Here’s my heart-strings pulling reason why I think abortions should be legal.

by michelle on October 31, 2012 · 4 comments

I’ve seen a lot of heart-strings posts about why “women’s reproductive health rights” should be severely limited. I believe that life is sacred, that babies are a miracle and a gift.

BUT, here’s my heart strings post on why abortions (safe, regulated, not late term except in life-of-mother cases) should be medically available to any woman who should want one.

12 years ago, a woman I knew had a child. I’m going to be cryptic here, because this is only partly my story to tell.

The poor boy was born addicted to drugs, and with fetal alcohol syndrome.

He had developmental delays. He was neglected. He was malnourished. He didn’t have a stable home. He had very few people to care for him like he deserved.

He lived to see 3 years old. And then he died, by mysterious circumstances. Let’s just say that it wasn’t a natural death.

Since this woman lived in Alabama, there was no Planned Parenthood or free clinic to easily acquire any services, obstetrical or contraceptive, or even abortive. If there had been, that little boy wouldn’t have had to spend 3 terrified years in the “care” of a woman who neither wanted or cared for him.  This little boy I’m speaking of is my half-brother-in-law. He deserved better than what he got.

No woman should have to carry a child they do not want to care for. Because this is what happens when that child goes home to that mother.

The child is neglected and then the child dies.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesabes October 31, 2012 at 11:11 am

I completely agree no child should have to be born into that situation and far too many are.

Doesn’t this argument kind of sound like euthanasia, though? If your quality of life will be below X (regardless of if you’re unborn or simply ill, perhaps terminally) we can spare you the misery of your life? I’m trying to phrase it in a way that isn’t flippant, because my thoughts on euthanasia are very complicated. I mean, letting someone who is terminally ill out of their constant pain doesn’t sound like the worst idea ever. Not that I fully support it or want it to be a practice sanctioned by the federal government, but I don’t fully decry it, either.

Also, would things be different today? Are children born addicted to drugs and with fetal alcohol syndrome still allowed to go home with the woman who made them that way?

Stefanie October 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I am 100% pro-choice. No woman should be forced to carry a child if she doesn’t want to.

BTW, there’s a Planned Parenthood in Birmingham, in case any of your readers need its services.

Erica October 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I feel like the more I learn to put myself into other people’s shoes, the more liberal I become.

Arwen November 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

I think Jessica is right – this is the euthanasia argument for abortion. From an emotional perspective, it’s very compelling. Wouldn’t it be better for children who suffer like that never to be born? And most people feel the answer is yes.

For anyone who’s already inclined to be pro-choice, stories like this one simply cement their position. (Although I think that compassionate people of any ideology could agree that the system failed that little boy who, once born, should never have been abandoned to the neglect of his mother.)

The difficulty with the euthanasia argument for abortion is that it depends on the presupposition that human lives in the womb do not merit the same protection that their born counterparts do. Very few people would argue that it would be better if infanticide were legal so that poor little boy could’ve been mercy-killed at birth rather than suffer through his three sad years of life. We understand that no matter how much a mother might not want her child, he also has rights and she is not therefore not legally permitted to kill him at birth.

Now, under current law, she IS permitted to have him killed if he still resides in her womb. And if you’re convinced that’s a just law, then this argument is an excellent one for increasing the availability of abortion. It seems merciful.

But if you are convinced, as I am, that there is no metaphysical difference between a human life residing in the womb and one residing outside it, then there is also no metaphysical difference between the killing of a fetus and the killing of a born baby. In which case the answer to abuse must not be more death, but instead love and compassion and intervention on behalf of helpless little boys like this one.

I hope that it is clear that I respect you and your position, and really do understand the appeal, both intellectual and emotional, of arguments like this one. I also realize that I’m not going to convince anyone who is already firmly in the pro-choice camp. I just wanted to present the pro-life position, and I hope I managed it in a respectful way. I do have very strong convictions on this issue, so it’s sometimes hard for me to tell how I sound.


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