Sometimes I think our society gets caught up in choosing sides. In this it is a question of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” I think both sides aim for great ideals, but both sides are really fighting for things without having an opposition that stands directly opposite of it.
Pro-life wants all people to be protected and have dignity.
Pro-choice wants women to be protected and have dignity.
Really, both sides of the fight (at least the majority of people that would claim an affiliation) want to better humanity by respecting the rights of people. I think that both sides need to come together to affirm the rights of people as a whole, and then analyze how we could come to a common solution.
For example, by looking at how people end up with unwanted pregnancies, and lessening the number of unwanted pregnancies, the number of abortions needed would drop. Not because a law is passed that would make it illegal or because women give up the rights to make decisions on their own, but because the reasons women feel they can not support a pregnancy and a child would be eliminated. If people were genuinely educated about sex leading to pregnancy, the cost of raising a child, etc. I think some people might make wiser decisions that would help decrease unwanted pregnancies.
At this point I honestly feel that the pro-choice vs. pro-life argument is kept on the agenda by Republicans and Democrats not because they care about the issues, but because the fight makes good people short-sighted. Like, if all the Catholic women out there are fighting for babies, they won’t fight to have women be equals. And currently it is working. Women still make 73 cents to every dollar a man makes. If you want to make women feel like they could deal with having a baby that came from an unplanned pregnancy, lets give women the credit to pay them what they are worth. If we want to stop abortion, it is not by passing laws telling women they cannot think or judge for themselves, but instead by helping them realize women are the best thinkers, judgers, and do-ers. That women together are the fabric and backbone of our society. Once women are treated as genuine equals and given options to help us be successful, and financially stable, and supported by our families and societies, making a choice becomes a moot point. It will not be a choice between getting a good job or having a child, or between fooling around and getting knocked up or getting a good education and being successful.
The fight right now is a way for the powerful white men to keep all the women and minorities locked in a battle that is meaningless. Equal rights for all, equal pay for all, would really help abortion go away. Social programs that actually work instead of preaching to the choir and ignoring those that need it, would help abortions go away.
I know my position is unorthodox compared to many of the people that read your blog, but that is why I am putting it out there. I hope people read it and think “this crazy woman is right! getting lost in the nitty-gritty of this has prevented me from seeing that this fight is a way to keep us from really examining what the big policy makers are doing”
I welcome comments about this. I know many of you that read this are pro-life. I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-choice until the day comes that women can all be pro-life, but not give up their own lives to bring a child into a world that will not support them, value them, or treat them like equals.
One day I would very much like to be pro-life.
Col, I am so glad you left this comment!
I actually agree with like 98% of what you said. Like this: “At this point I honestly feel that the pro-choice vs. pro-life argument is kept on the agenda by Republicans and Democrats not because they care about the issues, but because the fight makes good people short-sighted.” think Republicans are especially guilty of this, and I agree that the vast majority of politicians who claim to care about this issue actually don’t really, but its a good way to keep people voting for you. I think for me, its a large part of the reason that I don’t generally vote for national offices.
I also agree 100% that we need to be addressing the root causes of why women seek abortions in the first place; research done by planned parenthood has revealed that the vast majority of abortions are performed because women (a) feel they lack the resources needed to raise a child and (b) are in school and feel they cannot do both. That is a tragedy. But its not surprising. Our country spends billions of dollars every year on building yet more weapons we dont need and killing people in other countries, when that money could (and should) be spent making sure that no woman is so unsupported and without resources that she feels her only option is to kill her child. I’d be willing to pay twice as much in taxes if I knew it was going to support life rather than take it.
I also agree with you that other women’s issues are still not being addressed, but I guess I’d have to blame feminist organizations for this as much as anyone else. They seem so preoccupied with abortion and continuing to expand its use, that perhaps they have neglected these issues more than they realize. Also, I don’t think any Catholic woman I know would say they don’t care, or aren’t angered by the fact that women make 73 cents for every male dollar. I know it pisses me off.
Also, you should check out feminists for life. They do not focus on the legislative aspects (trying to overturn the law), but on working to address the root causes of why women have abortions. They also advocate for child support, healthcare for women and children, and ways to make it easier for women to complete their education if becoming pregnant. http://www.feministsforlife.org/who/aboutus.htm. I hope you’ll check them out, I was so impressed to find them! The group was started by two women who were kicked out of NOW in 1973 for not supporting abortion as a feminist priority. They have some great ideas, and aren’t religiously affiliated.
I think the main thing we disagree on may be this: Based on my own experience of having been pregnant and giving birth to Maggie, in addition to basic information on fetal development, I am 100% convinced that unborn children are human persons and deserve to not be killed, in the same way that you and I and everyone else also deserves to not be killed. It’s why I’m against the death penalty, and euthanasia, and nuclear weapons, and war for just about any reason. People ought not to be killed unless it’s a matter of self-defense against someone trying to kill me (or you, etc…). I wholeheartedly agree that no woman should be forced to choose between education, or career, etc. and having a child. But I also believe that killing the child cannot be a valid solution to this situation. Telling women that the best we can do for them as a society is to stand by and accept this desperate, tragic act of killing their child, because we can’t help them have both, seems like a pretty piss poor response from the wealthiest nation in the world. We put people on the moon and abortion is the best we can do?!
I think that abortion is a desperate act of violence that a woman chooses because she feels trapped and very afraid. But it is an act of violence, and I think that any violence, especially when it is legalized and condoned, makes us as a society a little more violent as time goes by. Violence, instead of love and support, becomes the default way of dealing with a crisis pregnancy.
I am really glad you left a comment on this post! Also, I think you’d be surprised to know that quite a few of my regular readers would agree with a lot of what you said.
You raise an excellent point, Colleen. However, if abortions become illegal, the underlying issues that you mention will become much more prominent to society at large, causing a world that turns a blind eye to the evils of injustice to perhaps pay more attention.
I am in full agreement that the issue of abortion must be approached head-on, not just through politics. Yet all unborn children have just as much right to life as their mothers, even if that life includes some rough roads. Thanks for getting the conversation going!
Thanks for responding back, Sar. I’m going to check out the link you gave me. Sometimes I feel like being “feminist” has become a dirty choice, when in reality I’m just looking for equality for all.