Sunday, November 07, 2010

Abortion, My Thoughts

I'm confused as to why the abortion debate is considered a religious or feminist issue. Either an unborn baby is a life, or it's not. If it is, terminating a pregnancy is wrong by every standard. Abortion is a humanitarian issue.

It's dangerous to draw a line defining when life begins. Is it when a fetus can feel pain? Is it the first time it cries? It's first breath of oxygen? The day it enters the third trimester?

I'm aware that pain is caused every day to women who attempt their own abortions. I'm aware that rape and marital molestation result in countless pregnancies. I would never ever argue that these are anything but tragedies.

It's unfortunate that sex, even uninvited, can result in accidental life. It's unfortunate that birth control fails, or isn't readily available in parts of the world where population control is needed most. It sucks that life sends us challenges, responsibilities and mistakes. And it really hurts to realize that this is passed onto the helpless little lives that result.  We need to work on fixing these issues.

Regardless, hundreds of thousands of abortions exist simply to terminate an inconvenience. And yes, illegal abortions can kill women. Abortion is a possibility and a fact. It's not going away. But here's the thing. If I believe that a fetus is a child. If i believe that the emotional upheavel experienced after a miscarriage or an abortion isn't simply a coincidence. If I believe it's a life, then advocating for the privilege of ending it is a terrible injustice.

I'm not pro life because I'm religious. Certainly not because I'm anti-woman.  I am pro-life because I have an adopted little brother I love into a million pieces.  Because I think that even those without voices need rights.  It's an opinion I'll never apologize for.

I'm pro life because I believe in living.


Allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

Good for you for defending your stance. I am not here to argue, but I am Pro-choice.

I think the thing that's funny is that these two stances are presented as opposites, but since when is life the opposite of choice? I just think it's none of my business what other woman do.

* I made a typo in my first comment, I am Pro-Grammar, so I fixed it.

Toya said...

Very interesting blog! I am also Pro-life and believe (just like you) that a fetus is a child. But on another note, have you seen the video where this woman is speaking to a crowd about abortion and how her mother aborted her but the doctors failed? It's a very powerful video.

Kris said...

It is a bit funny that they're presented as opposites. However, in this case, I believe that to allow choice interferes with another's right to live. So they can't really compromise.

Yes, I have, thanks Toya! It is good. I appreciate that you took the time to comment :).

Anonymous said...


As you know, I have strong opinions on this- and I'm not here to argue a point. I really do respect your opinion and your right to defend your stance.

I don't think it's an either/or debate, there are many, many nuances. Even a "choice" framework is flawed because millions of women don't actually have a choice, or the ability or knowledge to make one. It's a bigger issue than "choice".

I'd also just like to say that at the very least if people were to disagree about things like when life begins or what exactly abortion is- I don't think it should ever be portrayed as an easy decision to make. And I certainly don't think peoples' options and choices should be taken away. If abortion is not something people believe in or think is right, then OK; great..don't do it. But for those who do, then let them. I don't see how that .. violates anybody's viewpoints. It certainly doesn't dictate to anyone. :)

Kris said...

Thanks for your input, Rish! Seriously.

I'm 100% for letting people live their lives, and free choice. I just think, in this case, they're taking someone else's. Unless somebody shows me contrary, I'll continue to feel the way I do. I have to, I'm sure you can see that?

Anyway, yeah. I know we'll never agree on this, and I guess that'll have to be ok. :)

starTHINKer said...

Kris, this is extremely good writing. You've managed to state your viewpoint so respectfully. Well done!

Kris said...

Awww, Thanks Silv! :D

Tabs A. Geek said...

I can certainly understand your frustration at people limiting it to being a religious or feminist argument.

I remember in high school when the topic came up, whenever I tried to debate my reasoning for being pro-life, I was always written off as 'being religious' and thus my points meant nothing. It always frustrated me because my pro-life reasonings really are separate from my faith. Not that the two do not go hand in hand, but that they can also stand alone separately from each other.

What scares me about this line drawing, is that once a line has been drawn, it can always be pushed further and further back.

Sure, saying that one day it could be pushed so far back as to say that until the baby exits the womb, it's not alive could sound like taking a leap, and unrealistic. But the same could be said about Hitler's ideals when they first came in.

I'm not comparing pro-choice to Hitler mind you, but the point that anyone with the right amount of power can push an issue to a point where it's so far beyond moral standards that it's the worst case scenario. And while there are plenty of women who have legitimate reasoning for abortions, there are two and three times as many (at least in what I've seen) that don't.

Michelle said...

You definitely present a reasonable argument for being pro-life. I'm Pro-Choice, and I support every woman's right to choose for themselves, just as you have chosen that if you were pregnant you would never have an abortion. I think too many people confuse Pro-Choice with Pro-Abortion, when I believe that the Pro-Choice 'umbrella' includes Pro-Life.

Ash said...

For many years, I'm telling you that abortion is a touchy subject. It could be for good or for bad. But personally, I'm not fond of abortions. I've had a friend that decided to get an abortion because when she was pregnant the guy she got pregnant from was being a jerk. But, my view on it is, if this child is being made - that's their mistake. But no kid is referred to as a mistake. So, in actuality, I ask myself - WHY? I mean, the kid shouldn't have been to pay for their unselfishness.

Which yes, you're right. Terminating a pregnancy, voluntarily, is wrong by EVERY standard. If it isn't life threatening I don't see why you'd want to do that. There are MILLIONS even TRILLIONS of people in this world who cannot have a baby and here they are killing a potential happiness for another family who desperately deserve that special kind of love. You know? Goodness.

I love your blog. AND especially this post!

Kris said...

Thank-you ladies. Absolutely impeccable comments!

Tab. I appreciate you chose to comment on the religious identification issue more then just abortion. I see you understand exactly where I'm coming from!

Michelle. I can appreciate your view point, in a way. I am always for freedom of choice when it allows other their own freedoms.

Ash. I love your comment. And, of course, agree. The last sentence also made my day :). I'm glad to know you read! And I've checked out yours :).

Infidel said...

I don't agree.

Certainly, you hold this stance because you don't think the suffering of a woman who is forced to deliver a child is on par with the termination of a life.

I can honestly, truly say, that my suffering if I were to be forced into maternity, would be so great that I would opt to commit suicide.

To me, quality of life will always trump life itself. I could never be so bold as to expect somebody to give up their physical and mental well-being, for another creature if they don't want to. That's not my place.

Let me ask you a question, to gauge your moral standards here;

Let's say two people are in a room, right. They are complete strangers, being held captive by some sicko. Let's say that this sicko stipulates that person #1's life is dependent upon person #2 undergoing intense torture. Person #2 can opt out, but in doing so, causes the other to lose her/his life.

Would you blame person #2 for opting out? Would you think less of person #2 for opting out?

Kris said...

Interesting. I cannot argue with someone who straight up confesses that they consider the convenience of a woman above the life of a child, if I did read that correctly.

What is it about maternity that so terrifies you? If it's the pain of delivery, I should wonder why millions of woman have gone through it and survived. Certainly I value a life over that. If it's the thought of joining motherhood I would say, first of, there are other options. Second of all, you must also, then, support infanticide. In which case, I don't know why we are discussing abortion.

In regards to your scenario, and assuming said sicko can be taken on his word I would say that it depends. If we can be sure that the torture will be unending and/or cause chronic psychological and physical pain I will not blame person 2 for opting out. If I were person one I would willing take a quick death in this scenario.

If, more likely, we are completely unsure as to the level of torture, length of torture, effects of torture I would be much more likely to think less of person 2 for sacrificing person 1. However, I do believe that we put spectacular and unnecessary value on our own lives. At least, I'm not scared of death. I would just prefer to continue living and do fear the process of death, in some cases. I would, however, be bitter if someone else had the option of removing my life for the convenience of themselves.

Infidel said...

You say 'convenience', I say 'agony'. Why is it up to anybody else but me to decide whether I want to endure up to 48 hours of agonising labour, broken pelvic bones (common occurrence), torn up vagina (sometimes tears occur all the way from vagina to anus), countless potential complications, and risk death?

The fact that many women opt to go through that is their choice. They see it as worthwhile, in return for a baby. I do not. For me, it would be a completely tortuous experience, one I might never recover from, mentally or physically. Do you know the kinds of complications that occur later in life for women who've given birth? One common problem is that women later on in life have to go to the doctor to get their bladders put back into their bodies because a widened birth canal allows the bladder to simply fall out and hang out of your vagina.

Now, why is it up to anyone else but me to decide whether or not I want to go through all this for the life of a child I do not want? I don't think it's honourable or desirable to bring an unwanted child into the world when there are already so many. No child should have to be born knowing that they were not wanted.

Regarding the scenario I presented; The torture is not unending, but it lasts 48 hours. It has numerous long-term effects. Their body will never really be the same again. They could die.

Given these more specific details; would you blame person 1 for opting out? Would you yourself go through such torture for a complete stranger knowing that if you opt out, their death would be painless, and they have no familial obligations to take care of, therefore nobody else is going to suffer as a result of their death?

Maggie said...

wow. this is a great post and fascinating comments!

Kris, I agree with you and you stated this beautifully. I consider myself pro-life and have always been written off as being "religious". For me, it has nothing to do with religion, it's just that I consider the "fetus" to be a baby. Anyone who believes that can't support abortion without supporting infanticide to some degree.

I certainly do not see Pro-Choice as Pro-Abortion (in fact, that's one of those standard remarks I hear in this debate). I realize that you support a woman's right to choose, I think that's beautiful and we should have that right. But what about the baby's rights? Again, it goes back to when you believe life begins.

In the instances of rape, incest or the mother's life being in danger, I walk the line.

I can not imagine being forced to carry and give birth to the living result of a rape, but I don't think abortion should be the first option offered. I think this is a time when therapy is crucial.

When the mother's life is in danger, my heart hurts for that woman or family. I can.not.imagine. having to choose between mother and child, especially if the pregnancy is early, with no chance of infant survival or if there are other children at home.

So I suppose I could argue this both ways, but I still consider myself pro-life.

I also need to say that I can't come to terms with Infidel's thinking at all.

You say that QUALITY of life trumps the life itself? What is your opinion on the disabled? Those with mental retardation or debilitating genetic disorders? Should they all be aborted? What about the poor and homeless? I believe we all have the right to life.

And as far as calling childbirth "agony"...certainly it's not anyone's idea of fun, but the human body is made for reproduction. Women are fully capable of childbirth - we have wider pelvises, birth canals that can stretch, mammary glands, etc. We are engineered for childbirth, like it or not. And I'm sorry, but I having your bladder fall out is NOT a common occurrence. Sure it can happen, but it's not the norm. Plus this day and age (at least in industrialized countries) it doesn't need to be painful- get an epidural. Even in third world countries, maternal death rates are falling. I think getting an abortion because you're scared of labor is a crock of crap. If all women thought that way, the human race would cease to exist.

Of course, it IS up to you whether or not you need to endure labor. I believe you should every right to whatever means of birth control you need or want, but I don't believe you should have the right to end a life because you didn't use that protection. I don't think abortion should ever be used as birth control.

Ok, I need to stop writing a book in the comment section on your blog! sorry Kris! this post got me fired up!


Kris said...

Maggie, you're awesome. I appreciate everything you wrote here. Maybe you should do your own "Abortion: My Thoughts" post.

Especially kudos on the last full paragraph. I'm not trying to insist on anyone needing a child to feel "fulfilled." In Infidel's case I would certainly ask that she NOT get pregnant.

You also managed to say just about everything I'd intended to say in reply. My sister is a midwife, and childbirth is certainly not an inflicted form of torture with definite and chronic implications (it also has positive effects on a woman's health. Strange, I know).

However, (and Infidel too, if you return) I don't think continuing this debate further will lead to any conclusion. I've made it clear that I am fully decided on my opinion here. It is something I'm passionate about. I don't mind a respectful dialog, but I don't expect you're in anyway open to considering other opinions either.

So, thank-you both for your input. I think, however, that there is not much point in taking this internet discussion further.

I'm off to check out your blog now, Maggie. Thanks again! :)