Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Word Play

I really can't stand when abortion advocates use the term "anti-choice".  It is an intentionally disingenuous phrase.

The only thing I'm against is ending what can be very reasonably (scientifically, not just religiously) called a unique human life. That's it.  I'm not trying to tell anyone (or make the government tell anyone) that they must raise their children in a certain way, or teach them specific things that are to my liking;  I'm not trying to control how much of what you can drink, whether or not you join a union, what kind of light bulbs you can use in your own house, whether or not you buy health insurance (and what your insurance should cover), which causes your income supports (or doesn't),  or really anything else.  No--its largely the supposedly "pro-choice"crowd who supports all those choice-restricting legislative gems.  Those who are constantly pushing for ever more expansive legislation to affect and control the day-to-day decisions and life styles of huge numbers of people rather ironically call themselves "pro-choice".  I have no desire to control anyone else's life or decisions, and tend to hate it when I see people doing it to others.

Yet I get labeled "anti-choice" because I don't think it should be legal to end a human life on a whim, even if that life is temporarily dependent upon your body for survival.  Don't give me the "its just a clump of cells" line.  While that may technically be true for about a week (by the time most women know they're pregnant, and are thus capable of choosing an abortion, an embryo has a distinctly human, if extremely under-developed, form), I have birthed four babies, and have watched them grow into beautiful, intelligent, funny, kind and fascinating young children, and every one of them started out as two cells fused together.  But those two fused cells are so much more than the sum of their parts.  The Bible states that a man shall leave his mother and father, and cleave unto his wife and the twain shall be one flesh.  We see this made somewhat literal all the time in the creation of children.  One gamete containing genes only from mom, another only from dad, fuse and form a new person that is parts of both of them, and yet distinct and unique from either of them.  From the moment that egg and sperm meet and meiosis completes, a unique individual is present:  if we had the capacity to peer into the the tiny genetic code, it would tell us--from the very moment of conception--what gender that new individual is, what color her eyes and hair will be, how tall he will likely grow to be, whether or not she'll have freckles, or Dad's cleft chin.  That's incredible.

And in our society, that wonderful, unique person can be thrown away--literally--because the timing isn't "good", or a woman is scared or nervous, or feels trapped by her circumstances, or parents find out that the child will not be "perfect" in the ways they imagined, or a hundred other reasons.  We have created a society where we trifle with the power to create life, and so abuse the power to end it.  I certainly think there are better circumstances than others to raise a baby in, but that doesn't make it OK to throw a life away.  I have known more than one young woman who, finding herself pregnant, felt panicked and unprepared, to say the least, but found that bringing that baby into her life made her own life much better than she could've imagined.  I've known more than one young woman who knew she couldn't raise a baby in her circumstances, and selflessly carried that baby to term and then gave it up to a couple who could provide the things she could not.  I've known many, many couples on the receiving end of that gift, couples who often spent years (in some cases more than a decade) giving in to frustrated, desperate tears in the belief that they might never have children.  Their joy upon being blessed with a child is indescribable, but delightfully supernal.  I've watched children light up the lives of parents who "couldn't afford" them, I've seen women surprised to discover how little the "career disruption" actually mattered to them in the long run, and I've seen parents of special needs children fall in love with their "imperfect" kids over and over again.

We have been blessed with the power to create life.  Sometimes, that gift is used inappropriately or unwisely.  There are better options, however, than compounding a mistake with another mistake.  I believe we should be able to choose how to live our own lives, but I don't believe we should have the power to end lives because they are inconvenient to our own.   I don't think that fairly bears the the label "anti-choice".

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