Could we just call it what it is?

This is not a place to shy away from controversial topics.  Today is no exception.  In fact, today we’re going to jump into one of the most controversial of our times.  However, we are going to also step a little further away from our standard format as well.

First, I shall never refer to you as “pro-life”.  Really it’s very simple.  You gave up any right to that title as a group starting back in the 80s and continuing through May of this year when some of you are setting fire to clinics.  The right was surrendered when a number of you started demonstrating that you were willing to kill, attempt to kill, and destroy private property to make your point.  You became terrorists, by ambushing doctors and nurses and killing them for performing legal health care services.  Further since the vast majority of self-identified “pro-lifers” are also supporters of the death penalty, it is, again, just more to undercut your legitimacy to call yourself “pro-life”.  You are anti-choice.  You are against a woman’s right to chose what to do with her body.  Worse than that, you are just bullies trying to enforce your beliefs on others who are at a vulnerable time in their life and who are emotionally troubled enough without having to deal with the additional harassment of your terrorism.

There are, I am sure, a handful of you as individuals, who might legitimately call yourselves pro-life.  I respect that you have these sincere beliefs.  However, for those few of you that are truly pro-life, you must accept that your beliefs do not give you sway over any one else’s beliefs.  You do not get to impose your beliefs on others.

This is a complicated issue.  It is further complicated by involvement of the father’s rights as well.  That is a particularly difficult issue to address, and as a man, I understand it very well.  However, there is a very simple theory to resolve it.  It is a matter of proximate rights.  It would be entirely unreasonable for the man to exercise his rights to the extent that it forced the woman to abandon hers.  In a supposedly free society, this should be a no brainer conclusion.  Therefore, while it is not an easy choice and men may not be happy with the decision, if a woman has made the difficult decision that an abortion is the right decision for her at that time, then he must accept it and come to terms with it.

Speaking of which, while I will concede that there are possibly a handful of women who “use abortion as birth control”, however, these are rare cases.  Those women are almost certainly sociopaths.  They are not indicative of the typical situation.  The more normal situation is a heart wrenching decision.  It is not a decision that is reached lightly.  I have personally known too many women who have faced this decision.  Some have made the decision to abort and some have chosen not to.  None who made the decision to have an abortion, not one did so easily or without tears.  Not one enjoyed the experience emotionally or physically.  It is not pleasant.  It is painful in every way – mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Others chose to carry to term and give the child up for adoption.  Interestingly in my personal experience, and that is not a scientific survey by any stretch, it was those women who have experienced much more regret and pain from those choices.  They spent years wondering how the child was.  Many of them spent each birthday in tears over the decision to have given them up.  It was not a decision that they were at peace with.  And, then years later, they had the prospect of finding or being found.  For some of them, this was a desirable thing.  For others, it was something they feared.

I am not pro-abortion.  I do not know of very many people who say that they are, and of those who do, the vast majority are doing so simply to shock.  They are not serious.  Generally we all agree that the ideal situation would be a world where abortions were not required.  Of course, I think we would all tend to agree that it would be wonderful to live in a world where a military was not necessary, too.  Unfortunately, we do not live in that world.  We live in the real world with real problems.


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About Just Torch

Author of the SCIAMAGE column a space devoted to American political and social commentary and analysis. It is unabashedly liberal, but makes every effort to present clear, verifiable facts and sound reasoning. It also makes a commitment to clearly distinguish between facts and opinions. View all posts by Just Torch

4 responses to “Could we just call it what it is?

  • John Stepp

    “Anti-choice” is very direct, but I’ve favored “pro-birth.” The faction’s concern for children runs only from inception to delivery; then the kid’s at best on his own in a dog-eat-dog world.

    • Just Torch

      In fact, they’re very quick to want to institutionalize the kid from that point. Unless s/he is one of the very few privileged kids that are “theirs”.

  • Dave T.

    Good post. At least some of the problem is related to the idea of when life begins. If you believe it begins at conception then the position that you’re killing a baby is clear. But that’s not necessarily scientifically true. First, at conception the soon to be fetus has only a chance of implanting and growing to term. So the “murder” of these “babies” would be easily in the millions if you counted the “natural” abortions that happen every day. Second, even at 12 weeks there is no functioning brain (the basis for life or death at the other end of the spectrum).

    There’s an issue that some cultures believe that life begins at birth. It’s a culture-specific view that life begins at conception or implantation.

    As you mention, few would be pro-abortion. But some of the arguments that are used by anti-choice people are specific to a certain way of looking at it. I recommend educating people about the controversy of when life begins and that pre-birth, the discussion is of fetuses not babies. Then, let’s improve our system of adoption to allow for more parental rights. Step-children can have (for example) loving fathers and step-fathers. This can be the model for birth fathers and adoptive fathers (or mothers). Last, abstinence is not a realistic answer to the pregnancy problem. Let’s educate young people about the whole issue, top to bottom, and take the stigma out of birth control.

    • Just Torch

      I agree to a large extent with what you’ve said. However, you highlight a lot of the basic issue when you used the word belief. In our supposedly free society, we do not get to impose our beliefs on others. As you also pointed out, scientifically, these are not lives and therefore are not murders. To believe differently is fine, but that is not a fact.

      It is not a culture specific issue that life begins at conception. It is a religious specific one, and as such does not belong in our laws. In fact, it MUST be excluded from our laws, per the first amendment.

      Adoption improvements only go so far. The system is already overloaded with too many children in desperate need of homes. A holistic sexual education is absolutely essential and begins at home, as I did with my children. Any education that we leave to the schools, is only going to be at best partial. That is a whole other topic though. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

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