It seems that only the most controversial gets much attention here on Mormon Matters, so I thought I would weigh on the subject of the abortion and the unborn. Let me start by saying that I am unabashedly pro-choice.
I am pro-choice for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I don’t like making personal choices for others, especially women, in the area of reproduction; Secondly, I belong to a religious faith that believes wholeheartedly that choice or agency is good and that not having a choice is bad.
Of course, some would argue that the choice comes from whether or not to have unprotected sexual relations when one is not in a position, such as marriage, to raise a child. That, after making the choice to have sex, if one were to find she is pregnant, the choice has been made and the child must be carried and brought to term. Frankly, I respect that train of thought as well.
I respect the fact that as a fetus grows in the womb, it becomes a person and that that life should be respected. There is no direct revelation as to when the Spirit enters the body. But, my reading of Genesis indicates to me that life truly begins when the “breath of life” is given.
And the LORD God aformed bman of the cdust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the dbreath of life; and eman became a living fsoul. (Genesis 2:7), see also (Moses 3:4-7, 19; Abr. 5:7, Gen. 7:22, Ezek. 37:5, Ezek. 37:10, Zech. 12:1, Rev. 11:11)
I will not address at this time the advancements of medical science that allows a fetus a chance of survival at as little as 25 weeks gestation.
My pro-choice position does not extend to late term or so-called partial birth abortions. I think that it is wrong to carry a fetus beyond three months and then decide to abort it. In fact, I deplore abortion at anytime. You could say that I am anti-abortion. For those on the so-called pro-life side, they would say you cannot be pro-choice and anti-abortion at the same time. But, too bad, I am.
I deplore abortion for the purpose of convenience or contraception. I find it morally disgusting that, with methods available to prevent pregnancy including abstinence, there should be a demand for that use of abortion. I support the use of abortion, as the Church teaches, for instances of rape, incest, health of the mother or, if a competent physician determines that the fetus has severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But, even in those cases, it is not automatic, but should be done with thoughtful fasting and prayer.
I am also in favor of parental notification laws that require a minor female to get permission from her parents for an abortion. I see situations where a court may have to intervene but I believe those are rare.
Easy for me to say, I’m a man.
Getting back to the topic at hand, it seems to me that some groups are so adamant regarding their so-called “pro-life” position that it has become a religion unto itself. In many cases these are professed Christians and conservative in their politics. So, on one hand, it seems ironic that some are so militant that they would bomb an abortion clinic and are willing to take another’s life (remember, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and “Thou shalt not kill) in defense of their position. On the other hand, a tenet of the conservative political movement is less government intrusion in our lives, but yet it seems, they want exactly the opposite when it comes to abortion. Granted not all are that extreme.
There appears to be little or no discussion of what happens to children when they are born to mothers and fathers who don’t want them. There is a lot of talk about the 48M abortions that have been performed since Roe v Wade (National Right to Life.). It is a disturbingly high number. It seems that we all need to work to reduce that number as close to zero as possible. However, those same people who are showing pictures of aborted fetuses and militantly protesting do not also appear to care as much about the growing numbers of child mistreatment and fatalities (mistreatment at 47 children per 1000 and deaths at 2.4 per 100,000 children in 2006, Department of Health and Human Services study.) So are these folks really “pro-life” or just “anti-abortion?” Do they have any answers for the growing problem of abuse?
And do they just worship the Unborn?