It’s a Human Rights issue.
Pro-Choicers say that women should have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. I agree. People should have the right to their own bodies. However, these personal rights should never encroach on the rights of others. This is where we see an incredible double standard: women can choose when their baby is a human being and when it’s just a clump of cells.
Ultimately, the issue of abortion comes down to what your definition of life is. If you think the fetus is a human being, you must consider it’s rights equal to your own. Life is not subjective. Life is not based on it’s incubator, it’s economic environment, or whether or not it will grow up in a loving home. It is permanent. Unfailing. Unyielding. Not dependent on size, gender, or flaws.
The debate on whether women should have a ‘choice’ comes secondary to this undeniable fact.
But I can understand why this would be difficult. I admit that pro-lifers often tell women what they don’t want to hear: that they have to do something they don’t want to do. As a gender, we’ve been discriminated against for thousands of years. We’ve been denied rights, been told we can’t fight for our country, been paid less for equal work, etc etc. So yes, it sucks to be told that you have to have a baby you don’t want. One thing that both sides of the issue need to realize is that having an unplanned pregnancy is HARD. Regardless of the fact that it’s a life, something we as humans are expected to celebrate, that new life can a bring disappointment, crushed hopes and dreams, put you in a difficult financial situation, etc. For a unmarried teen-aged girl, I can only imagine how traumatic and frightening it would be to discover you were pregnant and seeing the future you had planned out for yourself flash before your eyes. On the Pro-Choice side of the spectrum, the main draw is the fact that you can make all of it go away. There are no consequences because you can just get rid of it. So instead of looking at the facts, the situation is hushed up and ended before you can realize what’s just happened. It doesn’t even take effort to sugar coat the situation. By changing the word ‘baby’ to ‘fetus’, you can start to eliminate the emotional connection to the life inside you. Have you ever gone to an abortion clinic website and read the description of their services? Check it out. Every clinic gives you a step by step guide to your abortion and the term ‘fetus’ is never used. In fact, there is little to no reference of anything inside you except for the ultimate “emptying of your uterus”. If people are so confident in having this choice, then why not be honest about what you are actually choosing? In an article I read recently, the author explains the sugarcoating like this:
“I came to see this as yet another example of pro-lifers respecting women enough to tell them hard truths that they may not want to hear, but need to hear. And far from blowing women off with pat answers, as I had always imagined pro-lifers did, when I took a closer look at that movement I found it to be quite realistic about the complexities of life, and surprisingly understanding that things don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to.”
Life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to. But that doesn’t give us the authority to do what we want.
A quick defense has often been the fact that we need more safe-sex education. If teens had safe-sex, they wouldn’t get pregnant, and, therefore, abortion wouldn’t exist. Or so that’s how the thinking goes. Though I prefer abstinence, I am not against ‘safe sex education’. However, I think people overestimate it’s success rate. If you ask any teenager over the age of 12, they will know how to have safe sex. Heck, they probably know more crude, sexual acts than you could ever imagine. With the Internet as their sex ed class, how could they not? The thing we need to remember is that teenagers believe they are invincible. The always annoying “that will never happen to me” syndrome is actually a physiological part of the growing up process. I mean, just think back to all those stupid mistakes you made when you were younger? We all felt that way. The real problem is the fact our culture tells us we can have sex with zero consequences. But that’s just not how life works. Sex does have consequences and women are usually the ones who face most of them. It’s how we are biological made. So the pro-life movement is an eternal reminder that we, as women, are “slaves to our biology” and ultimately, ‘trapped’. Because if the fetus is an actual human being, then we really don’t have a choice do we? If the baby does have rights, then when we get pregnant… we stay pregnant. Sex just got a whole lot riskier.
But pregnancy doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s pretty amazing! As women, we are the only human begins on earth capable of bringing life into this world. We are the bearers of the future generation. That’s a pretty big job ! And to be honest, not every woman is up for it. There is nothing wrong with knowing you’re not ready to be a parent. Adoption provides the best way to honor life while accepting the fact you’re not up for the task. There is no shame in that. In fact, it is possibly the greatest act of love on earth. You gave your child a shot at life. If abortion is a part of your story, there is no shame either. Our God is a god of love and grace. You are not defined by your past or the choices you made. You are loved and forgiven.
At the end of the day, abortion is a messy topic because a lot of ‘rights’ are involved. A lot of feelings and a lot of choices. And everyone’s story is different. However, it all comes down to life and how it can’t be subjective. As women, we need to take a stand and make the hardest decision we can ever make: to sacrifice our freedom to choose for our children’s right to live.