Wednesday, January 30

Reply to comment on Abortion Post

I think this bears posting on the main page and not just in the comments...

Amy said:
"Wait a actually think abortion leads to "mutilated babies," but you still support women being able to cause this "mutilation" for any and every reason?

One of your two ideas has to go, here."

My response:

Amy, I appreciate your comments. I can see your viewpoint 100%, and I realize that it might possibly come across as an oxymoron. However, I assure you that I can in fact hold the two ideas at once. Here's why... In a logical and common sense, rational thought process, anyone has to realize that abortion isn't pretty. Yes, I do admit that the "tissue" removed is a baby, and I do admit that these babies are mutilated as they are forcibly removed from the mother's body. And yes, I do support the freedom of choice. I have known women (and girls) in my life who have gotten pregnant and it was an impossible situation for them - whether it was through rape, or an "accident" when they were too immature to be responsible, etc. etc. I fully acknowledge that abortion is an ugly practice, but I can also tell you from personal experience, that illegal abortions are just as ugly and cause a multitude of problems as well... And if abortion is made illegal, there will ALWAYS continue to be women who either try to give themselves abortions using scary crude instruments, or resort to potentially shady "professionals" who will always perform abortions, legal or not. I am not comfortable disclosing details, but I knew someone closely who wanted an abortion in the 1930s and tried to go about this herself. She failed, and her child had life-long medical problems, as well as life-long abuse as a result of being not only unwanted, but also imperfect as a result of the botched attempt.

I whole-heartedly feel that a woman has the right to choose what happens in her own body. I am also whole-heartedly supportive of any woman who chooses to adopt out or keep her baby (provided she can adequately care for the baby for the long haul). I wouldn't ever get an abortion myself, but I can tell you, I've been in a situation with one of my pregnancies that I could totally relate to why a woman would choose to terminate. Even though I wouldn't do it myself, I have empathy for women in situations that seem overwhelming, especially when they have no support system around them...

I'm glad that there ARE pro-life people out there fighting though, because in my opinion that keeps things in perspective. For instance, I am against late-term abortions and partial-birth abortion.

I appreciate your comments and as long as we can continue to discuss this in a mature, non-judgmental fashion, I would be happy to discuss this further in comments.


Amy said...

Thanks for the response in your post! And I'm glad to hear that we have some common ground on late-term abortions and partial birth abortions. I also appreciate your concern for women, here. (Obviously, since I'm a woman!) And I'm sympathetic with your desire not to have children see abortion pictures as they're driving down the road. And I also feel for women who end up in extremely difficult situations. There are many places where we can agree and reason together from there.

I wrote my comment not to be judgmental, but to point out that sometimes I don't think people think through this issue consistently. There are some people who deny that the fetus is a baby, so I see how they wouldn't have a problem with abortion. But I was surprised to hear you refer to aborted fetuses as "mutilated babies." [Actually, I think this is a big reason why pro-life advocates use graphic pictures (though I would urge them to use them in an appropriate manner). Sometimes visuals reveal the truth to us about things (like what is being killed, here) in a way that words can't.]

There are many issues of pain and suffering here (for women and the babies), and taking away difficulties that women face seems the more pressing concern because we already see and know them. But we shouldn't forget the smaller people, either (that is, if they're actually people) just because they're hidden. Unfortunately, we're dealing with competing concerns. If fetuses are people, they have rights that compete with the women's rights; and using ethical reasoning, it seems that the right to live ought to trump the right to avoid discomfort (even if the discomfort is severe).

This is why it seems to me that the most important question is, "What is it we're killing here?" If it's a human being--a live baby--it's hard to imagine a situation other than to save the life of the mother (where the competing claims would be equal--life against life) that would justify killing it. On the other hand, if it's not a human baby, we wouldn't need any sort of justification for killing it.

Let me explain what I mean: Imagine a woman has a baby, and a few days later, she decides that this isn't the right time for her to raise a child. Should it be legal for her to kill it? I'm sure you would agree with me that it shouldn't.

The truth is that we would never say it's okay to openly kill a newborn baby because the mother doesn't have the money to care for it, because she just doesn't want it, because if she did it secretly she might get hurt, or for any other reason. (We find other solutions for these things--particularly, adoption, crisis pregnancy centers, etc.) Nobody says it ought to be legal to mutilate newborn babies. Why? Because in the case of the newborn, we see clearly the competing claims--the child's life vs. the mother's discomfort or suffering--and we choose the child's life. We do what we can to ease the mother's suffering (for example, we offer the opportunity for her to give the baby up for adoption, etc.), but we protect the child's life because she has a right to live.

So what we need to determine is, what are the differences between a newborn and an unborn child who's only a few months younger? And, are those differences relevant for determining whether or not that unborn baby is deserving of the same rights as a newborn?

Thanks for the conversation!

Keppy said...

Amy, I am going to answer you, but today has been busy and tomorrow will be too, so please don't think I've forgotten you. I have much to say in response to your great reply. I just didn't want you to think I was going to ignore you because I'm not it will just be a while before I can sit here long enough to gather all my thoughts lol.

Amy said...

No problem! I probably won't even check over the weekend, so take your time. I'm interested to hear what you think. :)