Friday, October 19, 2012

My Take on the Abortion Issue

Never let it be said I'm not willing to have an opinion on a controversial topic.

My opinions have run the gamut on abortion from keep government all the way out, to no abortions at all.  Sometimes the swings were pretty violent as new ideas or concepts were presented to me.

One that caught me by surprise was watching a show where Kathy Ireland for whatever reason was giving an opinion on abortion.  Her argument was very compelling, and made me begin to rethink some more liberal (or frankly, more libertarian) thought processes.  Her argument was pretty simple.  When you look at the genetics of the embryo are they generic? Are they chimpanzee?  Are they dolphin?  No.  In fact it is human DNA.  Not just human DNA, but DNA that is novel from both the father and mother.  In other words, while this life was still dependent on the mother to survive, it was still an independent human life.

Who would have thought Kathy Ireland would be the one to put that forward?

This really got me thinking and in the end I ended up someplace I think is somewhat different than most, but is relatively easy to explain.

I am pro-choice.

Not in the liberal sense of the phrase, rather, I believe we all have agency to make choices.  I believe that we have that right so long as it doesn't harm another, and that is where our choices solidify into consequences.


Let me put it this way:

The main purpose of sex is not fun.  It is procreation.  I don't care if you are religious or a strict Darwinist, the purpose of sex is to make babies.  The fun, bonding and emotional gratification are all secondary to that point.  We all know this.  We also know that even the best birth control is not 100% effective.  So, there is a calculated risk we all take into consideration at some level when engaging in sex.  You have, by definition, made a choice.

Occasionally that choice brings unwanted consequences such as a pregnancy.  To suggest this is a surprise is to insult the intelligence of most people.  Most people know this is a real possibility, and they choose to take that chance.  They may be unhappy, but they cannot be truly surprised.

So now your choice has created a situation. The woman now has a wholly separate human life within her that is dependent on her for development and sustenance that was created by the choice of both partners.  In my opinion, generally, the decision was made at the time of intercourse, and you were willing to live with the consequence.  To abort this person at this point is to try and undo a choice made at the expense of another life.  Therefore one cannot morally abort the child under normal circumstances. 

There are exceptions to this though.  Rape, incest, or the health of the mother each bring in outside influences that are not of the mother's choice.  In the case of rape or incest, this was not the mother's choice.  She must be allowed that option, even at the expense of the life within her.  This is the time where the mother should have the option to make her choice.  She should not have to live with the concequences of someone forcing their choice on her.

Likewise when the mother's health is severely at risk, it does not necessarily make sense to have the mother sacrifice herself for the infant within her.  This one is more tricky, and certainly should not be used as a "loop hole" as it has at time in the past.  But to lose the mother risks losing the child as well, better to save the one and see if a different choice is needed going forward.

In each case above, the parents and specifically the woman have had an opportunity to make a choice that determined the outcome.  Once that choice is made, there really is no going back.

Anyway, it peeves me that the left has co-opted the "pro-choice" title, because it really is the "pro-change-your-mind-after-the-fact-at-anothers-expense" platform.  In the end it really comes down to us each just needing to be willing to accept the consequences of our actions, and morally work through them to the best of our ability.

Hopefully that makes some kind of sense to you.  It does to me.

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