I found this excellent post on another blog, and felt compelled to comment. My comment is awaiting moderation, so I don’t know it it will be approved or not, but I wanted to sound off on this topic, as sort of a response post to Emily’s blog entry.
First, my typed response to her post, as listed above (in case she doesn’t accept it):
You bring up a valid point about the circumstances of a persons conception not being a factor in how they are viewed in life. It’s a very forward thinking way of seeing the world. I applaud you for it.
However, I disagree that the government should force a woman to birth a child they don’t want or can’t care for. If a woman is raped, and if the pregnancy would result in the death of the mother, then the child should be aborted.
You may ask, “Who has the right to make that choice?” The answer is always the MOTHER of the child. The government doesn’t own our bodies. We are not chattel to be bought and sold.
“Don’t want,” you may say, is a watchword for irresponsibility. In some cases, you might be right. But in others, particularly rape, w[h]ere a woman doesn’t want ANYTHING to do with the child, as it sprung from the loins of a hateful man, is perfectly acceptable.
And “God’s word” doesn’t mean much to me here, frankly. God’s not the one carrying the child to term. God’s not the one who’s going to have to feed the child and care for it.
Without getting too inflammatory here, pro-life is nothing so much as an argument for slavery. Stripping all rights from women because it suits “God’s plan” is an even worse idea.
While I won’t get into a religious debate here, (as I can already tell we have vastly different views of religion), I will say that making level headed choices, based not on dogma, but on logic would go a long way to healing the rifts this country has experienced since the Viet Nam era.
I’ve blasted Sarah Palin in my own blog for a variety of reasons. I don’t think she’s the right choice for VP, nor do I think the Republicans are the right choice for the White House, (big surprise, right?), but I will agree with you that Sarah Palin does have guts to stand up and espouse her beliefs.
And I applaud you for standing up and espousing yours. Well done. Great entry.
I wanted to follow up with this here, as I spent all last night thinking about it. When I was driving home from dropping my wife off at work, I came to the following conclusions:
1) Pro-life is limited as it offers the mother only two options. Have the child and keep it, or have the child and give it up for adoption.
Either is bad for the mother, and potentially dangerous for the child. If the mother is too young, say, a twelve year-old victim of her fathers “attentions,” she’s not physically able to have the child. And even if she could, she sure as heck doesn’t have the experiences or the knowledge of how to raise a child to do it effectively.
Also, if the mother gives up the child, it becomes another foster child in a foster care system which has a lot of problems of its own. Too many children, not enough money. They all suffer for it.
2) Pro-choice is better (though not by much) in that it offers another option. Options one and two are identical as above. Option three is, of course, termination of the fetus. In the case of a twelve year-old victim, as above, termination is probably the best option.
This is why I think Sarah Palin’s stance on abortion is wrong. She, and the religious right, are making broad strokes which don’t cover all the possibilities which make up the mosaic of American life. To extend the painting metaphor a step further, paintings with just one color are boring to look at.
PREVENTING UNWANTED PREGNANCIES IS THE GOAL
Let’s not loose sight of our goal here, people. The goal is to prevent unwanted pregnancies, right? This is accomplished with better sex education classes and, honestly, getting over our prudelike natures when it comes to sex.
This can ONLY be accomplished by removing the religious tenor of this dialog. I know that will offend some people, however, it may be necessary to resolve this issue fairly and justly. Basing anything on religious beliefs is shaky ground when it comes to the rights of others. Therefore, by removing the religious tenor, the only thing that remains is the choice to be made. And that can be done with simple logic.
So where is the middle ground here? Is “abstinence only” sex education the only way to teach our children? I don’t think so. I think abstinence is the only 100% way to avoid having a baby (that’s pretty obvious, even to the dumbest amongst us.) However, it should not be the only option when teaching sex-ed to kids.
A comprehensive course in sex-education is needed. Everything from abstinence to condom use to vaginal sponges, to the “morning after” pill, as well as traditional birth control pills (which also, have a regulating effect on a womans cycle, by the way, for those who didn’t know that.) This comprehensive sex-ed would cover same sex pairings as well. The reason? Someone is going to try it. They might as well be safe doing it. If you exclude same sex sex-education, you are, in essence, telling a whole segment of the population they are not worthy enough, as human beings, to live.
Since the US has been dragging its feet about the AIDS epidemic, and since a lot of homosexuals are ravaged by this disease, it would make a certain amount of sense to protect American school children, whether gay or straight, from it. To not do so would be to equate their lives as being no better than a rabid dogs.
In conclusion then, let me state that the woman’s right to her own body is as sacred a right as any other. No government, or religion, should make such sweeping policies as affects such a large population. Personal rights are inviolate and the government should adopt a “hands off” policy when it comes to them.
Pro-Choice is the better choice for those reasons I’ve stated above. Please feel free to sound off about this here. I look forward to reading any replies.
Side Note: I want to thank Emily for her great blog entry which got this whole conversation started. I encourage everyone to read Emily’s blog (the link is above, or to the right under “WordPress Blogs” (click Not Finished Yet).
Peace be with you all.