Sunday, February 8, 2015

Abortion is Not Compassionate

In discussing abortion with someone who is pro-choice, it doesn’t take long to realize that they consider supporting abortion to be a compassionate choice. They know that a lot of women have very bad situations and aren’t prepared to take care of a baby. So in sympathizing with these women, they want to offer them the choice to abort.

But abortion is not really compassionate. It’s false compassion that is more about making people feel better, not addressing the underlying issues in their lives and really helping them.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario.

A woman has a boyfriend who has a minimum wage job, drinks to excess sometimes, and hates kids. She wants to get married and have a family someday, but the current guy isn't husband and father material, nor is he in a position to take care of a family. But he's what she has for now and she doesn't really expect it to be permanent. Or maybe she's hoping he'll come to his senses and see what a perfect match they are and marry her. They live together and have a 2-year lease. They share phone and utility bills. She's finishing up a degree and working nights. All the sudden, she finds out she's pregnant.

Of course she's panicked because she was definitely not planning on this. Her boyfriend is mad when he finds out and tells her to get rid of the baby. She knows she can't afford a baby now and couldn't afford to pay the rent and other bills by herself if her boyfriend leaves. She doesn't want to be a single mother, but her boyfriend is showing no interest in marrying her or raising a child. She feels trapped and scared. "If only there were no baby," she thinks. If only there was a quick fix, an undo button. A baby will ruin everything.

So she considers abortion.

This is a VERY common scenario. Lots of women find themselves in this very situation or one very similar. They’re pregnant at a time when they truly are not prepared and having a child would be tremendously problematic. And it's very sad.

It’s also totally avoidable.

While I am all for helping this woman learn about adoption possibilities or find financial help and childcare services so that she can continue to work and go to school and keep her child, wouldn't it be better if she had avoided the situation all together?

The thing is, this woman chose to get herself into this situation. She chose a boyfriend who wouldn’t commit to marriage and she chose to have sex, even though she knew that she was in no position to take care of a baby. There is no quick fix or undo button in real life. Actions have consequences, and sometimes you have to live with them. Killing an innocent unborn child to take away the consequences of your own bad choices is not the right answer.

Wouldn’t it be better if she had chosen another path – one of abstinence and logical choices? Why can’t we advocate that women avoid sex when they know they aren’t in a position to have a baby. After all, conceiving a child is a very real possibility whenever you have sex - even if you use contraception! That’s just a fact of life. And it’s better to face the facts than to live in denial, only to have a rude awakening when the unexpected happens and you’re totally unprepared and terrified.

What we’re currently doing, as a society, is encouraging women to live in denial about the consequences of sex. And then we wonder why they end up in such bad situations where they feel trapped and scared and are desperate for someone to tell them they’ll make it all go away. It’s not a much of a choice when they feel so desperate and everything is screaming at them to take the easy road and kill their baby.

I want women to have the information to make good choices and avoid getting into bad situations in the first place. Advocating abortion as a quick fix is not only wrong, but it keeps us from finding a real solution to this kind of difficult situation.

The truth is that it’s not okay to kill a baby in order to make a woman’s life better or easier. It’s not okay to make bad choices that lead to the creation of a child at a time when a pregnancy would be catastrophic and then get out of the consequences by ending an innocent life. If you’re going to engage in activities that make a baby, you have to live with those choices. Making the baby pay the price for her parents’ bad decisions isn’t fair or right.

Offering abortion as a “solution” to women like this is not only wrong, but it’s not helping them either. It’s enabling their bad decisions. It’s preying on their fears and hardships. And it’s killing their children. Abortion is NOT compassionate.

Note: This post is a reblog from my other blog, The Rational Abolitionist.