Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, What Both Sides Can Learn

         This past weekend marked the 38th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs. Wade case. Many bloggers on both sides of the Pro-Life/ Pro-Choice debate wrote posts in its "honor". One in particular that caught my eye was written by Danielle from Momotics. Now before you read any further, please go back and read her original post, or this discussion will make little sense. I will probably upset both sides of the debate before this post is over, but I do believe that there is something that both sides can learn from my train of thought. 
       First off, let me just disclaim that I am 100% Pro-life to the fact that I believe that abortion is wrong and that life occurs immediately upon conception. My belief stems from my Christian world-view and its my opinion that abortion hurts not just babies but leaves lasting scars on a mother's emotional well-being. Ok, so now if you are Pro-Choice, you are probably getting fired up and tempted to stop reading, but please do me a favor and read-on to the end. You might be thinking, "She has an agenda. This is coming from a biased point-of-view," but honestly, how can one write about this topic and not in someway, shape, or form be subjective? Please note that my post is obviously somewhat biased, but I would still love to hear your thoughts. 
      Secondly, although I am Pro-Life, I'm also not persuaded that the government should regulate morality. I subscribe to the belief that small government is best and that our freedom depends on upholding our rights to make choices and to live how we personally see fit. If we want the freedom to choose our church, our religion, how we educate our children, etc., then it makes sense that abortion should remain legal. GASP, did I really just say that? Well, to you my Pro-Life friends, I guess what I'm saying is that you can't have it both ways- i.e. expect the government to stay out of your business in some areas while forcing/ regulating other parts of life. Ok, now that my Pro-Life friends are outraged, again, I implore you to read this post in its entirety and then leave me some comments with your thoughts. 
       Now, back to the original post referred to in the opening paragraph. Something that struck me was the paragraph where Danielle wrote, "But I think that my pro-choice stance on reproductive health for women goes way farther than just abortion. It goes to birth choices, choices in prenatal care, choices in providers, choices to birth the way a woman wants without fear of legislation that will force her to birth in a hospital or scare her that child services is going to be knocking on her front door if she doesn’t consent to a c-section she does not feel is in the best interest of her or her child." I couldn't agree more with this thought- CHOICE should include all of the things that Danielle passionately listed above. We, as mothers, as women, as Americans, should fight to have these reproductive rights. My insurance company should not be the one tells me where I can give birth. When I had my VBAC last October, I only had one choice in doctor (whom I was grateful to have had), but if you are left with only one option, is that really a choice? My Pro-Life friends, although we are often passionate about saving babies lives, we often fail to really care about the women we claim to be "protecting." Please consider re-evaluating how we can take the time to be compassionate advocates for woman in all areas of reproductive rights.
        The one thing that I feel the article left out, however, is that the word choice in its self is often misleading. A young woman, or any woman, walks into a Planned Parenthood for a consult and really only hears about one choice and that choice is abortion. When a woman becomes pregnant, she has the right to be informed of all three options (abortion, adoption, parenting) so that she can make that choice for herself. If you are truly Pro-Choice, then shouldn't adoption and parenting come into the equation as well? To be fair, Danielle did state, "Of course women that make the rash decision to abort before she has fully examined all of her options, and made an informed choice could really feel the same way, but that is another post in itself. Because I care about all women, not just those who agree with me."  I applaud Danielle for her last line, however, I rarely hear parenting and adoption being discussed among Pro-Choice advocates. Take a look at the Planned Parenthood site for yourself, do you see anything in regards to adoption or parenting as choices / options? If you claim to be Pro-Choice, then please consider broadening your horizons as well and include all options into your claims of choice. To show stories on all sides of the spectrum. 
        Ok, now you know I disclaimed that I am biased and Pro-life, so I want to just wrap this post up by saying that I am also Pro-woman. My Pro-Choice friends the rest of this post will probably upset you, but again, I did inform my readers of my world-view. The end of this post is not just for my Pro-Life friends, but my family in Christ in general. I believe that abortion hurts women and disturbs the natural flow that God designed for a woman's life and that abortion can leave long withstanding emotional scars; I do believe that an embryo, a fetus, is a "baby" and should also have rights- yes, to me it is a moral issue, however, I don't think by making abortion illegal we solve the issue that is at the core of the problem. Yes babies will be saved (a good thing indeed), but by forcing women to not have abortions, by simply protesting- waving signs in people's faces, we still fail to embrace a christlike love for women in general. The key to winning the Reproductive Health debate, is to address the issue at its core- the sin-nature of mankind and to reach out in love to women- to walk besides troubled teens, single moms, married women, women in general- to take the time to get to know women and to truly love them with no strings attached, to show them how Christ changed our lives and how he offers that peace and joy to all that may seek Him. To share the same passion that we have for babies for women. I guess that's what I think it means to be Pro-Woman. 
       And here's my final thoughts (again taken from my Christian world-view), Being a mother has definitely made me more Pro-Life. My pregnancies, labors, and deliveries were not the easiest, but also could have been much, much worse. Being pregnant and giving birth was nothing short of miraculous and I certainly can't imagine my life without my little guys. It's always hard for me to understand how women can go through the miracle of life and still not see a higher power in it all. I applaud some of my everyday heroes that have had to make much harder choices than I have, whether that be single parenting, or adoption. When we disturb the natural order of marriage and what God made sex to be, we are always faced with hard choices. I have nothing but respect to those that selflessly have given their bodies to help make another family parents or have chosen to give up some of their livelihood to single-parent. If you made it to the end, I thank you for reading and welcome any thoughts or criticism. 


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