Abortion is a hot topic in every election. Even when there aren’t politicians using the issue as a platform for their campaign, there’s usually one state or another that’s trying to pass legislation for or against legal abortions. The controversy covers both moral and fiscal issues. Some say that making abortions illegal will minimize them, that abortions suck tax dollars from a morally divided constituency. Conservatives in both parties argue that putting children up for adoption is a cheaper and morally better alternative. We must strike down the legalization of abortion since abortion is murder of the unborn; a criminal, sinful act that women need to be dissuaded from by the threat of federal prosecution since those who seek them obviously lack the moral fortitude to pay for their promiscuity with pregnancy and birth.
However, statistics prove women are just as likely to get abortions in countries where it is illegal as in countries where it is legal. There are more abortions per 100 women in South America (where it illegal) than in
But suppose for a moment, that abortions were not only illegal in the
Time does not allow a discussion of children of rape or fetuses whose births endanger the mothers. Regardless, I ask in both the cases stated, why force a child - that didn’t choose to be here in the first place – to live in a family that may not love it, be able to care for it, or put it in harms way; to be condemned at conception to a life that sets them at the bottom of the social and/or financial hierarchy?
The religious right often cites "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:4-6) as irrefutable proof that abortion is wrong and a sin. But this quote could just as easily mean that before a child is born, there is already a place for them in heaven. “In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John. 14:2) could easily be used to support this idea and could just as easily be refuted by someone who disagrees with it. Another less well-known biblical saying is “it is better to sow your seed in the belly of a whore than to cast them upon the ground” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9). This and the scripture from which it’s taken are generally accepted to mean that masturbation is a sin; some go so far as to claim it’s a mortal sin. To me, this begs the question, if a woman’s reproductive organs are to be monitored by government on the basis of religion, shouldn’t men be watched as well? Old Testament writings such as these are derived from an oral history that has been subjected to centuries of change before it was set in writing. In addition, the doctrine of Christianity was debated for centuries by philosophers such as Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, and others. And the texts we know and use are only a small grouping of hundreds of documents written at the same point in history as those we claim and accept to be God’s teachings.
We do, however, know that the mother suffers. We can’t assess how little or how much this differs from woman to woman, but few people are so devoid of emotion or compassion to be completely apathetic about an abortion. It is a difficult choice to make and not one made lightly or rashly by most women. It is a choice which I sincerely hope I will never have to make. I don’t know how I’d choose, but I know I want the choice to be mine - not dictated by people who will never face the consequences and who hold me to a belief system I neither adhere to or agree with.