Monday, February 18, 2013

Arguing About Abortion

Today the Post and CourierPost and Courier published a letter I wrote to them about abortion:

Abortion facts

Women do not like to have abortions. It is a sad and awful decision, taken seriously by women, even when it is not dictated by rape or the health of the woman.
Aborting a fetus does not remove a life from the planet. I have two wonderful adult children who would not be here had I not been able to have an abortion when I was too young to be responsible for bringing that pregnancy to term.
People make mistakes, and often they are big mistakes. More often than not, we learn from our mistakes and become better people.
Many of our legislators in South Carolina believe it is their duty to punish women for their mistakes by forcing them to carry a pregnancy to term.
They have adopted ridiculous language to dramatize this in their bills, including my favorite, “preborn.”
Some have, year after year, proposed a “monument to unborn children” to flaunt their moral superiority on the State House grounds. This year that monument would be of a woman pushing a baby carriage, a travesty not only for anyone who has had to choose an abortion, but to anyone who has lost a child.
Meanwhile, South Carolina continues to maintain a shameful infant mortality rate.
I believe our legislators would do better to spend their time and our tax dollars working to assure good health care for all, and fight for living wages and better education that would lessen the incidence of unwanted pregnancy, and promote a healthy life after birth.

I tend to be a private person, so I thought long and hard about how important it was to do this, and the answer was that it is just that important.  But it is inevitable that there will be rageful backlash.  And this is the problem with this "debate."
Those who have had abortions are often embarrassed, even ashamed.  They have been cowed into believing they have sinned, even worse, killed.
The decision to have an abortion should not occur on a stage, by a legislative body, or in a court.  Those who yell the loudest about freedom tend to be those who yell the loudest and drown out the opinions of others.  They also insist that their freedom includes their right to dictate the behavior of others.
And because we women who have decided to end a pregnancy, or will have to make that decision in the future, are horrified to be put on public display, the advantage goes to the loud, rageful, very much unChristian opponents.
What we have is a fight with only the opponents on the stage.
So what we need to do is stand up without shame or embarrassment and let others know who we are, and that we are not sinners, or murderers or demons.  We need to put our faces to the side of the debate that demands the freedom to make our own decision, so that we may once again have the privacy in which to do so.

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