Saturday, December 03, 2005

Rights Versus Responsibilities: Revisiting Abortion

A blogger I respect wrote a very good article on the subject of abortion, which prompted this response.

I can see both sides of this issue.

When I was younger I was pro-abortion, but it was mainly an unconsidered opinion that rested chiefly on the perceived benefits to me. Thankfully I never had to make that decision, or be involved with someone who had to make it.

Now that I’m older, hopefully wiser, and have had a child, I realize what a remarkable gift a child is. And, as an aside, I do not understand people who do not want children.

When all is said and done, what else is more important than a child? What else really matters? In a century the world will forget how great of an artist, poet, or builder you were… but you live on in your children and in their children. They’re a tremendous pain in the ass. You’ll spend hours and hours doing the most disgusting, menial tasks. When your infant daughter throws up all over your sweater at the bank, and you can still hold her and kiss her head while you clean it up, when you spend all night at the hospital with your infant son hooked up to an IV, cleaning diarrhea off of his behind every ten minutes… and that child looks at you and smiles in appreciation through their misery… only then will you truly understand love. Love means you do these things not for money, but simply because they must be done and someone is depending on you to do it, and it is a privilege.

It really all comes down to responsibility. Taking responsibility for our choices, instead of taking the easy way out. Having a child at a young age is very hard. Aborting a child because you do not want to face the hardship of having it should also be a very hard decision to make. That it is not to many is, to me, very troublesome.

I agree with you, Chrissy… if people aren’t ready to face the responsibility of childhood then maybe they should strongly consider whether they’re ready to face the responsibility of being sexually active. But everyone wants the easy way out, the convenient way, and to avoid what it is we’re doing we use words like fetus, abortion, and termination instead of child, infant, and killing.

I understand the arguments behind keeping abortions legal. “Women will get them anyway, and many will die from back-alley abortions.” I’m not in favor of women dying, but let’s not forget that every abortion requires a death. The child pays for the mistakes of the mother.

I would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. I’d like to see late-term abortions made illegal, and especially the heinous procedure of late-term partial birth abortions where viable infants are legally murdered just because they’re delivered in the breech position and killed when only their heads remain in the birth canal. For Pete’s sake, you should have made up your mind in the first trimester! I’d like for teenagers to get at least one parent’s consent before they can have an abortion, and then be accompanied by that parent. I’d like to keep the government from spending a cent on abortions or abortion clinics. And I’d like legal abortions to be so rare that the majority of abortion clinics go out of business because people grew up enough to either ensure they don’t get pregnant by whatever means, or accept the consequences if they did.

I wouldn’t make abortions illegal, but I would make those changes. I know they will not be popular with many, just as I would have found them onerous in my ill-considered youth. The right thing is never easy, and seldom popular.

I can live with that.

NB: More articles on the subject here, and tangentally here and here.

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