Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Path from Pro Choice to Pro Life....

There's a lot of political talk about choice...not that the president can make this decision or even overturn it himself, but the argument is being made that certain presidentual candidates have changed their minds over time so I thought I'd explore my change.
I was a kid in a primarily Catholic town in Indiana. I wasn't Catholic but I learned a lot from osmosis...mainly that since I wasn't Catholic I should not agree with their stance on things. Not exactly the best approach I suppose. I was also born in the 60's and parented by a Pro Choice mom who made it very clear that there was no opinion that could be right if it wasn't choice. I never really questioned this by the way. When, in my early 20's an acquantance "got pregnant" and I walked her up to the clinic, where protestors were picketing. I didn't even ask her if she thought she was doing the right thing. I assumed she knew what she was doing...and wouldn't I have done it under the right circumstances? I don't know...I actually don't think I could have. However as the years have gone on, and I have become more conscious of my views on the world I've changed my mind. Still I think it's improtant to lay out the arguments as I know them.  (yes, I did my research on the net to remind me but I guarantee that I've heard at least 80% of these growing up). 
Pro Choice Arguments:
  • It’s just a blob of tissue, not a baby.
  • We don’t know when life begins.
  • Even though biological life begins at conception, we don’t know when personhood begins.
  • The preborn child doesn’t have enough size, ability to feel pain, viability, self-awareness, etc. to be granted rights of personhood.
  • It’s my body, and I have the right to do with it what I want.
  • Even if the preborn has an inherent right to life, this right is superceded by the mother’s right to autonomy.
  • If a woman is pregnant by rape, compassion demands that she be allowed to abort.
  • Issues of personal morality are best left to individual discretion. The government should not interfere.
  • There is a Constitutional right to abortion.
  • If a baby is horribly deformed, it would be better to spare him from a life of suffering
  • It’s better to abort a child than for him to live as an unwanted child.
  • Forcing people to have children leads to more child abuse.
  • If we end abortion, we’ll go back to thousands of women dying from back-alley abortions.
  • There isn’t enough farmland, fossil fuels, drinking water, etc., to care for everybody. Abortion is one way to control the human population
  • Issues of personal morality are best left to individual discretion. The government should not interfere.
Pro Life Arguments:
  • The preborn child has a heartbeat by the end of the third week. When surgical abortions are performed in the mid to late first trimester, the baby has arms, legs, feet, hands, etc.
  • Textbooks and even pro-choice advocates concede that human life begins when the egg and sperm unite.
  • The point at which rights of personhood should be granted is not something we “know” or “don’t know.” Its something we decide. We grant rights to people we value and deny them to people we don’t.
  • Such qualities develop over time. A newborn is smaller, less developed, less aware, and more dependent than a young adult, but that doesn’t make him less of a person.
  • When you are pregnant, there is another body ... the baby’s body. Nobody should have the right to tear a baby’s body into pieces.
  • Nobody has an unconstrained right to autonomy. We require parents to use their bodies to care for their children. This responsibility lasts for 18 years.
  • As horrible as abortion is, the baby is still innocent of any crime. Nobody should be killed for the crime of another person. Abortion does not undo or mitigate the rape, and there is evidence that abortion further compounds the harm that has already been done to her.
  • The primary purpose of government is to protect fundamental rights. That’s why we have laws against rape, murder, and child neglect
  • Abortion is not referenced at all in the U.S. Constitution. Roe vs Wade was not a judicial decision as much as legislation imposed from the Bench
  • Nobody has the right to kill another person because he perceives that the other person might have a low quality of life.
  • We would never kill a born child simply because his parents decided they don’t want him anymore.
  • USC reported that 91% of abused children are very much wanted before birth.
  • In 1960, Planned Parenthood reported that 84% to 87% of all illegal abortions were performed by licensed physicians. In 1972, the year before Roe vs Wade, 39 women died from illegal abortions. Each of those deaths was a tragedy, but every abortion is a tragedy, because it kills a living human being
  • We never kill born children because we perceive them to be too numerous for the planet.
 After reviewing this list, I know for a fact that I am pro life more than pro choice these days.  I know that many of my old friends would consider this a horrible change but if I'm being honest, I have changed in a million ways since my early 20's.  I believe whole heartedly in adoption...more closed than open, but I can live with open adoptions as long as the child knows who his/her "real" mommy and daddy are.  (Those are the people that are doing the job!)   I don't think I am alone in my change, but I do think it's hard to admit sometimes to those people who think they know you.  Still, I'm happy I have changed my mind and that maybe I can talk to people now if they are faced with this decision in a clearer wya than I could have 30 years ago.  Life is a blessing!

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