Monday, July 1, 2013

The A Word

And NO I'm not talking about donkeys.  Or the party they represent!!!
My husband says I'm the biggest feminist he's ever met.  And guess what?  I'm also the most vocally pro-life person he's ever met, too.  Everyone's got something they're passionate about.  This my thing, right here, peeps.  Feel free to read or ignore.  I don't mind either way.
Have you ever been in labor?  If you haven't: Nothing compares to labor, folks.  It feels like you're being ripped in two, and sometimes you really are.  It is not for the faint of heart, huh, as you might imagine thanks to my lovely description. The uterus is stronger than any other muscle in the human body for a reason.  It's a powerful vessel that deserves to have its rights protected…and therein lies room for debate. But the debates we're having distract from the real issue.
We value freedom and independence in our country.  Freedom of speech, dress, choice… But in trying to define independence, we've lost site of it; we've forgotten that true independence can only exist alongside dependence--on more than just ourselves.  I, personally, believe that dependence should be rooted in God, but I'll try to speak in more general terms, to make a point that doesn't need defending.
Though I am pro-life, you will not find any of my funds going to support an organization that plasters aborted babies (yes, I did just say babies) on massive posters for all eyes to see.  More harm than good comes from that approach.  To me, pro-life means supporting what sustains spiritual, physical, and emotional life.  
Have you ever seen anyone skipping to an abortion clinic with a smile on their face?  Not me.  The few women I know who've had an abortion certainly weren't happy to do it.  Though they were (yes, were) pro-choice, they actually felt robbed of a choice when considering their limited options before going forward with it.  Fear interferes with our ability to make choices.  In fact, it robs us of any true choice, really.  I'm gonna get Christian on you, again, excuse me, but I'm just itching to say it.  Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).  (You knew I was gonna have to throw a little bible in here somewhere, huh?  Just not using the verses you typically see being used in this context. ;)
General Fears: How to break the news to the parents?  How to take care of this baby after it's born, on a limited income, and without ANY SUPPORT (spiritual, physical, and emotional--because, yes, being a mom requires all that kind of support, and then some)? MORE SPECIFIC FEARS: How do I give birth to  a baby that was conceived in an unfortunate event, or at the wrong time, or with some rare health problem?  Though I personally don't believe any conception comes about by accident, I know that's not enough to convince anyone who frowns upon my "uneducated, Christian" way of thinking. But I wanted to add that in, to keep my position on this issue clear.
To really provide choices, we need more than what pro-life and pro-choice politics can offer.  If there were fewer underlying fears, there would be fewer regrets, and fewer debates… because we can all agree that behind these fears is self-doubt, which stems from a lack of support. Liberal feminists will argue that they are strong, independent, and intelligent.  I'm an independent feminist who also considers herself strong, independent, and somewhat intelligent (when my kids let me sleep thru the night ;)-- I didn't get that way on my own.  Anyone who thinks they did is lying to themselves.
Yes, my faith is the primary source of strength.  But I've also been blessed with an amazing support system. We live in an ironically detached society that promotes independence.  I can tell you that I am independent because somebody (thankfully, many somebodys) believed in me by loving me.  Sometimes parents do that, other times it's someone else…  Even as a married adult in a healthy relationship, I cannot imagine what kind of struggle I'd face as a parent if I didn't have a support system.
To those about to formulate an argument that sounds something like, "Well, it's easy for you to be pro-life BECAUSE you had that support system and you're married--you're in a totally different situation."  I'll say this:   My support system doesn't look anything like George Bush's.  It looks more like Obama's.  I'll just leave it at that.  Oh yeah, and I was almost aborted, just a quick sidenote.  So I guess I fall under the, "at the wrong time" category--though my husband would beg to differ.  At age 2, I knew what food stamps were and wore dresses as blouses when they were too short for me.  Thankfully, I am alive because my mother realized she had a support system, and didn't have to make a choice she'd regret, and truly didn't want to make.
To those who say that anyone who gives their child up for adoption is weak, and that it's an easy choice, I'll say this:  Remember what I said about labor--that it can literally tear you in half?  Imagine going thru that kind of pain physically AND emotionally.  Carry a baby for 9 months (it's really 40 weeks, so yeah), go thru 20 something hours of labor, and hand that baby over to someone you hardly know but somehow trust.  EASY?  HECK NO.  I have a hard time leaving my 10 month old with a sitter!!
I watch way too many baby shows, one of them, "I'm Having Their Baby," features an ex female soldier who went to war.  She said she'd rather be at war than give her baby up for adoption.  THESE WOMEN NEED OUR SUPPORT TOO.  To selflessly make that kind of decision requires the kind of strength that could only exist if some kind of support system was in place, before AND after.  THEY ARE GIVING THEIR BABIES A CHOICE; they're placing them in the arms of loving, stable families that will allow them to make their own wise choices as independent adults who understand their freedoms.
Abortion breaks hearts.  Pardon me for getting sentimental, but I think part of the problem is that we've taken the sentimentality away.  My mother used to make a lot of statements that started with, "When you become a mother…"  Well, I'm a mother now, and I feel more passionate on my position  than ever before.  But there's no power in passion without execution--just not the kind that keeps a heart from beating.  Wherever you stand, can you truly say that you're doing your part in showing these women they truly have as many choices as we say they do?


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