It should show how liberal the part of the world I live in is when I say that I saw my first ever anti-abortion rally yesterday. I was so excited, I wanted to go and talk to them and find out what they had to say! I could hardly contain myself! But I was in a hurry, so I couldn’t stop.
What confused me was that one of the signs said “Abortion Exploits Women,” and I couldn’t quite understand that. How does one exploit a woman with abortion? The only true *gain* a man could get with an abortion would be to sneak in at night, abort a baby, and take the fetus away for study. Other than that, I couldn’t think of a reason.
Now, this may be putting words in her mouth, but I would guess her reasoning for abortion being an exploitation of women would have something to do with women being used for sex. If a baby is aborted, I guess that means more sex?
You know what? There may be some logic in there, but only in the absolute worst case scenario for human dregs. Any man who would do that to a woman for sexual gratification only needs to be taken to task; that is the worst behaviour I could possibly imagine… But here’s the thing; in that case, it is the man who is at fault, not the abortion.
Do you think a man like that wouldn’t go to extreme lengths to get the abortion? Having a safe, clean, inspected, certified abortion clinic could save this woman’s life; so-called back alley abortions have any number of side effects, including infections that could end up being fatal. In countries where abortion is completely illegal, any woman showing up at a hospital with a perforated uterus can be sentenced to life imprisonment or death, regardless of the reason for the abortion (or, regardless of whether the abortion really happened). In a place like that, if a man forces you to get an abortion, if he drags you kicking and screaming to a back alley clinic, if he ties your arms and legs down while the procedure is performed, the woman shoulders the blame for it. Is that what it means to be pro-life?
If abortion exploits women, so does birth control, and so do condoms. These are not meant to be exploitations, these are meant to be safety measures. Have you ever wondered about what it takes to have a child? It takes nothing but one poor decision on the part of two people.
What does it take to adopt a child? It takes months to years of screening, tests, inspections, and that will get you placed on a list if you are lucky. It takes years of reasoned thought, decisions, proving you have what it takes.
I am not saying abortions should be used willy-nilly. I am not saying you should be able to just have sex completely indiscriminately, and then go to the doctor for a morning after pill. But I am saying abortion, if used in a way that is compassionate and understanding, rather than painted as some form of demonic ritual, provides a valuable service. Children of rape can cause long lasting mental issues. That isn’t to say an abortion is consequence free, as far as mental issues go, but if you are an unfortunate woman whose child shares many features with the rapist, there is a chance you will never find the ability to love the child.
A common solution provided by Pro-Life lobbyists is to give the child up for adoption. The problem is, there are far more children than there are “fit” parents. If adoption were similar to having children, you could just give it out to the first drug addled person who walked by, and that metaphor should worry you beyond the capacity for thought. Not only that, but (in the States specifically, among first world nations) giving birth can be so financially destructive that the parents have no choice but to perform the birth unassisted. Not only that, but they will not be in a good position to give the child up for adoption, especially if they are parents who have drug addictions, prior convictions under the law, or any number of other issues that would prevent them from seeking public means of help.
Children born to drug addicted parents have other issues to deal with, too. Developmental issues, and I don’t just mean in their brains. They can be born with major physical defects, as well, depending on the issues facing the mother. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is another one that is very common, and you don’t have to be out on the streets for that one. Respectable middle class homes can still lead to FAS children, despite lack of issues.
Am I saying every child that could have defects be aborted? No, I am not saying that. I am saying having the option (and I will repeat this part) in a clean, safe, inspected, accredited setting could SAVE LIVES.
Did you know that a large percentage (by some estimates 25%) of pregnancies end in what is called spontaneous termination? I don’t mean stillborn or miscarriage, those are other issues altogether, though they do feed into my point. Spontaneous termination basically means the pregnancy ends in failure before the mother even knows she is pregnant.
If you are religious, and decide to go Pro-Life, you are left with the uncomfortable truth that the person who performs the most abortions in the world, the person who kills the most babies in the womb, the person who destroys the most life, is God.
The other problem with Pro-Life people is that being pro-life is INCREDIBLY socialist. While I do agree with socialism, and believe it to be the best way to run a country (see “You can’t win at politics”, an earlier post on this blog), many of the people who are pro-life are, confusingly, also anti-socialist. That’s weird to me, because that ignores the fact that offering children for adoption requires a MASSIVE amount of money from the government and other firms. Adoption is not a for-profit industry, and would certainly not function under free-market capitalism, in any way. If there was not a socialist policy to provide for adoption clinics and housing, adopting a child would itself cost likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The other thing is the fact that it seems a fetus (most specifically, in the Southern States, which are the most densely pro-life States in the Union) loses its rights shortly after its birth. Without a social safety net, a child born into poverty will grow up in poverty. The per-capita crime rate SOARS below certain income levels, but that is largely because they have to resort to drastic measures before they survive.
If you want to be PURELY pro-life without exception, you need to provide a solution for poverty. It’s ok, take your time, I will wait.
Until such time as I can reasonably assume a baby will have an equal chance for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I will stand staunchly Pro-Choice.
The American Dream in action is to force someone in poverty to have a child they do not want and do not have the means to care for, when they do not understand how to leverage those around them for help, so that the poverty deepens and the child doesn’t have a chance.