To say that talking about abortion is like opening a can of worms may be the greatest understatement of all time. There is so much emotion and ideology attached that once the word abortion is uttered the lines of defense are instantly drawn, the trenches dug, and everyone settles in for war. To try to ask people to see things from other points of view, or even acknowledge the other side may have a decent point or two, is to stand in no-man’s land with machine gun fire coming from both sides.
Yet, that is what I want to do.
Now, I definitely have a stance. I have really strong beliefs. But I do try to see and hear others.
So what I pose here are just some thoughts and questions. I am not pretending that some of them aren’t slanted. They are. I am not saying that I have all the answers. I don’t. But I wish that instead of blindly defending what we think, we would at least allow a question or two to seep in.
Please use this to simply think. If reading one of these questions or thoughts makes you want to instantly stop reading, or convinces you that I am in some other camp that you want no part with then slow down. Think. Why did that push your buttons? Too often we claim to be willing to listen, to be open-minded, to legitimately look at things from other perspectives, but when push comes to shove we quickly dismiss even a thought-provoking question if it differs with our own views. Just take it in. Think.
And please don’t assume that you know my answer to all of these questions. Some of them I don’t even know what my answer is.
If the reason for allowing abortion is that “it is a woman’s body, and she has the right to do with it as she wills”, then shouldn’t prostitution be legal? What about me selling my kidney to someone who needs a transplant?
We have a huge movement in our country to do things naturally. Eat organic, be at one with nature. Yet, many women who wouldn’t dare darken the doors of McDonald’s take birth control pills that dramatically alter what their body naturally does. Why is one okay but the other is not? And then how “natural” is abortion?
Can we please find better language for all this stuff? I read a blog post (written by a woman) that I felt was pretty even-handed in its approach to the Planned Parenthood videos. Yet, the comments were brutal, mean, and one even claimed that the writer was part of a war on women. Seriously? Just because someone is pro-baby doesn’t make them anti-woman does it? Do we have to paint each other into a corner because we are afraid if we actually listened to one another we might learn something or maybe even have to change? If all you can do is chant for your side (whichever that is), and paint the other side as evil, then maybe that is a huge part of the problem?
Let me ask a question to those who are pro-life: What are you doing besides voting and complaining to be a part of the life-giving solution? Are you adopting kids? Fighting for justice? Seeking ways to help the poor and suffering? Trying to stop wars and violence?
Let me ask a question to those who are pro-choice: If someone truly believes that a murder is being committed, what do you expect them to do? I mean, if I knew that someone was going to murder your mother, wouldn’t you want me to do everything in my power and then some to stop it? If someone believes abortion is murder, would you think much of them if they just did nothing?
I hear some people make the point that if the “conservative ” camp cares so much about life, then why aren’t they doing more to stop wars, domestic violence, the death penalty, etc…? You know what; I think that is a pretty good point.
I hear some people make the point that if the “liberal” camp cares so much about stopping something like the death penalty, why don’t they care more about abortion since for every 1 person executed in the United States there are around 25,000 abortions? You know what; I think that is a pretty good point.
I am pro-life. Let me explain. I am for senseless killing to stop, whether it is done with a gun, a grenade, an electric chair, or a scalpel. There is far too much people killing people in this world.
I am pro-choice. Let me explain. I believe that one of the first things God gives people is freedom. They get to choose to even do stupid stuff. We can choose to do things that hurt us or our relationships, or we can choose to do things that bring joy and peace. But we all have the right to choose. However, my personal belief is that rather than defining abortion as the moment of choice, it would be more honest to look at all the choices we make that lead up to that moment.
Finally let me say, I follow Jesus. He is the Lord of Life. Therefore, I stand for life and dignity anywhere I can. But that does not mean that I hate or disparage someone who has an abortion. No, I treat them with love and dignity as well. I just hope that we can all move beyond the idea that we have to hate the other side, as well as come to a place where someone can think what we are doing is completely wrong, but we don’t interpret that as hate. It is the only way this discussion can ever move forward.