Abortion, “Which side do you choose?” Addressing the incongruity between christian values and civil rights/women’s rights
WE all choose LIFE. Our methods for achieving this goal may be different, but the goal is still the same.
We are all on the side of “Life.” We all want to respect the sanctity and dignity of all human life. The real conflict is not, “do you support murdering little babies or not.?” The real challenge is “how do we create an environment, which is conducive to supporting and respecting all life, all human life, in a diverse, democratic, society?”
The real question is...how do we accomplish this while…
1) respecting the privacy of a person, particularly the woman in our society, to control their own reproductive choices..
2) acknowledging that a fetus growing inside of a woman, human in form, hands, fingers, toes, genitalia, growing brain, a heart beating, developing nervous system….is certainly human life with the potential for living a full life as a human person.
3) respecting and protecting the religious beliefs and practices of a diverse citizenry, where the beliefs may indeed differ about when human life begins.
4) ensuring that ALL persons are given the same rights, the same liberties, under the constitution
- Right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
- Right to privacy
- Right to exercise religious freedom and to live in a republic free from theocratic rule.
What is the solution? How do we accomplish all of the above in a free country without infringing on the personal liberties of individuals, especially the woman?
- It seems to me the first thing to agree on is..that the unborn fetus is human and should have the opportunity to develop and grow.
- Next, and no less important, all persons must have the right to privacy in making reproductive choices, men and women alike.
How do we accomplish ensuring both of these when the woman has the constitutional right to have an abortion if she doesn’t want to carry a child to term and not everyone agrees on when the fetus becomes a person.? Different religions have different ideas about the morality of ending a pregnancy and when it is considered ok.
Do we remove the personal choices of a person, who is a citizen and has civil liberties protected under the constitution? Do we follow the religious moral choices of the most limiting variable…the religions with the strictest ideas regarding when life begins?
The solution is to provide a support structure which promotes life as the best choice. What might this involve?
1) EDUCATION: Our public schools must include sexual health and reproduction within the biological science curriculum.
- They must be free to make informed choices. Just as students are taught about proper nutrition and personal choices regarding proper hygiene, social behavior, proper nutrition, food, exercise and overall health, they must be introduced to the realities of being sexual creatures. They must be taught ALL, not just a little here and there, but ALL.
- SOCIALIZATION: As we teach our children that they should not lie, steal, cheat, hate, discriminate against others because they are different…we should also teach them about the miracle of human life. We teach them conflict resolution, which requires them to assume personal responsibility in relationships with peers, family and society. We must also teach them responsibility in making their reproductive choices.
2) ECONOMIC JUSTICE: As a society, we must pass laws which diminish economic disparity.
- There must be a “living wage” or at least a base pay, which is above poverty levels. The poor must be able to work their way out of poverty instead of working themselves to death and still not making ends meet.
- There must be a simple tax system, which is fair and requires everyone to pay their fair share, with an exception for the very old and or the disabled.
- There must be affordable, universal health, dental and psychological care, which is fairly available to all regardless of socioeconomic status.
- There must be affordable, universal reproductive services, which provide education, counseling and birth control for those whose religious views allow.
3) PREVENTION AND REFORM: reduce the need for abortions by providing the following options:
- Abortion should be offered only as a last resort for mothers who face death if they carry a baby to term.
- The morning after drug must be available to all women who have been raped or engaged in sexual activity which might result in a pregnancy. This must be offered to all without religious restrictions. Catholic women will not accept this choice
- Contraceptives and reproductive education must be free and available to all, regardless of socioeconomic status.
- There must be assistance for single mothers and fathers to ensure quality child care, so that both may choose to work.
This is not my Catholic view, this is a logical assessment of the complex issue, which has no simple solution.
Labeling and The Negative Consequences: Labeling those who are “pro-reproductive rights” as “pro-abortion” is unfair and divisive. I have never met anyone who thinks that viable babies should be murdered instead of adopted. Labeling does not change the hearts and minds of those who would choose abortion. It just makes those of us who are truly pro-life to seem as judgmental extremists, who are intolerant and only wishing to impose our religious beliefs on another. Which is unconstitutional.
There is a solution and that solution takes societal will. If you are truly pro-life, then you will do everything in your control to provide a culture of life, rather than death; a culture of responsible choices rather than a culture of limited or no choices.