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Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's not so simple

It's interesting that children, before the advent of high school, tend to identify as "pro-life," if they have thought about the argument at all.  Most, it seems, haven't been given much exposure to an issue so controversial, but those who have, have usually been told how wrong abortion is by anti-choice parents, or come to that conclusion on their own.

That's because being against abortion as a whole is part of an immature and simplistic worldview.

Children feel this way because their world is still in black-and-white.  There are no shades of grey, no subtleties, no complexities.  They are children, and this is how they see life, so of course it is very easy to understand why they see it as a simple equation.  Abortion=killing.  Killing=wrong.  Abortion=wrong.

I expect children to feel this way.  I also expect them to ask questions and develop a more intricate viewpoint as they age and learn.  It's reasonable to believe that most people realize the world, as they understood it in 6th grade, does not exist.

So, I can only come to the conclusion that the people who make up the anti-choice movement are ignorant, undereducated and immature.  They function on the idea that they need not worry about the dire consequences that their actions create for other people.  They figure, so long as people do the "right thing" (read: follow the current popular Christian ideal of waiting to have sex until marriage) then everything would work out fine for them.

Some people are at least mature enough to understand that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or if the fetus is deformed or disabled.  But the Christian Patriarchy movement does not even allow for that.  If I were to ask them about abortion exceptions, the conversation would go something like this:

What about rape?  I mean, nobody plans for that!
Super Christian answer: If you're a good and modest woman, you'll not only remain home most of the time with your children, leaving the house only under the guidance and supervision of your father, or later, your husband, but when you do leave the home, you'll be dressed modestly, so as not to entice men. Besides, in a godly society, such as the one we'd create with our strict laws requiring that everyone commit to Jesus, family life, patriarchy and of course, sex only between husbands and their wives, no one would ever become a rapist.

What about an unplanned pregnancy within the bonds of marriage?  Birth control occasionally fails.
Super Christian answer: Any child given to you is a gift from God, and a child who is conceived despite birth control is truly meant to be.  Besides, birth control is just preventing you and your husband from receiving God's gifts, and it was the gateway to getting the public to accept abortion.  Better to simply accept any child God sends you without the interference of birth control.

What about children for whom prenatal testing has shown to have incurable deformities or genetic disorders?  Some of these children will not live more than a few hours, days or weeks!  And some will live in terrible pain or have no quality of life.  Besides, we'd go bankrupt trying to care for them.
Super Christian answer: All life God creates is sacred.  Allow Him to give or take it as He sees fit.  It is not for us to judge what lives are worth living.  Don't worry about providing for this child.  God will give what you need.


It is over-simplifying and not understanding that the world itself is complex.  Things happen without reason or fault.  To be staunchly anti-choice is to cover up one's ears and declare that the world is the way one sees it through your religion-colored glasses.  It does not take into account that life is unfair.  It denies the innocent women get raped, and that no one deserves or "asks for it."  It denies that, for no particular reason but a bad roll of the genetic dice, truly wanted babies are formed with horrible, disfiguring and life-long disabilities that might cause their lives to be very short and painful if they even survive to be born.  It denies that women, like men, make mistakes that they should not have to alter their entire lives to pay for.  It denies that parents have upper limits on resources, such as time, energy and money to raise their families.  It denies that some people are better off not being parents, and that society is better off when children are wanted, loved and provided for by both their parents and their country.

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