Thursday, April 14, 2005

When Good People Go Pro-Life

ohmygod, I know a pro-life person. Well. Really well.

I never realized how much I took for granted that of course everyone I know is pro-choice, of course anyone I might casually encounter in any social situation believes that a woman has the right to do whatever she please with her body. Duh. Riii-eeght? I mean, how could I be friendly--god, how could I be friends--with someone who actually enbraces some antiquated crazy-ass notion that "life", some transcendental church-y mumbo-jumbo thing, attaches to a bunch of cells and somehow suddenly matters more than the woman. Those people move in a different zip code, a different world, and I know they exist, but they aren't my people. Except that that they are now.

F. is a wonderful friend of 15 years. In the past frew years, she found God again, got married, got pregannt, and now, as I sit next to her at dinner and poke around her big belly and feel her baby's little 8-month-old foot, I suddenly have to treat pro-life views with...respect. Ich. How could they kill Terri Schiavo she asks? How do we know she wasn't conscious--and what about plants? They're not conscious, they're living, and we don't kill them. Dude, F., did they send you to the gulag to learn to spout this stuff? And this is...her, this is F. I know her. Suddenly my arguments change, my tone changes, I find myself arguing more reasonably than I've ever articulated pro-choice arguments before, I find myself understanding what it's really like to plead your case.

But I also find myself a little bit horrified, and horrified to be horrified. It turns out I'm not a fan of pluralism at all--espececially not when it infects my friends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhh let me tell you when you look at an ultrasound of a baby for the first time even when they are only 18 weeks old...(as I did) then there is no mistaking that that little person is a life. To end that life is plain a simply murder. A child in any stage is a child and should be protected. So tell me this if the baby is 8 1/2 months old (as mine is now) but still in the womb could the mother then choos to kill it and not call it murder. At what point does it become a human to you? Does the baby have to take it's first breath...while I respect women's rights in so many ways I break from what you believe when it comes to protecting a child's right to live.

April 14, 2005 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Open Letter to the Woman Walking Into the Abortion Clinic

I was one of the women outside the abortion clinic you were walking into last Saturday. Although you took the literature I offered, you walked by quickly with your head down, and you shook it when I asked if you wanted to talk. I would like to say now what I would have said then, and to let you know why I was there.

I was not there to trespass on private property. I was not there to harass you or intimidate you. I was not there to block the entrance to the facility so that you could not obtain an abortion. I was not there to judge, to ridicule, or to condemn you.

I was there because I know exactly how you feel. I know the fear, the panic, the anxiety of an unplanned pregnancy. I know the excruciatingly painful and agonizing decision of abortion. I know the pressure, the silence, the secrecy.

I remember the desperation. I remember hating what I was about to do, but feeling like there was no other choice. I remember signing consent forms that I never read. I remember hearing "procedure," "termination," "cash only." I remember sobbing in my boyfriend's arms. I remember the guilt, the depression, the anger, the denial. I remember the nightmares: I remember my brokenness of spirit and the loss of myself.

I was there the other day to let you know that you are not alone. To ask if you know about all of your options, all of your choices.

To see if you are aware that there are places that can offer you free financial and medical assistance, housing, career guidance, prenatal care, maternity clothes, baby clothes, parenting classes, and adoption counseling.

To ask if you are aware of what is happening inside your body - to see if you are educated on the topic of scientific embryonic and fetal development.

To find out if you are truly consenting to this abortion or if you are being pressured and coerced by your boyfriend, your parents, your peers.

To convince you that you deserve more than violence and destruction as a solution to your problems.

I was also there for you if, like the vast majority, you went through with the abortion. I was there to let you know that there is hope - and healing - and self-forgiveness. And even if society doesn't validate your pain, it is still real. I was there full of understanding and compassion and love, but most of all, with sorrow - because I saw myself in you.

Beth Luteran

April 18, 2005 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Darkest Day of My Life

Eight years ago, when I was sixteen, I became pregnant by my best friend's brother. I wasn't even thinking about abortion, but on the "advice" of friends ("It'll ruin your life!") and pressures of family and my doctor, I caved in, feeling there was no other way out of my situation.

I had the abortion at 17 weeks at an Atlanta clinic. It was terrible and traumatic. It was the darkest day of my life. No one had told me I would feel this way: guilty, sad, full of despair. Abortion had always been described as a simple, empowering, "liberating" experience by pro-choice feminists; a proper and respectable thing to do.

I didn't feel any of those things. I had let strangers tear out a part of me for money. I felt like garbage. The thing is, I was never counseled on the procedure, risks, or any other options available to me. No one asked me if abortion was what I wanted. To this day, I don't even know the doctor's name who performed the abortion!

This is the extent of the ignorance I was kept in. I have often wondered why people who supposedly cared about me kept me as ignorant as possible. I was sixteen, scared and vulnerable, and they took full advantage of my naivete.

"Pro-choice" implies there is more than one option, but the only option pro-choicers defend is abortion. Because abortion is often portrayed as the preferred choice, society pressures a girl or woman into a decision that is more theirs than hers. This is the heartache - a great majority of the time the "choice" isn't hers.

Thank you, Feminists for Life, for helping women see that pro-life is pro-choice, in that giving life is giving choices. There is no choice in the destruction of life.

Reprinted from The American Feminist, Fall

April 18, 2005 3:54 PM  

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