Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where is the love?

It’s the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. For more than a generation, abortion has been legal. And for more than a generation there has been strife, a polarization between Pro-Choice and Pro-Life.

In truth, there are many shades of belief, I suspect, within those who favor Choice, at least. I do not favor abortion. I see it as a last resort, not a convenient form of birth control for those who cannot be bothered to use another method. But I still favor the rights of the individual, the freedom to choose the course of one’s life. I simply cannot see it any other way, and I realize this is a flaw in me. I struggle with the issue of when life begins, struggle with the morality. But I would never impose my struggle on another or resort to violence.

Abortion clinics have been bombed and abortion providers murdered, by people who may genuinely believe their cause is just and their means thus justified. Yet why is this unlike what recently happened in Tucson? How does a “Pro-Life” person justify the risking of or taking another’s life in order to advance their cause? Can it advance their cause? To be fair, we do not know for certain what the Tucson shooters motives and beliefs are/were, but his victims are just as dead as the abortion doctors. Again, I show my own failings, perhaps, in seeing no difference between one murder and another.

Consider this:

A baby weighing as little as 1,000 grams, or about 2 pounds, can survive. With a lot of modern medical care. A baby not carried to term faces significant health issues; the earlier it is born the more serious. A birth weight three times that is considered low in a full-term baby. The present estimated cost of raising a child to age 18 is some $225,000. That is assuming no complications. And it assumes the child is born to a poor or indigent woman, assumes the child will not become a burden on society for its education, healthcare or other social issues. Will the Pro Life camp be there to help, with their time and their dollars, when they have forced this child to be born, wanted or otherwise?

A man cannot get pregnant and therefore is not able to understand, let alone feel, except externally, any aspect of a pregnancy. He goes to work, watches TV, sleeps. Unpregnant, while his wife, daughter neighbor or total stranger is pregnant 24/7 for up to 9 months. Why should he have any say whatsoever in something that can never directly affect him? Why is he allowed to vote? It’s like a non-citizen being able to cast a ballot on any issue that will not affect him in his home country. It’s just wrong.

Finally, whatever happened to the concept of a child being a “blessed event?” Shouldn’t a child be wanted? Won’t a child who is wanted and loved by both parents have a significantly better chance to grow up healthy and happy, of become a beneficial, functioning member of society than one who is forced upon an unwilling mother by a society that values not the child itself, only its birth?

A child is a human being, not a political football. I am weary of the rhetoric from both sides. My only question is this:

Where is the love?

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