In the abortion debate, I find it hard to give my support to anyone.
I believe the pro-lifers: we should not simply kill the unborn for being unwanted. I believe the pro-choicers: Sometimes, the circumstances of a woman is such that it is not in her interest, or the child’s, for her to become a mother.
I do not believe pro-lifers: They cannot reason that any woman who did not refuse intercourse should raise her children. Really? Should a slightly mentally handicapped 14-year old girl, who was pressured but not forced by her 16-year old boyfriend into the act, be given the task of motherhood? Should the abused
woman who don’t think she can make it on her own if she leaves her abusive boyfriend be made to raise children in that abusive home? Should a married couple who lost their jobs and cannot afford children right now refrain from intercourse? And what about fathers: Do they likewise believe any man capable of using his penis should be left with his children? Children are not a punishment for sexual activity. They are human beings whose best interest we should look out for.
I don’t believe pro-choicers: The best solution, when a pregnant woman has hard circumstances, is very seldom* an abortion.
I am in favor of life, but I think the rethoric if pro-lifers is too small. They curse darkness and do not put on lights. Life is not just about babies not being aborted.
Life is also about children groing up loved and wanted and provided for – materially and emotionally. Life is about mothers’ health, and everyone including mothers reaching their highest potential, living out their gifts, and raising children (if they have them), in a healthy, loving enviroment.
If we want a culture of life, we should talk about how to affirm life, provide for life, and care about life. The life of the unborn child, the born child, the mother and, depending on the circumstances, even the father or adoptive parents. If we make it hard for a poor mother to provide for her child, are we affirming the life of the mother and her little boy or girl? If pro-life conservatives shame the girl who get pregnant out of wedlock, are they not encouraging the next girl to rather get an abortion? If bosses make it hard for mothers at work, if they assume mothers have divided loyalties, do they affirm the value of her work input, her life and the life she is raising? If we make no way for women to get out abusive relationships, do we really care about the children born into the abusive home?
Do pro-choicers talk about how abortions is not really a “free choice” by the woman, but influenced by her circumstances, and by people like boyfriends and fathers? Do pro-lifers provide pregnancy care, and good, safe day care so mothers can go back to work? Do pro-lifers promote adoption as vehemently as they oppose abortion?
Do debaters (on both sides of the debate) notice that many of the Western nations where abortion is completely legal has lower abortion rates than many of the places where it is legal? It seems the best thing to do if you are against abortion is not to curse the darkness, but to turn on some lights. Forbidding abortion does not work as well as policies by which women have visibly better future options, for themselves and their children. Creating visibly better options? Options are choices. Better options are pro-choice. And pro-life.
* Very seldom: A tubal pregnancy is one example of when it would be very hard to reason that any better option than abortion exists.