Trying to hash out my feelings on a divisive issue.

I grew up in a strongly pro-life environment. Our church would sometimes go and hold signs outside of abortion clinics, and 'Abortion is Murder' was the accepted doctrine. Even when I began questioning other aspects of the worldview I was brought up with, I didn't question this one. An abortion was the taking of an innocent life. I was against abortion in all cases, because even if you were raped, the baby did not ask to be born. He was an innocent victim; someone Rick Santorum might--perversely--refer to as 'a broken gift'.

What a weird fuck Rick Santorum is.

As I moved on in my worldview, I stayed away from abortion. Tentatively I was still pro life, but the passion the subject brought up made me uncomfortable to broach it with anyone.

Recently however, I have been thinking about it, and I would say my position has shifted from tentatively pro-life to tentatively pro-choice.

Why pro choice? Because I feel a pro-life stance would require a kind of absolutist outlook on the issue that I can no longer muster. Abortion is complex, and life is complex. Long ago I decided that there were instances in which the taking of life was acceptable, so I can no longer declare 'all murder is evil'. I do believe a fetus is a person. My opinion is not that the fetus is just a mass of meaningless cells. An abortion is not the same as removing a tumor. It is the canceling of a life. That being said, some lives can be canceled. As in war. As in euthanasia. As in self protection, As in suicide, as in the death penalty. There is a time and place where these activities are well reasoned conclusions. I cannot tell someone who has been raped that they should be forced to carry a baby to full term, or to be responsible for raising their rapist's baby. I have seen too much to maintain such a stance. I have seen enough to come to the conclusion that in nearly every area of life, a person needs a choice, and the preservation of all life is not always to the benefit of the greater good, or even the good of the individual (two things which I believe should and can coincide).

It is my opinion that the pro-life stance is one that has no room for conditionals. The pro-choice stance is the one that leaves room for conditionals, and individual variance. A person who is pro life except in the case of rape, incest, or life of the mother might want to re-evaluate the label they put on themselves; their stance is more closely aligned with the pro choice argument, which allows that life is not inherently sacred, and that the betterment of the individual--and thus society--can sometimes only be realized at the termination of another life.

So it is pro choice for me.


Originally posted to Spencer Troxell on Sat Feb 01, 2014 at 09:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Abortion, Pro Choice, and Community Spotlight.

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