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How I Can Hate Abortion, but Not Want it Illegal

By KateTietje |

I’m sure many people are going to disagree with my stance here.  Some will say I go too far, some not far enough.  That’s okay.  Give it a chance.

Yes, it’s true.  I really, really hate abortion…but I don’t want it to be illegal.  That seems like kind of a strange thing for someone to say, especially a Christian.  Which I am.  But I’ve thought about it quite a lot, and I think it truly makes sense.  So let me explain.

How can I hate abortion, but not want it illegal?

I do hate abortion.  That’s important to understand.  I’d never choose it.  I think it’s wrong.  I don’t think anyone should ever choose it.  And in a perfect world, maybe no one ever would choose it.  We don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately.

The thing is, making abortion illegal isn’t going to stop it. In most cases, making anything illegal doesn’t actually stop it.  Does no one use drugs?  Please.  Everyone who wants them, gets them.  Are there no prostitutes?  I believe the trade is alive and well.  (Not that I support or agree with these practices in any way.)  I’m just saying, making something against the law does absolutely nothing to stop it.

It does, however, make it more dangerous.  In countries where drugs are legal, there’s no crime surrounding them.  Why would there be?  They’re legal to buy.

If abortions were illegal, women would still get them.  But they’d buy abortion pills over the internet and take them without any medical supervision, possibly severely harming themselves (yes – this is already happening).  They’d seek back-alley abortions, which could possibly kill them due to unsterilized equipment.  That’s what used to happen.

And while I don’t condone killing babies, I don’t condone hurting or killing women, either.  Since simply saying “no abortions” does nothing to stop the practice, why do we need to say it?

Think about it.  If you’re scared, alone, and pregnant, and someone says to you, “You can’t have an abortion” and walks away, what do you think?  Maybe, in that case, they just took away the only option you felt you had.  And they didn’t offer you anything.  So your only option would be to seek one illegally.

If we want to stop abortions, there are much better ways.  Instead of just saying “no abortions,” why don’t we reach out to at-risk women?  Why don’t we mentor them and support them?  We can talk them through all of their options and help them to understand the ramifications of each choice.  We can be there for them.  In this case, we’re not saying “no abortions,” we’re saying, “Abortion is not your only option.  Let me help you.  Let me talk to you and be at your side as you go through this.”  Don’t you think that’s going to get a much better response?

We can also donate to different organizations that help women.  In my area, there’s a Christian-based health center called Pregnancy Decision Centers.  We can bring in maternity clothes and baby items for moms who choose to keep their babies (either to give up for adoption or to raise).  Every year they hold a massive “baby shower” for women in need and many baby items are given away.

We also need to support comprehensive sex education programs. I don’t think that either “just say no” or “in case you do, here’s a condom” are effective programs.  Instead, we need honest, open conversation about the physical and emotional consequences of choosing to have sex at a young age.  I’ve heard too many girls say “But I thought he loved me,” after a guy left them right after sleeping with them.  Teens need to be prepared for this.  Teens need to have access to open, honest information about sexuality and sexual health.

And yes…they need to have access to birth control, too.  We cannot make their decisions for them.  I choose not to use birth control.  But I’m married and prepared to accept any baby I might get.  Not everyone is in that position.

As a Christian, I believe it is my job to tell the truth (i.e. I believe abortion is wrong), but to do so gently.  You’d never find me outside a clinic, shouting “Murderer!” and throwing blood around.  I’m also called to be compassionate.  No one is perfect.  And it’s not my place to judge or condemn anyone else’s mistakes.  Someone who’s getting an abortion is already all too aware that they’ve made a mistake.  They wouldn’t be choosing abortion in the first place if they hadn’t made one (in most cases).  Making them feel worse is not the way to handle it.  Being compassionate and loving towards them through a difficult time is important.  Does that mean that you don’t tell them that you disagree?  No.  But you don’t condemn them, either.

We need to have compassion and respect for everyone.  Regardless of the choices they make or how much we may disagree with them.  We do not have pretend that we do agree or stand up for something we don’t believe in.  I believe it’s important to be honest.  I’ve made no bones about the fact that I believe abortion is absolutely wrong as I’ve written this.  But neither have I condemned anyone who has chosen it.

This is why I can feel so strongly against abortion, and yet not want it illegal.  It does nothing to help anyone, it does nothing to stop it, it is in no way compassionate to those in a difficult situation.  There are far better ways to help stop abortion than just saying no.  There are plenty of pro-choice people who wish abortion weren’t used, too – and they volunteer in clinics and lobby for better sex education.  These are far better uses of our time.  These are ways we can really make a difference.

What do you think?  Should abortion be illegal or not?

Top image by brains the head

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About KateTietje

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KateTietje

Kate Tietje is a food blogger who focuses on natural food and cooking. In addition to Modern Alternative Mama, she has contributed her writing to the Parenting and Pregnancy channels on Babble.

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119 thoughts on “How I Can Hate Abortion, but Not Want it Illegal

  1. Jill says:

    There are so many things that this applies to, circumcision, breastfeeding to name just two.
    At first, i thought you were crazy, but then decided to read on. We need more people like you in the world.

  2. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this article! I agree with your suggesions of outreach and support for these women who are considering abortion. It is so important that they feel the love of Christ! However, I don’t understand why we can’t do both; that is, make abortion illegal AND support these women. Most importantly, we need to support the innocent babies who are being ripped apart in the womb, or burned with saline, or stabbed in the base of the skull with scissors! Abortion brutally takes the lives of innocent human beings, and we don’t kill innocent human beings for the reasons given for abortion. The truth is, that since abortion became legal, it has become a horrifyingly frequent and acceptable choice, and I use the word ‘choice’ loosely, because women are not given all the facts before they kill their baby. What at the time seems like an easy way out, so to speak, turns out to have lifelong consequences and regrets, and even health issues much of tne time!

    You say that making things illegal does nothing to stop them. I disagree, but more importantly, your assertion logically instructs us to abandon all laws since they are useless. We know that would be foolish, so there’s something wrong with your assertion.

    You also seem to equate those who want abortion to be illegal, with those condemning women who want to abort. That is also a fallacious assertion. You can want abortion to be illegal–because it’s MURDER–and have abundant compassion for women who have had abortions, and women who are considering abortion. I want abortion to be illegal because murder is illegal, and these absolutely innocent babies don’t deserve to be murdered. I also think that women who find themselves pregnant and feel they have no options need our support and understanding and empathy and compassion and help!

    Surely, if abortion was illegal, some women would have it done and with some harm to themselves, but women get LEGAL abortions done with some harm to themselves and deadly harm to the majority (practically all) of the babies. We’d see much less harm and death if abortion was made illegal.

    Finally, there are plenty of pro-life people who volunteer and lobby, too (re your comment about pro-choicers doing so). They also want abortion made illegal and spend their time on that. Who says we have to choose just one thing to spend our time on? I think you are woefully misguided, though you mean well, in your position, and I beg you, as a sister in Christ, to reconsider it.

  3. Katy E says:

    AMEN! I agree with this completely! This is my EXACT same view point. Primary prevention of abortion starts with EDUCATION and EASY ACCESS to reliable forms of contraception. Improved parental supervision(of our daughters AND our sons) would go a long way as well. As far as I am concerned, abortion is a necessary evil until becoming pregnant becomes an absolute choice.

  4. Michelle says:

    *suggestions*

  5. Sarah says:

    In general I applaud your open-mindedness… but it’s not fair to say that “most” women who get an abortion do so because they made a mistake. That leaves out a whole world of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, rape, incest, failed condoms, and cases where for medical reasons carrying a baby to term would be deadly or detrimental to the mother, baby or both. Women do not always have a choice over their own bodies, whether that is because of a spouse, significant other, family member or medical condition. You are in a place where you can choose not to use birth control, and that’s great for you – not every woman has that choice, and handing out condoms on the street corner will not help them. You never know what’s going on in someone else’s house, or life.

  6. Heather Shaw says:

    Totally 100% agree. You summed up my feelings on the subject word for word.

  7. Jennifer H. says:

    100% agree. I think we need to be spending our time working towards better, fact based sex ed… free birth control…. and social programs to take care of the unexpected babies created. Until we have the societal structure in place to support all babies, then we need to butt out about getting all pregnancies here.

    It’s like this country only cares about a pregnancy for 12 weeks… after that, you’re on your own! Many of the times the help offered a in crisis woman disappears once that baby arrives (here ya go, have a pack of diapers… see ya!). We’re cutting WIC, cutting SNAP, cutting Head Start, cutting free or reduced cost medical care for women/children, not offering paid maternity leave, not supporting breastfeeding… but the country wants those babies born and doesn’t want to education on how to prevent pregnancy? It’s ridiculous. Support women and children… educate and support…. and watch the need for abortion decline.

  8. Michelle says:

    Sarah, would you condone killing a toddler conceived as a result of those instances you mentioned? If not, then why is it okay to kill that same baby barbarically in the womb? Is location that important? That baby has absoutely no choice over its situation! Why do we think we can brutally murder it?
    /tone of my post is sincere and curious, not condemning or attacking

  9. kat says:

    I totally agree with you! I think abortion is awful, and I wish it was not needed, but glad it is legal. Sarah, you bring up instances that are not the statistical majority. The vast majority of abortions are sough after no birth control was used or it failed. Which means we are not doing enough to educate girls about their cycles, how to use birth control and where to get it, and guys that they always always always need to use a condom. If girls knew that there is more to their cycles than their period and they could only get pregnant during a certain time of the month, how many unplanned pregnancies could be prevented? Probably a lot. The thing is, most teens/young adults live in a world where they take big risks and never think that any consequences will befall them. That was me to a T! I think they need all the facts about how their bodies work, mentors, videos, etc. Throw in some homebirth/waterbirth videos! Haha the reality of unmedicated childbirth, fun stuff. The book “Taking charge of your fertility” should not just be for couples trying to have a baby, it should be mandatory reading in highschool and college.
    What really weighs on my heart is that the church people would stop judging and start loving. Stop picketing and start giving $$ to organizations that help mamas know all their options and get them counseling no matter their decision. Volunteer with teens and teach them about sex beyond “abstinence only.” Be someone they can trust.
    Surgically stopping a natural body/life function is not safe, causes many emotional issues, not to mention future physical problems. Abortion is extremely unnatural, and doesn’t leave a woman/girl unpregnant, it leaves them the mother of a dead baby. Their struggle should not be slighted by ignoring it, glossing it over with medical terms and legal jargon. Stopping abortion should be done with love, education, resources and a big dose of reality.

  10. Michelle says:

    Kat, should the murder laws be repealed? Should we simply educate would-be murderers, or actually all kids in high school, about anger management, etc. but also allow for citizens to murder in various cases such as rape, domestic abuse, etc (ie no law against murder)? Or should we both educate AND prohibit?
    BTW, I don’t know ANY church members that are “judge-y” on this issue, in that they are condemning people. Oftentimes, their opposition to the ACT of abortion gets them labelled as condemning the person, because the majority of people seem unable to understand the distinction between the two. But there is a great distinction!
    I agree with you that “stopping abortion should be done with love, education, resources and a big dose of reality,” but would add in there “and legal protection for the innocent victim of abortion; the baby.”

  11. Bunnytwenty says:

    Kate – bravo! I wish everyone who was against abortion was as pragmatic and compassionate about the issue as you. if only all women could work together to make access to contraception easier, and to create a society with more support for women who carry to term (better economic support, better and cheaper daycare, etc), we could make abortion extremely rare. And as a determined pro-choicer, I agree that it SHOULD be rare – because no matter how you feel about abortion, unwanted pregnancy is a terrible thing.

  12. Mr. X says:

    Your so niave.

  13. Bunnytwenty says:

    “Surgically stopping a natural body/life function is not safe, causes many emotional issues, not to mention future physical problems. Abortion is extremely unnatural, and doesn’t leave a woman/girl unpregnant, it leaves them the mother of a dead baby.”

    I agreed with most of what you said above, except for this. Legal abortion at a safe medical facility is quite safe (it’s less likely to kill you than carrying to term and giving birth!!!), and I know many, many women who have had abortions and not a single one who suffered any physical or emotional damage as a result (myself included). I’m not saying that there AREN’T women who suffer physical or emotional damage, just that from my personal experience and statistical evidence, they’re a minority.

  14. mom of 2 says:

    In a perfect world there would be no need for abortion. This is not a perfect world.
    In this world we are all very fortunate to have a right to our beliefs and our voice. This should never mean that we have the right to impose (or legislate) our beliefs on anyone else.
    A woman’s body is her private space. I am horrified that people feel that they have the right to invade it.
    I hope we can teach our children (and each other) love, compassion and responsibility, in hopes that we can move toward this perfect world where this conversation becomes unnecessary. Until then, teach, not preach. Share, do not force. Use community discourse and family ties, not law, to change the world.

  15. Michelle says:

    Mom of 2, you say that a woman’s body is her private space, so would you consider her baby’s body, then, to be its private space? Why are we so comfortable with invading the baby’s private space, even brutalizing it? Why are we not horrified at the allowance for a mother to brutally invade her child’s space, disfiguring its body and ending its life?

    You also say we shouldn’t legislate our beliefs on anyone else, so does that mean we should abolish all the laws? Why not?

  16. Sarah says:

    Kat, what study are you referring to when you mention statistics? The only official data collected by hospitals are age, race, marital status, location, previous live births or abortions, procedure type, gestational age and abortion mortality rates – and not all of the 52 reporting areas (50 states, DC and NYC) the CDC uses report all of those pieces of information. The rest is subjective, and cannot be proven, so statistics regarding intent or reason for getting one are useless – how many rapes, instances of abuse or incest go unreported every year? It’s still not right to make a blanket statement that most women seek abortion because they made a mistake (as if the assumed mistake was entirely theirs if one was made). That’s all I’m saying. Until you live a person’s life, you have no right to assume you know why she makes a choice.

  17. Leah says:

    I agree with you, although I am not Christian. I think for me the issue really comes down to choosing how to use our bodies. I think allowing a fetus to use your body to survive to term is a wonderful sacrifice. But I don’t think we can legal compel anyone to make that sacrifice. This is not because a fetus isn’t alive (although it’s not a baby) it is a living human, this is simply because we don’t compel anyone to allow another to use their body, even to save a life. If I am in need of a kidney transplant, and without it I will die and you are a match, it’s a wonderful sacrifice if you give me a kidney, yet I can not compel you to do that even if I will die without the kidney. Use of a woman’s body during pregnancy is her choice. I think we should support women to enable this choice to be as easy as possible, but we can’t compel it.

  18. Michelle says:

    Leah, I think you make a very good argument to support your position, but I think the analogy is not precise enough, because while you may die without the kidney, no one is actively, and violently I might add, murdering you. You would be dying due to organ failure, as opposed to being murdered. This is quite a big distinction, as we can see in the legal system in the variety of ways murder/accidental death is treated, based on varying factors. We don’t murder innocent human beings for the reasons given for abortion.

  19. Alicia says:

    Safe, legal abortions really is the lesser of two evils. Countless girls and women were made infertile or killed during the days of illegal abortions, and they still are in places where abortion is illegal. And it is the truth that with the internet, countless women and girls would start buying what they thought was the abortion pill and taking it, causing severe harm or death to themselves as a result if there wasn’t access to medically supervised abortions.

    What I think some are failing to see in the article is the fact that laws never completely stop people from doing the things that are illegal. Does this mean we get rid of all laws? No. But we as a society really need to think about what ways would prevent the most harm to the most people, and make laws in that regard, especially in cases where the situation doesn’t harm anyone but the person them self. During Prohibition, there was a large increase in crime because it was illegal to make, sell, and drink alcohol, and nefarious characters saw a way to take advantage of those people who would drink no matter what. When Prohibition was repealed, those bad characters disappeared since there was no longer a way to take advantage of drinkers, and the drinkers themselves were no longer being thrown in jail. It’s the same with illegal drugs in this country; some people will use drugs no matter what, so due to drugs being illegal there is statistically more crime and the nefarious characters taking advantage of the takers. That crime would disappear if drugs were regulated and controlled by the government, and made legal. So these two incidences prove that in some situations, getting rid of the laws that prohibit the action is a much better idea than making it illegal all around. This applies to abortion as well. Yes, there is harm to the unwanted pregnancies with legal abortions, but there would also be harm to the girls and women if it was illegal, plus there would be nefarious characters taking advantage of the situation again, like they did back before abortion was legal. Abortion is something that will happen no matter what in some instances, so isn’t it better to have it regulated and safer than completely uncontrolled?

    I think also that the question of abortion being murder is ignoring the fact that it is the girl or woman who is pregnant who decides whether the pregnancy will lead to the development of another person or not. Someone can sit back and say that all pregnancies are automatically an individual, but what right does that person have to take the decision away from the girl or woman herself? Isn’t it the exclusive right of the girl or woman whose body will be sacrificed for the pregnancy (due to the very nature of what a pregnancy is) to decide if she wants that to happen to her? A woman’s self and personhood doesn’t automatically disappear the second she conceives. When I got pregnant with my son, I didn’t suddenly stop counting as an individual. All that happened was that I had the potential of a new person inside of me, and it was up to me if I would allow my body to sacrifice my own health in order to grow that person. Since I got pregnant on purpose and wanted to experience pregnancy, I decided not to stop the process, and I was fortunate that the pregnancy was a success and my son was born. But there are many girls and women who don’t want to go through the process that is a pregnancy, who don’t want a fully formed person to be made inside of them, and that’s their right to decide. Pregnancy is a very intimate and serious experience, and if the girl or woman doesn’t want to experience it, they will do their damnedest to not have it. What right do I or anyone else have to say that they absolutely must go through that experience to satisfy my own personal beliefs when I’m not the one going through it? Absolutely none.

    Of course this brings up the question that has been asked about if personal beliefs shouldn’t be put onto anyone else, if all laws should be abolished. First, that’s a very immature way of trying to make a point, and second, laws are in place to prevent the harm of someone by *someone else*. When it comes to someone doing something to their own body, then no one should try to stop them. This, of course, brings the question of the baby’s own body being it’s own during pregnancy. The simple fact is, at it’s very core, a baby in utero is in a parasitic state. Period. It can not survive without it’s attachment to the mother’s body. Even the age of ‘viability’ in the second trimester isn’t really viability since the baby is in a state dependent entirely upon machines. Cut the cord inside the uterus, and the baby will die. That’s the reality of the situation. A lot of people think it’s “horrible” referring to pregnancy as a parasitic state, but that is what it is. You can’t call an elephant a cat, and expect it to be true. That is why the decision of the pregnancy continuing lays solely with the girl or woman whose body will be in that state for ten months.

    There is no black and white in life. Only shades of gray.

  20. Michelle says:

    Alicia, I’ll take it that you were referring to me, when you called my use of reductio ‘immature,’ but it’s the nature of reductio, and has nothing to do with my personality. I’d appreciate it if we could stick to the arguments, and avoid the ad hominems. It’s ideas we’re discussing, and it’s a worthwhile discussion to have.
    I’ll address 2 of your points, due to limited time, but will be happy to address any further ones if you’d like.
    The fact is that when the sperm fertilizes the egg, a new human being comes into existence, and its DNA is unique from that of each of its parents. That has nothing to do with opinion, and is scientific fact.
    Secondly, are you suggesting that level of dependency decides whether someone lives or dies? Shall we pull the plugs on all the people on life support? What about newborns? They’re quite dependent. How about those in the ICU? Also dependent? It is my contention that the right to life belongs to human beings by virtue of their humanity, and that neither size, nor level of development, nor environment, nor degree of dependency, should deprive them of that right.
    You mentioned that women and girls were made infertile or killed during days of illegal abortions, but you failed to note that the same is happening during some legal abortions. Also, the statistics on the number of ‘back alley abortion’ deaths pre-Roe v Wade were entirely fabricated, as admitted by the person who first quoted them. The truth is that there are more deaths now due to abortion than ever before.
    You say there is no black and white in life. I say there is absolute truth. The holocaust was absolutely wrong. Rape is absolutely wrong. Abortion is absolutely wrong. I wonder, is your statement that there is no black and white, black and white?

  21. Michelle says:

    Oops, guess I addressed more than 2 points there. I’m a little passionate about this issue. :)

  22. Michelle says:

    And i see you did mention that there is harm in safe abortions earlier in your post. I missed that when responding.

  23. Bunnytwenty says:

    “The fact is that when the sperm fertilizes the egg, a new human being comes into existence, and its DNA is unique from that of each of its parents. That has nothing to do with opinion, and is scientific fact.”

    No, that is an opinion. A fertilized egg has different value attributed to it by different people – the fact that it has its own DNA does not make it a “new human being” by the standards of many people, and that includes a Supreme Court decision.
    Also, I’d love to see where you’re getting the information that “there are more deaths now due to abortion than ever before.” This runs contrary to any reliable information I’ve seen in recent years. Abortion, when legal, is on the whole extremely safe. There are risks with any medical procedure, but as I noted above, carrying to term is much more dangerous.

  24. Kristina says:

    I appreciate this post and that has been my stance from the get go. I am a single mother who has had many tough decisions to make instance of this issue. I chose to have my son because I absolutely could not imagine having an abortion however knowing that I was actually faced with having to make that decision made me realize that many women would not have them if there was more community and family support. I have been able to get back on my feet for the most part through the help of a “village” and I thank god every day that I have survived. To say abortion is like one adult killing another is ridiculous. It is nothing the same. Murder is typically out of anger, mental issues etc. Abortion is typically chosen out of desperation and not knowing where to turn. Again I don’t condone abortion but those people who fight so hard to picket and make it illegal should be fighting just as hard to ensure programs to help mothers stick around… Beautiful post!

  25. Michelle says:

    Thanks for your comments Bunny. What kind of being is it then, if not a human one? And I should have more carefully worded my assertion to avoid such a question. I’m talking about a pregnancy here.
    I’m counting the deaths of the humans in utero. Abortion is very deadly to the fetus, almost 100% of the time.

  26. Michelle says:

    Kristina, abortion is unjustly taking the life of a distinct human being. Whatever the intention, it’s exactly like one adult killing another, in that one person’s life is ended.

  27. Bunnytwenty says:

    “Thanks for your comments Bunny. What kind of being is it then, if not a human one?”

    I think of it this way: an egg has the DNA of a distinct chicken, but it is not a chicken, and eating an egg is a lot different from killing a fully-grown chicken, or even a baby chick. An acorn has the DNA of a distinct tree, but it is not a tree, and smashing an acorn is very different from chopping down a tree.
    So while a fetus is indisputably human life, it is a different kind of human life than that of a baby who no longer lives in its mother.
    I agree that it’s really pretty impossible and arbitrary to draw a line as to when ending that life is permissible and when it isn’t – but drawing that line at conception, when the embryo doesn’t care at all whether it lives or dies, does not strike me as useful. The mother cares, the embryo doesn’t – it makes more sense to me to prioritize her needs.

  28. Michelle says:

    Your examples indicate difference, but of what import is the difference?
    I’ve an example that attempts to clarify this point. Here it is (copied):
    Suppose that we are back in the pre-digital photo days and you have a Polaroid camera and you have taken a picture that you think is unique and valuable – let’s say a picture of a jaguar darting out from a Mexican jungle. The jaguar has now disappeared, and so you are never going to get that picture again in your life, and you really care about it. (I am trying to make this example parallel to a human being, for we say that every human being is uniquely valuable.) You pull the tab out and as you are waiting for it to develop, I grab it away from you and rip it open, thus destroying it. When you get really angry at me, I just say blithely, “You’re crazy. That was just a brown smudge. I cannot fathom why anyone would care about brown smudges.” Wouldn’t you think that I were the insane one? Your photo was already there. We just couldn’t see it yet.
    [source: Life Training Institute]
    I think this is a good analogy for a developing human.
    I’ll address your second point in a separate post for clarity.

  29. Michelle says:

    So if it’s pretty impossible and arbitrary to draw a line as to when ending a life is permissible (if at all), shouldn’t we err on the side of caution? And if consciousness (you wrote the embryo doesn’t care) is required in order to be considered a human being deserving of life, then there are a LOT of unconscious people right now who should be stripped of their right to life, if we want to be consistent. Would you want your right to life to be stripped from you at any point that you are unconscious?

  30. Michelle says:

    ps I really like the tone of your posts Bunny. It is refreshing to have a conversation with someone of an opposing view, where the arguments can be fleshed out without anyone taking it personally….especially on a hot button topic like this.

  31. mom of 2 says:

    Hey Michelle, as far as your comment about a baby’s body being its own private space, yes, I do believe it is, but, for me, I do not believe that a baby has a “body” at conception. That is my personal belief and I understand that it differs from many people’s beliefs, but, for me, the idea that a baby only becomes a viable “body” occurs at the point that it is at least potentially viable outside the womb. When, precisely that is, I cannot define… it certainly becomes earlier and earlier with modern technology, but in first trimester I do not think it is in question that what is present in the form of an embryo and very immature fetus cannot in any way survive outside the womb, has no human consciousness and, therefore, to me, is not human yet.

    There was an earlier post about abortions not stopping a pregnancy but rather creating a mother with a dead baby and I have to disagree with that. Having had two first trimester miscarriages (one in which I saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound the same day the pregnancy ended of its own accord–and this was a very much wanted and intended pregnancy) I have to say that even in this case I did not view the product of my miscarriage as a “dead baby” even at the time. It was a pregnancy that didn’t work. That experience is not representational of a child to me. It may have had a heartbeat for a time, but I don’t believe that it even approached being a person yet. I don’t believe it had any consciousness and I don’t worry that it felt any pain. These things I believe this from the very bottom of my soul and, in that same light, I do not believe that first trimester abortions are the destruction of a human being. A potential human, yes, but an actual human? Nope. My heart, soul and sprit do not believe that. I believe that in the first trimester what is present is only a group of cells organizing itself. We apply a lot of emotional and spiritual weight to this, and you know what, I believe we should! But still. It’s a woman’s body and a woman’s right to decide that this potential life should not stand in the way of her actual one.

    Hate me for it, but that’s my belief. I have two daughters. I hope that they never make a mistake at a young age and never end up having to choose, but if they do, I will support them no matter what. I’ll certainly babysit if they decide to become mothers when they’re young! But I will also let them know that the responsible thing is to acknowledge where they are in their lives, to be aware of what is going on in their bodies, and make the decision that is right for them. I am as pro-choice as they come and proud to say so. I do hope no one hates me for it, but my life has given this to me and placed in my heart, and this is what I believe.

    Best to all. I respect all feelings on this matter equally. I only hope that no one ever attempts to legislate mine away.

  32. mom of 2 says:

    Also, about laws: yes, laws are necessary. I think that certain laws are difficult, however, especially those that impact only one gender, class, racial group, etc and this is one of those laws. We are legislating that one person must become subject to another when that person is not actually present or (in my mind) even actually a person. We are placing a woman’s right to life and liberty beneath another essentially as a punishment for being a sexual being. The law does not do this to men. Yes, I suppose a woman might sue a man for child support once she proves his paternity, but that’s… well, it’s a mess of a situation that rarely works out well. So from the point of legislating pregnancy, is the next step is to legislate abstinence for underage women because if they become pregnant they might end up on public assistance due to an inability to support their child or themselves? Yes, this is ridiculous, but I’m just taking the idea of laws to the opposite extreme. Then, if we legislate that you have to have a home and a reasonable means of support in order to make it legal for you to have sex because you may potentially conceive a child which you will then be required to bear and raise, is that reasonable? Or, if we make it illegal to have sex without documented means of contraception unless you’ve been legally cleared to conceive, would that solve the problem? Of course not. These are absurd scenarios. No one thinks any of these things and I don’t mean to propose that they do. The legislative train can be ridden to both ends of the track. What does outlawing abortion do other than appease our spiritual and emotional angst? Again, I do not believe that you are killing a person, so maybe that’s my disconnect. In removing a mass of cells from a woman’s uterus safely and under medical supervision, has anyone really been hurt? I mean actually. Physically. Not according to the bible (and yes, I’m a regular, albeit skeptical, church-goer), or some idea of human potential. I have sat in church and listened to old men talk about going to the Right to Life march with their grandkids and the disconnect is unbelievable for me. Little children running around singing songs is not the same as a teenage girl sitting in the on the toilet with a pregnancy test feeling her life drain away. Can these grandfathers, who probably could never fathom the true impact of an unwed mother raising a child even remotely relate to such a thing? I truly believe that their hearts are in the right place and they’re just adorable when they get all choked up about their grandkids, but as a woman I have to wonder if they can understand the fear of pregnancy–of thinking that a pregnancy might not make it when it is wanted, and understanding, as any woman who has experienced miscarriage does, how fragile, inhuman, and impermanent that struggle for early life actually is.

    Again, I know that many of you will disagree with me. I’m okay with that. I just hope that you will think about my views just as I think of those who disagree with me–with the understanding that it’s all right to have different experiences and opinions, and that listening to and supporting one another is the way to escape the arguments that divide us and reduce the need for any of these drastic measures. That is truly the goal. God knows, no one wants to have to be faced with making the decision to abort a pregnancy. We all, as women, want our pregnancies to be beautiful, empowering experiences resulting in glorious, healthy children. Let’s focus on getting our society to the point where all women can experience pregnancy in that way, and end this conversation without coming to blows with one another.

  33. Michelle says:

    Mom of 2, I don’t understand why you keep bringing up ‘hate.’ Surely, one can disagree with the ideas another person holds without hating that person. I think you are very wrong in your belief, but why would I hate you for that? That’s absurd! This conversation is an important one, and as long as we focus on the ideas instead of the character of those posting, we shouldn’t come to blows with each other. It’s about the ideas, not the posters.
    About your question of whether people have actually been hurt in the process of *ahem* “safe” and legal abortion, the answer is yes. Women have become infertile, a link to breast cancer has been found, women have become depressed and suicidal, babies have had their limbs ripped off their bodies (to be reassembled on a table to ensure all the parts have been removed), babies have been burned with saline and survived, and babies partially born have had scissors jabbed in the base of their skulls…..I could go on. It’s a barbaric practice.
    You say that you hope your children don’t have to make this choice, but if it’s just a sack of cells we’re talking about, then who cares? Let’s increase the number of abortions! Can’t afford it? Abort it! Don’t want stretch marks! Abort! Want to focus on your career instead? Abort! Just a sack of cells..well, we’re not sure when it becomes human, so when we’re not sure, we’ll just kill it anyway. If your child came up behind you and asked, “Mom, can I kill this?” we would certainly ask what it was the child wanted to kill before saying yes, right? We have to answer the same question in regards to abortion. What is the fetus? Is it a human being? If so, then we cannot kill it, and size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency, are not sufficient criteria to use to deprive the fetus of its right to life. If so, then lots of other people will be called less than human due to these same criteria.

  34. Bunnytwenty says:

    “So if it’s pretty impossible and arbitrary to draw a line as to when ending a life is permissible (if at all), shouldn’t we err on the side of caution?”
    I would agree with you if carrying to term had no consequences or risks for the woman carrying the fetus. If the fetus were on its own in a jar and could survive that way, then yes, absolutely. However, the fetus doesn’t live in a jar – it lives in a woman. In this case, we have to balance the woman’s rights against the fetus’s rights. I wish it weren’t so, but having experienced an unwanted pregnancy, I would have done anything to escape. I would have clawed it out of my body with my fingers if I had to. I felt so helpless and terrified – and this, at age 21, with a supportive family and no financial worries to speak of. Imagine how much more terrifying it is for a teenager, or for a poor woman who already has several kids to support?
    But the fetus feels nothing. No reputable study even indicates that a fetus has brainwaves prior to 20 weeks. It really, really doesn’t care.

    “And if consciousness (you wrote the embryo doesn’t care) is required in order to be considered a human being deserving of life, then there are a LOT of unconscious people right now who should be stripped of their right to life, if we want to be consistent.”
    If an unconscious coma patient required another person to be strapped to them for nine months in order to keep living, and if it was at great personal risk to that person, then I would also say that the burden of keeping them alive was too heavy. The situation is different. And people with mental and physical handicaps DO care, so it’s not at all comparable.
    Again, if we must weigh one person’s needs against another’s here… I just can’t help but weigh the woman’s needs more heavily. She cares. The fetus doesn’t. To discount her needs in the name of an unfeeling fetus is, in my view, far crueler than killing that fetus.

  35. Bunnytwenty says:

    I should add that my abortion happened ten years ago, and I have zero regrets. I know that I did the right thing.

  36. Michelle says:

    Since you shared that you had an abortion, I would like to say two things in response to that. Number one is, please know that even though my feelings about abortion are quite clear by now, I don’t judge you or condemn you for having done such a thing. It’s just not my place to do so. Number two is that I now feel uncomfortable discussing this with you because while before we were just discussing ideas, now it is something personal, and I don’t want to hurt you.
    My goal is towards stopping future abortions, not condemning those who have done so in the past. ps. now I’m even more impressed with the tone of your posts, because you could have really taken them personally, yet you didn’t. :)
    Wish there were more like you…..

  37. Bunnytwenty says:

    Likewise, Michelle! I do encourage you to talk to other pro-choice women and hear their stories. We’re not monsters. We love and care about children just as much as you do. We’ve just come down on the other side of a rather complicated divide.
    As the late and lamented Dr. Tiller said: trust women! Ultimately, we know how to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families. And if we all work together, whether we believe in the right to abortion or not, we can make it rare.

  38. Michelle says:

    Thanks :D
    For the record, I have spoken with many other pro-choicers, and while I’ve never thought of them as monsters, I really don’t think their position is very defensible (obv or I’d be pro-abortion). I know y’all love and care about children as much as we do. I don’t think many pro-lifers would disagree. We just think you’re making a fundamental error regarding the humanity of the fetus. Your conclusions, well most of them, follow logically from that point, as do ours. This is an important discussion, like I’ve said before, because ideas have consequences, and we might regret our ideas later on once we see the consequences. I already regret them because the number of abortions has sky-rocketed, but other consequences may even be worse. :(
    If anyone is interested in further intelligent reading on this topic, I’ve included a link, though sometimes links get blocked. If that happens, go to prolifetraining dot com. Cheers!
    http://www.prolifetraining.com/Articles/46966-Advanced%20PL%20Apologetics%20Biola.pdf

  39. mom of 2 says:

    Hey Michelle, I didn’t mean to bring up hate (did I?) I certainly don’t hate anyone. I do, however, get frustrated by the pro-life tendency to go directly to late-stage abortions in defense of banning all abortions. In both of my first trimester miscarriages (which would happen at about the same time as most abortions) there were certainly no body parts. I know many who have had abortions (as well as D&Cs to remove the remnants of miscarriages) and I don’t know anyone who has ever had any sort of long-standing issues. As far as I have ever heard, first trimester abortions are very safe and the vast majority of women have no medical issues related to them. I can’t cite statistics mostly because I don’t have time to look them up, but I think there is a lot of alarmist rhetoric out there about abortion and I worry that this sort of very emotional imagery that is not representative of most people’s situations could play a large part in taking away all women’s right to choose. There is a point when I think we can no longer, in good conscience, abort a fetus. Personally, I never had any prenatal genetic screening done because there is no way I could have aborted my very wanted and intentionally conceived pregnancy, especially in the second trimester (when amniocentesis) is done. Because to me, that gets into the territory you are discussing. That’s a moving, kicking fetus and I guess that’s where I draw my line. But that’s me, and that’s my right to decide. Others have the right to (and frequently do) make different decisions. I do not propose to dictate how these parent should approach their personal situations and I understand that these decisions can be difficult. But a teenage girl who is eight weeks along? I think she should have choice. I would fight for that girl–a child herself–to have a choice.

    Honestly, I think this discussion has been very even tempered and I hope I am writing in that same tone. It is my intention to do so. It is not at all my intention to belittle or “hate” anyone. I think we should have these debates as often as possible so that we can understand each other. I am sure we are all loving parents to our children and good friends to one another and I thank everyone for participating in this important conversation!

  40. Bunnytwenty says:

    “This is an important discussion, like I’ve said before, because ideas have consequences, and we might regret our ideas later on once we see the consequences. I already regret them because the number of abortions has sky-rocketed, but other consequences may even be worse.”

    What consequences do you see on the horizon? I’m assuming that this would delve into religious territory?

  41. Michelle says:

    Mom of 2, you just said:
    “Hate me for it, but that’s my belief.” and
    “I do hope no one hates me for it, but my life has given this to me and placed in my heart, and this is what I believe.”
    No big deal, but it sorta implies that the people who are disagreeing with you (like us pro-lifers) would tend to hate you for your belief. I just thought it was worth noting, because that probably didn’t occur to you. Sorry if you thought I was saying that you were being hateful, because your tone has been great, also.
    I TOTALLY agree with you, and am happy to hear you say that we should have these discussions in order to better understand each other. Otherwise, the media sensationalizes our positions, spreads misinformation, and keeps us divided instead of coming together. Wish the world was smaller, I’d love to have you all over for tea. You sound like nice, intelligent people.
    And maybe I could convince you of the validity of my position. ;)

  42. Michelle says:

    No, Bunny, I’m thinking of end of life issues, embryonic stem cell issues, cross-species cloning, etc. Mostly scientific and political things. Like when blacks were not considered human. You can see the seeds of these things; natural consequences of the idea that fetuses are not human because of various criteria, or that one human is less valuable than another because of various criteria….size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency, scarcity of resources, hardship to others, etc. It’s difficult to speculate where this will take us.

  43. Bunnytwenty says:

    “You can see the seeds of these things; natural consequences of the idea that fetuses are not human because of various criteria, or that one human is less valuable than another because of various criteria….size, level of development, environment, degree of dependency, scarcity of resources, hardship to others, etc.”
    I don’t really see pro-choicers being on the wrong side of those issues, though. We’re on the whole an anti-racist and compassionate lot – certainly, all the pro-choicers I know are.
    When it comes to valuing life, I’m a lot more worried about people on the right wing – right-wing economic policies devalue the lives of the poor, and of people in other countries (for instance, the folks being bombed in Afghanistan).

  44. Michelle says:

    I think you misunderstand my point. It’s the natural progression of thinking. A bad analogy would be that it’s sorta like court precedents. Once we become accepting of a certain idea, the logical consequences will naturally follow as time goes on. You can see it a bit when you look at other, more ‘progressive’ countries, and look at the issues they’re dealing with, but it’s like watching your kids grow; you don’t see it happening every day, but when the seasons change and their clothes are too small/too short, then it’s more obvious.
    BTW, I thought Obama was left wing (bombing Afghanistan), and I disagree with your assertion that right wing economic policies devalue the lives of the poor. Maybe corrupt right wing politicians acting against their party’s philosophy have done some bad things, but government handouts do more to devalue the lives of the poor than helping them out of their poverty. Also, if you look at the charitable giving by party, the Republican supporters gave way more of their incomes to help the poor, even though thir incomes were on the average, lower than those of the Democratic supporters. They believe in helping the poor, and they do it, but they don’t think it’s philosophically a good thing to allow government to take from the rich and give to the poor ie redistribution of wealth. Too much government is a bad thing, esp as they become more and more corrupt.

  45. Bunnytwenty says:

    “Too much government is a bad thing, esp as they become more and more corrupt.”
    If you believe this, then why would you give the government control over women’s reproductive decisions?

  46. mom of 2 says:

    Um, not to intrude, but I don’t think we should allow this issue to get all tied up in right-wing/left-wing politics. That polarizes us for so many reasons that have nothing to do with this conversation. The only thing I would add is that there’s no need to look down the road to accepting the idea of safe, legal abortion. This country is, by law, pro-choice and we have been for forty years. There are no new ramifications to simply remaining as we are. The “what would happen” scenarios are all played out. If we’re looking for how things would change if our legal status changed, then we’re looking at where these women will go to get their abortions, bringing us back to the original essay.

    Okay, so where is that tea?

  47. Michelle says:

    It’s a no-brainer to me. Taking the life of an innocent, defenseless human being should be against the law. I said TOO MUCH government control is bad, not SOME government control. Some government control, I’m sure you’d agree, is necessary.

  48. Michelle says:

    I think you’re right, Mom, about the political stuff.
    I also think that you’re unaware of the ramifications, philosophically and practically. It’s too big for me to explain here, but I’d direct you to look at some writings by people like Peter Singer. You’d have to enter the realm of philosophy to appreciate this argument.
    It really doesn’t matter to me **when considering whether abortion should be legal or not** where women will go to get abortions, because the bottom line is that if the unborn are human beings, then they deserve life, no matter how inconvenient it is to someone else.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  49. mom of 2 says:

    Thanks, Michelle, but I do believe that, philosophically speaking, this gets even more complex when combined with legal rights. One of the concurrent rights that go along with the right to choose is the right to privacy–the right not to have to defend your decisions about your body to the general public. Medical records are private because we, on a societal level, understand and accept that our bodies are our private space and it is not acceptable for anyone, government, corporate, neighborly, or otherwise, to intrude without our express permission. However, in the pro-life stance that life begins at conception and that that is a human bestowed with the same rights as a independent person, it expressly implies that the mother has lost her right to privacy and management of her body. From my philosophical standpoint, that’s somewhat frightening. Women, in this light, once they are sexual beings, only have a provisional right to privacy. Once conception has happened, she must give up her right in order to protect her child’s rights if those two positions are at odds. So what happens if a woman doesn’t know she is pregnant and inadvertently harms or even kills her baby? Should she be liable for assault or manslaughter under the law? You hear stories all the time of women showing up in the ER with a stomachache and coming out with a baby. Knowing you are pregnant is not such an obvious thing if you’re not trying to conceive. What if you’re drinking, smoking, skydiving, eating vast amounts of mercury-laden fish… this is starting to sound ridiculous and it is. But, philosophically, if we’re bestowing the rights of a born child on the rights of a fetus, then we have to consider whether or not a mother is taking appropriate care of that fetus and intervene if we deem that harm is coming to that child. It gets very sticky, as you can see. Now I know that we don’t take the concept of pro-life to that level. No one is going to come after the bad pregnant lady and prosecute her. No one is proposing that we start monitoring the reproductive status of women so that we can protect their embryos from the moment of conception as if they were a fully cognizant life. But there is a disconnect there as well. Medically speaking, the fetus is the mother as long as it resides within her body and the mother has the ability independently to make decisions related to it even if those decisions are deemed dangerous to some. (Think homebirth, for example. People get *really* riled up about the supposed dangers to the fetus inherent in that wildly reckless activity–I’m joking of course! but you see what I mean.) Nevertheless we acknowledge that it is the mother’s right to eat sushi, skydive, drink, chainsmoke, or birth wherever and however she chooses because we recognize that as long as the fetus resides in her body it is her body and she can do as she sees fit with it.
    Again, these are horrible things to consider (except for the home birth part) and I hope no expectant mother would do harmful things to her unborn child. The only point I am trying to make is that this is nothing if not a philosophical grey area and women, even pregnant women, have as much right to privacy and control over their bodies as any other person under the law.

  50. Michelle says:

    You say that it’s the pro-life stance that life begins at conception, but it’s actually not a stance, but simply a fact. If it’s not alive, then there’s nothing to kill. It’s some sort of being; one that we recognize as human. It IS a human being. Saying that the human being has a right to its life seems uncontroversial to me.
    You make a good point about the slippery slope, but we already do monitor the health of pregnant women and their fetuses. I know someone who wasn’t allowed to take her baby home right away, due to suspected drug abuse. We can say that it’s against the law to actively kill your baby, without having to go to the extremes you mentioned. We could go round and round with this, but the bottom line is: what is the unborn? If it’s a human, then it is my contention that it has the right to life. If it’s not a human, then it’s like having a tooth pulled, or a tumour removed; no justification is necessary. If we’re not sure, then we should err on the side of caution instead of unjustly taking the life of another human being.
    If you are a Christian, you know that human brings are of value because we were all made in the image of God. I think we can be confident that Jesus would never say it’s okay to unjustly take the life of another human being. I believe Him.
    I can’t believe that someone’s right to privacy should supercede the rights of another person’s right to life. The baby didn’t ask to be conceived, and is as much, if not more, of a victim as the mother. Why don’t we care about the baby’s right to privacy, or the baby’s right to management of its body? Why is this such an emotional issue if it’s not a living human being that we’re killing? If the unborn is NOT a human being, then no justification for abortion is necessary, but if it is, then no justification is adequate.

  51. Bunnytwenty says:

    “the bottom line is: what is the unborn? If it’s a human, then it is my contention that it has the right to life. If it’s not a human, then it’s like having a tooth pulled, or a tumour removed; no justification is necessary. If we’re not sure, then we should err on the side of caution instead of unjustly taking the life of another human being.”
    But Michelle… as I said above, I believe that a fetus is a human life (albeit not in the same way as a born human being) AND that its life can justly be ended. This doesn’t mean that its life isn’t valuable or even sacred – just that its life doesn’t outweigh a woman’s right to freedom. Lives are sacrificed every day for reasons that people feel are justified – the lives of people during wartime, the lives of animals that we eat. Sometimes, killing is necessary, and it doesn’t always hinge on humanity.

  52. Michelle says:

    “a fetus is a human life (albeit not in the same way as a born human being) AND that its life can justly be ended. This doesn’t mean that its life isn’t valuable or even sacred – just that its life doesn’t outweigh a woman’s right to freedom.”

    So then that woman should then be able to end her two year old child’s life for the very same reasons she’d want to abort, right?
    (bear with me…I know you don’t believe that)

  53. Bunnytwenty says:

    Where do you get that from what I said?

  54. Michelle says:

    Why wouldn’t that be the case? Why would a two year old’s life outweigh the woman’s rights, but a fetus’s life wouldn’t?

  55. Bunnytwenty says:

    Because the two year old isn’t in the woman’s body, so your comparison makes no sense whatsoever.

  56. Michelle says:

    The 2 year old and the fetus are both human beings. Why should one be afforded the right to life, but not the other? If being in the woman’s body deprives one of the right to life, then abortion, according to that logic, should be a non-issue. It would be morally justifiable for any reason at all during all 9 months of pregnancy. Does that sound right to you?

  57. Bunnytwenty says:

    I don’t even really understand what you’re getting at here – I’ve told you the difference. If you could just take a fetus out and give it to someone else without killing it, there would be no need for abortion. Gestation is the issue, and that should be obvious.

  58. Michelle says:

    I’m trying to get at how one gains rights. You assert that the woman’s rights supersede that of the child’s but I don’t understand the justification for that.

  59. Bunnytwenty says:

    Two reasons:
    1) The fetus needs to use her body for nine months to survive. It is not an independent person. A two-year-old can be passed off to another person if the mother cannot care for it; a fetus cannot be passed off to another person and survive.
    2) As noted many times before, the mother cares – the fetus doesn’t. Thus, prioritizing her needs causes the least human suffering possible under unfortunate circumstances.
    I’m getting a little impatient here – it feels like you’re deliberately misunderstanding or ignoring what I’m saying.

  60. Michelle says:

    http://caseforlife.com/mistake3.asp
    http://caseforlife.com/mistake4.asp
    Sorry to have frustrated you. It was not my intention.

  61. Michelle says:

    In reflecting upon this interaction, I wish that bunny didn’t get frustrated with my questions, because she didn’t get to see that her assertions didn’t have any justification other than her own beliefs/opinions about the situation. She basically claimed that taking the life of another human being is justified because the victim doesn’t care, because it causes the least human suffering to kill the victim, because the victim is dependent upon another person to survive, because the victim’s life doesn’t outweigh the woman’s right to freedom, etc. She also claimed that the fetus’ life is valuable and even sacred. With my questions, I was looking for the support or justification for these claims. Mere assertions are meaningless without an argument to back them up, and I was looking for the supporting arguments. If we can kill someone because they are dependent upon another person for survival, then infanticide can be justified (enter ideas from people like Peter Singer). If we can kill someone because it causes the least human suffering, then killing Dr. Tiller, for example, can be justified. Etc. Ideas have consequences. The reason human life is valuable is because we are God’s image bearers, and we do not have His permission to unjustly take the life of another human. That includes killing very very small humans, in the womb….whether they care or not, whether they’re dependent or not, etc. The right to life belongs to them because they are human. That’s it. And we have not been given the authority to usurp those rights.

  62. Bunnytwenty says:

    Michelle – your beliefs are also opinions, not facts. As I pointed out earlier, humans have been known to justify killing in wartime, in capital punishment, and in eating animals. You may believe that these things are more justifiable than killing a fetus, but that is an opinion, just as much as my opposite beliefs are an opinion. Your insistence that your beliefs are truly justifiable while those of other well-intentioned people are not is tiring and makes me feel as though arguing with you further would be quite pointless. (And of course, bringing religion into it creates the ultimate impasse, for many reasons.)

  63. Michelle says:

    You’re still not getting it. You have to be able to ground your facts in something. My grounding is that human beings are entitled to certain rights by their Creator, which is consistent with the founding fathers’ grounding which is the foundation of the united states. I wouldn’t consider that ‘bringing religion’ into anything, but rather being consistent with the founders of the country. That being said, you still haven’t given any justification for your assertions. I’m curious where you get your rights from.
    I think you’re not understanding me, because I haven’t been saying that my beliefs are justifiable and yours aren’t, but rather here is the justification for my opinions, can you share with me yours? You’ve given me reasons, but not the grounding for the reasons. I think you think that the reasons themselves can be taken as a priori truths, but that is wrong; those reasons need grounding. Where do our rights come from?

    ps As a favour, would you please refrain from equating humans and animals? That opens a huge can of worms, and we really don’t have the time nor space to go there.

  64. Bunnytwenty says:

    The justification that I’ve provided is adequate for me, and for many others. My beliefs are grounded in my upbringing, my peer group, and, most importantly, my conscience. I’m not sure what else you’re looking for here.
    As to whether the foundation of American law is rooted in the Bible… hoo boy, that’s a can of worms I’m not touching. Suffice to say that while that’s not 100% wrong, it’s not 100% right either, and that the Constitution and the Bible are two very different and very loosely related documents.
    Anyway, we’re not getting anywhere here. It’s been nice chatting with ya.

  65. Michelle says:

    The problem with that is: what happens when your beliefs which are grounded in your upbringing, your peer group, and your conscience, conflict with my beliefs grounded in my upbringing, my peer group and my conscience? What is the final arbiter? I think, to be fair to you, that you’re not really understanding the concept of what is a priori and what needs grounding. Your approach of getting hostile and defensive is unfortunately typical and is why problems like this don’t ever really get resolved. You’re misunderstanding me and getting angry with your version of what I’ve been saying, which is not what I’ve actually been saying. I’m trying to understand you, but you’re getting hostile and running away.
    I don’t think I said that the bible is the foundation of the law. I did correctly quote that rights were bestowed by our Creator. I think that you took that further to mean something I did not say.
    Please notice that you have offered no answer to where our rights come from, nor do you have any grounding for your reasons that you’re treating as a priori. That’s why we’re having difficulty with our communication.
    Sorry again for being so frustrating.

  66. Dora says:

    I”m so greatful for Depo-provera.

  67. Helena says:

    Just to play the Devil’s advocate here, what if you don’t believe in “god” or religion? If religion is the bigger part of why some are so fiercely pro-life, then what, by definition, is the difference of someone who doesn’t believe and is pro-choice?
    Everyone has their own beliefs, mine happen to be that of bunnytwenty. She strongly defends her choice without getting rude, and I applaud that. I was put in the position at 16 years old of having to choose, I did drugs, drank, and was at best, a very immature child. I chose not to keep my baby, and to this day, I do not regret my decision, I believe it was the right thing to do. I am now 25 years old, and I am the proud mother of a 3 and a half year old boy, and keeping him, saved my life. I have a job, I support both him, and myself and I thank my lucky stars every day that I made the choices I did, because if I had made different choices in my life, I would not have the most amazing little boy that I do now.
    So, in conclusion, I am pro-choice, for more than one reason, 1) if I did not have a choice, then an amazing little boy would not be here without it. 2) Every woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body.

  68. Michelle says:

    Helena, if you don’t believe in God, then I guess the question is: where do our rights come from? It’s not that religion is necessarily involved, but that everyone has a world view. Most believe in the supernatural and the others in naturalism. While the naturalists like to consider their world view as being neutral, it isn’t, and the ones that recognize the truth of God’s existence shouldn’t have their views discounted as being merely religious ones and thus not valid.
    Yes, every one has their own beliefs and many strongly defend their choices. You applaud bunny, it seems, because you agree with her, while others are not applauded because you disagree. I’d prefer that we applaud the best arguments, rather than emotionally siding with those we agree with, because our emotions often cloud our thinking, and thus we’re sometimes wrong in our beliefs. If we simply agree with those who think like we do, without interacting with the deeper arguments, we act almost prejudicially towards those who have differing viewpoints, and don’t actually gain any better understanding of our ‘opponent.’
    Re: 1) if you didn’t have a choice, then another amazing little boy (or girl) could be here, as well. It seems, though, like you’re saying that the end justifies the means, which is a dangerous philosophy. I could then say that killing Dr. Tiller was justiied because some babies that he would have stabbed in the base of the skull with scissors were saved from that fate. (for the record, his murder was unjustified, and most pro-lifers agree with that).
    2) Why? Why should the woman have the right to choose what happens to her body vs the baby having any rights to that same choice? I would like to learn your supporting arguments for that. I could easily assert the opposite, but without any basis for our arguments, there’s no way to move forward, or even to understand how the person justifies their opinion.

  69. Michelle says:

    When you talk with people about ethical issues, you’ll find that the starting point for most of them is the same: they start with themselves and with what they want from life. And there’s one thing more than anything else that people want, at least in our culture. There’s one significant goal for everybody in our culture. If you ask the man on the street what he wants from life, what he wants for his children, he’ll give you one answer. He wants to be happy. The goal of his life is to seek happiness. And of course, I am of the opinion that “happiness is a serious problem” especially when people begin their ethical decision making from what really makes them happy. And this is where their ethical discourse begins. This is why I suggest that people don’t think very clearly about ethical issues. People first ask the question, “What in life will make me happy?”

    Now people don’t always do this consciously; they don’t start out by saying, “I’m going to be self-centered and egoistic in my ethics.” But a few moments reflection will reveal that this is true. They start out with what they want for themselves and then they attempt to reason towards some moral conclusions. I use the word “reason” very loosely and broadly, because most of what is going on is not rationality but rationalization. The thinking may be flawed, the rationale unsound, the applications ludicrous, yet people continue to cling tenaciously to their “ethics” and “morals”, which much of the time is nothing more than thinly veiled self-interest. People’s deepest interest is not doing what is ethical and what is right; people’s deepest interest, characteristically, is doing what makes them happy. They find what will make them happy and then seek to rationalize it with ethical language.

    That is the starting point for ethical decision making. What makes me happy right now? They start from that point and then try to justify their conclusions with some kind of bizarre, convoluted moral argument. That kind of attitude never results in morally sound conclusions because it’s starting from the wrong place, the self. Morals don’t work that way, as much as a lot of people today would like to think that. Morals simply do not work that way.

    Excerpted from: http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5287

  70. Helena says:

    I apologize if you felt that I was discounting you’re arguement, I should have stated that. I believe that you are right, in your way. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and mine just happens to differ from yours, which too, is ok. I don’t think that abortion should be free to use as a birth control method, which happens to be some people’s case, but I also believe that you should have a say in what happens to your body. You wouldn’t want to be raped (and I use you as a general term) and that is something that is happening to your body, something that you should have the choice in. To take away even one right a woman has, could be the starting point of taking more rights away. And no, I do not think that a child’s right should be taken away, but at that point in the pregnancy, as bunny stated, the fetus cannot survive on it’s own, it cannot be given to someone to care for, therefore it should be the woman who has the right to choose, and that happens to be a choice that some women must live with. I do.
    I have no doubts that the child I could have had would have also been amazing, but I can’t change the past, and I can’t say that I would either. Maybe if I had been presented with other options, or felt like I had one, MAYBE things would have been different, but they aren’t. I also know that you aren’t condeming me for my choice, but my reasoning is there nonetheless.
    As far as taking away the rights of a child, I too, at being 16 was a child, as much as I didn’t think so at the time, I was. Did I know that having sex could lead to a baby, yes. Did I weigh any of that before becoming sexually active, no. Was I on birth control, yes. Does it make a difference now? No. Is taking away the rights one one child over another right? Maybe not, but as you pointed out, ALL children have rights. I am glad I had mine.
    I don’t believe in murder, I don’t believe that harming another is right, but I do believe in rights. I believe that a woman should have a choice, and if some call it murder, so be it. Then I will have to say that, I too, am a murderer.
    I don’t believe in god, and I also don’t believe in the spiritual side of things. I have went to church, still, on occasion, to appease some people in my life, I go. I have read the bible, and although I feel there are valid points, I also feel there are some things that are just absurd for the time we live in now. I also don’t disagree with people who do believe, everyone has that choice, and I will respect that. I think that everyone should be respected in their choice of religion, or non religion. And I do apologize if you thought I was discounting your view for being religious, I actually appreciate that you do have an opinion, and that you feel so strongly about it.

  71. Michelle says:

    Thanks, Helena. Would you say everyone’s entitled to their own opinion about whether two plus three equals five? Or that we live on the planet Earth? What if it’s my opinion that two plus three equals ten, and that we live on Jupiter?While it sounds nice and everything to say all opinions are valid, sometimes our opinions about things are wrong, wouldn’t you agree? Now if we’re talking about something like flavours or preferences, then sure everyone’s opinions are valid, but if we’re talking about other things, like what I mentioned above, then some opinions are wrong.
    I think that the opinion that abortion should be legal through all 9 months of pregnancy for any reason is wrong. I think that the rights we enjoy are inherent by virtue of our humanity, as stated by the founding fathers; that is, they’re not granted by the state, but rather something recognized by the state. Where do you think our rights come from?
    I definitely do not condemn you, and am so glad you can recognize that from my posts!! It is so difficult to discern tone in online posts sometimes.
    You wrote: “Is taking away the rights one one child over another right? Maybe not,”
    I agree. That’s all I’m trying to convey, really. It’s not right.
    I’m not saying it’s easy. I think pregnant women feeling like abortion is there only choice need all the support we can give them….and more.
    There are lots of things that women aren’t allowed to do. We do not have absolute freedom. Saying that they’re not allowed to murder another human being is rational and consistent with our existing murder laws. If a man kills a pregnant woman and her baby, he’s charged with double homicide, but if a woman kills her own baby, it’s “choice.”
    When abortion was illegal, a million babies a year weren’t being killed, but now that it is, the death toll keeps rising. It’s atrocious and uncivilized for our society to say this is a desirable thing.
    Your justification for killing the baby seems arbitrary to me. When did dependence upon another human being cause one to lose his rights? Can a woman living in a remote area be justified in killing her two year old because he’s dependent on her and there’s no one to give him to? What’s the difference?
    Who’s saying that disallowing abortion is taking away one person’s rights anyway? Do we have a right to kill another human being? If a woman abandons her newborn baby, we shouldn’t prosecute her because she has a right to do whatever she wants with her body, and her body doesn’t want to take care of a dependent newborn, and she can’t bear the thought of someone else raising her child. We’re so gung ho on rights that we’re ignoring responsibility and character.
    Sorry this is so long but you made a lot of points, and I was trying to address them all. :)

  72. Michelle says:

    ps Off topic but since you brought it up, I think you might want to try reading the bible again using commentaries or something, because I don’t think you ‘got’ it the first time, as evidenced by your comment about having valid points and being outdated. That totally misses the message. Some churches are quite wrong in their theology, so if you were like me, you were in the wrong church for many years. I mention this because after years of study, I have come to the conclusion that there IS a God, and He has spoken to us. Just as the Earth exists, and we live in North America, the God of the bible is true, and there are consequences for choosing to ignore His message. (Not a threat, haha, just sayin’). And there are good answers for all of the questions the non-believer poses. You just have to avoid the false teachers.. Cheers!

  73. Michelle says:

    And He forgives. There’s nothing you have done that he wouldn’t forgive you for. You just need to ask. :)

  74. Donna says:

    You’re right on the mark when you say it won’t stop it. My mom talked about back alley abortions in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. A nightmare.

    I don’t believe in abortion either. That is my decision.

    That is my right to choose.

  75. Shutupbuttercup says:

    I agree. I’ve always thought the Dems and republicans had it backwards. Republicans don’t want big government, but want to regulate our vaginas and dems are hands off. But this isn’t about politics. I hate the idea of abortion, but I support women’s right to have one. I wouldn’t have one but I am not her in this situation. We need something better and this article outlined the options very well

  76. lifealways says:

    I love your sugggestions, I have friends that work with 40 days for life and with life clinics. However we cannot continue to allow children to be murdered just because we want abortions to be safe. William Wilberforce ended slavery because he took a stance that said that we need to end it. Not make it safer. He knew that people were still going to do it, that slavery might become more deadly for slaves in the illegal industry. However he simply could not allow it to continue. He could not be comfortable with passing laws that said you could own someone, just not beat them, or split up their families, etc. Slavery still exist in the world, but its illegal and no one would argue rationally that it should be made legal, just to regulate it and make it safe. My family has been torn by abortion. I would have an older brother if it weren’t for that. Abortion is taking the life of someone else and we cannot allow murder to continue just to make sure that murder is done safely for one of the two persons involved. I love the doctors, the staff, the women and their babies. Like you I’m a christian. I believe in compassion, life and forgiveness for all!

  77. mommybee says:

    I had an abortion. Less than three months ago actually. It was the hardest most difficult thing I had to ever do. My husband and I tried to conceive for years, we did every fertility treatment there was. Even though we knew it would be a high risk pregnancy due to my cardiac defect. Eventually we decided to adopt our amazing daughter. Then three years later, this January I find out im pregnant. My husband had a vasectomy and we were told we would probably never get pregnant. I knew my cardiac condition had worsened and respiratory issues had
    arouse. I saw various different specialist and the outlook was very bleak. Less than a 40% chance of survival for both the baby and I. What It all it came down to for my husband and I was how could we risk that with our daughter. Before it was worth all the risks even though they wernt that high. But not now. So I had an abortion. I suppose to some of you that makes me a killer. And that’s fine, there is nothing that could be said to me that I don’t say to myself on my best days. Some people act like its an easy decision, like it wasn’t tortuous and heat breaking. Its not always due to a simple mistake, or irresponsibility. I just felt like I would share to show the other side. The side most don’t often hear or car to consider.

  78. Alicia says:

    Women who are already alive do not stop mattering because there’s the potential of a baby inside of her. Her rights do not stop at the point of a conception inside of her. Her life does not stop simply because she has suddenly become pregnant.

    I am tired of hearing that “children” shouldn’t be killed in order to provide safe abortions to women, or that these potential babies matter more than the life of the woman whose body will be sacrificed because that point of view is severely misogynistic and extremely dismissing of the woman *who* *is* *already* *alive*. So it would be better to have the woman die as well? Because abortion has always existed, and it will always exist. The difference is that now women don’t have to die as well.

    I wish so much people would stop pushing themselves and their personal views on life onto everybody, and focus on themselves and helping the people already living. In the grand scheme of life, there are so much more that needs working on such as the real children who are already born. Focus on them and leave a woman to make her own personal decision about what happens to her. There are soon to be 7 billion people in the world, the vast majority of whom will suffer from lack of food, health care, etc. Let’s stop wasting energy on trying to control other people and simply HELP THEM.

  79. Alicia says:

    “The fact is that when the sperm fertilizes the egg, a new human being comes into existence, and its DNA is unique from that of each of its parents. That has nothing to do with opinion, and is scientific fact.”

    Actually, it’s the potential for a new human. Until it’s fully formed and born, it is simply a growing zygote/embryo/fetus that, if everything goes right, will be able to live outside of the womb. At the point of conception, it’s a cluster of stem cells, that’s all. And considering that about 80% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (most often without the woman even knowing she is pregnant) because something goes wrong in the development, it’s pretty strong evidence right there that it’s not automatically going to become a fully formed human, so considering it as such is really jumping the gun on reality. Unique DNA does not guarantee a human. All it is is unique DNA until it forms to something more.

    “Secondly, are you suggesting that level of dependency decides whether someone lives or dies? Shall we pull the plugs on all the people on life support? What about newborns? They’re quite dependent. How about those in the ICU? Also dependent?”

    No, I didn’t say that. What I said is that by it’s very nature, a pregnancy is a parasitic state. Because it is. It fully depends on a living human’s body to survive, period. Being an outside being that is dependent on the kindness of others is not a parasitic state. A newborn is dependent to others for food, but it’s bodily functions are completely independent and it doesn’t rely on taking nourishment from someone’s body. Same with people on life support: They are hooked to machines, often to even control body functions, but they are not dependent solely on another person’s body to survive. A pregnancy pulls all of it’s nourishment from the woman. That is a parasitic state. As such, this makes it a part of a woman’s body, and it is also she who decides to either allow or disallow this parasite to be there. I know a lot of people would take my words are something horrible, but this is simply what pregnancy is at it’s very core. It is our higher functioning brains that give it more meaning, and that’s not bad in any way, but it also clouds the simple reality of the whole process.

    “You say there is no black and white in life. I say there is absolute truth. The holocaust was absolutely wrong. Rape is absolutely wrong. Abortion is absolutely wrong. I wonder, is your statement that there is no black and white, black and white?”

    And it could be debated forever how *your* absolute truths aren’t for others. The Holocaust was absolutely wrong *to you* and to many other people. But the Nazis who supported it didn’t think so, and there are plenty who don’t think so now. Rape is absolutely wrong *to you*, but to the rapist it isn’t. Abotions is absolutely wrong *to you*, but for many others it isn’t. Life isn’t about absolutes. It never is. You can want it to be, believe it to be, but it isn’t if you strip it away all down to it’s core.

    As for my statement, I would say that it may be one of a few universal reality along with everything in the universe being in a constant state of change. And no, it’s not black or white in itself because it’s not “this or that”.

    Oh, and about the ‘immature’ comment, I stand by it. We’re not in a logical thinking class, so sitting here thinking, “Oh, she’s using reductio ad absurdum!” isn’t going to pop into anyone’s head. Instead when someone keeps asking over and over if all laws should be abolished because people shouldn’t push their views on others it logically comes across as a personal view, and in my personal opinion a view like that is immature.

  80. Michelle says:

    Alicia, unique DNA simply means that the fetus is not part of the woman’s body, like some like to claim, but rather that it is a unique human being growing inside the woman’s body. It is a growing being, that is indeed human. Or what kind of being is it? Are you suggesting that abortion should be moral for all 9 months of pregnancy, for any reason? After all, if being a parasite (:P) inside a woman’s body means that one is not human, then who cares if the abortion doctor rips its body part limb from limb, jabs scissors into the base of its skull, or burn it with saline? Also, the homicide laws, with regards to the fetus, should be repealed for those who kill a pregnant woman and her baby. After all, they’re merely killing a parasite, according to your logic, and not a human being. And why should abortion be rare, then, I mean if abortions are safe and legal and they only remove a parasite from one’s body, then what’s with the heartache and upset?
    You missed my point about the black and white thing. If there’s no black and white, then the statement refutes itself. Your other statements absolutely horrify me. For you to assert that both the holocaust and rape are not actually wrong, is nonsensical. How about torturing innocent (born) babies for fun? Not wrong either? After all, if the perpetrators of evil decide their actions are right, then they must be, right? What kind of world do you live in that this is the case? Scary!
    The whole point of that absolute truth thing, like I said before, is that if you say there’s no absolute truth, then that statement itself (there’s no absolute truth) is self-refuting, and therefore false. Even if there are a few ‘universal realities,’ as you called them, or truths, then everything is not black and white. What are these universal realities you speak of?
    I really don’t care if you take my use of reductio to be immature. I find your thinking to be immature. There, we’ve both called each other names, which I did to show that it accomplishes nothing in furthering the discussion. The point of logical thinking class is to help us think logically, which is a good thing to do, esp in discussing emotional issues. Reductio is an excellent technique in demonstrating the foolishness of, or the failure of, an argument. Perhaps it seems immature to you, because you don’t want to own up to the weakness of your position. Also, perhaps someone keeps asking a question that seems absurd to you because they haven’t yet received an answer to that question.

  81. Redmommy says:

    My body, my choice!!
    I don’t stand outside the grocery store telling you what your choices in food will do to your body!

  82. Michelle says:

    Redmommy, I wouldn’t speak out against abortion if it wasn’t the unjust termination of a defenseless, innocent human being’s life. Do what you want with your body, I don’t care really, but you have a responsibility to the life of the child taking up residence in your body. It has rights, too.

  83. Michelle says:

    Alicia wrote: Women who are already alive do not stop mattering because there’s the potential of a baby inside of her. Her rights do not stop at the point of a conception inside of her. Her life does not stop simply because she has suddenly become pregnant.

    No one is suggesting any of these things, but the baby matters too.

    Alicia wrote: I am tired of hearing that “children” shouldn’t be killed in order to provide safe abortions to women, or that these potential babies matter more than the life of the woman whose body will be sacrificed because that point of view is severely misogynistic and extremely dismissing of the woman *who* *is* *already* *alive*. So it would be better to have the woman die as well? Because abortion has always existed, and it will always exist. The difference is that now women don’t have to die as well.

    There’s so much wrong with that paragraph that I can’t do it justice here. The babies don’t matter more. We simply don’t think they matter less. By virtue of their humanity, it is unjust to end its life for the reasons women give for abortion. No one is saying that we want the woman to die. I was pregnant four times, didn’t abort any of them, and I’m still alive. You can survive pregnancy without having an abortion.

    Alicia wrote: I wish so much people would stop pushing themselves and their personal views on life onto everybody, and focus on themselves and helping the people already living.

    Of course, it’s okay for you to push YOUR views, right? And if innocent human beings are unjustly murdered in the process, who cares. If the unborn babies are not living, then why do we have to kill them? They ARE living, and it is unjust to take their lives for the reasons women give for having abortions.

    Alicia wrote: In the grand scheme of life, there are so much more that needs working on such as the real children who are already born. Focus on them and leave a woman to make her own personal decision about what happens to her. There are soon to be 7 billion people in the world, the vast majority of whom will suffer from lack of food, health care, etc. Let’s stop wasting energy on trying to control other people and simply HELP THEM.

    You may be surprised to learn that very many pro-lifers DO help people around the world. They sponsor children, adopt crack babies, adopt handicapped babies, volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers, etc. AND they speak out against the horrific act of abortion. We don’t have to choose just one thing, you know. You may be disappointed to learn that we don’t have an interest in controlling you, but rather an interest in standing between evil/danger and the innocent i.e. protecting the unborn.

    I don’t understand how pro-aborts can be so in touch with their rights, yet so out of touch with the rights of their child. :(

  84. m says:

    Michelle, please don’t call people “pro-aborts”. No one is pro-abortion. They are pro-choice and many pro-choice individuals would not choose abortion themselves.

    This issue is not black and white.

  85. Michelle says:

    I don’t understand, M. Are they against abortion, for abortion, or neutral?
    Is abortion a bad thing? Why or why not?

  86. m says:

    You can be against abortion for your own personal body but reserve the right to respect other women for choices regarding their own body. Don’t feign ignorance here. Pro-abortion is not the same as pro-choice and I highly doubt anyone exists that is pro-abortion. Respect other peoples’ opinions on deeply personal matters.

  87. Michelle says:

    I’m not against abortion for my own personal body, I’m against abortion for the body of the baby.
    My questions were genuine. I don’t understand your perspective, and was hoping your answers would help me to understand it.
    Are they against abortion, for abortion, or neutral?
    Is abortion a bad thing or not?

  88. Michelle says:

    M wrote: “Pro-abortion is not the same as pro-choice and I highly doubt anyone exists that is pro-abortion. Respect other peoples’ opinions on deeply personal matters.”

    So we’re to respect people’s opinions, but not the lives of defenseless and innocent people who are in the womb? Opinions are worthy of respect.
    Lives? Not so much. Oh, what a world!
    Btw, there are people who admit that abortion is murder, AND they think it’s just fine. At least they’re intellectually honest and consistent in their beliefs.

  89. Ali says:

    @Michelle- I fail to understand why mandating that women give birth to children that they don’t want is better than letting them have the choice. Given that you are a member of the Christian faith, I will make the assumption that you believe that these aborted fetuses return to heaven, an outcome I would think you would find preferable to burdening these children with parents who do not want them. I understand the arguments for adoption, but the reality is that if you prevent abortion, not all women with unwanted pregnancies will choose such an outlet. And as much as I wish it weren’t true, we live in a patriarchal society in which men are not expected to “step up to the plate” in the absence of a fit mother, and as such, generally do not do so. I was once professionally involved with a woman whose child died as a result of her neglect and abuse, and she admitted to considering and disregarding an abortion. I don’t believe that child’s life was “saved” as a result of her decision, and I certainly don’t believe that your God would think so either. I simply think that being wholeheartedly pro-life disregards many of the nuances that go into these decisions.

  90. Michelle says:

    Ali-if you don’t understand why prohibiting the murder of a defenseless, innocent human being is wrong, then I don’t know what to say to convince you. You mention burdening children with parents who don’t want them, yet I’m sure you wouldn’t condone killing children (who have been born) simply because their parents don’t want them, or killing them so they’ll go to heaven. What’s the difference? Size? Level of development? Environment? Degree of dependency? Since when are any of these excuses to kill an innocent human being? I wonder how many babies you’d consider better off because they’ve been dismembered or burned with saline in the womb, or jabbed with scissors at the base of their skull. (Could you imagine ripping the legs off of a spider, or a grasshopper, or a newborn kitten? How much worse is doing that to a human being?!) Unfortunately children ARE neglected and abused, so your solution is to kill hundreds of children to avoid the abuse of one? How about we try to protect ALL the children instead? Or maybe it would be better to just kill abuse victims? Or potential abuse victims? I am acutely aware of the nuances, but the nuances don’t justify the taking of innocent human life. If the excuses don’t justify the murder of born children, then they don’t justify the murder of unborn children. The unborn are human beings entitled to the right to life by virtue of their humanity.

  91. Ali says:

    I’m not presenting it as a solution. I’m simply saying that by virtue of your belief, you necessarily believe that particular outcome is preferable. Or perhaps to make a different analogy, what about mothers who kill their children immediately after giving birth to them? Assuming that she could have potentially had an abortion before giving birth, you believe that aborting the baby when it has been scientifically proven that the fetus can’t feel pain is as morally wrong as murdering it after birth. Even if both, are morally wrong, I find that one is more humane than the other. To go back to your animal abuse analogy,I would think that you would find it preferable to humanely euthanize a kitten than to put it in a bag and drown it. All I’m saying is that even if both are morally wrong, I think that such an extreme belief blinds individuals to instances where the situation makes one the lesser of two evils.

    On another note, you ask at what point you draw the line. If your argument is that a fertilized egg is a human being as soon as it becomes genetically distinct (which I acknowledge is immediately after birth), the true application of that belief is illogical. All eggs that a woman contains are genetically distinct (a random selection of her chromosomes), so each egg is a human being that hasn’t had the opportunity to make its way into the world. So, do we forbid women from having tubal ligation or hysterectomies, because it’s murder? Individuals are human beings for more than their genes. A fertilized egg represents a potential for a human being, not a human being itself. Human beings are, even by your definition, separate and unique individuals. A fetus resides in a woman’s body, dependent on her to the exclusion of all others (an infant can be taken care of by anyone, only the pregnant woman can nurture a fetus). Even if a fetus has a right to life, it does not have the right to the body of another human being. We don’t force people to donate blood or organs, even if to save someone’s life. But a woman has to save a life by donating her body against her will? At it’s most basic, a fetus is a parasitic life form (I mean that scientifically, and don’t intend it as a pejorative).

    Finally, if a fetus has rights, it creates a plethora of problems. Do we give them social security numbers? They would certainly be counted as dependents. How do we assign them social security numbers? The 14th Amendment states that only those born or naturalized in the United States are citizens, receiving the full protection of the Constitution (and abortion was a recognized practice at this time, it was even allowed by the Catholic Church until quickening). If you argue that they need special rights, because of their nature, that is an admittance that they are not “real persons” (in terms of the law) that can be afforded the same legal rights. And where do you draw that line? If fetuses are different enough from real persons to have different rights, are real people living outside the womb different enough from each other? Were Jim Crow laws correct, that we are “separate, but equal”? If a fetus is separate, but equal, there is a line to draw there as well. However, the largest problem with saying that a fetus is a legal person with rights is this: what do you do when their rights come into conflict with that of the woman? Who wins? Women are unarguably human beings, whose lives and rights a pro-life stance is willing to sacrifice in favor of a fetus.

  92. Ali says:

    Oh, and the types of abortions you mentioned above are somewhat irrelevant. Installation abortions (saline) is only used in .8% of cases nationally. Your reference to fetal dismemberment and the use of scissors to terminate a life are means of partial-birth abortions, which I feel is a different topic. If you are referring to first trimester fetal dismemberment, which is called dilation and curettage, it accounts for only 2.4% of abortions, and is actually used for women who have gynecological problems. What I find interesting is that you completely fail to mention vacuum aspiration, far and away the most common form of abortion.

  93. Michelle says:

    Thanks for your posts, Ali. You bring up good points.
    I would like you to clarify the first few sentences of your post at 8:44 am, because I don’t understand what you’re referring to. (if you don’t mind)
    Re the animal abuse analogy, I was merely attempting to illustrate how awful it is what we’re doing to human beings, by showing how awful it would be to a lesser creature. By cloaking the act in terms like ‘choice’ or ‘abortion’ I think it’s easy to forget what a barbaric act it is. But to answer your question (which isn’t where I was going with this), I say don’t kill the kitten at all, instead of worrying about which method of death is most compassionate.
    Re: drawing the line, the point wasn’t distinction, but rather when a new human came into existence. If you think that a baby in the mother’s womb one day before birth is not a human being, then magically it turns into a human being the day it comes out of the womb, then what happened that turned the being of unknown species into a member of homo sapiens?
    I think the argument about the woman having a right to her body which supersedes the right of the fetus to life is very sad. That being said, where do our rights come from? How do we know that the woman’s right to privacy or whatever supersedes the right for life of the child? It’s not the same as forced blood or kidney donation.
    Your questions about the rights of the fetus are worth debating I guess, but they’re not necessary to this debate. There are already double homicide laws on the books for when a pregnant woman and her baby are killed. I’m not arguing that they need special rights, I’m arguing that the have the right to their own life. For a human life to be terminated before it even gets out of the womb is such a travesty of justice. That human, created by its parents, will not ever have the chance to live again.
    I don’t understand your ‘different enough’ argument. Could you explain?
    You wrote: “What do you do when their rights come into conflict with that of the woman? Who wins? Women are unarguably human beings, whose lives and rights a pro-life stance is willing to sacrifice in favor of a fetus.”
    The fetus and the woman both have the right to life. By acknowledging and respecting the fetus’ right to life, the woman’s right to stay alive remains unchanged. We’re not saying ‘save the baby and murder the mother,’ but rather ‘save them both!’

  94. Michelle says:

    Re types of abortions, I didn’t mention vacuum aspiration because it’s so widely known; a given so to speak. Many women don’t realize the other stuff happens, too, and to a lot of babies. I do see now though that it’s probably being unfair to leave it out. Thanks for pointing it out.

  95. Ali says:

    I was referring to the fact that being pro-life is based on a belief that allowing a child to be born is always preferable to an abortion, and that therefore, when option (a) is that the fetus is terminated by means of an abortion or option (b) where a child’s life is terminated by abuse and neglect because a mother (for whatever reason) chose not to have an abortion, the pro-life stance would chose option (b). To use the animal analogy, this is like choosing torturing an animal to death over euthanasia.

    I guess my question with the point at which human life begins was with regard to the fact that you identify the genetic distinction between the zygote and the mother. If genetic distinction is all that is required, I don’t think you can differentiate the zygote from unfertilized eggs that a woman contains, because all are genetically distinct. I suppose the difference is that the pro-life stance is generally faith-based, and as such you identify the fertilization of the egg with the imbuing of a soul at the same time. However, if that is the case, how do you align that idea with the fact of twins. Identical twins are the result of one egg that splits some time after fertilization. If they are human beings at the moment of conception, then when the egg splits, do they become half a human being, or do they have half a soul? I don’t mean to imply that you agree with that statement, merely to point out that there is some gap in logical fallacy.

    I brought up the rights of the fetus to show that we cannot protect a fetus in the same way that we protect a human being. They are necessarily different. That being said, if we do afford special rights to a fetus, in that they are modified to the specific nature of being incapable of sustaining their own life, then we open up a can of problem with the notion of equality. If fetus’ are granted rights because they are different, then can we extend that to human beings, who are developmentally, racially, religiously different? Once you start creating special rights, they always extend beyond where we intend them to go.

    I believe that a woman has a “right to life” in that we cannot legislate to force her give up her rights to take care of her body in the way that she wishes for an unborn fetus. Additionally, what if a woman is on a self-destructive path, and the difficulty of this decision essentially functions to save HER life? What value do we place on that? I realize that these hypothetical situations are rather unlikely, but not beyond the realm of realistic possibility.

    All that being said, I won’t say that I don’t think that there are problems with abortion laws. I don’t think that abortion clinics should receive federal funding (the government funds Planned Parenthood, which I think is sufficient). I don’t think that abortions should be allowed after the 18-20 week gestation mark (scientists differ on the exact period, so I will defer on a more specific point), because there are neurological developments that make abortion inhumane, much in the same way that beating someone to death is “cruel and unusual.” I don’t think that abortion is a form of birth control, and that to use it as such is morally reprehensible. I think that minors should universally be required to receive abortion counseling, because at that age, they don’t fully understand the entirety of the notion of “cause and effect” with regards to their actions (and I do know several states do require that). I believe that a father should be allowed to prevent an abortion (after all, she didn’t get pregnant by herself), provided he is willing to take full legal and financial responsibility without placing any of it on the woman in such a situation (however, this opens up many other family law issues about paternal responsibility, which I won’t presume to try and solve).

  96. Michelle says:

    Thanks for clarifying.
    I would say pro-life is based on a belief that killing a child in utero or out is inherently wrong, but I get your meaning. In your hypothetical, you present a situation that is far from real. If a woman were to be refused an abortion, and she said that she was going to abuse and neglect the baby once it’s born, then we would need to continue protecting that child as long as it takes.
    Re: where human life begins, I think it’s quite apparent. If you feel the need to abort it, then you know that it’s a human being. You wouldn’t be wanting to terminate your pregnancy if you weren’t pregnant. The human being contains genetic information from the mother and father, is growing, and if left unchecked will be a bundle of joy 9 months down the road, barring any unfortunate circumstances.
    While many pro-lifers acknowledge God’s existence, we don’t even need to talk about souls to have a case. Where do you think our rights come from?
    I’d really like to know the answer to that. When slavery was legal, blacks had little to no rights. Somehow we became convinced they were entitled to them. Where do these rights come from, and were blacks entitled to them when they were being denied them?
    No one’s suggesting special rights for the fetus; only the same ones that all human beings are entitled to by virtue of being a human–namely, the right to life. That’s it. Don’t kill it. Let it be born. Someone else will take it from there if you don’t want it.
    The woman’s right to life is simply that. The right to not have her life taken away from her. It doesn’t need quotation marks around it. It is what it is.
    I think all your problems/solutions with/to the abortion laws are inconsistent with your philosophy. Since the fetus is not human, then the woman can do what she wants with her body. And, if the woman’s rights supersede that of the child, if we agree that it actually is a human being, then why are we all of a sudden interested in restricting those rights? What about “it’s her body” and “she has a right to privacy” and “she could abuse and neglect the baby” and “she’ll get it done anyway” etc.? Oh and the father being able to stop it? That’s misogynistic, controlling, invading her privacy, and infringing upon her right to life! I agree that your proposals would be huge improvements to the current laws, but you can’t consistently hold to those opinions and to your philosophy at the same time. Why would using abortion as birth control be morally reprehensible? Is it killing a baby or not? Is the woman exercising her rights or not? Where do these rights come from? Why are we entitled to any such rights?

  97. Ali says:

    Human beings have rights by their nature. The only inalienable rights granted are life, liberty and property. Liberty necessitates that the government cannot tell an individual what to do so long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others. The social contract we form with a government should serve only to protect those rights, and to provide justice when they are violated. I think that in only providing the right of life to a fetus, it is necessarily a special right, because you cannot extend all the other protection afforded by the government to an unborn fetus. Excluding them from these rights means that their rights are modified due to their condition as an unborn fetus.

    Women abort fetuses because they don’t want to be pregnant, not because they recognize it as a child. It is a result of their desire to avoid a state of being. I feel as though the father should be allowed a say because to not do so is providing a special right in family law that is inconsistent with gender equality. The father is the other genetic half in creating a fetus, and as such he should have equal rights to do with it as he pleases as the mother does, much like property that is held in joint tenancy (Yes, I am aware that this comes off as a somewhat callous analogy). I believe that using abortion as a form of birth control is morally reprehensible because it smacks of inability to be responsible.

  98. Ali says:

    As I was musing on this further, I had a thought about the religious aspect. You say its, not necessary, however, I believe it’s vital. Scientific evidence is a large part of the basis for allowing abortion, in that it recognizes that a fetus doesn’t have the ability to feel before approximately 20 weeks. The only way to refute this is either new science that shows why this was wrong (which isn’t apparent in this situation), or the moralities presented by religion (or more loosely, your ethical take on the universe). Therefore, the notion of what is a human being is defined by religious beliefs, and the notions of morality that spring from them.

  99. Michelle says:

    How do we know human beings have rights by their nature? What makes those rights inalienable? Regardless, the fetus is a human being and thus entitled to these rights, as impractical as they might be. A newborn and a fetus are not different in their abilities to act upon said rights anyway. We recognize that toddlers and teenagers are different in their abilities to act on their rights, and adults even more so. You say that liberty necessitates that the government cannot tell an individual what to do as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others, but abortion does interfere with the most basic of all rights ie the fetus’ right to life.
    Your rationalizations are really inconsistent with your philosophy, and you haven’t really given me the responses I was asking for, so I think we’re going to be stuck in our conversation now. Bottom line is this: if the fetus is a human being, it is wrong to take its life; as wrong as it would be to unjustly take the life of a newborn baby, a toddler, a teenager, or any other living human being. If the fetus is not human, then abortion is morally acceptable for all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, including birth control. There should be no angst at all, and it’s comparable to having a tumor removed, or a tooth pulled. If we’re restricting it at all, then we understand that it is a human being that’s being killed, and no rationalization can change the fact that it is unjust…and deep down I think we all know that.

  100. Michelle says:

    I said the discussion of the soul was not necessary. I didn’t say anything about religion. Everyone has a world view, so to those of us who recognize God’s existence, every issue has a God component so to speak because it’s the nature of reality. An example would be whether murder is right or wrong. We recognize that it’s wrong for secular reasons, yet there are divine reasons as well. We’re not going to say that believers’ opinions on murder are simply God-based and unfair or irrelevant to unbelievers, because that’s simply not true. Now those who deny God’s existence similarly have a world view, and it’s not a neutral one, and it’s not more valid than the world view of the believer. I’d argue that it’s less valid, for the simple reason that it’s inconsistent with reality, but that’s a whole other topic that we would never be able to resolve of course, so we must agree to disagree. Interestingly enough, though, one of us IS wrong about the nature of reality, because God can’t both exist and not exist at the same time…but I digress. :)
    The notion of what is a human being comes down to basic biology. You’re the one adding to this, not me. You’re saying that the fetus becomes a human being based on when it starts to feel. What’s that based on? Sounds arbitrary to me. I say it’s when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Whether or not it needs to be implanted to qualify is debatable, but at least that debate is more logical than this one. If you’re feeling the need to abort your pregnancy, it’s because you know there’s a baby human growing inside of you, and you want to stop it.

  101. Maggie says:

    I’m sorry, but a band of cells that attached itself to my uterus without my permission in no way has more rights than I do. Anti choice is anti woman.

  102. Michelle says:

    That’s right Maggie, it doesn’t have more rights, but it does have the same basic right to life, because it isn’t a band of cells; it is a very small human being. Anti ‘choice’ is definitely not anti-woman. In fact, I would argue that it is more supportive of the woman and the future woman (or man) than anti life aka pro abortion. ps. you gave permission when you engaged in sexual activity (unless you were raped). You took the risk. The baby pays the price. No form of birth control is 100% except abstinence. I say suck it up for nine months and give the baby to a woman who desperately wants to be a mother, but is unable to conceive.

  103. P says:

    @Michelle: What if you were raped? You didn’t take a risk there, you were violated, and yet you believe that that woman should still have to carry the fetus to term despite not wanting it or ever making the conscious decision to take part in “risky” behavior.

    & what if carrying that baby to term would cause severe health issues for you and the child? Do you believe that the woman should have the baby even if the chances of her surviving aren’t high? Many people can’t just “suck it up for nine months”- just because you could have 4 kids and be completely fine doesn’t mean everyone else is in the same situation.

    & what about cases where doctors are aware that the fetus, if carried to term, will have severe mental/physical handicaps?

  104. Michelle says:

    “P”
    I was speaking to the overwhelming majority of cases where rape isn’t the cause. Would you agree that abortion is not justified in those cases?
    Should a woman be able to kill her 1 year old conceived from rape? Why not?
    Personally, if I was raped, I think that carrying the baby to term and giving it to a couple who desperately want a child would help me take something positive from a horribly negative experience, but that’s beside the point. We don’t kill people because they remind us of a negative experience. I say that we should give the raped woman as much support as we can, but we cannot take the life of the baby.
    If carrying the baby to term would put the woman’s life in danger, then why is she pregnant, and how does the pregnancy put her life in danger? I can answer this question once I have that information.
    What prevents people from “sucking it up” for 9 months?
    Are you aware that there are waiting lists to adopt handicapped babies? Did you also know that women have been told by their doctor that their child would be born handicapped and that child was born normal? Can we kill one day old (born) babies because they are handicapped?

  105. Liz says:

    Michelle, are you aware of how many children are not adopted each year? Are you aware that non-white children or children with disabilities are much less likely to ever be adopted and instead often get shuffled from foster home to foster home? There is this myth that adoption is the solution but there are not enough homes for all the babies born each year and non-white babies are often passed over. I don’t expect that to change your beliefs which are clearly deeply-rooted as are my pro-choice beliefs. But it’s definitely something to consider when you recommend sucking it up for 9 months to pass your perfect, adoptable baby off to someone who will love him or her. It is rarely that simple.

  106. Liz says:

    This is an interesting read on the topic, though there are many sites that share statistics on adoption rates and I encourage you to check them out:

    http://multiracialsky.wordpress.com/2008/01/29/race-preference-in-adoption/

  107. Michelle says:

    Perhaps we should simply kill the children who aren’t adoptable.
    Does that sound like a good solution?
    That’s the pro “choice” solution, actually, now that I think about it.
    Thanks for your posts, Liz.
    It’s good that ‘white’ people are adopting so much, even adopting non ‘white’ children. Perhaps the other ‘races’ can learn from them.

  108. Teresa says:

    Oh goodness can I just say I’ve enjoyed reading the posts far more than the actual article. Thank you ladies for the dialogue. Thank you Michelle for providing an even tempered, informed pro-life voice.

    I do have an opinion to offer regarding the “I’m not pro-abortion just pro-choice” stance. In my mind it sounds like two conflicting points. A person says they’re pro-choice, therefore they will support any choice a woman makes. If this person is a woman then they would also support any choice they would make. The list of choices supported would HAVE to include abortion, if not then that woman could not call themselves completely pro-choice, right? So your stance of pro-choice would have to include being pro-abortion as well. You may never have one in your life, but you could not say you are anti-abortion because that would be negating some else and even yourself the ability to choose an abortion if you ever wanted to.

  109. Liz says:

    Michelle, you didn’t understand my post at all. The reality of adoption is that most children are not adopted and end up in foster homes, especially non-white children. It’s easy to “she should just give her baby to a loving family” but that is completely unrealistic and yet another reason why everything in life isn’t black and white.

  110. Michelle says:

    Thanks, Liz, but I don’t think anyone claims that everything in life is black and white, and sure problems exist no matter what the scenario. If there are problems with the adoption model, then it would be prudent to address those problems. The pro-abortion solution isn’t automatically justified because there are problems with the adoption model. Like I asked earlier, why not simply kill all the children who aren’t adoptable? Is that a good solution? It would allow for more children to live, because some children are being adopted. Ideas have consequences.

  111. Michelle says:

    Thanks, Teresa. I’m glad you’re enjoying the conversation. I’m pretty impressed with the civility of the people who are opposed to my position, and their sharing of arguments. I think it’s such an important discussion to have; to think past the slogans and ask the difficult questions. We are typically conditioned to believe things without actually analyzing whether we should be agreeing with the slogans that accompany them (which usually sound quite reasonable and fair on the surface, but often are not as reasonable and fair as they look). Case in point is how abortion, the killing of a human being, is changed to ‘choice.’ The arguments then usually revolve around whether the woman’s rights are being infringed upon, when the real issue is whether we are justified in taking the life of another human being. My intent is not to convince people to change their stance on abortion (though that would be awesome), but rather to get people to reconsider their positions and think critically and clearly for themselves instead of buying the lines we’ve been fed. And we’re fed a lot of lines…..in all areas of our lives. Religion. Food. Health and health care. Politics. There I go…off on a tangent again :)

  112. Heather Polum says:

    I feel much the same way. I got pregnant at 16, and had to figure out where I stood on the issue. I had always thought that abortion could be the right choice in certain circumstances. Then I found myself in those circumstances (I had been raped, and the pregnancy resulted from that) and realized that abortion simply wasn’t something I could do. I chose to keep the baby, and she is now 12 years old. But for some girls/women in the same situation, without the support I was lucky enough to have, would see no way out other than abortion. For them the emotional toll of caring for a child that resulted from such a degrading, terrifying, and emotional attack would be too much to handle. They think of abortion as the only option, because not enough is done to encourage them to consider other ones (i.e. adoption.). They lack the support – both financial, and more importantly EMOTIONAL – that would enable them to choose alternatives. We need to be there to support women who, for whatever reason, are facing an unwanted pregnancy and to help them see that their pregnancy can truly become a gift – if not for them, then for some couple who can’t have the children they desperately want. But in the end, should these women still feel abortion is the only choice for them, they should not be denied the ability to obtain one as safely as possible.

  113. Mimi says:

    No judgement. God will take care of that. Just one question…God says, Thou shall not kill, correct? If indeed you are Christian or a believer on any level, then I am 200% sure we should follow this rule. We need to change hearts and this will change legislation.

  114. BioPHD says:

    I was pregnant with a baby that would have died shortly after birth. His condition was revealed during screening and confirmed via CVS (genetic testing available much sooner than amnio). As a biologist, I know that a fetus does not have a fully formed nervous system until at least 20 weeks. By terminating the pregnancy as early as possible, I believe I made the most loving decision I could for my son. my life was not in danger, my child was loved and very much planned and wanted, yet I still needed abortion to be legal in order to be the best mother I could be. We have to make sacrifices to be good parents, and I had to make the ultimate sacrifice, and it hurts every day. As long as there are cases like mine and grey areas to consider, abortion has to be legal for all women. There are people with different beliefs, and they are entitled to those beliefs. I believe it is unethical to bring a child to term that will die in pain when they can be laid to rest peacefully, and my right to follow through with this belief is important. Yes, we can conjure up all sorts of images showing us how horrible abortion is, but it is the cases we cannot (or don’t care to) imagine that beg for termination to still be an option.

  115. Melissa says:

    I’m sorry, but a band of cells that attached itself to my uterus without my permission in no way has more rights than I do. Anti choice is anti woman.

    This comment=pure stupidity! I have the same beliefs as the article. I don’t want to make abortion illegal. However, unless you were raped… that “band of cells” that attached to your uterus got your permission when you opened up your legs.

  116. Texas Grizzlette says:

    The premise of this post is entirely illogical. Murder, rape, theft, and all kinds of other atrocities are illegal, and yet people do it anyway. Does that mean we legalize them? Absolutely not.

    The law *must* stand for morality. Making abortion illegal doesn’t negate mentoring services described in this post. The two options can – and should – work together to stop abortion.

  117. MailDeadDrop says:

    Grizzlette: You mis-state (and perhaps misunderstand) the article’s premise. It is *not* the premise you state above (essentially “people do it anyway so it shouldn’t be illegal”), but rather “making it illegal makes the problem worse.” To use your analogy, if there were good evidence that removing the prohibitions against murder/rape/theft would actually reduce the incidence of murders/rapes/thefts, then there would be a great many people lobbying for the repeal of those laws.

  118. Arrow says:

    I was attempting to read these comments and just could not get away from Michelle’s attempt to control the first half (or more) of this discussion. Come on, Michelle. If you use the term “pro-abortion” to describe the pro-choice movement, then you are choosing to hate those of us who support legal abortion. Heck, I agree with the author of the article. I hope that no woman ever feels she has to have an abortion. HOWEVER, thinking that abortion is an awful choice is very different from doing everything in your power to make abortions illegal. Making abortions illegal does not reduce abortions, particularly in communities that have also cut funds for birth control. Instead, those rates of back-alley abortions and abortions-by-questionable-medication actually climb. That is why I am PRO-CHOICE and not “pro-abortion”. So, treat us with some respect. Use our terms instead of your own hateful terminology.

  119. Kylie says:

    I just read this article and following comments with a lot of emotion.

    Kate – this is beautifully written and you have my respect for your point of view. I believe I stand on a very similar line as you do – I would never choose to have an abortion and I wish that the world was such a place where it was not necessary.

    But I also recognise that there are some people who feel they have no options or it maybe for their own health they cannot continue a pregnancy – and I mean both emotionally or physically when I talk about health. Early on in the comments Sarah mentioned the biggest reason I think abortion should be legal – rape.

    What I write isnt to start an argument or even a discussion – however I hope that it might give people who are totally against abortion some perspective. I believe everyone has a right to their opinion but everyone should be respectful of other opinions.

    A few years ago I had a pregnancy scare after being raped – it turned out that I wasnt but I struggled with it for a couple of weeks before I found out otherwise. I had always said that I could *never* have an abortion – but after that I could understand why some women could choose it.

    Everything around me reminded me I could be pregnant and as soon as I thought about it all that I could think of was the rape. The idea that anything left from that monster could be growing in me was horrifying. I would try and focus on the idea of the pregnancy separate to what happened – but I would be physical shaking with emotion and it would just take over me. I wanted to move past what had happened – but how could I if I had to deal with the consequences growing inside me?

    Before I was able to test either way I came to a decision, I would go through with the pregnancy and give the child up for adoption – keeping it wouldnt be an option. I would hate the idea of looking in my child’s eyes and seeing my rapist staring back at me. I mentally began to prepare myself for what I felt would be months of torment – a constant and inescapable reminder of what had happened. When I finally tested negative I breathed a sigh of relief.

    It can be easy to talk statistics and morals and I can understand how people can be against abortion. However it is something completely different to go through an experience like that. I feel deeply empathetic to women who do and for those who go through it and have to face not only the aftermath of what happened, the abortion but the public judgement as well – I am deeply sorry that more people do not respect their decision.

    As far as people who would argue its murder – in most cases if a person *chooses* (for non-medical reasons) to have an abortion – it will happen in the first trimester. I believe (though do not quote me on this) that in Australia at least (where I am from), you cannot get an abortion after week 11 unless it is for a medical reason. Most pregnancies have not even started the Fetal period and I struggle to see how this embryo can be compared to a newborn or toddler as Michelle did when addressing Sarah’s comment. It is a spark of life – but it is not the living breathing thinking or emotional being that a human is. I can respect that you want to protect that spark – but I believe the emotional and physical well-being of the mother is more important at this stage.

    While writing this I have tried to show respect to all people’s belief and if I have upset anyone I wish to apologise as this is not my objective. I simply wish to share my perspective.

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