Five e-z steps for calming down fights over abortion

In order to help ratchet back the animosity that so often characterizes our conversations about abortion, I propose that whenever people gather to discuss the issue, before beginning everyone present resolves to agree upon the following five points, which anyone should be able to:

1. We all love and adore babies.

2. We can all empathize with any pregnant woman who, for whatever reason, feels that she must terminate her pregnancy.

3. No pregnant woman in America (or anywhere else in the world) should have unavailable to her good prenatal and postnatal care.

4. While some of us may disagree with the assertion that life begins at conception, all of us can acknowledge the spiritual validity of the conviction that human life is sacrosanct.

5. When discussing any topic as important and consequential as abortion, we must never allow manners and civility to be defeated by rancor and hostility.

How cool would it be if everyone who hadn’t first read and agreed to these five points was told they had to stay out of whatever conversation was happening about abortion?

Civil discourse instead of constant screaming?

Acting like adults instead of children?

Dare we dream it?


Also worth mentioning on this issue is this piece: To Pro-Lifers Who Believe Adoption is Always the Answer.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • BarbaraR

    Well said. The only point I might add is to “Leave any punitive actions or thoughts toward the pregnant woman at the door. It does not matter why or how she got pregnant. Her marital status is irrelevant, as is her economic situation, her education, her religion, her race, or any other demographic she might be judged by.”

    • James Walker

      This, BarbaraR. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

    • Pavitrasarala

      Yes, and ditto with parents who choose to carry a child to term with a genetic disability that will require lifelong care or will mean the child will die during infancy/early childhood. That is STILL the decision of the parents – let them love their children while they have them, and in the best way they can. I tire of hearing/reading comments from people who b*tch about how it’s a waste of their taxpayer dollars (and how do they know even a penny of their taxes are going to pay for the child’s care?!), or how it’s a burden to society (how about being a burden to such parents by acting like a total troll over something on which they never even asked your opinion?).

    • R Vogel

      I find all these things very relevant when discussing the issue, especially with regard to establishing #2. Who gets abortions and why? The strawman argument is that it is selfish, licentious women who have no regard for human life and are using abortion as a form of birth control. The reality tells quite a different story. If you are really desirous of reducing abortions. which I don’t believe the pro-life movement actually is but that is another story, then (1) prevent unwanted pregnancy and (2) make sure no woman ever has to face having a child she cannot afford to feed, cloth, provide medical care for, and educate. That will get you probably 99% of the way there.

      I also find that challenging those who like to declare that ‘abortion is murder’ what they think we should do with a woman who gets an abortion? She is a murderer, right? I have found very few, outside of the internet, who are willing to go on record to say we should incarcerate a woman for the crime of having an abortion, or execute her for the wanton crime of multiple abortions – it highlights quite a contradiction in their bs rhetoric.

      • Annerdr

        “If you are really desirous of reducing abortions. which I don’t believe the pro-life movement actually is…”
        That’s the problem, isn’t it? They claim want to reduce abortions and then do nothing that would have that effect, such as scientific sex ed, free birth control, increased benefits to families with minor children. Instead, they focus on making abortion as dangerous as possible, even though statistics show that doesn’t actually decrease the number of them. It’s truly bizarre.

        • R Vogel

          I think it is about controlling women’s sexuality not abortion. If you eliminate all the protections, then maybe they will behave like their good book tells them to. This obviously doesn’t go for everyone who has moral issues with abortion. But for the pro-life movement it is simply a smoke screen.

          • EB_Oz

            That’s exactly what it is, as evidenced by the way my mother spits “then they should have kept their legs shut” when referring to women who receive abortions. No similar disgusted comment is ever made about the men who got them pregnant, interestingly.

          • Snooterpoot

            I think the so-called pro-life movement is really about punishing women for enjoying sex. It infuriates me to hear “she should have kept her legs together” and then failing to condemn men for failure to keep their pants zipped.
            It’s the old “boys will be boys,” but women will be whores double standard.

            I think the core of their belief is that women who have abortions are sluts.

            One more thing; I don’t think most of these people are pro-life at all since they moan and complain about having their taxes spent to provide infants and their mothers with the basic necessities of life. I think they are pro-birth. I find that despicable.

      • lymis

        I agree about the murder charge question, and I’ve found it’s usually even more basic.

        There’s entirely too much overlap between those who oppose all abortions and those who oppose reliable and available contraception and comprehensive sex education.

        It should go without saying that if someone opposes ending unwanted pregnancies, they should at least as vehemently support preventing them in the first place – and all too rarely do. That throws their claimed motivations right out the window for me.

        • anakinmcfly

          I know a few people who are vehemently against abortion (because they consider it murder) and – precisely because of that – extremely in favour of birth control and comprehensive sex education. While they may be the minority, I can’t really argue against that, or claim that their views emerge from anything other than genuine compassion for human life.

        • R Vogel

          I am almost ashamed at how long it took me to realize this – it was Libby Anne over in the Atheist channel that finally cracked the code for me. It seems so obvious now. It is scary how our upbringing and worldview creates blind spots.

        • Andy

          Yes! It boggles my mind how there are people that are opposed to both abortion and birth control. That leads me to believe that either they don’t approve of sex outside of procreation (in which case, I feel really sorry for them) or they think “alternative” birth control methods (pulling out, avoiding certain days, etc.) are sufficiently effective, which is bullshit.

      • EB_Oz

        This has always been my question about abortion. If it’s illegal, who goes to jail? The mother only? The mother and the doctor? What if someone knew about the abortion and didn’t try to stop the mother or report it? Is that person an “accomplice?” What happens to the mother’s other children while she is incarcerated? Does the government pay for their care? Who watches them? How long is the sentence? As long as a murder?

        Until I get concrete answers to these questions, it is very hard for me to make up my mind about abortion. I need more detail than emotionally-charged rhetoric.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    I’d add something as well. Just as we should honor a woman’s right to make decisions about her pregnancy, respect and support her if termination seems necessary to her, and if not, should offer any resources to help her have a healthy baby as well as all she will need to raise her child, we should also provide every option for her to choose to avoid pregnancy if that is what she wants.

    • Patrick DeHoff

      absolutely. If we helped hormonally excited teenagers learn how to be responsible, reduced economic barriers to child rearing, and ensured good prenatal care, abortions would be (and have been) reduced.

  • Lynn

    As a woman who once relinquished a newborn for adoption, I’d also like to ask that people STOP bringing adoption into the abortion discussion. It was a painful, horrific choice that continues to impact me to this day, and I am so tired of both liberals and conservatives trotting out adoption as something they can all agree on. Adoption is a totally separate issue from abortion, it’s a complex and traumatic topic, and it’s not one to be bandied about by people to suit their agendas.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Agreed. I almost gave my firstborn up, it was a very traumatic time in my life, being made harder by the completely negative response by my church and my family.

      • Sa Say

        I had the same response when I made the decision to give my daughter up for adoption, but I knew I was not equipped to be a parent. I am shocked that the same people who are so anti-abortion will turn around and shame you for wanting to do what is best for your child. In THAT way, and several others, I DO see a correlation between the two issues, because of the fact that so many in the rabidly pro-life movement have NO IDEA what they are condemning some young women and families to when they first guilt them out of an abortion and then guilt them out of adoption. (Please note I said “some”–some young women want to keep their babies, and I’m not speaking to that issue at all)

        My daughter turns 19 in a few days and, while I have not yet met her (not since she was 3 days old!), I can tell you that I know enough about her life and family to have a great deal of peace about my choice. I was just thinking about this the other day when I once again found myself unemployed–a situation that has plagued me throughout my life–and thinking how grateful I was to the stable family who raised her in my stead. They, as much as she, have my love.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          What a beautiful response Sa Say. You are so right, shaming and guilting women into making choices they are not wanting is just wrong. People who do that, don’t have to live with the fall-out.

    • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

      Oh Lynn –
      I think this is a hugely important comment. I had a com-box discussion with a woman (OP about Philamena) who enlightened me to many of the concerns around adoption – Not only the potential emotional trauma for the birth mother, but also some of the systemic coercion and profit motives. I truly had no idea. I’m probably not the only ignorant one about what it means to give a child up for adoption.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      yeah, lemme go fetch and work into the post something about exactly that Lynn.

      • Lynn

        Thank you so much John. I can’t even begin to say how much this means. Thank you.

        Thanks also Ford and Allegra. And Allegra I’m sorry you have some experience of this but glad you ended up not living a lifelong separation. Blessings to you.

    • anakinmcfly

      My (sort of previous) church apparently uses the slogan ‘adoption, not abortion’. They had a bunch of kids getting up to talk about how abortion was murder; then they led the church in prayer for all those mothers who wanted to abort, and how they should just give them up for adoption instead. I’m a pro-choicer who hopes people choose life, but either way it made me sad that they were teaching this stuff to such young kids – who were evidently horrified at the notion of killing babies.

      This is a huge church, too; thousands of members.

    • Jan Wolf

      One of my beloved older brothers was adopted as a child. I now follow the topic occasionally on trusted community blogs (which are few and far between, this being one). I really can’t imagine, but I can certainly agree that adoption shouldn’t be politicized. Thank you for mentioning it.

    • Anne

      Thank you, Lynn. I was adopted and found my birth mother when I was 40 years old. I always thought that the hole inside me would go away when/if I finally met her. That was not the case. The hole is always with me, even though it changes shape. People talk about adoption as though it’s a simple thing. Nothing with such a profound effect on the lives of everyone it touches, can possibly be simple or easy. For what it’s worth, I have a great relationship with my mom AND my birth mom and have had the closest thing to a “happily-ever-after” story as anyone could. Yet I still carry the burden and the legacy with me every day and they forever affect the way I see, feel, and interact with the world around me.

  • Patrick DeHoff

    I think the hardest part is getting people to do number 2. Empathize. At the risk of “plural of anecdote is not data,” I grew up in the “we’re-not-anti-abortion-we’re-pro-LIFE!!” movement. Even wrote congressmen and did the march on Columbus when I was like 10. There is no empathy for pregnant women considering abortion. I actually got into a rather amazing facebook fight one night when an acquaintance was planning to go protest at an abortion clinic (with a few excited respondents eager to bring the fake blood). I asked that he treat every woman he encountered as if it was Christ Himself. I got a lot of flame to the effect of “why should we treat baby killers like that?” The image many in that movement seem to have of a woman considering abortion is that of a mob boss deciding who to whack.

  • Judy

    Perhaps add to number five that scientific facts for which there is evidence based medicine must contribute to this discussion. Knowledge of such a concept that ALL contraceptive methods have a failure rate, that almost all late second term abortions are very wanted pregnancies, that free contraception significantly decreases unwanted pregnancy rate, particularly if it is a long acting contraceptive such as an IUD, etc. etc.
    In my work I see women struggling over what to do with an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy. No matter what their decision, they are upset, tearful and fearful. They do not take their actions lightly. Above all we are called to love.

  • R Vogel

    #2 is the rub though, yeah? I grew up among the hardcore pro-life crowd – the bible class in school actually organized an abortion clinic protest which I summarily refused to participate in to unsurprising effect (a failing grade in the class – but that F was actually instrumental in me getting my Congressional appointment to the Naval Academy so “Suck It” podunk, no longer existent church!) – many of my family still are among that crowd and there is no empathy. Not a shred. They call names and make the accusation that women use abortion in lieu of birth control and other horrible things. How does one have a conversation with such people?

    • James Walker

      while you may not have a conversation with them (because it’s pretty pointless), you just continue showing as much of God’s Love and Grace as you can muster.

      • Pavitrasarala

        Yes, this. How does the saying go – preach the Gospel, using words only when necessary?

        • Jan Wolf

          I read this comment first as sarcastic, before having read the original post, and then as sincere, and both sound truthful. You might want to refine your argument, I suppose? To play the Devil’s advocate, which is easy with a name like “Wolf.”

          • Wolf

            As a man named Wolf (who frequently plays Devil’s advocate), I approve ;)

      • R Vogel

        I let G*d do the whole love and grace thing. I raise hell and break shit, and have no tolerance for people who cannot show a lick of empathy for women, many of whom may be facing the worst day of their life. They may have a different opinion than me regarding abortion, which is fine. Dehumanizing people is not. I don’t stand with oppressors or abusers.

        • James Walker

          well, Jesus was portrayed as kicking over a few tables and driving a few critters out of the Temple grounds with a flog…

          lovingly…

          and gracefully…

          ;)

  • Jan Wolf

    Christianity, empathy, and logic all intertwined? Say it ain’t so! For once, this is real?

  • Jan Wolf

    All my love to the women in this thread, even if I can’t personally relate to many of your struggles, being a single person. Thank you, John, for creating this wonderful safe space for us to talk.

  • James Scotsman

    I can agree to most of this… however I have a problem with #2. I am sorry, but I can not empathize with a woman who wishes to terminate her pregnancy (ie kill a child) because that child would be inconvenient.

    • Wolf

      James, have you ever considered that women don’t usually terminate their pregnancy just for the sake of convenience? This is exactly what is meant by empathy – you’re condemning PEOPLE because you disagree with what they do. Worse, you’re putting them down for something that you clearly (and your words are evidence of this) do not understand.

      • myintx

        there are surveys that have been done on reasons why women end the lives of their unborn children. Two of the most common excuses are “not the right time for a child” (which, could be considered ‘convenience’) and “cannot afford a child” – Two great reasons to get help from any number of places that can help (churches, family, friends, food pantries, government benefits, etc) or visit an adoption agency to see about putting the child up for adoption when it is born.

        • BarbaraR

          “Not the right time” may mean “I’m in an abusive relationship,” “I am going to school to improve the life of my existing children,” “my parents will kill me if they find out,” or any other reason that does not include “convenience.” And if it does include “convenience,” that is not my place to judge.

          Having worked in the government benefits business for many years, I can assure you those benefits are nowhere nearly enough to raise a child. And forcing a woman to have to beg for monetary assistance instead of helping her get control of her life is not help at all.

          See Lynn’s comment below about the pain of dragging “adoption” as an “easy” alternative into this discussion.

          • myintx

            “I’m in an abusive relationship” – call the police. Don’t take it out by killing an unborn child
            “I’m going to improve the life of my existing children” – an unborn child IS existing. It shouldn’t be killed anymore than a born child.
            “my parents would kill me…” – really? they might be mad, but they won’t kill you.

            Killing to ‘get control of her life’ is horrible. And, I never said adoption was easy. But it is better than killing. People with born children don’t always get to take the easy way out. Life isn’t always easy. But killing to make your life easier is horrible.

          • BarbaraR

            I cannot continue a discussion when inflammatory words are being used. I disagree that it is killing and your insisting it is will not convince me otherwise.

          • myintx

            “Killing” is not an inflammatory word. It’s the truth of abortion.

          • myintx

            How about an unborn child dies when an abortion happens…Either way, a human being is denied a chance at a full and productive life, and, that is sad.

          • BarbaraR

            And that is why pregnant women need the right to a safe abortion.

          • myintx

            Huh? An unborn child being denied a chance at a full and productive life is why pregnant women need the ‘right’ to end their unborn child’s life? Doesn’t make sense.

            “It’s easy to talk about abortion as a right or a choice when you aren’t the one who was aborted.” Melissa Ohden, abortion survivor

          • BarbaraR

            Your words:

            ” a human being is denied a chance at a full and productive life, and, that is sad.”

            A woman is a human being. Forcing her to continue a pregnancy she does not want will indeed deny her a chance at a full and productive life.

          • myintx

            An unborn child is a human being too. If a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy gets help she can indeed still have a full and productive life. She CAN give up her child for adoption if she wants. Despite Lynn’s comment, not all women regret putting up their child for adoption. Some arrange open adoptions. Most adoptions work out. All abortions end in death.

          • BarbaraR

            I disagree that the “rights” of a fetus trump the rights of an adult woman. Her body, her choice. I disagree also that an abortion is any more than terminating an embryo – as far as I am concerned it is not a human being.

            We are clearly not going to agree on this.

          • myintx

            It’s not ‘her body’ – is the body of an unborn child that is affected by an abortion. It’s not the woman who dies is it?

            And the rights of the unborn child do not trump the rights of a woman – they should be EQUAL – every innocent human being should have a right to life. If that means a woman getting help and COEXISTing for a few short months, that’s the way it should be so that a new human being has a chance at life.

            An unborn child is a human being. A child born prematurely at 23 weeks is a human being, right? It is in the womb at 23 weeks also, right?. and a day before that… and a day before that…etc – all the way back to when it was created – at fertilization.

          • BarbaraR

            As I said, we will never agree on this. I completely disagree with what you’ve posted and am bowing out of this. It is futile to continue.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            Barbara: Don’t ever hesitate to email or IM me on FB if there’s someone on this blog I need to blog/delete. (And contact me also if you’d like me to make you a moderator of this blog, so you can do that yourself. You’ve certainly earned that, and I certainly trust you with it.)

          • BarbaraR

            I sent you an email… maybe went to your spam folder?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Are you able to show an ounce of compassion? If not, this is not the place for you.

          • myintx

            I have compassion. I just don’t support killing. Kind of goes along with compassion.

          • myintx

            I think that encouraging women to get help or put her child up for adoption instead of having an abortion is showing compassion.

          • BarbaraR

            See Lynn’s comment below.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I tell you what. If you ever find yourself pregnant, then you have the right whether or not to terminate your pregnancy for what ever reason. I promise to be empathetic and support your decision.

      • Justas399 .

        What about the rights about the baby?

        • BarbaraR

          See #4. Not everyone agrees when life begins.

          • Justas399 .

            We know it’s a human and all of us were at this stage at one time.

          • BarbaraR

            Not everyone agrees on when it becomes “human,” as you put it.
            I really don’t know what “all of us were at this stage at one time” has to do with this.

          • Jay

            If the fetus at any stage or time is not human then what is it? What is the evidence that it is not human?

          • BarbaraR

            As I stated, people have differing opinions about this. No one person’s opinion is THE TRUTH.

            No one has evidence about what it may or may not be.

            And this really has nothing to do with the steps outlined in the article.

          • Jay

            An opinion is the truth when it is based on facts. Many states recognize this when a person murders a pregnant woman he can be charged for 2 murders.

          • BarbaraR

            … which has what to do with compassion toward a woman as outlined in John’s article?

          • Jay

            ?????

          • BarbaraR

            Did you read John’s article?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            The legal issue is the issue of personhood.

            No one denies it’s human.
            No one denies it’s living.
            The issue is when is it a “person” with a compelling interest to have the state protect its rights, and that legal point has been determined to be at viability. Yes, a non-fixed point in time, dependent upon medical technology.

          • Jay

            What is the difference between a person and a human being?

            The state is mistaken on making viability the criteria. Even the state will charge a person with double homicide when he murders a pregnant woman. This could only be if the state considers the fetus to be a human being.

          • BarbaraR

            “The state is mistaken…”
            Again, this is opinion.

          • Jay

            True but i have facts to back it up.

          • BarbaraR

            It is a fact that some states can charge a murder suspect with double homicide if a pregnant woman is murdered, but that has no bearing on the article above.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            In general…

            Human is a biological category: Human blood, Human hair, Human DNA, Human bones. It stands in contrast to non-human things: elephants, grass, water, iron.

            A person is a human, a separate individual with a distinct identity, personality, autonomy: a living, sentient being with rights.

            A person with dimentia is still a person.
            A comatose person is still a person.
            Someone who is brain dead is a human being being artificially maintained on life support.
            Someone who is dead is still human but no longer a person.

            I would have to see the case law on your double homicide example, because it would seem gestational age at the time of death would make a difference.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          I am really trying to restrain from evoking the curse of spending a week in my 16 year old body. It is comments like that, that trigger the desire.

        • anakinmcfly

          Are you of the opinion that all pregnant women are cruel inhuman creatures who lack your amazing compassion and insight? If *you* can care about the rights of the baby, chances are that a good number of pregnant women do as well, and do take that into consideration when making their decisions.

    • BarbaraR

      Using the phrase “kill a child” is exactly the kind of inflammatory phrase that ratchets up the rancor. Please stop.

      We do not know why each woman needs to terminate a pregnancy; it is presumptive to think you know why.

      • myintx

        Looks like James was edited, so I don’t know what he said… but perhaps he meant “kill an unborn child” – that would be more accurate than ‘terminate a pregnancy’. We may not know why a woman or man would want to kill their born child – it’s still wrong. So is killing an unborn child – unless the woman’s life is endangered from her pregnancy.

        • BarbaraR

          Again, this terminology does not aid in a rational discussion.

          It only deepens the divide and shows zero empathy for a woman in a place that has no good way out.

          • myintx

            Having empathy and approving of killing are 2 different things. I have empathy for a pregnant woman, but don’t approve of killing. And perhaps her knowing that she is considering ending the life of a human being and not ‘terminating a pregnancy’ will be part of what encourages her to find a way out. There are places that can help.

          • BarbaraR

            You’re assuming pregnant women are ignorant and need direction. Not everyone believes an abortion is “killing.”

          • myintx

            Not everyone makes good decisions. That’s why we have things like post-viability abortion laws, infanticide laws, etc. And, those that don’t believe abortion is killing would be misinformed. An unborn child is alive. Abortion kills it.
            States currently have the right to protect unborn children after viability (as long as there are exceptions for the health of the woman). They should have the right to protect unborn children before viability too.

          • myintx

            Just because some people are in denial about what abortion is doesn’t mean it should be allowed.

    • AtalantaBethulia

      As we discussed on the UC page where you left this same comment. As a follower of Jesus, the point of number 2 is not whether you feel like it or not. This is why Jesus taught the parable of the Good Samaritan.

      Everyone is our neighbor and we are to treat them with compassion without exception.

  • Theo

    I disagree with statement #1. Not everybody loves babies. In fact some people hate babies. I agree with the rest of your statements.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      WOW bit crazy comes in a lot of forms …

      • Wonder

        it’s not crazy to acknowledge facts. some people can’t stand children. such people should by no means have children,or be tasked with the care of children.

        I mean, I think it’s a bit prejudiced, it’s like disliking old people, or being horrified by people with disabilities, and probably speaks to a society obsessed with youthful adulthood and pretended strength….*cough*patriarchy*cough*…

  • Dandhman

    “We all are disturbed on some level by the idea of abortion.” That should be another point. Why else would the movie Juno feature a teenager who brought the pregnancy to term & put the child up for adoption? I am pretty averse to abortion BUT I am pro-choice because:
    1) To many Hindus & Buddhists, due to their deeply held religious beliefs, meat is murder. (so what if my deeply held religious belief is that abortion=murder?)
    2) The same party that pushes for this will not provide the monetary and regulatory support for all of the wards of the state that will result.
    (can anyone say ‘Russian Orphanage’?)
    3) I am not & never will be the frightened teenage girl who has to face an awful choice like this. I am convinced that this is an agonizing episode for any woman or girl in it.

  • Aunt Tasty

    While bracing myself for the inevitable onslaught of horrible things I am, I believe that my job as physically-present-on-behalf-of-Jesus is to hold the hand of, cry with, put a cold cloth on the forehead of, and bring a cup of tea to the woman who has had to make the decision and to and has carried out an abortion.

    It would stand to reason that God cares about both the life/potential life (we have no clue when souls show up in bodies) of the child AND the life of the woman. It’s the very least we can do to do the same.

    In every situation, add love. It can’t ever hurt.

    • Aunt Tasty

      And I do realize that this isn’t really a response to the article, as much as the general conversation. Love to all the women who have been there. ALL THE WOMEN, you are loved.

    • Annerdr

      What is your reaction to those who are joyful after their abortion, who feel relieved and happy? If the woman isn’t suffering and isn’t feeling any hurt or guilt, then what?

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        My reaction would be, “well obviously, she made the right decision.”

      • BarbaraR

        How many of those do you know? I have yet to see a post-abortion celebration.

        Are you saying women SHOULD feel guilty?

        • Annerdr

          I’m say that post-abortion, I’ve never seen a woman cry, including myself. The overall feeling for me and for those I’ve known is relief and a huge weight lifted off of one’s shoulders.
          I agree with the adding love to everything, but it seemed that you were feeling pity for women after their abortion and wanted to take care of them. The truth is, the idea of bringing a child into the world that you cannot support is so overwhelmingly awful, that the abortion provides you with relief.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Your personal experience may not reflect the emotional mindset of others. Its too unique for every woman.Just because you’ve never seen a woman cry post-abortion means nothing. I don’t doubt that some have, especially those who’s abortion was because of a serious medical condition, or when it was determined that the fetus would never achieve viability because of major complications.

            Yes, some may feel relief, and even that may bring tears. I would think that a fair amount of women would deem this a private matter, and not display emotions on this publically

          • Aunt Tasty

            My sorrow is for the pain that people feel when having to make such a huge, heavy, serious decision and for those who feel loss, shame, or anguish afterward. I know more than one woman still recovering from that anguish. And at least one who was strong-armed into a decision she deeply regrets nearly 30 years later. That’s where my sorrow falls into this conversation.

            I’m not supplying pity over here. I suck at that.

      • Brandon Roberts

        than i think that’s horrible but i’m not going to push the thing.

    • gimpi1

      Well said, Aunt. Compassion is never out of place. Congrats for being kind.

  • Filius Regis

    #4: “While some of us may disagree with the assertion that life begins at
    conception, all of us can acknowledge the spiritual validity of the
    conviction that human life is sacrosanct.” John Shore, my dear friend, isn’t your blase’ statement about the beginning of life the crux of the matter? Yes, ALL human life is indeed sacrosanct. It is at this precise point that I vehemently disagree with abortionists. Be careful not to jet past THE argument in a dependent clause on the way to stating your feelings or opinions.

  • Susan Irene Fox

    One word: Bravo.

  • Matt

    I personally prefer to use the phrase “pregnant people” rather than “pregnant women” because I can get pregnant, and I would want to be able to have a safe abortion if necessary just like any woman without having to pretend I’m something that I’m not. That said, these points are great and valuable things to keep in mind during these kinds of discussions. Very good work.

    • myintx

      Abortion isn’t safe. At least one human being dies in every abortion.

      • Matt

        Your view has been fully expressed in multiple comments and duly noted. If you actually have a purpose in being here, either get on that or move along.

    • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

      You raise a valid point which I have never considered before. Gender is much more complex than biology. I’m glad that you don’t need to pretend that you are anything other than who you are. From now on I will try and use the words pregnant people.

      • Matt

        Thank you, James! I was reluctant to bring it up, but I’m glad I made you think.

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    I don’t think agreeing to these statements would be the problem: it’s getting to the place where people really believe them, and behave compassionately, and treat their opponents as people of compassion. That’s the hard part. I include myself in that: when I hear “if you don’t want a baby you should’ve kept your legs shut” – which is probably the most common response I get when discussing abortion with people who call themselves pro-life – I really struggle to see the speaker as somebody with compassion for women in tough positions.

    I’m also a little troubled by #1: “we all love and adore babies”, because it seems to grant the premise that zygotes, embryos, fetuses, and babies are all equivalent. I have reams of compassion for babies, but I have very little compassion for a zygote or embryo. It could potentially become a baby but it isn’t one yet.

  • Brandon Roberts

    respect. i honestly am against abortion cause i believe that unborn child has the right to be born and experience life. and i do believe life begins at conception. and i don’t think pro-choicers are bad people i just strongly disagree with them. but still every human has value and most humans deserve basic right.

    • spinning2heads

      If someone attacked you, would you feel justified in killing them in self-defense?

      If you’re not an ardent pacifist, I think it may be logically inconsistent not to at least make a “life of the mother” exception.

      • Brandon Roberts

        well i was just trying to be nice and that’s not what i meant if someone tries to kill you yes i believe you have every right to defend yourself and sometimes people do have to or deserve to die i meant innocent people that haven’t hurt anyone deserve to live. but i probaly shouldv’e chosen my words better my bad

        • spinning2heads

          I didn’t mean that as an attack, it was an honest and (meant to be) respectful probe. I think that if one makes an exception for the life of the pregnant person or is an ardent pacifist then the logic you put forth is perfectly logical. I don’t happen to agree with it, but it is logically consistent nonetheless.

          I do think we should all agree on birth control and sex-ed though, as a good method of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, and therefore the number of abortions. It’s simple pragmatism. The most confusing piece of the pro-life movement, to me, is that it is largely also anti-birth control. Very confusing, as a stance.

          • Brandon Roberts

            agreed on birth control and sex-ed.

  • Andy

    It would be nice if we could actually pinpoint when life begins. Of course, even if we did, there would be deniers, so maybe it doesn’t matter.


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