When it comes to the abortion discussion (and debate, in most cases—it often seems to me that a person is either on one side of the issue or the other. I.e., either pro-life or pro-choice. (Hence the debate.) But that makes sense I suppose, since it’s hard to be in both camps…even somewhat. Like; once you believe that ‘a fetus is not a person,’ and that ‘even if it is, a woman’s right to not be pregnant, go through childbirth, and etc. supersedes the right of ‘that very young life to live; i.e., continue living” –once you believe all of that, it becomes quite hard to also hold a firm (or even halfway-there) pro-life view.
And vice-versa, of course: Once a person believes that a fetus or a baby in the womb is a valuable life, or ‘a person’ (because; when else would it become a person? I.e., when else would personhood (or value) become established? “At birth” seems way too late in the eyes of pro-lifers… mainly because by a week or two (or even an hour or two) before birth, the baby would have all of its organs (like its heart, brain, and lungs) developed, and would be undistinguishable from a ‘born baby.’ The only difference between the two would be their environment (i.e., still inside the womb, or having been born–outside the womb).
Even early abortions are problematic to many (or most) pro-lifers…because who is to say that the fetus or embryo is not a valuable human being? Or at least will develop into one?
side note: ⬇️
This considering pre-born babies as valuable human beings (on the part of pro-lifers) would let one know that late-term abortions are “the worst” kind of abortions, to pro-lifers. Or at least to me, as a pro-lifer, myself. To me, abortion at all stages (from conception till before birth) is hard to justify (I.e., it’s hard to justify removing a life). But I guess it’s just the fact that late-term abortions (and even mid- and some early-term abortions, now that I think about it) entail killing an organism that is a human being by all accounts that makes it even more distressing.
Some say that it’s hard to say when the baby in the womb becomes a person. I.e., it’s hard to say whether it’s at the last trimester, the second trimester, when the baby develops all of its independent organs, when it resembles a human being (i.e. with a face, head, etc.)…So (they continue), we should let/keep abortion as a right, throughout all trimesters of pregnancy. I.e., since we all have different impressions of when life/value/personhood begins, there can’t be any ban on, say, abortion past the second trimester. Or past 7 months. Or: at any time frame, at all. I.e., abortion should always be available at all trimesters/points of pregnancy. (They say).
And they are right. I think everyone can agree that it’s an unanswerable question in terms of philosophy (the question of when a baby in the womb becomes a valuable life, if ever)…But pro-lifers give–as usual, I have to add. They’re very ethics-conscious and careful not to disrupt human life, so kudos to them–The pro-lifers offer a solid solution: since the question is an unanswerable one in terms of philosophy, we have to rely on the fact that the fetus is a distinct human existence to determine its personhood…i.e., we “just” have to rely on whether or not the human life exists or not to determine its intrinsic worth and value (or lack thereof; which would only be possible if the human life were nonexistent.)—So, once the embryo exists, it is a person…and it becomes hard to justify aborting it.
Another position of pro-lifers (in addition to believing that all unborn babies are inherently valuable) is that: a woman’s right to not be pregnant if she doesn’t want to (and to not go through childbirth, if she doesn’t want to) is not greater than a person’s right to live (*please see the first article below, that I copied and pasted from http://harvardkennedyschoolreview.com/you-can-be-pro-life-and-pro-woman/. –it explains this position in some detail).
But just to provide something of an explanation of this position, in my own words:
For me, personally:
I see abortion as an unethical thing…
On the other hand: I know that forcing a woman to go through pregnancy, give birth, and be faced with the task of either a. raising a human being for the rest of its life (or until s/he reaches maturity) or 2. give the baby up for adoption ( or a similar situation to adoption) is also unethical.
What I really want to say is: I really believe that all of the above are some of the hardest things one can be faced with, in life. (Giving birth, raising a kid/giving it up for adoption, etc.) And: forcing someone to do all of that is…well, pretty much unethical.
The only thing is: I really do believe (at the same time) that ending the life of a person is of greater unethicality than all the above. So, I choose the lesser of two evils. (Sounds like a U.S. presidential election, I know)….
This puzzle of being either for or against choice (when it comes to abortion. Like: a woman’s right to choose) is definitely one of the most painful conundrums that exist. (On earth. Like: it’s top five on the list, for sure).
And this is why I fully respect pro-choicers — people who believe that a woman’s right to control her own life is of utmost importance.
i just have to respectfully disagree with their opinion: I think that a woman’s right to control her own body and life should never come at the expense of another human. A separate human being should not die because of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and life direction (choosing her life direction). 😣😓😞😭 it’s such an impossible decision, but I think that life is of utmost importance, in all cases.
i think that decreasing (and gradually eliminating) the need for abortion in society (e.g., poverty) is the way to go. I.e., I think that abortions really are a reflection of society’s failure to help and uplift women, and families. Like: I doubt that anyone casually chooses abortion. I think that they weigh the pros and cons of the situation…The ‘cons’ of which are oftentimes developed (and enforced, in many cases…e.g., poverty) by their society.
As aforementioned, once a person believes that a baby in the womb is a person, it becomes hard to justify aborting it (except in extenuating circumstances).
Anyways! Thanks for sticking with me through that ramble.
To get back to the point I had intended to make, in the first sentence of this blog post:
In regards to the abortion discussion, I used to be pro-choice. (I am now pro-life.)
My ‘journey’ (if you will) with pro-choice-hood (with being pro-choice) started wayy back, at ten years old. (As do many things in life, hehe. i.e., an obsession with nature (which would lead one to becoming an environmental advocate, later in life), or a strong interest in global problems, like poverty and hunger (which would then take one down a lifelong road of international relief—humanitarianism. Like, ‘ten years old’ just seems like a time when everyone first developed an interest in a subject, which sort of stuck with them, throughout life. Ten years old is a special time, in other words! 🙂to me, anyway).
Anyways; my pro-choice views started when I was ten, after reading in The Oxford English Dictionary what ‘abortion’ means (the definition of abortion). The definition (that I read way back then) was something along the lines of: the intentional termination of a pregnancy.
A few years after having read that (I think I must have been like 13, or something), I learned (for the first time in my life—or since the term ‘abortion’ had become somewhat relevant to me—since I learned the term three years earlier, basically)—I learned that some people are really against abortion. Like: for some weird reason! I was really confused. I could hardly see why some would be against “terminating a pregnancy” (which is what I had read in the OED, some years back). I just remember thinking to myself; “why?” Like, why is abortion a bad thing, at all? (Just to let you know how I had come to understand that some people are against abortion: I was actually watching a movie with my older sister. The lead female character in the movie had told her friend that she was getting an abortion (after having been pregnant, of course), and my sister was like “oh my gosh!” or something to that effect (at that particular scene). Like, she was ‘really shocked/surprised.’ But I was thinking (in my head. I didn’t vocalize anything, of course: I was more of a ‘quiet and observant kid’, back then) what? Like: what’s so wrong with that? It’s just an abortion. Chill out, sis.
It was a few years after this little movie incident that I had learned the fact that there are entire anti-abortion (or: ‘pro-life’) movements/opinions. Like, in the United States, the U.K., Canada…Turkey, India, Nepal, Egypt, etc…Like: worldwide, there was (I had just discovered) an anti-abortion culture, and movement. Even among people like academics and intellectuals (like; in the fields of human rights, ethics, and etc.).
I was confused, to put it lightly. I (still) couldn’t see how having an abortion was a bad thing. The thought of it being a bad thing (or; an unethical, negative thing) was far removed from my frame of mind, or my general understanding. (At that particular time. I must have been like 15 – 18 years old, during this period of learning about the international pro-life movement(s).
So, to summarize: from ages 10 to 18, I was pro-choice, for all intents and purposes. From when I had first learned the definition of ‘abortion’, to after learning about the existence of pro-life views, and all the way to 18 years of age, I didn’t see anything wrong with abortion. So, since I didn’t see any negative in it, I of course thought that everyone should have the right to an abortion. That it is a right, in fact—and that no one should take it away (from a woman).
That was five – ten years ago. (I’m 23, now.) And now that I’m kind of older (or, at least not a kid, anymore), I know that a dictionary definition of something doesn’t at all give a full picture of what a term actually means, or entails.
I also know that just because you aren’t aware that something is wrong (e.g., unethical, or with bad outcomes)—just because your frame of reference at any particular time doesn’t afford you an appreciation that a certain act may be wrong–doesn’t make it not wrong. In other words: believing that something is not wrong (whether due to your limited understanding, flawed reasoning, or whatever) never justifies anyone doing the thing.
Like; there have to be absolute truths in the world, I guess–like, e.g., acts that are wrong, or evil…regardless of opinions that people might have, to the contrary.
For example: ‘killing innocent people is inherently unethical’ is a universal truth…no matter what some murderers or extremists think about that phrase.
Similarly: just because some people really believe that abortion should be the choice of the woman doesn’t take away the inherent unethicality of abortion. It can’t take away the inherent wrongness of the act.
Which is why there will always be people who try to minimize the needs for abortion, in society (while simultaneously arguing that there should be no need for abortion, in society—that yes-society has let women down, in terms of a livable wage and eliminating poverty (two causes that are major, in women choosing abortion). The inherent wrongness of abortion is also why there will always be people who try to make the case in as clear a way as possible that the right of an unborn child to live are (unfortunately) paramount over a woman’s right to not be pregnant—(which is a right in normal circumstances, by the way. Even anti-abortion people believe this. I.e., a woman has a right to not be pregnant, if she doesn’t want to. (And this stance would, just as a side note, cover 99% (or at least like 90%) of circumstances.)
The only thing with pro-choicers is—the only stirring in their conscious that they have— is that the right to not be pregnant while you are (already) pregnant is a misnomer. When you are pregnant, it becomes “the right for both the mother and the unborn child to live, and to flourish.” (Not “the right of the mother to do away with the unborn child, or the right to bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy becomes of lesser importance to the right of a human being to live, and to not have their life cut, prematurely).
Video explaining how ‘science is against abortion’.
Video about millennial women’s pro-life views
Interview with a pro-choice advocate
An article that I really like (titled “You Can Be Pro-Life and Pro-Women”): http://harvardkennedyschoolreview.com/you-can-be-pro-life-and-pro-woman/
A few excerpts/points from the article that I think are especially strong:
“Though abortion has been legal for decades, the issue is still a contentious one in the public sphere. Unfortunately, many people today believe that those who are pro-life are anti-woman.”
“The growing narrative in the media, entertainment world, and certainly in many academic circles, is that acceptance of abortion is standard (It isn’t.), that pro-lifers are only interested in unborn children and don’t work to support them past birth (Both false.), and that the pro-life movement does not care about women (We absolutely do).”
“It is this last point that is most in need of revision today. Being against abortion is not synonymous with being against women. It’s about being for babies – even the unborn. The trouble with abortion – and the reason it remains at the forefront of unsolvable political struggles – is that it forces an ethical choice which is essentially binary: when the right of an unborn person to live conflicts with the right of a pregnant woman to choose what to do with her own body, which right prevails? Both sides will hem and haw and try to sidestep this dilemma with equivocation or double speak. Some on the left will minimize the babies’ rights, claiming that the unborn are not alive at all, and shamefully comparing fetuses to parasites, or embryos to cancers. Some on the right, meanwhile, will coldly cast blame on the unwilling and terrified mothers, calling them selfish and irresponsible. These tactics may work in their own echo chambers, but they are as ineffective at changing minds as they are offensive.”
“Modern American law, and the pro-choice movement generally, acknowledge personhood as being established at time of birth (assuming said birth does not occur during the course of an abortion procedure). More moderate Americans, however, argue that personhood ought to be established at viability. The modern pro-life movement, along with the Catholic Church and several other religious bodies, tends to believe that life – and thus personhood – begins at conception. There are others still who go beyond this range of views. The Oxford University-edited Journal of Medical Ethics recently published an article suggesting that “after-birth abortions” are ethical and should be legal today, because newborns “do not have the same moral status as actual persons,” and thus are not entitled to the protections of personhood. If you can see how the last position could be shocking, then perhaps you can imagine – just for a moment – how those who believe personhood begins at conception feel about abortion.
It is easy to dismiss the rights of the unborn as nonexistent if you don’t acknowledge the life itself in the first place. But once you do, through whatever philosophical framework you choose, then you are forced to grapple with the larger question of the competing rights of the mother. The goal today is not to weigh the arguments for each, but merely present the dilemma in clear terms: when two rights are in irreconcilable conflict, as they are in this unique situation presented by nature, which should prevail?
It is not an easy question, and neither side advances debate by demonizing the other. Pro-choice advocates do not callously celebrate the murder of infants any more than pro-life advocates celebrate the enslavement of women’s bodies to the patriarchy. Many in the pro-life movement – women and men – care very deeply for women and women’s health issues; they simply believe that the rights of an unborn child to life are paramount.”
Another article that I think is quite important: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/01/2380/
This article refutes the claim that ‘pro-lifers only care about life up to the point of birth’.
A few excerpts:
“One of the most frequently repeated canards of the abortion debate is that pro-lifers really don’t care about life. As much as they talk about protecting the unborn, we are told, pro-lifers do nothing to support mothers and infants who are already in the world. Liberal writers such as Matthew Yglesias are given to observing that pro-lifers believe that “life begins at conception and ends at birth.” At Commonweal, David Gibson, a journalist who frequently covers the abortion debate, asks how much pro-lifers do for mothers: “I just want to know what realistic steps they are proposing or backing. I’m not sure I’d expect to hear anything from pro-life groups now since there’s really been nothing for years.”
This lazy slander is as common as it is untrue. Of course, there is much more that needs to be done, but in the decades since Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers have taken the lead in offering vital services to mothers and infants in need. Operating with little support—and often actual opposition—from agencies, foundations, and local governments, pro-lifers have relied upon a network of committed donors and volunteers to make great strides in supporting mothers and their infants. It’s time the media takes notice.”
“In the United States there are some 2,300 affiliates of the three largest pregnancy resource center umbrella groups, Heartbeat International, CareNet, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Over 1.9 million American women take advantage of these services each year. Many stay at one of the 350 residential facilities for women and children operated by pro-life groups. In New York City alone, there are twenty-two centers serving 12,000 women a year. These centers provide services including pre-natal care, STI testing, STI treatment, ultrasound, childbirth classes, labor coaching, midwife services, lactation consultation, nutrition consulting, social work, abstinence education, parenting classes, material assistance, and post-abortion counseling.”
“Religious groups also provide crucial services to needy mothers and infants. John Cardinal O’Connor, the late Archbishop of New York, famously pledged to assist any woman from anywhere experiencing a crisis pregnancy, and the current Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, recently renewed Cardinal O’Connor’s pledge. The Catholic Church—perhaps the single most influential pro-life institution in the United States—makes the largest financial, institutional, and personnel commitments to charitable causes of any private source in the United States. These include AIDS ministry, health care, education, housing services, and care for the elderly, disabled, and immigrants. In 2004 alone, 562 Catholic hospitals treated over 85 million patients; Catholic elementary and high schools educated over 2 million students; Catholic colleges educated nearly 800,000 students; Catholic Charities served over 8.5 million different individuals. In 2007, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development awarded nine million dollars in grants to reduce poverty. And in 2009, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network spent nearly five million dollars in services for impoverished immigrants.”
“No major pro-abortion group or institution has taken on a comparable commitment to vulnerable Americans. Pregnancy resource centers devote significant resources to supporting women who have already decided to have an abortion, but abortion advocates offer no similar support to women who wish to continue their pregnancies. Indeed, they often devote their resources to shutting down the services provided by pro-lifers. NARAL Pro-Choice America reports spending twenty thousand dollars on “crisis pregnancy centers” in Maryland in order to “investigate” and publicly smear such centers for demonstrating a bias for life. (One might point out that the same bias once motivated the entire medical profession.)
If pro-life Americans provide so many (often free) services to the poor and vulnerable—work easily discovered by any researcher or journalist with an Internet connection—why are they sometimes accused of caring only for life inside the womb? Quite possibly, it is the conviction of abortion advocates that “caring for the born” translates first and always into advocacy for government programs and funds. In other words, abortion advocates appear to conflate charitable works and civil society with government action. The pro-life movement does not. Rather, it takes up the work of assisting women and children and families, one fundraiser and hotline and billboard at a time. Still, the pro-life movement is not unsophisticated about the relationship between abortion rates and government policies in areas such as education, marriage, employment, housing, and taxation. The Catholic Church, for example, works with particular vigor to ensure that its social justice agenda integrates advocacy for various born, vulnerable groups, with incentives to choose life over abortion.
One of the significant ironies of accusing pro-lifers of being “anti-vulnerable,” “anti-women,” and “anti-poor” is that poor women tend to be more pro-life than their more privileged counterparts. It is especially important, therefore, to offer them options that do not simply appeal to their economic interest or personal autonomy narrowly understood, but rather that accord with their moral outlook and overall wellbeing.”
“In sum then, the charge should be laid to rest once and for all that the pro-life movement is not active on behalf of women, children, and vulnerable persons generally. Those bringing the charge—the same groups that do very little personally to help women and children—should be held to account, both for their lack of real charity and for their refusal to acknowledge that their entire strategy—state supplied birth control and unlimited abortion—has backfired upon the very groups they promised to help.
While the pro-life cause has always been animated by the conviction that life begins at conception, it has never forgotten that it continues after birth. The pro-life movement’s message has been vindicated by 40 years of legalized abortion: the personal dignity, happiness, and prosperity of women, children, men, and the nation is advanced when life is cherished both before and after birth.”
Thank you so much! (for reading this whole thing…ughhh. Virtual cookies and brownies and ice-cream for you, you made it to the end! yea!
-I might add more paragraphs into this mini essay, in the near future.
last thing: please check out my Facebook posts on the topic of abortion, where I comment on and provide links that further dissect the Pro-Choice arguments.
This is my Facebook page. Please simply scroll down a bit to see my (pro-life) posts on abortion. They constitute like every other post, almost…mainly because I’m really passionate about this topic…but also because I personally know that I would never have liked to be aborted. Ever. And will never. So; I don’t want the unborn to go through a fate that I would have detested…as mentioned, above).
*here is one of the posts that you will find (on my Facebook page): I thought that I would just share one of the posts. This particular post was composed on May 17th, 2017:
I rly love this! (The vid, below). 😍
-Destroying human life is what the issue is. Should you have a ‘choice’ to do that? ~this* is where anti-abortion advocates and pro-choicers can dialogue and talk.
In other words, I wish the discussion weren’t so muddled and confused by the ideas of ‘choice’ and ‘personal freedom’, etc.;
— it’s rly not about that, b.c. it’s a separate human being that’s being aborted, and discarded. It’s not your personal freedom to end the existence of a separate life.
but of course I still respect the other side’s views. I wish we cud all voice our views with dignity, and tolerance from others.
Also: speaking of the ‘millenials and the new generations are almost all pro-choice’ belief: there are a lot of sources (including the cool video below) that say that ‘millennials are anti-abortion, to a great extent’. Like this Boston Globe article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/ZCmZNJuCWKVr5brzVfai…/amp.html
Important quote from the article: “In a way, every millennial born since ’73 is a survivor of Roe. Maybe that explains why…abortion is a choice so few of them are prepared to take.”
Some folks might be surprised to hear this…, but it’s really not so surprising at all, actually. (That the millennials are against abortion to a large degree). Like the Boston Globe article says, we all survived being aborted. Women (our mothers😢) officially had the choice to carry through their pregnancies, or get an abortion.
-But each one of us would have been aborted, if our mothers chose to do so! (Duh, of course). I always thought that that is the strongest argument against abortion; it kills a life. Or; it kills the human fetus that has the potential to develop into a life, if you let it live.
-it is a very ‘obvious’ argument, which uses the very ‘debated act’ (abortion, in this case) as its core. I.e.; abortion is the termination of the development/life of a fetus/baby. *that very act/definition* is sufficient to form an argument against it: for example, **why* terminate the life of a baby/fetus? Isn’t that wrong? How would *you* like to have your life terminated? Do you have the right to make a fetus, a human being in its early stages, cease to exist? -These are all some of the questions that anti-abortion people have.
And im on their side 100%, obviously. Life is all we have. Life does not begin when one is born. 😣 It starts when the organism starts developing, growing. (Or; when it is officially a distinct organism, quite separate from its source/mother.)
#iPaidAttentionInBiologyClass #ScienceIsOnTheSideOfProLifers 🌱🐳🐥🐝👶🏿🕊
#IStillRespectProChoiceViewsOfCourse #LetsCoexist #tolerance
#DifferentOpinions #LetsTalkAboutIt #Discussion #RespectIsKey
ty so much for reading this 🕊🐣