Two fantastic, brave souls have responded to me so far. Heidi and Kate, thank you sincerely for saying things I disagree with (and for disagreeing with me!) in such kind, respectful ways. But of course, I have a few things to say about your arguments. Remember, nothin' but love for y'all, nothin' but love.
Um, did I mention that I am sincere? Ok, then. (See what I mean about wanting everyone to be happy? It's an illness, people. SEND HELP.)
An excerpt from Heidi's response:
"Here's what I think about abortion. I think it's murder. I can't imagine ever choosing to have one. I don't think anyone has the right to take anyone else's life (which also means I'm against the death penalty). BUT. I'm pro-choice. My reasoning is that although I can SAY I'd never want/have one, I really can't understand the choices that other women make until I have walked in their shoes. I think abortion is most often a choice made out of desperation. I think it is and should be a last resort."
Your response is the one I hear most frequently. I hear people say, "Abortion is terrible. It's a choice I'd never make for myself." It seems to me, from my inexact count of my nonexistent show-of-hands, that most people agree that abortion is terrible. My question, then, is why should we condone it? Respectfully, you contradict yourself here, as I feel all who make this argument do. You "don't think anyone has the right to take anyone else's life", but... you obviously do think a subset of our population has that right. But who? Should I have to show up at the abortion clinic with track marks in my arm or leaves in my hair from sleeping on the sidewalk to prove that I am desperate? What exactly is desperate enough? And who gets to decide?
I wish I could agree with you that "abortion is most often a choice made out of desperation" and that it "is... a last resort". Unfortunately, I don't.
Some excerpts from Kate:
"You asked if you are "missing a logical link" in the pro-choice argument. Here is the most logical link I can think of: abortion MUST remain legal because making it illegal isn't going to end abortion, it's just going to make it more dangerous and costly for the women who WILL get them."
I'm just going to take a deep breath and put this out there. I understand that it will make it more dangerous and costly for the women who will still get them. And I don't think that's reason enough to condone genocide.
Wait, what? Yes. I said genocide. According to the CDC, 839,226 abortions occurred in 2004 (the last year of collected data). More than 45 million abortions have taken place in the US since 1973 (citation here). Hey, turns out the Nazis have nothing on us. If they wanted to eliminate a lot of people, they should have gone in utero. Lot less messy that way, don't you think?
"If we want to reduce the number of abortions in this country, birth control should be FREE and available in every grocery store, mall, high school and probably jr. high in this country. (Oh yes I did just say that.) You should be able to get condoms on every street corner, in a box right next to the New York Times. For FREE. And a woman (or girl) should be able to go to a clinic and get birth-control pills for FREE."
I agree with this. All of it.
"Can any loving, compassionate person really tell me that a 12 year old girl who has been raped by her father should be required to carry to term a baby that resulted from that abuse?? To have to hang her head in shame, drop out of 7th grade and have her life ruined forever? Of course not. Is the life of that unborn baby (I'll refrain from using the word fetus) more important than hers??"
No, I'm not going to tell you that. I will ask, however, why the life of the unborn baby is LESS important than hers? Truthfully, though, I'm not completely in favor of making abortion illegal for rape/incest victims. I'm uncomfortable with this, as I feel two wrongs do not make a right, but I do have compassion and I feel that rape victims are just that - victims. If anybody should have the right to control what's going on in their bodies, it's them.
"In a perfect world there would be no need for abortion; no rape, no incest, no 16 year old who couldn't afford birth control or who couldn't ask for her parent's permission to get on the pill. Until we address the real issues, abortion will be, unfortunately, way too common."
Yes, let's talk about the real issues, as I see them. Let's talk about our culture's reverence for convenience, for instant gratification. For lawsuits - the more, the better. Nothing is anybody's fault anymore, and it pisses me off.
Who is really desperate, and who is uncomfortable with the idea of their life changing, becoming harder, because of a choice they've made? Who is so desperate that they coudn't resist a little down-and-dirty time?
Let's stop and look at what we're teaching our teens, our children. By condoning abortion, we are teaching irresponsibility. We're teaching them that do-overs are their right. And if we teach them that not all lives are valuable, how are we going to have any success teaching them that their life IS?
Look, I'm not preaching abstinence, nor am I in favor of teaching abstinence in schools. What I AM for is teaching that sex, even protected sex, has consequences. Real, life-changing consequences. It's a natural law that, try as we might with our science and our "enlightened" thinking, the human race cannot completely nullify. I'm for teaching kids (and adults) that life is not disposable, and that life doesn't always offer a mulligan when you mess up. Every one of us, and every one of our children, needs to know that no life is any less, or more, valuable or precious than their own.
Wait. I think that's so important, I'm going to say it again. Every one of us, and every one of our children, needs to know that no life is any less, or more, valuable or precious than their own.
Sounds like something somebody might have said about slavery once, doesn't it?