In most cases, I wholeheartedly agree that abortion is wrong. Life begins at conception. For that reason, I should be attending every rally at every abortion clinic, screaming about murder and doing away with abortion altogether. Now, I’ve made a decision on the subject and should let nothing stand in the way of my reactionism, or should I say activism.
If only life were that easy.
When a woman’s life is endangered, then by all means that woman needs to make a choice as to whether she can continue a pregnancy or not. Rape and incest requires the same consideration. Should those be the only reasons to allow an abortion? Well, sure….
Well, maybe not.
There’s an old Indian saying: “Walk a mile in her moccasins.”
What if the person who is pregnant is part of an abusive relationship? Maybe Mom can get away, thus ending the abuse. If Dad were to find out that a little one is on the way, he might convince himself he had an excuse to stalk Mom. Attack, rape or murder of women who find themselves in bad relationships are almost common. Why would any woman bring a child into that kind of environment?
The last time I gave birth my husband had been out of work for a while. He had just gotten a new job when I discovered I was pregnant, and we were just about caught up after my daughter’s birth when he took ill. He landed in the hospital for six weeks. I had two at home and I needed to find a job immediately. We both eventually returned to work and we had family who helped us. We survived.
What if it is Mom who is ill and needs care that will endanger the baby? Maybe it isn’t something that will kill her, but it could be debilitating none-the-less. If Mom has others at home who are depending on her, she might consider an abortion just so she can keep up with their care. What if Dad is out of the picture and there are no other family members to help out? Take this in another direction. What if Dad is deployed overseas, or what if he was seriously injured while deployed? What if the hounds are at the door now, declaring foreclosure? Although military personnel are suppose to be exempt from foreclosure, it hasn’t stopped banks of late from foreclosing anyway.
There are those who protest against abortion, but don’t consider what will happen after the baby is born. What if Mom is poor and her prospects for a better life is nil? Where I hate to see poverty as a reason to have an abortion, everyone agrees that hunger and homelessness are less than optimal environments in which to raise children.
The one thing I’ve learned over my half of century of life is that once I think a situation can’t get any worse, it usually does. Something comes along to make me stop and ask, ‘Why me?’ or “What now?’ I know I’m not alone in that. To take the option of abortion off the table, to make it illegal again, is to guarantee that desperate women will return to back alley abortionists. If for no other reason than to keep abortion clinics clean and well regulated, Roe v Wade is a decision that must be upheld.
If I can’t convince someone with humanitarian arguments, then let’s consider the costs. Back alley abortions have taken the lives of some women and have crippled others. Their care and the care of their children have to come from somewhere. When there is no one else, there is always the government. Those who argue the hardest for stricter abortion laws are usually the ones who would like to see all of our safety nets dismantled or privatized.
Every fiber of my being tells me that abortion is wrong, and that it should never, ever be used for birth control. Those same fibers assure me that I can’t predict or control every situation.