Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pro-Choice or Pro-Life? Black or White? This or That?

Abortion is an interesting topic. Pro-Choice. Pro-Life. Black or White. This or That.

This is an issue I have been very hesitant to take a stand on. To start off, if a women is sexually active, which is her choice obviously, contraception should be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. There are numerous methods that women are able to use. I feel as if women were more educated, abortion wouldn't be as prevalent as it is today. Why focus on abortion when we could focus on giving more contraception to those who decide to be sexually active? More then half of all abortions are college aged women. On one hand, being a college age student I could totally see how a woman would be inclined to get an abortion. Heath insurance. Marriage. Schooling. Fear. Feelings of isolation and loneliness. Confusion. The father of the child. Parents. Family.

At this point in life, I can't really persuade myself that I am an adult. After all, my parents pay for housing, gas, and my cell phone. In no way am I financially independent. In no way would I have the money or resources to have a child or let alone pay hosiptal and doctor bills.I am a full time student and work 30 hours a week. I am in a sorority and active in my student government. Child care would be nearly impossible for me to juggle alone. I have always dreamed of being an advertising agent. And it seems as if that dream would immediately die with a pregnancy. How would i be able to finish school in a timely manner, study abroad, and get my dream job with a child? College is supposed to be the most selfish time of your life- it is the time of self discovery. It is the first time you are away from home, your family, all past reputations you may have had. It is the time before you settle down with your serious boyfriend and decide to get married and/or work 40+ hours a week. This is the picture painted of a typical college student. Where oh where could you fit a child into all of that? Then there is the fact of the father-what if he's the kind of guy you don't want to be with forever? Having that child sticks you with him for 18+ years.

But something nags at me...I do believe in God. I believe in fate-that everything happens for a reason. I also have an adopted brother. When my mother couldn't get pregnant after 6 years, she opted for adoption. Soon after, Dayne was born and my mother couldn't be happier. Dayne is an amazing guy. He's served a mission in Eugine, OR, is an extremely talented artist, and is the funny one of the family. It has never felt as if he wasn't 100% a part of our family. I can't even imagine life without Dayne. It's always been me, him, and Drew. No matter what we go through in life, we all do it together. We are always there for each other. And, without the option of adoption, Dayne never would have entered and blessed our lives.

I feel as if adoption is a great thing. There is always a family who wishes to be blessed with a child. There is always a couple who can't have children, but would do anything to be able to. Usually in adoption, hospital and doctor bills are paid by the adoptive parents.

I learned early in high school that a fetus' heart starts beating 10 days after contraception. 10 days. Less then two weeks. A beating heart.

I've struggled with which side of this argument I agree with for for awhile. I know what my church and my family thinks-pro-life all the way, but I couldn't just take their side and not think for myself. I had to put myself in the position of those who have to make the decision. I had to sit and weigh all the possibilities, all the variables that go into it.

I do, however, find it a little selfish to get an abortion solely on the fact that enduring 9 months of embarrassment would be a hard ordeal. 9 months in the big picture, is hardly anything at all. Could one not endure the short 9 months for another potential human?

I think that many women don't feel as if they don't want to be a mother, but that they don't feel as if they will be a good mother. I think many also feel as if their future will be in jeopardy if they have a child. Going to college is a major step for a woman, it is a right that we fought hard to get, and a baby could jeopardize a woman's graduation if she decided to keep the baby. As students, we are juggling school, work, clubs, and a social life. Add a baby into the mix and it is nearly impossible. However, many women do it. I live in Utah and we as a state are known for young marriage. There are many women who have children and are going to college. However, they have husbands. They wanted a family. They knew what they were getting into. Many of them, drop out to stay home with their children, or at the very least, put their degree on hold.

There are those girls who do it. The strong women. The women who have children out of wedlock, get their degree, and enjoy the wonderful life as a mother. I have a friend, I'll call her Betsy. Betsy is 23, unmarried, and pregnant. She works 30 hours a week and is going to aesthetics school. Betsy is having her child, a baby girl who will be born in a short 5 months. Betsy works 9-4 and goes to school 5-8 every day. She is working hard to finish school before her baby is born. Although she isn't with her "baby daddy," he's still going to be in the child's life. And I know that Betsy is going to do fine on her own. She is the strongest women I know. And although she could complain, Betsy treks on. She has voiced her feelings of fear and concern, but she knows that life with her baby girl could never compete with any other feeling. Betsy is going to be an amazing mother.And I truly admire her, more then she will ever know.

Side note: I watched a Feminist For Life speech the other day, "Victory for Violence" in which the speaker said something that hit me "I know you're going through so much right now..and I know you're feeling despair and pain and loneliness. But I want you to know that no feeling will last forever. And abortion will."

I hate to say that I don't believe that abortion should be legal. I've heard the awful stories of women performing abortions with hangers and the danger they put themselves in. I hate to tell any women what they can or cannot do to their body. Margaret Sanger once said, "A woman's body belongs to herself alone. It is her body. It does not belong to the church. It does not belong to the United States" That is a powerful statement.

But I just can not convince myself that abortion is right. I can't believe for a second that the fetus inside a woman's body does not deserve to grow, to be born into this world, and to become a living human being.

I hate to make the choice for every women. I hate to tell women what they can and cannot do. I am all for women's rights. We have fought hard to be equals and although we still have a long way to go, we have accomplished a great deal as women.

I guess all I can say is I don't like abortion. I would never consider myself an advocate for abortion. I don't agree with it. But I am also not one who would tell other women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. I do agree with Sanger. A women's body is her own. But, I do think that women should consider the options heavily. They should put themselves in the fetus' position.

This speech was given by a member of Feminists For Life. I found it at feministforlife.org and would like the share it with you. It does put things into perspective and certainly got me thinking of my own stance on the issue...

7 comments:

sienaleigh said...

I wrote a huge paper on this my freshman year and I wish I could find it now. I hate that fact that so many people tie pro-choice to pro-abortion. I am in no way in favor of abortion, but I am very pro-choice. Because like you said i your blog it is a woman's decision. I don't think that either side will ever come to terms with the other, but educating more woman about preventing pregnancies would be a huge step in the right direction.

Alexandra said...

i didn't watch the video, but i read your blog. of course a woman's body is her own, she can choose blahblahblahhh but be smart enough to use protection. its that easy. get on the pill and use a condom if you dont want to get pregnant. it is not that hard. i think that abortion is completely selfish. also, i dont think women realize how badly it will affect them for the rest of their lives once they've gotten one, even if they did think that they weighed their options heavy enough. i have a close friend. she got pregnant and her and her boyfriend thought about what to do for a few weeks when they finally decided on abortion. soon after, she sank into a deep depression. it changed everything in her life and she started to even resent her boyfriend, because she thought he didnt understand how she felt. it was a really sad story to hear her tell. its something she'll live with for the rest of her life, and she never knew she would ever feel that way before she got the abortion.

Anonymous said...

Abortion is a woman's choice. What about in cases of rape? I would NEVER EVER carry a baby of some man that raped me. It is not right. No, I could not put that baby up for adoption because I would not want to feel that baby move and be reminded of what happened to me every single day. That is not fair. And if I did keep the baby and became very depressed due to having to remind myself of that of something I did not want, and then I gave the baby up that also would not be good. That child would always wonder why his or her mother didn't want them they would never know anything about their medical or family history. Your brother may have had to struggle with this himself.
Also Medical Abortions are an amazing thing. Some women end up having complications. Take my own mother for instance. I was born very ill. If the doctor who saved my life would not have been around I would not be typing this right now. A couple years after me my mom got pregnant again by my father and she knew she was either going to miscarry or the baby would be born very ill or even worse dead. She had to get an abortion. There was no other choice.
Someone else I knew had a miscarriage and had to get an abortion on top of that to remove the rest of the baby.
I would like to comment on your heart beat thing...ha ha ha obviously you have never talked to a real doctor. 10 days after conception it is NOT called a fetus. It is a Zygote for the first 5 weeks. Then a fetus and not even called a baby until 30 weeks. On top of that, that baby is not even considered a human being until after it is born. Anyways the Zygote is a group of cells at ten days after conception. There are NO internal organs until farther along. It is not even sexed until ten weeks.
On the God thing. I believe in God. I have always been told at every church I have ever been to that God has a plan for everyone and that plan has already been laid out for you. In that case wouldn't that mean that the women getting abortions has already been planned out by God? That answer is yes.
If abortions are outlawed there are still ways to make yourself have a miscarriage. And if you have a miscarriage the baby can still be inside you which can be deadly to yourself.
Sometimes abortions are necessary.
If you are so against abortion which is a WOMAN'S choice then you must be against everything that involve women? If we can't choose to get abortions we might as well not be able to choose our next president. Yes it is as simple as that. I believe strongly in rights for women and this is one thing I will never allow a man to take from me.
People will always find ways. There will always be doctors willing to do abortions legally or illegally. They will happen.

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drew said...

Jill,

This is a topic that I could talk about for days. I thought your blog post was interesting and thoughtful. You really made a point to paint the picture that some girls face when making the decision on what to do with their babies. I also agree that more needs to be done to educate teen about sex.

My only comment is: When a woman decides to have an abortion, she isn't only making that decision for her body, but for the baby's body and for the lives that that developing human could touch in the future.

I am glad you shared this post with us. Here is some stuff I have written on the subject:

Opinion Essay: Adoption, Not Abortion http://bit.ly/LudRr

Opinion Essay: Adoption, Abortion, and Solutions http://bit.ly/3x5OYl

And, some abortion must-reads:

12-year-old Stuns Pro-Choice Advocates http://bit.ly/Vi3R1

Women Exploited by Abortion, NancyJo Mann’s Story http://bit.ly/1yU31b

Lastly, I suggest you lookup the organization, Live Action (http://www.liveactionfilms.org/). Live Action was started by a UCLA sophomore (she is now a senior) named Lila Rose. Live Action shows how Planned Parenthood promotes abortion among young girls and is in favor of abortion of black babies. Here is their YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LiveActionFilms

Anyway, your blog is legit and I am glad you wanted to discuss this issue.

Love,

Drew

Joel said...

Sure, a woman's body is her own, but the baby's body is not. If a woman is responsible enough to have sex, she needs to be responsible enough to handle the repercussions of her actions. AJ is right. Use protection, we are talking about human life. Read what Drew posted, it's good stuff.

Ashley Gregg said...

This is a topic I love and hate debating. I'm very pro-choice, but to an extent.
I do believe women should have the choice, but in certain circumstances. I.E. Medical or in cases of rape.
I do not believe women should have the choice if they are using it as birth control.
That is why they invented birth control. To control having an unwanted pregnancy.
I remember when I found out I was pregnant David told me to abort. I said no way. He got over it the next day when his parents said they were excited. :)