Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On abortion

Let me be clear. My views on abortion are complex. I am not Pro-Abortion, in fact, my wish is that more people had access to reliable birth control to make abortions as rare as possible. I am Pro-Life because I don't believe the government has the right to execute its citizens, and I am therefore against the death penalty. I am also Pro-Life because I believe that the fetus growing inside my body is a baby, more than just a clump of cells, and he/she/they should be given a chance to live, if possible.

But pregnancy and abortion are incredibly complex issues because they involve the LIFE of a living, breathing human person: the biological mother. The government has no right to tell us what to do with our bodies. If I experienced an unwanted pregnancy, I would seek the advice of my doctor, my partner, my spiritual advisor, and myself. Not Representative Kevin Yoder. Not Senators Moran or Roberts. Not Donald Trump.

It's sadly laughable to think I could ever experience an unwanted pregnancy because Will and I both went into this marriage wanting a large family, because I spent two years and many visits to the fertility specialist to conceive and deliver Katie, because I've tried unsuccessfully to give Katie a sibling for a decade. My last miscarriage was January 22, 2007, a date I'll likely never forget. I look at women with their big pregnant bellies with a twinge of jealousy, especially when they've got a horde of other kids, especially when I catch them yelling at their kids in the grocery store. I'll take those kids off your hands, I think.

But I have no right to tell another person what to do with her body. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to family planning and all babies would be born wanted and loved by parents who have the financial and emotional support to raise them well.

But it's not an ideal world. It's a wholly flawed, chaotic world, and it's up to us to make it the best we can with what we've got.

Yes, I wish more people would give their babies up for adoption rather than having an abortion, but I've also experienced just how difficult pregnancy and labor can be. I had to have an emergency C-section and could very well have died in childbirth had I not had access to high quality, and tremendously expensive, medical care. I know first hand what it feels like to live with postpartum depression. I know how risky bringing a new life into this world is. I could NEVER force another person to do something with her own body, especially something that could potentially kill her.

So when I read this news post, I immediately became alarmed by this paragraph:

"The bill contains exceptions when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother — 'but not including psychological or emotional conditions' that 'arise from the pregnancy itself,' such as severe depression or suicidal tendencies. The law also does not contain exceptions for pregnancy by rape or incest..."

So, God forbid, a twelve year old girl is raped and becomes pregnant with her rapist's child. She experiences severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Under this bill, she would have to seek out a back alley abortion in order to help herself, to protect herself, to save herself. Is this the kind of world we want to live in?

Not me.