Monday, February 13, 2012

Another way to be pro-life

Readers will have gathered that on the question of abortion, I strongly support its availability as a safe and legal option. But this isn't because I think an unborn baby is nothing of consequence, just an inconvenient lump of tissue.

That argument is mostly a straw man used by people who channel their hate through the abortion argument. I was once that lump of tissue, and everyone I've ever loved was once that lump of tissue. I think only a few people see a fetus or embryo as just a lump of tissue.

To most of us, life is sacred, but life also has limits. We are born, we live for an uncertain amount of time, and we die. Some people are never born at all, and some live such a short life that they never develop a sense of life at all. Some people, who could have lives, are never even conceived because sperm didn't meet egg.

That lack of certainty in life is the main reason I don't think abortion is murder. We don't know if that fertilized egg is viable or a scrambled mess. Sometimes it IS a scrambled mess that will never develop into a living, breathing child. Pregnancy is filled with that kind of uncertainty. It isn't a sure thing.

So what do you do if you never intended to conceive this baby--sperm wasn't supposed to meet egg. You can hope for a miscarriage, which is exactly the opposite of what a happily pregnant woman hopes. You can put your future in the hands of fate. Or you can do what many women do, and end the pregnancy that was never supposed to happen.

Some women wouldn't willingly have an abortion because the unborn baby feels like a living child to them, and an abortion would feel like murder. But for others, this small egg, zygote, embryo, or fetus doesn't feel alive, so the overriding concern is that she couldn't care for a child and never intended to get pregnant. For still other women, they are torn and under immense pressure, especially if they depend on someone else, or their own earnings, for a place to live.

With all these considerations, I wonder how anyone else can think they should make the decision, that their judgment should have priority over the pregnant girl or woman. I know pro-life people who don't want to make that decision for anyone else. They can offer help and advice, but the decision is best  left in the hands of the person closest to the unborn baby, and that's always the pregnant woman.

6 week embryo. Size 1/4 inch (6mm), 0.25 oz. (1g).

Extras: Stories of non-regret. You can easily find stories of regret too, but I think it's important to counter the "you'll hate yourself" propaganda. Gallup poll.

Biblical acknowledgment that an unborn baby is not the same as a living person.


Originally, I was going to write about an acquaintance (Ann) who counsels pregnant girls/women as part of a pro-life organization. I admire the time she takes with the women, and the help she arranges if they decide to have the baby.

She doesn't want abortion to be a political war. It's in the person's conscience and soul where the dilemma plays out, not in a street or courthouse protest. So she listens to the girl: her fears, her hopes, the pressure from her family and/or boyfriend. She'll talk about the life and death of the baby, but not murder. She doesn't tell a girl that she's going to hell, or what God's judgment will be, because she believes that she can't know God's judgment.

I asked her what happens if the girl decides to have an abortion. "She stops calling us," Ann said. It feels like a failure to her, but that happens when you try something so important and so difficult.

If both sides could refrain from scorched-earth campaigns, both sides could live, work, encourage, and help in the same town and country. She's pro-life and I'm pro-choice, but we respect and care about each other. It can be this way.

No comments: