Fair warning to those who may be affected, I will be discussing my feelings on termination of pregnancies. If you’re someone who is unwilling or unable to acknowledge a position other than the traditional “pro-life” stance, this may not be the post for you.
I’m going to start with a post that I’ve copied from Facebook. It rings true for a lot of people and I think is a good segue into the “conversation” I got into a few days back about the topic. For anybody who may not have seen it, it goes something like this:
It’s been nonstop in my newsfeed lately. Quite frankly, the law itself is appalling. The short version is that to work around separation of church and state, private citizens have been empowered to inform on and sue anybody who might be planning a termination of pregnancy. If there’s a heartbeat, you cannot have a doctor end your pregnancy regardless of the reasons. There are a lot of very valid reasons somebody may need an abortion, and aside from the fact that none of it is my business because it doesn’t involve my body, an overwhelming majority of people aren’t seeking abortions because that’s what they’re using for birth control.
I don’t need to use the person’s real name, but I thought this conversation was worth sharing. It went something like this. And by “something like this” I mean I copied and pasted it word for word and removed the person’s name.
- Other Person: “Every time you have sex you have the possibility of being pregnant. Responsibility is on you to protect yourself during intercourse. If you don’t want to have children don’t have sex.”
- Me: “Fun Facts!
– people can get pregnant from rape! This is the exact opposite of choosing to have sex.
– people can take all the right choices to prevent pregnancy and have birth control fail, resulting in a pregnancy that wasn’t wanted. They were utilizing the responsibility you suggested, but it didn’t work.
– people in committed long term relationships shouldn’t be forced to be abstinent just because they don’t want children at that time
– people can know that parenting isn’t the life journey for them and shouldn’t be forced into abstinence because of that
– some people cannot physically bring a pregnancy to term without risking their own lives but doctors refuse to allow them to pursue permanent birth control options because of personal reasons and beliefs the doctors are imposing on their patients
– birth defects that are incompatible with life will never be detected before 6 weeks. They often aren’t caught until 12 weeks at the earliest and sometimes not until as late as 30 weeks. I fully support your right to choose how to proceed with your own body but I personally could not emotionally handle having to carry a child to term that I knew was going to perish shortly after or not even make it to being born
– education on responsibly preventing unwanted pregnancies is quite often purposefully neglected, particularly in areas that want to ban all abortions. We can take another post to really delve into the perpetuated cycle of poverty this usually leads to and how teaching “abstinence only” has repeatedly failed time and time and time again, if you’d like.
- OP: “….. plan B, perhaps?”
- Me: “fun fact: also not 100% effective and also not readily available or accessible to those who need it.”
- OP: “PROTECTION!!??!!”
- Me: “see my above mention of birth control failing, as well as not being easily or readily accessible.”
- OP: “so when does life begin? Do you believe in God? Or do you believe you are God?”
- Me: “Ok, I’ll play this game with you. I’m actually really happy you asked that. Buckle up.
Do I believe in God? That might be a tricky answer. I believe that the foundation of pretty much all religions was to treat each other with kindness. I don’t need to make a declaration to follow one single deity in order to live my life with kindness and extend that kindness to others.
Do I believe I am God? Of course not. I would never presume to be any kind of deity or to operate under the assumption that I have any right to tell someone how to live their life or that I know everything that goes into the decisions somebody might be making.
Even if we ignore very well documented evolution across millions of years and look at how God flooded the entire world because he didn’t like the choices that humanity made after he gave them the ability to make choices, Jesus wanted us to treat each other with kindness and empathy. I’m curious where in the Bible God says that we should let children starve, or be beaten and abused, or otherwise neglected, just because they happen to have been born. When Jesus said to love one another and help the poor and feed the hungry, where was the asterisk that said that only some people were deserving of this treatment?
Dictionary.com defines the separation of church and state as “The principle that government must maintain an attitude of neutrality toward religion. Many view separation of church and state as required by the First Amendment. The First Amendment not only allows citizens the freedom to practice any religion of their choice, but also prevents the government from officially recognizing or favoring any religion.” I could be misinterpreting this, but to me it sounds like I don’t have the right to tell you how to live your life if your religion differs from mine, and that you also don’t have the right to impose your religious beliefs on other people who may not share the same ones you have.
When does life begin? That might be another tricky one to answer. “6 weeks pregnant” on paper is actually 4 weeks post conception. How many “weeks pregnant” you are is documented by your previous menstrual cycle and not by when conception actually occurred. Do you know what else the baby has developed by the time you’re 6 weeks pregnant? Pretty much nothing else. Baby is still less than the size of a quarter. There’s no neural activity or anything else that typically gets qualified as “life.”
There is a difference between having basic biological functions and really truly being alive. There’s more that makes up “life “ than simply having a heartbeat and potentially functioning organs. At what point does the quality of the life in question come into play? At what point is it really more beneficial to just be a breathing body with no regard to the surrounding environment and what actually qualifies you or I to make that decision for someone? What about all of the kids in the very broken foster system that didn’t ask to be born? At what point can the planet we call home no longer sustain human life because instead of focusing on caring for the lives that were already here, we focused our efforts on the lives yet to be born? How can we channel all that anti-abortion passion masquerading as “pro life” into actions that are actually pro lives?
Are you married? If you found out tomorrow that you were pregnant with a child that would likely kill you to carry to term, can you positively tell me that you’d keep it no matter what? If you found out tomorrow that getting pregnant would more than likely be life threatening to you, can you honestly tell me that you would without hesitation become celibate to completely prevent any chance you might have of a pregnancy that would be detrimental to your health? Would your husband also be joining you on your journey of celibacy to ensure that you didn’t get pregnant with a child that could end your life by carrying it to term?
At what point are you yourself actually trying to be God by making these decisions for other people, or by supporting the people who are making these decisions?”
Much to my overall sadness, but to no surprise at all, this person declined to continue this conversation. They even declined to respond in the following interaction as well.
- Other Person: “I for one am proud of people who carry their babies to term and have their child adopted.”
- Me: “I’m attaching a good resource to start your research into the adoption and foster care system. You sound like you clearly have extra love to give for all of these children, so I’m sure that you’d want to do everything you could to help the lives that currently need it. ❤️
Find yourself needing help figuring out what’s the right decision for you, or locating resources to help you enact that choice?
Looking to add to your family instead?
There’s a separate organization raising money to donate to Planned Parenthood. If you want to support this cause financially, please visit Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with more resources I can include. If you disagree with me, that’s your right to your opinion, and I won’t be engaging with “hate mail.” You will not change my stance on this and there are more productive ways to expend your energy.
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