’s me saying that we need better answers and we need to ask better questions. So that we can all make better choices.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.