Monday, 4 May 2009
Sarah Palin, life and intolerance
Abortion is a very divisive issue. It elicits very strong emotions from people and objectivity quickly goes out of the window in any discussions about the subject.
What makes people pro-life? Do pro-lifers really believe in the sanctity of ALL life?
Unless we consider psychopaths who kill for kicks, I would say that EVERYBODY is pro-life. I haven't yet met a woman who had an abortion for fun. It's a very difficult decision to make, having an abortion.
Women don't walk into an abortion clinic thinking "What a fantastic time I'm having today, I must have another abortion in a few months and tell all my friends not to miss it for the world!"
The doctors who perform abortions don't look at a pregnant woman and rub their hands together: "Wow, I'm going to have a whale of a time putting an end to this pregnancy!"
It doesn't work that way. A woman facing an unwanted pregnancy will ask herself many, many questions.
Can I provide for this child? Can I go through the whole nine months and give the baby away for adoption? What will my life be like with this baby? What will life be like for this baby? Do I have the right to end this life? Do I have the right to bring a baby into this world in these circumstances?
Other women face harder questions. Do I have to carry my rapist's child? Do I have to give birth to my own father's baby? Is it right to give birth to my brother's baby?
Life is precious, yes. Women who opt for an abortion are aware of that. But they also have the concept of quality of life. They have a deep respect for life and choose not to bring a child into this world with the odds stacked against a child they feel they can't have.
Some young women are not prepared to embark into motherhood or the psychological damage caused by carrying a baby to term then having to give it away, left with engorged breasts and an emptiness that could last a lifetime. Their lives are precious too.
Women are not receptacles for breeding babies. Their lives are just as valuable as those of the foetuses they choose to terminate after asking themselves very difficult questions. They are alive now, the women already here, aren't their lives worth anything?
Pro-lifers who demonize women who choose abortion don't respect life. If they did, they would respect all life and would consider the quality of the lives about which they make such a fuss. Many pro-lifers are passionate advocates for the death sentence...
They love to ask "When does life start?" Why don't they ask themselves "When does life cease to be precious?"
The lives they so passionately defend in the womb seem to be less sacred to them when children forced to be born into disfunctional families are given the label of disruptive, taken into care and drugged to their eyeballs to keep them under control. They are the first ones to say that children don't have rights.
When things go all pear shaped for the children they fought so hard to bring into being, they're not so vocal about the rights of the very same children. Right to life? How about the right to quality of life?
The governor who makes such a good case for life and would love to bring about legislation to ensure that all babies are born, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their conception, also believes that conception should be left to chance or willpower.
A person who loves life would work towards less women and young girls finding themselves in the position of having to make such difficult choices. To be able to make decisions on behalf of other people one has to look at reality and not be guided by the tenets of an intolerant church.
Being pro-life should be about respecting other women's difficult decisions without prejudice and not trivializing the whole issue by branding people as good or bad based on a very narrow set of beliefs.
Life is very precious, but it's not simple and people don't need simplistic policies and legislation.