Pro-Choice & Pro-Life Is it possible to be Pro-Choice and Pro-Life at the same time? I’ve been pondering this dilemma ever since I returned to the Roman Catholic Church.
For years I’ve been uncomfortable with the way most pro-lifer’s addressed abortion. For one thing it was shaming and lacked mercy. Thank you God that’s not happening as much. I feel strongly that we need to spend more time developing ways not only to help women with unplanned pregnancy but we need to find ways to promote the help that is available. I also think it’s a waste of time, energy and money fighting Roe versus Wade. It’s not going to go away and I think that’s a good thing.
Even Pope Francis said we shouldn’t be talking about abortion so much. Everyone knows what the church teaches.
Let’s stop fighting, form a united front and go to work on this challenge with a positive and loving attitude. Having said that here are more of my thoughts on the subject Pro-Choice.
Pro-choice for me is about bodily integrity which as defined by Wikipedia is the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. It considers the violation of bodily integrity as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.
Another way it’s defined is: “Being able to move freely from place to place; being able to be secure against violent assault, including sexual assault … having opportunities for sexual satisfaction and for choice in matters of reproduction”
Until 1993 (that’s just 22 years ago) in all fifty states, marital rape was not criminalized. Women could not refuse sex to her husband and could not sue for sexual harassment of any kind.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 94 years ago: Women did not have the right to vote or serve on a jury in the United States. I just saw the preview of a new movie coming out in October called “Suffragette!” It’s based on a true story about women in England in the early 20th Century fighting for their rights. They are called foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. They were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. It’s heartbreaking and inspirational. I must to see when it comes out in October.
Although we are still fighting for equal rights with men in the work place in the early days discrimination in the workplace was rampant. If women were able to get the job they wanted they were given clothing and weight requirements to adhere to and they could be fired if they broke these rules. Also they could be fired if they were pregnant. I remember when air line stewardess had to be certain height, weight and age in order to work for an airline. 1956 I was a clerk for Metropolitan Life Insurance and they forced me to leave when I was 5 month pregnant.
For many years women were not allowed in the military. But…. women served as nurses without the benefits of the GI Bill. And for many years very bright women were denied Ivy League Education. And single woman were denied credit cards.
So why do I want to support Pro-Choice? Although we have a long way to go, we have worked very hard to achieve the rights we have today. So I think no matter what a woman chooses to do with her body is between her and her God.
Stealing, killing, defrauding and misrepresenting all reflect “moral” values and we have laws that punish people who break these laws. However, there’s that whole other category of morality that can’t be legislated. We all have a different sense of ethical responsibility related to our own personal moral values and we have the right to live our lives and make choices directed by our informed conscience in these matters.
We need to have mercy on the women that choose abortion and more importantly put our mercy into action. Our work is to find creative, loving, supportive ways to educate women so they are better able to make wise choices. And…..more importantly when they don’t make wise choices or are victims of their circumstances, it’s our job to love them through the difficult situations they find themselves in. Although we do have organizations like Birthright and Planned Parenthood that provide support for women with unplanned pregnancies, most people don’t know the kind of support they offer.
Although their are several differances between Birthright and Planned Parenhood the main difference between Birthright and Planned Parenthood is that Birthright does not do abortions. However what most people don’t realize is that Planned Parenthood does a lot more for the general health and well being of women and sometimes men… than they do abortions. Three percent of their clients have abortions. Hundreds of thousand of women are helped with other health issues. Go to their web-sites, you will be amazed. Birthright is available to help women with unplanned pregnancies 24/7 with a hotline handled by trained volunteer personnel on the phone. 1-800-550-4900. They offer many services….check them out on the web at Birthright.org
I am strongly led to write about this because I have a gut feeling that if pro-choice is taken away it will spill into other areas of women’s rights and for me that’s unthinkable. Let’s stop fighting and come together to help each other. We need less anti approaches to this dilemma and more promotion for alternatives to abortion. More help for women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies. Letting them choose no matter what.
So now the other side of my dilemma and the main reason I’m Pro-Life is because I know in my heart of hearts that when that sperm fertilizes that egg, infused with the spirit of God, it is instantly a person. Within in the first few weeks the baby’s nervous system, brain, digestive system, ears, and arms begin to form. At 21 days the baby’s heart takes shape and begins to beat. By the time the mother is in her fifth month of pregnancy, the baby’s limbs are achieving their final proportions, eyelashes and eyebrows appear and the baby has grown to about 6.5 inches,
By the sixth month the baby is about 13 inches long. Abortions in California are allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is close to six months. Tell me that’s not a human being!!! I don’t buy it.
I wonder if the women, who are considering an abortion would read this progression of growth or even better watched a movie of the progression, would think twice about going ahead and destroying this life. Especially if she knew there was support for her through the pregnancy and after.
And I feel strongly that if after being educated about the progress of the fetus and doing our best to encourage her to have her baby, she still decides she wants to have an abortion then it’s up to us to make sure she gets the counseling she needs, and believe me she will need counseling at some point in her life. I have family members who have suffered immensely from the repercussions of having had abortions. Of course at the same time I would want this women to know that there’s a lot of help available and other choices rather than abortion.
But of course before all this could happen we have a lot of work to do to making sure that there is a lot of help available. My dream is that organizations like Planned Parenthood and Birthright will one day have a dialogue and merge their resources to benefit these women with unplanned pregnancies. I pray that together they can be a source of hope and healing. That’s the kind of world I see for the future.
P.S. In August I will be trained by Birthright to counsel women with unplanned pregnancy. I’m walking the walk not just talking the talk.
Remember to feed your soul!!!