Tag Archives: abortion

more pro-choice ideas

This is the second part to an article I wrote a long time ago called A New Perspective On Pro-Choice. It goes something like this…

There are other arguments that for some reason are totally overlooked, maybe because they’re difficult to explain, or just sound cheezy or nerdy or because so many people believe that God will solve humanity’s large-scale problems for us so we don’t need to worry about them.

1) Babies take resources. The baby will grow to be an adult who will use even more resources. These resources could be used to save the lives of people who are starving. Our world is currently struggling to feed everyone and failing. Every new child that is born will take even more resources, and make this situation worse. Every new child will drive a car, use electricity, and will ultimately contribute to global warming and overpopulation. I’m not quite sure why this argument is never made. Perhaps people are afraid it will be insulting to anyone who wishes to make a baby or maybe it just kind of seems like something we just shouldn’t worry or care about. But we should care. Overpopulation is a serious concern and if we were not so overpopulated, our society would not be facing nearly the environmental destruction nor the war and hatred of our modern era.

2) This next one may sound cheezy to many, and I’ve never heard it argued before. Perhaps it’s just nerdy science-fiction fans and evolutionists who might think this way, but our species is evolving. We are past the point where we can blindly trust our instincts when it comes to the future of our evolution. We need the right to choose how our species progresses. This is particularly important when talking about instances of rape and incest. We don’t want rapists passing their genes on to the next generation and we don’t want inbred children. Furthermore, if a woman believes she won’t be a good mom, or if she or the father has a genetic disorder of some sort, she should have the right to decide that they’re not the most suitable couple to pass genes on to the next generation.

3) Legal abortion seems to reduce crime rates. Granted, the science is not exact http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=john_donohue&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fq%3Dabortion%2Breduces%2Bcrime%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%26as_vis%3D1%26oi%3Dscholart%26sa%3DX%26ei%3DY5a0T8_2IvPbiAK5xrWWAg%26ved%3D0CAYQgQMwAA#search=%22abortion%20reduces%20crime%22

4) The real-world practicalities of outlawing abortion are insane. It would become the next drug war.


I’d like to propose that we change our approach to the pro-choice argument, to find one that acknowledges that abortion is not a good thing and recognizes that unborn children deserve respect as human beings, without backing down from our position.  What exactly that approach would look like is another question, but there are a number of different options. The bottom line is we need to branch out, change our strategy and make it clear that this issue is about far more than women’s rights. Here are a few of my ideas:

1) We should make it clear to the pro-life community that we are trying every bit as hard to prevent abortions. When we hand out condoms or teach safe-sex, lets start referring to it as abortion prevention. When Planned Parenthood gives medical care or education to pregnant women, lets call attention to the fact that they are saving the lives of unborn people.

2) We could start campaigns for adoption and express the opinion that pro-lifer’s have a moral obligation to help the unwanted children they helped to create.

3) We can put a human face on homeless and abused children and make it clear that the pro-life perspective is directly supporting their suffering and genuinely ask them how they can justify doing this to children.

4) We can put a human face on children starving in third-world countries and make sure people know that new babies here will affect food supplies for those innocent children.

5) Ask pro-lifers if they love their family, then help them to see how people saved from abortions never get to experience this. Bring up specific ways their families have helped them, emotionally, financially or spiritually and ask them to imagine a life without that support.

6) I’ve always wanted to make an argument I call The Pro-Life Challenge. If a pro-lifer really believes it’s okay to force children to grow up without a family simply to avoid killing them, then ask them to prove it by going one year without speaking to a single member of the family they wouldn’t have if they had been placed in foster-care. If they can’t go even one year without a family, what right do they have to force people to go an entire lifetime?

Ask them to tell a small child that their parents never wanted them and take a long look at how the child reacts and feels. Ask them to truly visualize what it might be like to grow up knowing the only reason you exist is because law-enforcement threatened to destroy your mother’s life if she didn’t give birth to you. Ask them how that might affect their relationship with their parents and their outlook on life. For extreme cases, ask them how it might feel to go their entire life knowing they were the product of a rape. Too often people abstract the human element away from political issues and with this issue, we desperately need to find a way to bring it back. We need to find compassionate ways to help the pro-life community understand the underlying feelings associated with this issue and help them imagine what life might be like in other people’s shoes, instead of simply accusing them of hating women.

7) Animal rights activists can use the abortion issue to help their own cause by pointing out that science has shown that pigs, cows and most mammals have more intelligence and brain power than a human fetus or even a human newborn. According to a Nova documentary I once watched, one of the interesting things about human brain development is that we begin our lives with less brain power than most other newborn mammals. The idea that a human fetus feels more pain than other animals is simply untrue.

8 ) Let’s point out that anyone who wants to cut funding for foster-care, maternity leave, and assistance for low-income families, is essentially pro-abortion, as not having the means to support their children is one of the primary reasons women have abortions.

9) Let’s remind them about how the female body purposefully seeks and destroys the majority of fetuses seemingly arbitrarily and ask if they are doing anything to prevent miscarriages.

10) We should get statistics on who is pro-life and who is pro-choice. I’ve heard the theory that the majority of pro-lifers have three things in common: One, they are mostly religious. Two, they all come from two-parent households, never experiencing so much as a divorce. And three, they have no intention of ever adopting a child. I personally have never met a pro-lifer who did not fit this description. The first one is obvious, but we need to do some research and confirm statistically the second two then call them on both their ignorance of the real-world suffering and ask for an explanation for why they, for the most part, have little desire to give these children a home.

11) However, we also need to remember that there are a few notable exceptions, such as The Christian Alliance For Orphans  and we should give them the credit they deserve (assuming they are genuinely trying to help orphans that already exist instead of trying to manipulate pregnant women into thinking adoption is preferable to abortion as seen in this article). If we can’t change a pro-lifer’s mind, then we can at least direct them to organizations such as this, redirecting their energy toward helping children and away from attacking Planned Parenthood.

we need to show vulnerability – why we should admit that unborn babies can be people, and provide a vision of a better future where we can all be pro-life, where kids aren’t living on the street and our foster-care system isn’t overrun with molestation complaints.

12) I have met a few orphans myself and every one of them was very pro-choice. We need to get actual statistics on this and make them known. There’s a reason why people who have been smoking for thirty years are the ones most adamant that you should never start, because they are the ones directly affected by the issue.

“The difference between knowing you’re wanted and knowing you’re not is quite big… It’s like going to a party where you know you’re not invited no matter how polite people are.”

-Absolutely Fabulous, (1992)

A New Perspective on Pro-Choice

So I am adamantly pro-choice, but I have a few serious objections to the standard pro-choice rhetoric that we see these days.

My main issue is with the lies we’ve been telling.

I see two important questions surrounding abortion: 1) at what point does life begin? and 2) at what point does a human become a person?

The first question seems scientific, and is very simple to answer. By any definition of life that I’ve ever heard, it begins at conception. That’s the point when the human begins its growth as an individual animal separate from its mother. This is just a scientific fact. If a worm or a fly is a life-form then there’s no way to argue that a human fetus is not. Simply because it relies on its host for survival does not mean it’s not life.

At what point a human becomes a person, on the other hand, is not a scientific question at all. This is entirely a matter of opinion and emotion. People have every emotional and spiritual right to see this their own way, but as a society of individuals trying to get along, we have an obligation to respect other people’s viewpoints. If I get a dog, and I love my dog, and I decide that my dog is a person, then I expect my friends and family to respect my perspective regardless of their personal beliefs on what is or isn’t a person. This is not about being right or wrong. It’s about having respect for other people’s feelings.

To claim that a woman’s convenience is more important than a human life is understandably disgusting and offensive to a significant portion of the population, and always will be. When the pro-choice crowd insists that unborn babies have no rights or value as human beings when there are so many people who care so deeply about them, our opponents are naturally going to feel disrespected and are going to lash out by doing things like blanketly attacking Planned-Parenthood or forcing women to have trans-vaginal ultrasounds.

This attitude is about more than being respectful, it’s about telling the truth. It’s easy to see that most women are lying when they say a fetus is not a person, because if they were to get pregnant then have a miscarriage, only a very small percentage would simply shrug it off and say “Oh well, it’s not like it was a person.”

I believe we are shooting ourselves in the foot by making these arguments.

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Another place where we are lying, at least here in America, is in lawmaking and the US constitution. I once read on the Addicting Info website, that a woman’s right to choose is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Nowhere in the constitution does it guarantee women the right to kill their unborn babies. I wish it did, but it does not. The tenth amendment clearly guarantees the rights of states to make their own laws and establish their own values.

So often with sacred texts, we twist their meanings to suit our own beliefs. We don’t want to come out and say that we don’t support this document, or we think it was wrong, but we can’t give up our beliefs or stop fighting against the repulsive things that are being done in the name of the pro-life perspective, so we tell ourselves over and over again that Roe-vs-Wade was constitutional. I agree that the outcome of Roe-vs-Wade was the morally correct decision, but it was not the constitutional one. If we want to be a nation of laws, we need to respect the law, even if we strongly disagree with it.

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There’s two simple facts that everyone on both sides of the issue tend to lie about or ignore, but they are important topics surrounding this issue, as they are about the suffering of innocent children.

1) Some women make terrible mothers. I’ve seen mothers repeatedly make jokes about abandoning their children or even use it as a general threat to keep them from misbehaving. I once saw a mother hit a child who was barely old enough to talk because he took three or four extra seconds to get into their car. I recently watched a mom threaten to cut off her child’s fingers. The bottom line is that there is a small but notable percentage of mothers who literally hate their children and wish they had never been born. I find it odd that our society so readily admits that men can be abusive and neglectful toward children while ignoring the fact that women can be just as bad.

Most of these women who hate their children gave birth to them semi-voluntarily. I can’t even imagine what things would look like, or how much children would be suffering, if these women were forced under threat of guns, violence and imprisonment to give birth to a child they never wanted. They would no doubt take their frustrations out on the children. Forcing innocent children into this situation is completely unacceptable.

2) Another harsh truth I wish to point out is the fact that orphans frequently feel completely abandoned by not only their parents, but by all of society. There are countless orphans all over the world who go through their entire childhood knowing that no one loves them. Not in a Marilyn Manson, emo kind of way, but in a literal, not one person cares whether you live or die, your foster parents get paid to take care of you sort of way. In America these children get passed from one home to another and their “parents” don’t form any more of an attachment to them as they would a co-worker at the office. I’ve heard horror stories of far worse situations in some countries, where orphans are kept in a single room for their entire childhood and never learn how to talk.

It is true that a child can be given up for adoption immediately after birth and can usually find decent, loving homes. However, these children technically are not orphans. In the vast majority of cases the pain of giving up your baby is so intense that parents are not able to go through with it until a few years later when the child has little chance of finding a decent home. When a mother gives her child up for adoption at birth, it causes her, and occasionally the father, intense emotional distress.

The fact that pro-lifers casually say “just give them up for adoption” as though it’s a simple, acceptable alternative to abortion shows either a total lack of concern for the children’s welfare or a dramatically unrealistic view of our foster-care system and adoption process. I think as pro-choicers we should give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s the second option, and attempt to educate them.

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“The difference between knowing you’re wanted and knowing you’re not is quite big… It’s like going to a party where you know you’re not invited no matter how polite people are.”

-Absolutely Fabulous, (1992)