Thursday, August 24, 2006

Open Post On Abortion

By request, I am blogging (in a very general manner) on abortion. I suppose given my views on a variety of other topics, some of you might find them interesting.

1- I believe in the right of a woman to choose whether or not to have a baby. Society should not have the right to tell an individual what they can and can't do with their own body. Let me stress that I am for legal abortions.

2- However, I personally find abortion to be morally difficult to justify. It's difficult to characterize a fetus as anything other than a human life, and human life is precious and should not be cast aside lightly. I would never openly encourage abortions- I'd rather urge adoption for those who don't have the resources to care for a baby.

3- Abortion involves a clash of rights between the right of the fetus to live and the right of the woman to make choices about her body. Yes abortion is the taking of a life, but law and morality have always recognized certain types of situations when the taking of a life is permissible. Pregnancy is a hardship on a woman, and a woman should not be forced to remain pregnant against there will. Imagine a man came into your kitchen uninvited, sat down, and said he planned on remaining there for the next 9 months. (And imagine, there are no police to get him out, and the only way to get him out and stop him from eating your food would be to kill him.) Would killing that man under those circumstances be justified? Morally, I'd say yes and no. I wouldn't fault someone who did, but I don't think I'd do it myself. This is about where abortion lies on the moral scale.

4- In the Constitutional realm, Roe v. Wade is a horrible decision that can't be justified by any honest method of Constitutional interpretation. It's a purely result oriented decision.

5- I think the abortion debate is not as absolute as pro-deathers and anti-choicers make it out to be. Virtually no one favors abortions at 8&1/2 months, and virtually no one is opposed to early abortions in the case of rape or incest. What's my point? I think that the anti-choicers recognize that abortion under some circumstances is permissible, even though you would be killing a human life. And I think that the pro-deathers recognize that a fetus is a life, at least to some extent, or at some point during pregnancy.

6- I think both pro-deathers and anti-choicers fail to realize the consequences of their positions. Both sides can get fanatical. You can be pro-choice and find abortion to be reprehensible. And you can appreciate the pro-life viewpoint without wanting to make abortion illegal. Why do I say pro-death and anti-choice? Because neither the pro-death or anti-choice activists seem to recognize the importance of both freedom and life.

7- My view on abortion comes from the same place as my view on drugs, sex, food, and any other personal decisions dealing with our own bodies. We all have our own moral codes we follow, but we shouldn't force those moral codes upon anyone else.

Comments welcome.


Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

You weren't kidding when you said a general discussion. Let me come out and say, I have no problem with abortion in a rape/incest situation or a situation in which the pregnant women could die. Here's my problem with other abortion cases.

You say a woman should have a right to choose what to do with her body, and when a woman gets pregnant, it's because she chose to have sex. In America today we've seem to treat pregnancy like an STD because promiscuous sex has become more acceptable. While sex can feel great and be a great experience for both people involved, the main purpose of sex itself is conception. I understand there are cases where a condom will break or a woman forgets her pill, but those are unfortunate circumstances, and I certainly don't think a child should lose a chance at life because of it. In cases were contraceptives aren't even used, the woman and the man have to realize pregnancy can easily happen, and if they think they can get away with it that one time, than the woman has made her choice with her body.

There are other factors I find intersting with pregnancy and abortion. One of these is a double standard. If I were to kill a pregnant woman who wanted her baby, I could very easily be tried for a double homicide. However, when a pregnant woman doesn't want her child, an abortion isn't murder. So in one instance of the law the fetus is a person, and in another, it's not. I find this to be very disturbing, as a definition is changed solely placed on want.

Another interesting factor is the rights of the man. I'm sure there are cases where the man has no care for the pregnant woman, but there have to be cases where a man wants the child and the woman does not. ALthough it is the woman's body, it was the man's seed that created life, so shouldn't he have some right to the child? This seems to only complicate matters to me.

Other thoughts....
- I recognize that a fetus has different stages of life inside the womb. At times it looks like a child, at others it looks like nothing. It can also do certain things like yawn or kick in certain stages of pregnancy. Problem is there is no definite time frame for each individual fetus. A fetus can develop earlier or later than designated trimesters, and that further complicates abortion time frames.

- Both sides can get very fanatical. I've seen Pro-Life people brandish signs with an aborted fetus in public. Nobody wants to see that. I've also seen Pro-Choice people make outlandish claims like Pro-Lifers are against womens rights or black people.

I am Pro-Life because I honestly feel abortion is a denial of life. Just imagine, the Lonely Libertarian could've been arborted, I could've been, and any of you could've been. Sure, you had no idea in the womb, and you can't remember any of that, but you were in there and now that you're at whatever age you are, think back and say am I glad I'm alive? I bet you'll say yes. Let me just say though, I don't judge women on their decisions. I may even know a person who had an abortion, but the fact they possibly had one doesn't make me hate the person, just like I don't hate pro-choice people. I may be disappointed with the decision, but I've been taught to love all human beings, and that's what I'm going to continue to do. There needs to be dialogue between both sides on the issue, and it needs to be peaceful for any headway to be made.

3:05 PM  
Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

One more quick hit. One major problem with abortion is the way we treat someone who is pregnant. I can understand that if a 15 year old girl gets pregnant, it would be very hard physically and emotionally to show up to school that way. We stigmatize women who really shouldn't be pregnant. That has to be a factor toward getting an abortion. We need to support pregnant women the way we would support a pregnant girlfriend or wife. If you know a pregnant teen, let her know you support her and you'd help her. Same goes for parents with pregnant daughters. On 30 Days Spurlock interviewed the parents of a teen girl who got pregnant in a state with parental consent laws so she got a back alley abortion and died. It's horrible to think that 2 lives were lost because a girl was so scared she couldn't tell her parents. We need not crucify someone for their mistakes, instead, we need to be supportive and caring, so that abortion doesn't seem like the only option.

3:17 PM  
Blogger QU 3L said...

Just a few follow ups- I think you’re absolutely right about your second post- what sort of society do we live in where girls get so scared upon becoming pregnant that they put their lives at risk.

Remember that some people would take your example as a reason why teenagers should be able to get abortions without parental consent. On a related side note, the lonely libertarian's father made the point the other day that society is now reaching the point where it will be okay for a 15 year old to get an abortion without her parent's knowledge, but that same 15 year old can't buy a soda or a cupcake at school. I don't mean to bring up that same debate, only to illustrate that absurdity.

Other comments- you're absolutely right about abortion time frames- they don't work, and they're not logical or moral. And, I'd take issue with your first point- Sex is a private, and our abortion laws (or any laws) shouldn't be based on one certain view about sex (such as sex is for procreation.)

And finally, there is a double standard involving the rights of the man, albeit a different one than you mention. Let's assume the woman has the right to decide whether or not she's going to carry a child- why don't both parents have the right to decide whether or not they want to support a child? If a woman doesn't want to support a child, she'll never have to. But if a man doesn't want to support a child that a woman decides to have, just try to get out of paying child support.

3:55 PM  
Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

I know how my example sounds, and that's how they wanted it to sound on 30 Days. They never asked the parents what they would've done if she had come to them. They just made it seem like abortion laws can cause this behavior and I agree that they can. After I wrote all of that, I realized I never stated an important aspect and that's why I made post 2. We probably aren't ready for abortion laws yet in America because it's a negative thing for a teen to get pregnant. I'm not saying I'm OK with 15 years old having unprotected sex, but I am saying that it shouldn't be the end of the world if it does happen. If we can help reverse this stigma, than a pro-life standpoint will seem like a viable option. It seems like these kids have no other choice but abortion. What I'm saying is giving birth doesn't have to be a worst-case scenario. If parents, friends, teachers, whatever, are willing to support and help pregnant girls, than abortion will not seem necessary. Pro-Lifers need to stop using scare tactics like showing pictures of aborted fetus', and instead show pictures of babies and find stories where girls gave birth because they had support from people who loved them. It's not a coincidence that many Pro-Life people come from religious backgrounds, but Pro-Life uses the wrong aspects of the religion. We need to highlight forgiveness, not "Thou Shall Not Kill". Morality plays a huge part in abortion, but it doesn't have to.

4:43 PM  

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