I do not often take my views public. Those that know me, will most likely hear me state them. I have had views on pro-choice/pro-life since I was 14 years old. I have always been pro-choice. I am a woman, I have taken the time to educate myself about the facts, and most recently I have been a Mom. I am also a Christian.
As I have gotten older, I've struggled some between my faith and my views. But what I have come out of my struggle with is this: God gave us a choice. He gave us free will. He laid out his laws (ambigious as they are sometimes) and then gave us the ability to choose to follow them or not. He can not make us. All He can do is love us. He sent His only Son to die for our sins, so that as followers of Christ, we no longer have to sacrifice for forgiveness. So, with that, how can man tell me, tell woman, what to do with our bodies? Abortion is not something new. It is not a 20th or 21st century problem. It is something that has gone on since the beginning of time. Women have always known what to take to stop the quickening (an old term for pregnancy). They have known that if stick a coat hanger up inside of you or use a lye-douche that it will stop the pregnancy. Yet for so long, women were considered property. Literally. We went from the control of our fathers to the control of our husbands.
In the last 120 years, women have fought for the right to be considered more than a second class citizen. To be able to vote, to own property, to work, to be safe from those that wish to harm us (a fight we are still fighting to this day). To have a CHOICE in the path of our lives. Women can stay at home or they can go to work. They can put off having a family and have a career. They can have a family right away and then have a career. They can try (and I emphasize try as I know we are not always successful) to juggle both at the same time. We can CHOOSE which path we want to follow.
Pregnancy, while a beautiful thing that can happen between a couple, does only happen to the woman. It is the woman's body that is stretched. It is the woman's body that does the nurturing and growing. It is the woman who takes the risk of death. Today, in 2013, the United States has the highest maternal death rate in the industrialized world. In 2010, for every 100,000 births 21 moms died. I know, that doesn't sound like a lot. But compare that to Canada, whose rate was TWELVE. 12. South Korea has a better rate than we do (16) and Bosnia is at 8. Again, I know that is not a lot but why is there such a discrepancy? Women alone should have the choice because they alone are the ones taking the risk.
Sadly, men are not held to the same standard. Right to Life President Barbara Listing said that women should have to buy seperate insurance for abortion coverage, even in instances of rape and incest because “It’s simply, like, nobody plans to have an accident in a car accident, nobody plans to have their homes flooded. You have to buy extra insurance for those,”. Given that logic, why has no one stated that men should have to buy insurance for unplanned children to cover their expenses? This is bolded, italicised and underlined because so often, women are left to bear the burden, whether it is staying pregnant and raising the child, staying pregnant and offering the child up for adoption or choosing to have an abortion. Because it is the woman who is pregnant. She can't just walk away from it. She has to carry that child for nine months, go through delivery, pray she is not the 19th person that year and then, after all that, she has to make that decision to let someone else love that child. Which I am thankful for. I know wonderful families that that is the way they were able to become families. But I also know it was a long ardous journey for them because that is such a difficult choice for women.
Abortion is a choice. I know this because I had to make that choice. Again, at the beginning of this blog I stated that I have been pro-choice since I was 14 years old. I won't go into the reasons why because they were formed in watching others go through their life and it is not my place to talk about that. In June 1998, my cousin/aunt and I went to Planned Parenthood and I took a test. That test came back positive. For 3 years I had said "I have plans, I have goals, I have dreams. I want those. If I were to be pregnant, I'd have an abortion." To which my Dad said "Over my dead body, if you did that I'd never forgive you. If you got pregnant, we'd raise that baby for you." I just shook my head at him and thought he was being a Dad. But when that test came back I was floored. What the hell was I supposed to do? So, I went to see Lance. He told me it was my choice but that he had plans and I had plans but it was my choice. So. Now what? I went to talk to someone who I trusted and all she did was threaten to tell my Daddy. I wish I could tell you it came down to some divine inspiration. I wish there was some pivotal moment that made my choice clear. But it came down to not disappointing my Dad. Once I did tell my parents (which is a sadly hilarious story all in its own but this blog is long enough and I'm not even finished) they stood by me completely. And the offer to take care of the baby so I could go to college was there. But they had also instilled in me a deep need to take care of myself, take responsibility for my actions, and deal with the repurcussions of those actions. So I did. Aleisa was born 9 months later and I graduated high school about 3 1/2 months after that. Looking back, there are definitely things I wish I had done differently. But the choice to not have an abortion is not one of them. But I am thankful I had that choice. If I were living in a different environment or came from a different kind of family, I'm not sure I would have made the same decision. It is truly by the love, grace, and force of my parents and their influence on my life that I was able to do what I've done.
But I can't make that choice for anyone else but myself. I'm not living their life. I'm not the one who has to go through that heart wrenching decision. I know they still live with that decision. They will always think about that child, at least that is what I have been told by those who have gone through it. Just like I look back and think "What if?" so do they.
As far as my faith goes, again, it is my faith. The choices I make are the choices I will some day face God about. But I know Jesus came and sacrificed Himself for my sins, so that whoever believeth in Him will never die. I've yet to come across a Bible verse, after Jesus, that says I am going to be punished in the after life for the sins committed by others. I might have missed it, so you can point it out to me. But it is their choice. It is their own free will, given to them by God. But Jesus came to save us from ourselves. It is not a decision that can be made by the Govenor. Or the Supreme Court. None of the people who sit in those positions will be the person who is going through anything because they are not the person contemplating abortion.
Choice. Remember, choice can also mean life. Life can mean death. But it is only the woman who has to live and deal with that choice.