Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pro-choice is not the same as Pro-abortion

I think that it is sad that this presidential race has gotten so nasty that people have forgotten that - first & foremost - we are all human beings. In the last of the presidential debates, I watched John McCain mock the notion that women for whom pregnancy poses a substantial health risk should be allowed to abort the pregnancy. He indicated that "health" was an excuse - as if the people who would get an abortion in that situation were looking for a reason to kill a baby. I think that is disgusting.

I was raised as a Born-again Christian and would have considered myself pro-life growing up. I still believe that every life has a purpose, but I would now be considered pro-choice. I am a mother, a wife, a sister and a friend. While I cannot imagine that I'd ever abort a pregnancy, I would not pretend to understand the mental anguish a pregnant woman would feel had the pregnancy been the result of a rape. I cannot imagine the torment an expectant mother would feel having to choose between her own life and the life of her would-be son or daughter. Finally, how must a pregnant teenager feel knowing that her baby was the result of incest?

This is an incredibly sad issue, but one that has many variables (how far along the pregnancy is, what the mother's religious beliefs dictate, the personal circumstances of the family). Women who find themselves in this situation have difficult choices to make, choices that they have to live with for the rest of their lives.

I have studied the bible and the fundamental lessons that I take from it are these: each of us is not so perfect that we should judge each other's choices, that we should show love & compassion for each other and that the greatest gift God gave to us is the power to choose for ourselves - to make the best choices we can make given our circumstances. My faith has changed over the years, but my belief in those principles has not.

I don't believe that imposing an across-the-board ban on abortions is the answer. That ban crosses the line between church & state and violates my rights. I don't believe that the government should be making my choice for me. I don't believe that as women, we should allow the government to legislate what we can do with our bodies because, frankly, I am not comfortable with where that could lead in the future. If men & women are supposed to be equal in this country and we start eroding women's rights, what comes next?

I don't expect that as citizens from all different walks of life, we will ever find agreement on this issue. However, I do believe that Senator Obama can help us move in the right direction - to find common ground under the shared belief that we all value human life. This notion that anyone is truly "pro-abortion" is sick. It is nothing more than a political ploy to dehumanize those that support the right to choose and label the liberal population as immoral.


SassyAssy said...

Would I choose abortion? I am not sure that I would, but I would never feel free to dictate another woman's choice. Walk a mile in someone's shoes before taking that burden on!

Dave Murdock said...

Nice write up, keep them coming :)