Believing whole-heartedly in a woman’s right to choose doesn’t mean that I “like” abortions and celebrate the fact that they exist. It doesn’t mean that I hate babies or children and think abortions are the greatest thing ever invented.
Quite the opposite, actually.
I have three children. I love and adore them and wouldn’t give them up for anything in the world. I love babies and will take any opportunity available to snuggle a newborn. I assure you that I am not an evil, awful person who wants to kill babies.
I hate the idea of abortions. The thought of them makes me feel a bit ill and it saddens me that they occur. It would be wonderful if there was no need for them, but the sad fact is that there IS a need for them. They are a necessary evil, if you will, and until we wake up and realize where the real issues are, and then fix them, there will always be a need for women to receive safe, legal (non-medically necessary) abortions.
It’s easy to yell and scream that abortion is bad and should be illegal. But if abortion was made illegal tomorrow, where would we find ourselves? Making abortions illegal is easy enough, but it opens up a whole new host of issues that we have to be willing and able to address and deal with.
Here are my thoughts:
- Until we recognize the need for, and agree to fully fund social welfare programs, we can’t force a woman to have a baby she can’t afford.
- Until we recognize the need for, and agree to fully fund government programs to protect children’s rights and safety, we can’t force a woman to have a baby she doesn’t want.
- Until we can make contraception affordable and readily available to anyone who needs it, we can’t force a woman to have a baby she doesn’t want.
- Until we recognize the need for, and figure out a way to provide, low cost, comprehensive health care for women and children, we can’t force a woman to continue with a pregnancy that will likely bankrupt her.
- Until we recognize the fact that abstinence only sex education doesn’t work, and start teaching America’s youth about various forms of contraception, we can’t force a teenager to have a baby she’s not prepared for.
- Until we can reliably collect unpaid child support from dead beat dads, we can’t force a single mother to have a child she can’t afford.
- Until we figure out a way to bring people back from the dead, we can’t force a woman to continue with a pregnancy that will kill her.
Yes, adoption is an amazing option. But it’s not the only fix to this situation. There are already hundreds of thousands of children in the US who need homes and not enough people who want to adopt them. Unfortunately, we don’t have a reliable enough system in place to add hundreds of thousands of newborns to those numbers. Yes, it’s an awful way to look at it, but in reality, who is going to care for those children, both emotionally and financially?
I would love to live in a world where (non-medically necessary) abortions are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, we need to make some pretty major changes to our beliefs and policies before that’s going to be possible.
I am a woman. I am a mother. I am pro-choice.
Photo Credit: AlexandraLee via Flickr