Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Right to Choose (and the Consequences That Follow)

You can't have a federal election without bringing it up.
It's been 43 years since Roe v. Wade, and we're still talking about it. Abortion is legal, and has been for a very long time, and yet we are STILL talking about it.
And now I'm going to talk about it too.

The argument that a woman has the right to choose what does or does not happen to her body is a very compelling one. I don't believe there is anyone out there who believes that another individual should dictate what happens to a woman's body.

But it's not just a woman's body, is it? It's the woman and the life she is carrying inside of it.

But let's go back to the right to choose. I don't disagree with it. In fact, that very strong libertarian side of me that hates over-legislating things, wants to say it's none of my business, and let everyone choose.

Until I remember the innocent life on the inside.

But that right to choose. How can you argue with that? How can you argue that a woman must remain pregnant when she doesn't want the baby? It does seem unfair and almost cruel.

Until you remember the atrocity you are going to commit on the tiny body growing inside the woman.

But again, it's her right to choose, isn't it?

It is. She got to choose to sex. She chose to engage in an act that had consequences. She chose to engage in a life-creating act. And she has to live with those consequences.

Life is not fair. Life is often cruel. We make choices all the time, but we rarely get to determine the consequences that follow. Especially when the consequences involve other parties.

Like that little life growing inside of her.

I absolutely believe in a woman's right to choose. But she also has the right to live with the consequences of that decision. And that consequence is that she created a new life. 

(And don't ever tell an adoption advocate, who comes from a family with many adopted members, that it's not fair to make the woman have a baby she didn't want. There will always be someone out there who does what the baby. Always.)

(Isn't it amazing how much money people will spend on a surrogate mother when there are other women out there aborting an unwanted pregnancy?)

As for the tangential arguments around abortion, such as Planned Parenthood. I have no problem admitting that Planned Parenthood does offer several valuable services to low income communities. But in no way, shape, or form, can I ever agree with federal tax dollars being spent to fund abortions. How can anyone justify that the government should be providing that service?

Insurance and birth control - if there is one thing I have learned in my past year of Obamacare nightmares, it is that you can always shop around for a different insurance provider. If the one your employer offers doesn't cover birth control, go get a different plan. And pay for the plan yourself. Because why on earth should anyone else have to pay for you to get birth control? And if you are going to argue that it should be a law that all insurance providers should cover birth control, they should also cover fertility treatments. And while I hate creating lots of laws to legislate every tiny thing, there is one law I would support- pregnancy and maternity leave should absolutely NOT be covered by disability. Since when was a pregnancy a disability? Maternity leave should be covered by all employers and insurance. In fact, I think the US needs to take a page from Denmark, Norway, and a few other countries, and actually pay mothers to take maternity leave. Why can't Social Security also go to mothers out on maternity leave? (And if you believe that the federal government should cover abortions at Planned Parenthood, why can't the federal government pay for the birth, instead of the death, of the baby?)

And one last thing- restrictions on abortions. If you are going to make such a major, drastic choice as to terminate a pregnancy, you should be educated on all of your options, by a qualified individual first. And if the woman is a minor, then, yes, she should have to have parental consent. If she still has to have a permission slip signed by her parents to ride the school bus, she should also have to have their permission to have an abortion.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to see teenage girls forced into pregnancies they don't want. So let's provide real sex education that isn't just about diseases and abstinence. (Although, let's face it, abstinence is a highly effective form of birth control.)

I am all for a woman's right to chose, and to live with the consequences. Which does mean that if her choice was taken from her, and she was forced into sex (rape, incest, abusers), then I have no problem with allowing that abortion. And if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, the mother has the right to chose between her own life and the life of the child. 

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