Sunday, November 30, 2008

I had a very long discussion with a good friend of mine recently regarding the abortion debate. Normally, as much I try not to shy away from controversial topics, abortion is one that I have stayed pretty much away from - mostly because as a man, I can't fully appreciate an issue that predominately affects women.

But there has always been one issue with abortion that I feel very strongly about.

In some ways, I do consider myself "pro-choice." Of course, I am anti-abortion in most cases. But in the grand scheme of things, just because I don't believe I would want my partner to ever have an abortion, I do not believe it is my place to tell someone else they can't.

However, what concerns me greatly is the notion that we are becoming a "disposable ' society. You see, in years past, unwanted and unexpected pregnancies happened - of course they did. However, what is missing today is that there is no longer that sense of shame that used to accompany these situations. Sure it still happened. But it was with far less frequency than today. By removing the stigma and the shame, we have accomplished what pro-life supporters always knew what would happen (but feminists and the pro-choice lobby refused to acknowledge) - the slippery slope of what is acceptable and what is immoral.

Liberal politicians (Hillary Clinton comes to mind) have often stated that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare." I can not argue with that sentiment. However, just saying that does not make it so. Instead, we have evolved (de-evolved?) into just safe and legal. Is anyone truly surprised?

What is it that made me come up with this post today? I'm glad you asked. I just read this following article:

This goes back to my original thought of us creating a disposable society. Unfortunately, while it may be true that some people consider abortion to be the absolute last resort, we slowly erode our our human values to the point where we allow it to go unchecked and - according to this article - consider it as just a viable option to be chosen out of convenience. Remember, we just elected a President who actually said, "I wouldn't want my daughters to be punished with a baby."

When we start considering children to be a punishment, instead of a blessing and the future of our society (after all, isn't that how Islam is spreading so rapidly?), we have already begun to destroy ourselves.

The chance of this turning into a slippery-slope (as well as gay marriage) is unfortunately a very real possibility. If we don't draw the line somewhere, there will be no lines left. And then where will we be?

Again, I am not advocating back-room abortions or, G-d forbid, wire hangers. I'm simply advocating that we take a step back from the abyss we are creating and start to realize that just because we can do something, we should.

My friend made a wonderful point to me when she said that in her view, most women (Whom she knows, or am aware of) who have ad to face the decision of abortion, did not take this decision lightly. In most, if not all cases, the emotional scars are still very real and tragic. In many cases, she said, those who went through it once, wanted to never have to deal with it again. As painful and cruel as this may sound, that's the way it should be.

There is no reason we should eliminate shame from our society. Every day, our schools (and many unfortunately liberal parents) remove the stigma of shame and we are left with a class of children who are way too full of themselves and unable to bear the burdens of real life. We outlaw games like tag and stop our youngsters from keeping score in soccer games, just so we should avoid hurt feelings.

Yet when these children grow up, they are unequipped to deal with the real world and the competition that breeds a great society.

In making abortion into a viable alternative, instead of a last resort, we are once again telling our children that we can do whatever the hell we want and there are no consequences to our decisions and desires.

In Judaism, the Torah teaches us that we should abide by the laws regardless of the society we live in. When we start to decide for ourselves which law is apropos for today's world, we fall under the trap we were warned against. Once we decide commandment A doesn't count, who is to say commandment B should count. Every time we compromise on our core values and beliefs - whether they be religious or secular - we erode the foundation that sets us apart from our darkest tendencies.

Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. But we should honestly believe that as a sacred trust to ourselves and to our children. Unfortunately, even those who say this don't honestly mean it. What is happening in Britain is just the first bit of truth.


Anonymous said...

You have some valid points.Thank you for posting.

julie said...

I'm wondering why you think there is no shame. Maybe there is less stigma, creating a safe procedures. However, to my knowledge, there is an extreme amount of shame for many women.

It would be problematic if there was no shame.

Anonymous said...

Sher here, posting anon since this contraption is being fastidiously cantankerous:

I think that 38 years ago when my mother made the attempt 3 weeks before I was born, the larger portion of women seeking this felt shame. I don't know if my mother did or not. Her subsequent treatment of me and the following siblings seems to indicate that is not likely to have been the case. But, embarrassment did prevent my family from talking about it.
Now it is spoken of as if it is a pedicure. I am certain that some women are going to be traumatized by the experience. There are others who are not. I agree that it can't be the first resort. It can't even be options two or three. But for someone who is selfish and callous or completely incompetant about human issues, it has to be available.
Shayne said some of the abortion opponents don't really feel what they say; I've seen that too.

My personal view; if you think abortion is wrong and would like to tell people what to do with their life then take the child yourself. If you won't raise an unwanted child, that mother will spend the rest of its life punishing it for her mistake.
But if you are going to make excuses for why you can't be personally involved in someone's life, then you have no right to tell that person what to do.

I wonder if the larger problem is that we no longer participate in our communities. If the community would care for its orphans instead of depending on government to care for cast-offs... we may not have this issue as widespread as it is. But then I do wonder much...

Like how much the media portrayal and the frequency of the "public dialog" makes a difference in how much this is accepted. ya know?

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