alteregoliz: (antique serious)
alteregoliz ([personal profile] alteregoliz) wrote2012-09-30 08:54 am

Are you sure you're Pro-Life?

I remember having a conversation many years ago with a coworker/friend about the difference between Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice. She had declared to me that she was Pro-Life "because that was the choice she had made" - yes, she really said it just like that. She had been faced with an unwanted pregnancy when she had her first child and she had decided against abortion. I explained to her that that didn't necessarily make her Pro-Life. She looked genuinely puzzled, so I explained that it was perfectly possible to be personally against abortion and still Pro-Choice, that being Pro-Choice was not about promoting abortion, that it was about allowing each woman the freedom and opportunity to make that choice for herself. And as my mother later said, "How would she have felt if she hadn't been allowed to make the choice for herself?"

I have known a few friends who have had abortions. All of them (with the exception of the one who was raped in broad daylight in a college parking lot) were very conflicted about their difficult decision. All of those women, including the rape victim, are now amazing moms. One is still with and married to the college boyfriend who was with her to make their decision together.

I have never been faced with an unplanned pregnancy myself, but I have had a couple of scares in my lifetime where I thought I might be and I knew I wasn't ready. I have also been in a situation where I was nearly raped and it gave me a chance for more in-depth consideration of what I would do if I ever became pregnant by a rapist. I have some inkling of how tough that decision is in any circumstances.

I haven't publicly discussed this before so it may come as quite a surprise to many who know me: at some point in my mid-20's I came to the conclusion that I oppose abortion. I concluded that, whether or not I believe a fetus is a person, I believe a fetus is at least the potential for new life and it should be treated with the same high regard. I would like to believe I would have been able to live up to that belief if I were ever faced with making such a difficult decision, but to be realistic I must admit that I don't really know what I would have done if it had ever been a reality.

At no time did I ever imagine that it was my place to expect someone else to live by my belief system. With my realization of my personal belief, I found that I was even more committed to the Pro-Choice cause.

I have a number of family members who believe themselves to be Pro-Life. I understand their personal position, but I would ask, "Do you really believe it's your place to make that decision for someone else?"

Food for thought.

edited 09/30/2012 3:11pm