Sunday, January 22, 2006

33 years later, I've learned my lesson

Today is the 33rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize abortion in Roe vs. Wade. Back in my high school days (an unbelievable 13 years ago) I was an avid arguer against abortion. As most of my good friends were liberals -- some of them flaming liberals! -- our arguments could get fierce from time to time. Then I went to Bible college, where everyone believed the same things for the most part, and so most of my pro-life/anti-abortion arguing passed away.

Now, this post from TPMCafe, has brought me wisdom and convinced me never to argue against abortion again. The reason? It's not about abortion -- and maybe it never was. The post states:
But it's important to remember that reproductive rights are economic rights. The real question is this: should a woman be free to have an active sexual life and also have some economic independence? Without the ability to prevent or end accidental pregnancies, a heterosexual woman must either be celibate or spend her life absolutely dependent on male support. This is why reproductive rights are an absolutely essential part of a progressive agenda: without them, women are not full and independent citizens.

Couple this with an article I read recently that spoke of "a woman's federal right to reproductive choice," and I've realized that I was fabulously naive to think the argument was about the life of the child. To read these writers, it's obvious the whole debate is about whether or not a woman should have to deal with the consequences of her sexual life. If she must do so, then she cannot be a "full and independent" citizen.

I'm glad I'm not arguing anymore. I'm open to discussing with any woman her reasons for having gotten, or wanting to get, an abortion. But I have no room to converse with the political and media elite who seek to make arguments like those quoted above. That kind of selfish, arrogant mindset is not worth arguing against.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to drag you back into the argument (although you don't need to respond, I guess -- but then you didn't need to post on the subject in the first place -- but . . . oh, never mind)

A thought occurs, however. What if it were illegal for men to have vasectomies?

I know, I know . . . the rules and consequences are different here, and most men aren't thrilled about the idea of the procedure anyway. But it's the only analogy I can imagine as a basis for comparison.

It is my belief that human life, even in fetal form, is sacred. But that does not discount the ideas presented in the post you refer to. Women bear (no pun intended) a greater responsibility after conception then men do, and the greater the responsibility, though not to be discounted the greater the care with which laws must address it.

Your post reminded me that a position which is both so complex and yet so black and white to some cannot be easily dismissed with a "Oh, that's just WRONG" or "It's a woman's CHOICE, end of discussion!".

God gave us intelligence, wisdom, grace, and, above all, compassion. There is far too little compassion on both sides of this debate, whatever you believe.