I have had strong opinions on this matter for quite a while, but have refrained from voicing it for a multitude of reasons. However, last night, after reading a post by hessianwithteeth, I decided to give it a go.
I can say with absolute certainty that I am not Pro-Abortion. I am, however, strongly Pro-Choice.
I will begin by saying that I, in no way, advocate unsafe sex. I think it is a big decision and should not be thrown around carelessly. I am an advocate for sex education, and also for birth control for any woman not wanting to get pregnant, especially since there are very cheap options available.
As shown from various countries around the world, women will still seek abortion even if it’s illegal, unsanitary, and dangerous. (2.9% in Africa, and 3.2% in Latin America, both where it is widely illegal, but only 1.2% in Europe in areas where it is legal.) We need to offer a safe environment where we support the women who are more than likely experiencing distress both physically and mentally. (I encourage you to check out the hessianwithteeth article, as it contains links to a variety of statistical websites.)
Not only do women choosing to get an abortion face the consequences of that decision internally, they also have to be shamed by a harsh and unsympathetic group of protestors that screams profanities and bashes them during the experience. How can people claim to be protesting out of love and for the women when they are doing absolutely nothing to support the claim? Love is acceptance, help, guidance, and support.
One of the biggest arguments against abortion is that it is murder. That is, undoubtedly, the most sound argument. While there is confusion as to when life begins and when a fetus begins to feel pain, it’s easy to jump on board with the “spare them pain” campaign. Disclaimer: I do not believe in unnecessary torture or pain, especially towards innocent lives. I do, however, think that it is often up to a doctor’s and parent’s discretion to decide what is best for the baby. There are a variety of diseases and defects that can be tested for at various times of the pregnancy, such as cystic fibrosis and down syndrome. Who are we, as strangers to a pregnant woman, to decide if the suffering her baby will feel in the womb outweighs a future of disease and suffering? Who are we to decide if a quick burst of pain as a young fetus outweighs a life of poverty or rejection because they were born into a family unwilling or unable to properly provide care?
Which brings me to my next point, adoption. We are so quick to advocate adoption, and I am a big fan of this alternative. However, it isn’t always the best case, such as in the instance of sick children. Unfortunately, a child with a mental or physical disorder is going to be much harder to adopt out or care for. Healthy babies have it a little easier, they can usually find a loving home. What about the 120,000 orphans or 400,000 children in foster care in the US? What about the 17.9 million orphans across the world looking for a home? They hardly stand a chance against newborns. They deserve a chance, though. I’m not saying that we should all run and get abortions so we can give these children a home, but I am saying that there is no reason to put a mother through a distressing pregnancy, potentially putting her life or family life at risk, just so other people can have a kid.
We need to focus on education and prevention, but practice love and support. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one. Help your kids and your friends find help, or do whatever they need to do. It isn’t our place to step in and interfere in these personal situations that we could not possibly understand. Women don’t make this choice lightly. So, we have to respect that when they make it, they are doing it because it is the best option for them and the baby.