Let's Talk: Pro-Life
No, this article isn’t going to bash the pro-life side. I understand why people would be pro-life. However, my issue is when they want everyone to abide by their beliefs on the matter.
For example, I’m not fond of cigarettes. I support the ban of cigarettes in public spaces, like restaurants, universities, and bars. Cigarette smoke is dangerous, it can trigger asthma attacks, and some people are genuinely allergic to the smoke. However, I do not support entirely banning cigarettes altogether. If someone wants to smoke, that’s their prerogative. I simply demand never to do it in my home and I would hope they would refrain from lighting up with children present. Otherwise, if I’m in a public place that allows smoking, I just try to keep my kids as far away from it as possible.
See? I don’t like cigarettes, but I’m not forcing everyone to stop smoking based on how I personally feel about the things. That said, I want to talk about pro-life rhetoric, specifically.
- Abortion is murder.
No, abortion isn’t murder. I’ve covered this, here, but I’ll do a Cliff Notes version:
Murder is the unauthorized killing of another person, done with premeditation and malice.
Abortion is the authorized killing of a fetus, done for many reasons.
- Abortion is genocide.
The Merriam-Webster definition of genocide is, as follows: noun – the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.
Abortion doesn’t, generally, happen due to racial, political, or cultural ties. Abortion happens, because the pregnant person doesn’t want to be pregnant anymore.
- Your mom chose life!
In my personal opinion, whenever you start a sentence off with “your mom…” it will end badly. That’s not the intention with this little catchphrase, but my opinion stands. Some people never had the choice of abortion, so that is a bit of a faulty presumption from the start. However, even if someone’s mother had the option of abortion, they were allowed to choose for themselves to go through with pregnancy.
Choice. It’s powerful.
- You had sex, deal with the consequences!
This basically translates into, “You decided to have sex, you slut, so deal with pregnancy, even though it can be debilitating, whore.” Intended or not, it’s shaming people who have sex.
Consent to sex is, as you’ve heard me say, not consent to pregnancy. While a pregnancy can be a consequence of sex, carrying the pregnancy isn’t the only way to take responsibility.
The consequences of an unplanned pregnancy are abortion, parenthood, and adoption. People take responsibility for their situation, makes choices on their situation, as they see fit. They know their circumstances and their limits better than anyone else. It’s somewhat arrogant to think you know what’s best for complete strangers.
- If you didn’t want to get pregnant, you shouldn’t have had sex/should’ve taken precautions.
Again, sex shaming. Sex is not solely about procreation. It can be a great way to bond with lovers and sexual partners (though that’s not true for everyone!) and it can be a stress-reliever. On top of that, there are plenty of other benefits to having sex.
Precautions are not 100% effective, either. The presumption that they are is thanks to poor sexual education. That said, birth control can lower the rate of unwanted pregnancy, and thus abortion, greatly. The problems, however, are having comprehensive sexual education that goes over proper applications and storage and the birth control being affordable. If you can’t use it appropriately, effectiveness goes down; if you can’t afford birth control, well, it needs to be affordable.
Further, some people don’t want to pump themselves full of hormones, suffer complications from birth control, or are allergic to birth control options. Some couples need to rely on other methods, through ovulation calendars and being extremely safe. In the end, accidents or miscalculations can happen.
Regardless of what precautions, or lack thereof, were taken, no one should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if they don’t want to do so.
- The child shouldn’t pay for your mistakes
- or The child shouldn’t pay for the crimes of the parent. (In regards to victims of rape getting abortions)
Abortion is not about punishment laid upon the fetus. Abortion is for the benefit of the pregnant person, however that benefit may materialize itself.
A victim of rape should not be forced to carry their rapist’s offspring, if they do not want to. Taking their bodily autonomy away, again, after the trauma of having it stolen from them once, is detrimental to their mental and emotional health. Don’t. Support. That.
- There’s two bodies involved in abortion.
Only one of them can bodily support themselves, however. The other needs to infringe on another’s body simply to survive.
- Choose adoption!
- or There are people out there who can’t have babies!
Adopting out can be very emotionally difficult. Telling people to do it, flippantly, marginalizes how much it affects biological parents when they give their babies up for adoption. It’s backhanded, in a way.
Some people are not emotionally or mentally capable of adopting out and that’s perfectly fine. Bonding with a fetus for 40 weeks and then giving the resulting baby up would be very difficult and emotionally jarring. Sometimes, there’s physical complications, as well, or the fetus will be born with a severe deformation (which makes it less likely they’ll get adopted.)
Admitting that one cannot cope with adopting out is strong, in itself, because they recognize and acknowledge their limits.
Some people just do not want to be pregnant, which makes adoption a moot option. It isn’t selfish of them to not want to carry a pregnancy to term. Pregnancy can be debilitating, frightening, and an all-around hardship that someone doesn’t want to opt for it at their position in life, or ever.
No one is obligated to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term on the basis that others cannot. That’s like telling someone they can’t cut their hair, because some people are unable to grow their own.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
In the end, I understand that pro-lifers mean well, but their good intentions are warped as soon as they demand abortion to be abolished or made illegal. Banning abortion will lead us back to unsafe, illegal back-alley procedures or to desperate people trying to self-abort with knitting needles, coat hangers, or overdosing on a natural abortifacient.
Any action that supports restricting or banning abortion spells out disaster, our own personal Hells, for people who want or need abortions.