Usually I can understand the extreme discourse anytime the argument of abortion comes up. I understand why both sides feel threatened, misunderstood, and unable to communicate through any other fashion than to protest and scream. I've taken both times examining both sides of the issue. My mother is fiercely pro-choice as is my father and my entire family. In a way, I am also pro-choice; my personal choice is life, I'm a bleedin' heart liberal, and I'm damn proud of it.
So deal with it, there are a lot of people like me. People like me who think life is beyond the cold and numerical science of biology and chemistry, people who may even believe that God does in fact exist. Am I a creationist? Not exactly. Do I believe the Big Bang is infallible? Nope. Do I think there was evolution? Of course. Do I think evolution, like science, are laws and wills created by some kind of intelligent design? Yes. I see my cousin's artwork, and I know no monkey could ever hope to express themselves in such a way. I listen to the countless numbers of languages, songs, and poems, and I am mystified at the capabilities of mankind. I see a flower in mid-bloom, and I know there is a complicated system which allows that to happen. In short, like most Americans, I believe that God does in fact exist. Also, like few around here, I am not a big fan of abortion. In fact, I really despise the practice.
Yes, I am a man. I'm not trying to trample anyone's freedom. I consider myself pro-choice first, but personally I am against abortion. I am even more against its explicit use as a wedge issue, despite the fact that even most Republicans concede that they'll never abolish Roe v. Wade forever. It's been on the books for too long, it'd cause too much of an uproar and a backlash. Besides, why would they want to? They get tens of millions of reliable votes just for that one position, and if it existed no more, their rocky-coalition would be at greater risk of collapse. Yet whether politicized or not, the issue is there, and the issue deserves to be debated with civility and candor.
Strangely, I probably wouldn't exist if not for abortions. It's a complicated and undocumented story, so that's really besides the point. I grew up fully aware of some of the evils out there. I've known several victims of rape, and I cannot even begin to imagine the torment that must come from having to bare the product of such a disgusting invasion. The daily reminder that such a child would provide. The danger some women face when they are warned that going through with the birth could be life-threatening. The woman who made a mistake by not playing it safe and who is horrified at the idea of raising a child in her present environment. Indeed, in such circumstances, most Americans would find an abortion to be acceptable. Perhaps it is. Is an adoption more acceptable? I believe so, while also believing that I can't get in some woman's face, wag my finger at her, and tell her to carry the child to term and then give it up if she doesn't want to raise it. There's a little bit of a burden in that process.
What people fail to understand is that you cannot call someone "a loon" for believing that a fetus is life. You can't call someone "stupid" for equating abortion with murder. You simply can't. If you don't believe me, ask the millions of women who have had abortions, and yes many of the men who stood by their side during the ordeal. It's a touchy subject, and rightly so. Mr. Perkins recently released an ad in response to Senator Obama's speech on the responsibilities of father. Mr. Perkins rightly points out that Senator Obama believes that a father's responsibility begins at conception, that his obligation starts the moment that he does the dirty deed without protection. Therefore, Mr. Perkins asks a very fair question; if that is Senator Obama's belief, then when does he believe that life begins?
It's not a question that I claim to know. Senator Obama doesn't claim to know it, either. It's a question that haunts the pro-choice community. It's a question that science cannot really seem to answer, for it all depends on how you define "life." Now, let me explain once again the following; you can't call someone "stupid" for equating abortions to murder, or to the general practice of abortion(millions a year) to even the Holocaust. Holocaust victims, including several of my ancestors, were murdered not based on their activities. Some were- homosexuals were killed for acts of homosexuality. Communists were killed for acting like Communists. However, many were killed not for acts but for status; Jews, Roma, and homosexuals were killed for being who they were. They were blameless, they committed no act that could be construed as wrong; the pro-life community finds the same to be true about a fetus.
Like with the Reverend Hagee situation, I'm a little insulted when faux outrage is used as a political weapon. What the Reverend Hagee said was not, in any way, anti-Semitic. Parsley, however, was different; he advocated the destruction of a religion that includes over a billion members. Hagee, however, is entirely different. What he said essentially that God used Hitler was a tool for his divine and all-encompassing will. Have you ever read the Book of Job? Ever hear of the theological position that "all is as God wills it?" I disagree with the position, I disagree that homosexuals were responsible for Katrina, but I also understand religious context. I also know that Reverend Hagee has single-handedly done more for my Israeli cousins than the vast majority of my fellow Americans. I enjoy debates and despise ruinous screaming. Therefore, when I read a diary entitled "LUNACY OF ABORTION, REPRODUCTION", I shake my head. I get a little agitated at passages such as the following;
Pro-Lifers talk about the "carnage" and "holocaust" when talking about induced abortion, arguing that millions of "babies" are slaughtered every year. Using the term holocaust is totally out of place in this context. At the same time millions of Jews and other people were being exterminated in Europe, Nazi Germany was "pro-life." It was illegal for German women to have an abortion. Indeed, it was their duty to have as many babies as possible to make soldiers for the Reich.
For many, and once myself included amongst them, the idea of a fetus being the same as a human being was a laughable notion. However, I knew my twin sisters as a fetus. We grew up together in there. I don't remember much, except being kicked, but the same question still comes back; when did life begin for us? When do the responsibilities of a parent begin? I can't claim with any certainty. Can the pro-life community? Of course, because their community is rooted through faith and not science. Despite their lack of scientific grounding in their answer to that question, it's a far stronger answer than any the pro-choice community has been able to offer.
While I am not in favor of overturning Roe V. Wade, I am in strong favor of reducing the number of abortions while maintaining a healthy debate over the topic of abortion. Anyone who tells me that abortion should be anything other than the last resort are no better than the war hawks(usually also chicken hawks) who think diplomacy should be the last resort. Reducing abortions is not dependent on restricting abortions, and is indeed a problem partially stemming out of our adolescent population which is already experiencing a dramatic hike in teenage pregnancies. We, as a society, need to be a little more open to genuine debate and a little more willing to understand the opposing arguments- even if understanding the opposing arguments can be a little threatening to your position.
I'll respond to any questions below.