This is a post that I've been mulling over for about a year. Today, as the anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision it seemed the appropriate time to finally pull my thoughts together.
I'm not going to hide the fact that I am pro-life. I have not come to this position without serious thought and consideration, particularly as I've grown older and have many friends who are pro-choice. I want it to be something I believe with purpose and reason, knowing the arguments of both sides and choosing based on my conscience as well as critical thought.
My goal with this post is to present 1 specific issue I have seen on each side. It is not to start a war, to speak with anger, or to try to get a rise out of anyone. I am speaking in very broad generalities here and I realize this. I am intentionally painting with a very broad brush in order to point out two particular things that have troubled me.
I'm going to start with a major source of hypocrisy I often see within many pro-life speakers and people.
In too many cases when they say they are pro-life, what they actually mean is that they are pro-birth or anti-abortion.
If we are truly to be people who are pro-life, then we must be concerned with more than just the birth of the baby. We need to be thinking about how we can support the mothers and fathers who find themselves expecting a baby when they are not ready, willing, or able to care for that child. We should be supporting single mothers or single fathers who decide to keep and care for their child. We should be offering mental and emotional support, not only to pregnant women, but to them and their families after the baby is born. We should be finding ways to offer financial help if it's needed.
We should be supporting organizations that offer women with complete information about their pregnancy care.
I'm also talking very specifically to people who call themselves followers of Christ. Condemning a woman for choosing abortion when we shun, ostracize, or even just gossip about a woman who finds herself pregnant in a less than ideal situation is neither useful nor fulfilling our supposed stand of being pro-life or followers of Christ. Is it any wonder our opponents find our position to be hypocritical at times?
To those who are pro-choice, there is one particular contradiction in behavior that has consistently concerned me.
As I noted above, I have many friends (both people I know in person and people I only know via social media) who are pro-choice. I have heard them present their views, I have seen them post link after link on Facebook or Twitter. I have read many of those links, I have listened to their perspectives.
I have also seen some of them go through pregnancies, both planned as well as unexpected.
I have never seen any of them talk about the "tissue" or the "fetus" they are carrying that will be a baby when it's born. They always talk about their baby and often add the gender once they've found out ("baby boy is antsy today") or the name if they reveal it before the birth.
I have no problem with this (obviously).
What concerns me in general with many people who identify themselves as pro-choice is the sense that we determine people-hood. We, as fallible humans, determine whether a life is a life or not. If we want the baby or decide to keep the baby, then it is, in fact, a baby, even before it is born. If the baby is unwanted, for whatever reason, then it is a fetus or a lump of tissue that can be disposed of.
This kind of situational perspective on life is problematic. And the question that always comes to my mind is how do we decide where to draw the line? When do we no longer have the right to decide who deserves to be considered a person?
Abortion is an extremely polarizing issue, and I understand that there are many complexities to arguments on both sides. I hope that, no matter where you stand on this issue, I've generated something for you to think about.