As of today May 10, 2019, I will no longer refer to the continuous debate on abortion using the terms pro-choice or pro-life. I feel they do not accurately convey the context of the ongoing debate in America. If we were truly honest with ourselves, the terms would be pro-choice and anti-choice. The anti-choice group will never refer to themselves in a negative light, and that is why they refer to themselves as pro-life. In reality, 100% of America is pro-choice. The debate lies in who gets to make the choice, the woman or the government. Therefore, I will reference the pro-lifers as pro-government mandate (pro-government for short) and the pro-choicers as pro-individual freedom (pro-freedom for short).
Recent anti-abortion laws passed by conservative governments in several states, Georgia included, made me step back and take a macro view of the entire debate. From a macro level, the debate boils down to who will make medical decisions for pregnant women, the women themselves or the government. Irrespective of whatever argument is put forth by either side, those are the two options. Someone will have to make a choice.
As I’ve posted before, I am not a proponent of abortion. I don’t think I could ask or force a woman to have one. I come from a large family, and we are well equipped to raise children. I also understand that there are people who have different views than I do. That’s what makes me place my marker within the pro-individual freedom camp. I know what my personal views are. However, I recognize that I cannot impose my personal views on someone who doesn’t agree with me or involve myself in someone’s personal life choices where I have no nexus to get into their business.
I know the recent spate of abortion restriction laws are a concerted attempt to overturn Roe v Wade. It’s not like folks are trying to hide their intent any longer. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then ask Alabama State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) about this effort. What I don’t understand is the means being employed to try to lower the number of abortions in America. If you want to end abortions, wouldn’t it be more beneficial and cost effective to try to eliminate unwanted or unexpected conception? As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
What amazes me about the whole argument is that you have one group who is adamant about using government edict to make abortions illegal. As a good friend puts it, they want to force women to give birth at gunpoint. Some folks are so hardcore that they refuse to consider allowing any exceptions for rape or incest. Then, some laws make it a criminal act punishable with prison term for any actions that lead to the death of a fetus.
This same group who wants government to make the decision on pregnancies is the same group that has fought tooth and nail to limit access to healthcare insurance coverage and care itself. They’ve sued to stop expansion of insurance programs that would offer people insurance coverage. They’ve sabotaged laws to ensure that insurance coverage isn’t more affordable for people as well. That’s why I refuse to call them pro-life. Their actions are not consistent with the notion of being pro-life. Their actions are nothing beyond pro-forced pregnancy.
I don’t want to get too deeply into a religious debate here as I know people have their own sincerely held beliefs. I’ll just offer this gem for folks to consider. Any reference to someone being brought to life in the Bible involves them being upright on their own and/or breathing on their own. Adam was formed in Genesis, but he was not alive until he was given the breath of life. When Jesus was reborn and ascended to Heaven, he was not alive again until he arose in the tomb and rolled the stone back from the opening. Lazarus was not alive until he was brought back from the dead and breathing on his own. In that train of thought, the stories from the Bible goes along with the concept of calculating our age from the time we’re born. We spend months and months in our mother’s womb, but we are not actually alive until we leave our mother’s womb and take that first breath of life on our own.
I’ll leave with this. If you want to limit or even end abortions, then give people the freedom to make their own choices. Give people all the necessary tools and educations to make an informed choice. That means that we need to have affordable healthcare whether a woman chooses to carry to term or abort. We need effective family planning education to curtail unintended conception. We also need to have faith that people will make the right decisions on their own when given the full freedom to make those decisions. It’s not an anomaly that countries with better sex education and family planning also have lower abortion rates than America. We need to quit acting exceptionally stupid and allow common sense to be our guides.