Sunday, November 27, 2005

Abortion - The RIGHT to Choose?

I was asked the other day what happened to make me become conservative? Apparently my questioner didn't feel that I had always been that way. I didn't answer the question very well at the time, but the exchange made me think. Why DO I believe as I do? I will delve into some of my other conservative beliefs in other posts. This post is on the topic of abortion.

I remember as a young college woman telling anyone who asked that OF COURSE women should be in charge of their own bodies and have the right to an abortion! No doubt about it! Women should control their own bodies! End of story. No discussion. At the time I was into Ms. Magazine and the women's movement, and I was parroting the standard party line. However, once I started thinking for myself, my opinion changed.

Abortion is one of the most difficult issues we face today. No one wants to force a scared teenage girl or an overburdened mother to carry an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy to term. However, should we value human life so little that abortion is considered a form of birth control? This isn't an issue where compromise is feasible.

The standard Democratic stand on abortion is full of contradictions. The unborn baby is a baby only if the mother wants it. As in Lacey Peterson's case, if someone murders the mother, then that person can also be charged with murdering the baby. On the other hand, if the mother doesn't want the baby and decides to abort it, it becomes a "fetus", and it's okay to kill it. The father's role in the creation of the baby/fetus is only recognized after birth. They must pay for child support in the case of divorce, but they have no voice whatsoever if the mother decides the abort the baby prior to birth.

The bottom line is that we've based a law on wants. If the baby is wanted, then it is protected by law. If the baby is unwanted, then it is not protected by law.

The Democrats and pro-abortion folks hide behind lofty-sounding phrases like "Freedom of Choice" and "Pro-Choice." That sounds noble. It sounds patriotic. It sounds American. Who could argue with having the freedom to choose? Who could argue with a woman's right to determine what happens to her body?

I wish it were that simple. Once a woman is pregnant, it isn't just HER body that is involved. It is also the body of her unborn child - an unborn child that has a beating heart, ten fingers and ten toes and all internal organs. An unborn child that, even before the mother's body exhibits outward signs of pregnancy, sucks his/her thumb and stretches and kicks and makes faces.

Life is sacred, or it isn't. I repeat - no one wants to force women to have babies they don't want. However, I won't hide behind "pro-choice" terminology and deny that there is a basic matter of life and death in this issue. It can't be relegated to the realm of being a moral decision between a woman, her doctor and her god. There IS a baby involved in an abortion, and that baby's rights are not being protected or even considered. Its very existence is being denied.

It's time for the Pro-Choice people to stop their denial and the hiding behind pretty words. Then maybe both sides can work together to find a solution to the problem rather than expending their time and energy fighting each other.

Other bloggers check in on the issue of abortion - differing points of view:

Kathryn at Suitable for Mixed Company has some posts about this issue here and here. She references this article in The Washington Post.

Charmaine at Reasoned Audacity talks about spousal notification and other aspects of the abortion issue here.

Pat at Dr. Sanity talks about the toxic side effects here.

Maxed Out Mama writes about whether or not it is a religious or constitutional issue.

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