Tag Archives: choice

It’s Not a Matter of Choice

Previously, we looked at the Pro-Choice argument in what is one of the biggest issues dividing our country. Many people, mostly (but not exclusively) liberals, feel that a woman has the right to determine what happens to her body. It is a laudable position and it is difficult (but not impossible) to make an argument against it. The flipside of the argument is the hot button and it is the language that sets people at odds. Pro-life. The term is inherently positive in its connotation. I like life. I am all for life. Are you not in favor of life? The opposite of life is death. Is not life better than death?

Who can honestly take the position opposite pro-life? Who would want to be labeled as being pro-death? Those opposed to the pro-life position cast themselves as pro-choice because it sounds better than pro-death or anti-life. So, in order to enter into a discussion on the issue, they do a rhetorical shift to a different, although related, issue.

To terminate a viable pregnancy is, quite simply, killing. Those who take the pro-death stance claim that it is not killing, since it is not born. In actuality, it is killing—if only the group of cells that form the fetus. Those cells die as a direct result of the intervention of abortion. If that pregnancy is left to progress to its natural conclusion, the chances are very good that a human being will be born. To intentionally terminate the pregnancy is to end that human being’s existence, which is tantamount to murder. Those who would champion a woman’s right to choose to not have a baby do not want to stigmatize themselves by admitting that. Many who align themselves with the pro-choice camp are opposed to abortion for themselves, but champion a woman’s right to choose for herself. These individuals are evading the thrust of the argument. It is not a matter of choice. To end a pregnancy is to kill a human being, and none of the usual arguments can justify that.

Some arguments claim that to deny a woman access to the abortion option will force the woman to subject her body to possible risks associated with childbirth. There are far fewer risks with child birth than with abortion. Child birth is a natural process. The human body was designed—among other things—for this purpose. Surgical or medicinal abortion is the opposite of natural; it is mankind altering the natural process and that is far riskier than anything natural. Life is a risky proposition in any case; one does not give up and die when the risks seem too high, so why should a baby have to?

Some would argue that to deny abortion would put more children into an already overtaxed adoption system, or put the single mothers on welfare. There are still many families on waiting lists to adopt new children, and there are many alternatives to welfare such as family or church support. And while many families find themselves burdened by an unwanted pregnancy, many others find themselves drawing closer and healing broken relationships during the process.

Some would argue that these children may not survive anyway, considering the child mortality rate. Life is always a gamble and any one of us could die tomorrow. Does that mean we should have been denied the opportunity for life? One can never morally deprive a person of the opportunity to be a productive member of society just because it is inconvenient that he or she exists. There are plenty of homeless that many in our society would prefer didn’t exist, but no one would suggest that killing them is a viable option.

Unfortunately the courts have not made the determination that killing an unborn baby is murder because there is debate on when “life” occurs. Is a fetus a baby? If so, at what point does it become so? Well, to put a point on it, it happens when the gamete is formed. That starts a sustained chain reaction of cellular division that grows into a person, therefore it is alive. Some would argue that it is not sentient, it is not self-aware and it cannot exist outside the womb so it must not be alive. There has been a consensus in the medical field that if the baby can exist and survive outside the womb, then it is alive and medical doctors have set that time limit at 20 weeks. This has led to a public acceptance of abortions prior to the 20-week mark, even though many people still try to abort babies past that time. This was set for political expedience: to appease both sides and try to quell the argument; something it fails to do. To say that a baby that cannot survive outside the womb is not a baby is the same as saying that an infant should be able to fend for itself and doesn’t need parents.

Life is precious and needs to be nurtured by its parents from the moment the sperm enters the egg. No infant can survive on its own, whether in the womb or out. To think otherwise is an exercise in delusion. Destroying a fetus is the same as killing the newborn and it is just as wrong. It is not an issue of choice. It never has been. The choice issue is choosing to engage in unprotected sex. Make your choices there…not after conception.

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Making the Right Choice

Superbowl Sunday has been about more than just the football game for several years as marketing companies use the event to debut the new clever ad campaigns. Many companies use the latest technology for special effects, others tell stories that span several commercials during the event, and some use the prime audience to put out a message. This year, one such message is drawing significant attention more than a week before the commercial is slated to air.

The spot was commissioned by Focus on the Family and features Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother relating the story of how his mother decided to carry Tim to term against her doctor’s medical recommendation. From reports on the commercial, it does not mention the word abortion or pro-life at any time during the spot. Yet the fact that CBS is airing the ad is polarizing the populous as it reopens an old argument that divides our country.

It is said that it takes two to argue. Many people try to take a peacemaker role by finding some common ground but find those efforts thwarted by rhetorical shifts in the message. In fact, in order to swing public opinion one way or the other, the two factions have given themselves positive names: Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. For this argument to truly meet head-on, the lines need to be drawn more clearly. If you are not Pro-Life, then you must be Pro-death. If you are not pro-choice, you must be anti-choice.

The argument of pro life vs. pro-choice is attacking the same issue from disparate platforms. The conflict of a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body versus the rights of the unborn can never meet on common ground because they are two different matters. Discussing the laudable premise of individual rights is one problem, and discussing the rights of the unborn is another.

Who shall tell a woman what she can do with her body? The body is considered by some the only true sovereign place left, a place where an individual has some degree of control. Or is it? Many people choose to smoke, yet legislation is in place in every state that limits smokers from indulging in their choice, and if the antismoking lobby gets its way, it will ban smoking for good. What about smoker’s right to choose? What about right to choose your diet? Foods fried in trans fats often taste better than other ways of cooking, but in several states, there are laws preventing people from buying them, since the restaurants can’t cook them. One phrase that pro-choice advocates repeat is “keep government out of my body,” but the government has been meddling in people’s bodies for years.

And is not the right to choose obviated in the choice to engage in unprotected sex? We make choices every day that may not be good for us. I love pie. A lot. I would eat pie at every meal if I could. If I choose to do that, however, I have to understand that there will be probable outcomes of getting fat or getting sick. Is it my right to be able to eat and not get fat? Is it a woman’s right to engage in unprotected sex and not have to deal with the consequences of that act?

That people will engage in sex is a given. We are human beings, driven by hormones and seeking pleasure, so sex is a common choice to satisfy those urges. Pro-choice advocates will say that teaching abstinence is unrealistic because of these urges. Kids will do what they will do and we have to have options to protect them from the consequences of unintended pregnancies. Perhaps they need better lessons in cause and effect. They need to learn that the choices they make may have life-altering consequences, and adults need to stop throwing their hands in the air and enabling kids to do whatever they want.

Free will and choice only goes so far before some level of responsibility has to come into play. If someone wants to engage in sex, one does so knowing that a possible outcome is a baby. Birth control devices abound that minimize the possibility of pregnancy. If the chance of failure is too great a risk, then abstinence is the only choice left.

Next blog: The other argument.

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