What do all these "Terms" mean?
I wrote this after getting exasperated one day at the abortion news board, when people would not talk or think about the issues, but just insisted on calling each other names. It got me thinking, and here is what I wrote!
In the fierce 'war' over abortion, and whether it should remain legal or not, many terms have been coined over the last few years - at first it was just two: you were either "prochoice", or you were "prolife". One meant you were for abortion remaining legal, and giving women the right to choose what to do in their personal situations. The other meant you thought abortion was 'murder', plain and simple, and that abortion was 'wrong', no matter what the circumstances. The prolife term was certainly much more judgmental of women, with the wording of the term itself implying in some insidious way that women who had abortions were 'against life', and were heartless and cold people who cared nothing for life in any form. This simply is not true, but women and men who have not been faced with the incredibly painful and life altering situations that we have just don't seem to be able to understand.
In the last few years, even more terms have been appearing along with "prochoice" and "prolife", we now have "proabortion" - "prowoman" -"prochild" - "antiabortion" - "antichoice" - "antiwoman" and "proinformed"!
These terms are making things even more difficult and confusing for people who might try to figure out what their 'view' is on the abortion debate.
Let's say my friend Mary gets pregnant. And let's say after an amniocentesis in her fourth month, Mary finds out the devastating news that her child will be lucky to even make it full term, and if her child does, it will be dying within a month or two after birth, while being hooked to machines, tubes, respirators and IV's, all in an attempt to prolong the short, painful and doomed life that Mary's baby will have. Mary decides that the best thing for everyone, and the least amount of pain and suffering for her child is to have an abortion now. Is Mary "prolife", because she is thinking of the life of her child, and how to best spare her child pain and misery? Or would she be more "prolife" if she let the pregnancy continue? Is she "antichoice" for not letting 'nature' decide when her child should die, and with how much pain? Or is she "prochoice" for taking the choice that's available, that will produce the best possible outcome for everyone? Is she "prowoman", because she is trying to take care of herself? Or is she "prowoman" if she suffers through the rest of the pregnancy, and watches her child die painfully later?" Is she "prochild" for sparing her child the pain, or is she "prochild" if she chooses not to have the abortion, and let the child die painfully at a later date? You can see the confusion and muddiness that all these terms bring to the situation.
The real issue here is that society and everyone involved in the 'abortion' war needs to take a step back, stop all the rhetoric and accusations and name calling, and focus all that time, money and effort on what will make the difference - and it's NOT a law to make abortion illegal. What would really make the difference, if people are truly interested in lives, both women and children and everyone around them, would be to focus on the REASONS that abortions are happening, and find ways to fix them. Why isn't genetic research and fixing the genetic problems of babies more important? Why isn't more money going into it? Why is it okay for us to send billions of dollars over to the Bosnian banks, to help rebuild the country and give 'war relief' to a place we sent all our jets over to bomb in the first place? Guess what? All the billions we sent over in the last year have been 'stolen' from the banks! The Bosnian government, on being questioned about their accountability to the World Bank and the IMF just threw up their hands and said "Well, we've just been through a war, and we don't have everything back in place yet". Gee. a lot of good my tax money did there. Now some crooked Bosnian banker is sipping rum punches in Jamaica, and my government refuses to help my neighbor who is starving and pregnant. This sounds really 'prolife' to me!
It gets me so angry to hear people say that "The treatment of choice nowadays for Hydrocepahlus is a partial-birth abortion". This is certainly not the mother's treatment of choice! These mothers love and want their babies, and I know that if you told a mother that her developing baby had Hydrocepahlus, and that she had two choices, a surgery and treatment that would fix it, and remove Hydrocepahlus from her baby, so her baby was healthy, or a partial birth abortion, which do you think she would take? I guarantee you every mother I know would opt for the treatment to save and fix her child.
Why don't we have this treatment available? Because our government's and our societies' priorities are screwed up. The money is there for this research, the people are there, we have the technologies, the equpiment, the doctors, and the hospitals to make this type of prenatal miracle a reality. But our senators and representatives are more interested in building more jet airplanes in their home district factories, or funding a big war in the Persian Gulf over oil. Give money to Bosnia, Israel, or China, but don't spend money on America's concerns, or America's problems - just let women abort their pregnancies with problems, instead of spend money to put the women and children first. Prolifers are more interested in other issues too. They pretend to be prolife, in reality they are 'procontrol', and they want to tell everyone else what they think we should do. Instead of being willing to help, and fixing the reasons that are driving women to choose abortion, they prefer to sit back on their high horse and say "We don't really care about women or children or their problems. Just don't have an abortion, because we don't think you should." Hey, it's easy to sit on your high horse and judge. It's much harder to get off your horse and actually pitch in with help and effort. What's easier for the prolifers? Pass a bill that makes abortion illegal, and let every woman and family fend for themselves in the financial and emotional devastation that will follow? Or dig into their time and pockets, and help with real solutions, that will make a real difference? "But prolifers do those types of things already!" I hear someone say. Yes, it's true their are some efforts out there. But they are too small in scope, and don't provide the support structure that's needed for a problem this vast. A used crib and some used baby clothes doesn't do a mother with a dying baby in a NICU any good. The abortion issues goes way beyond just the 'pregnant scared teenager' scenario. True 'prolifers' should be looking for ways to help medical research, instead of wasting time and money and effort on legislation to make abortion illegal. True prolifers should by lobbying for higher taxes, that would provide more resources for young single women who are unexpectedly pregnant, with no resources and nowhere to turn for help. I can see people gasping now: "Higher Taxes?!?!?" Seems 'life' is only sacred and valuable as long as it doesn't impact their own pocketbooks and personal lifestyles. It would be much more 'prolife', 'prowoman', 'prochild' and 'proinformed' to find ways to fix babies in utero, so that there won't have to be any late term abortions for medical reasons. It's the same for when the mother has health problems - money and research could develop techniques to make sure that women with medical difficulties could successfully carry a baby to term. But the money is not being spent, the research is not being developed. It's a government's responsibility to take care of it's people, and our government gets failing grades in this area. America's prolife representatives are talking out of two sides of their mouths. Out of one side comes the rhetoric "All life is sacred,. therefore any abortion should be illegal", then out of the other side of their mouth comes "VETO" for any bills that might help take care of the reasons for abortions. Ask a prolife politician - "How about some more money for welfare mothers?" "Heck no," they'll tell you in a politically correct way, "Let those 'lazy slobs' go to work, and have abortions if they get pregnant - why should we fund their never-ending families?" Oops, guess life is only sacred in the abstract, and not when it concerns a low income mother on welfare who is pregnant again. And how about women who have abortions that aren't for 'medical reasons'. Yes, what about them? Well, it's true that providing resources to these women wouldn't stop all abortions. But it would stop a large number of them. In the thousands of women I've talked to who've had abortions because of unplanned pregnancies, if they had a supportive place to live, free daycare, free food and health insurance, most of them would not have had their abortion. But as many of them say "That's impossible - it would never happen". The irony is that it is NOT impossible, it COULD happen. Our government has an incredible amount of resources, and it's all where the priorities lie. Space development, shuttle flights, wars, building jets and military equipment, war relief, giving financial aid to developing third world countries; we give away billions of dollars every year to Third World Countries, to help 'develop their economies' and 'shore up their failing governments'. But we don't want to help out our own women, unborn children and infants. Don't believe me? Check with your local representative, and ask for a budget breakdown of where our tax money went the last five years. You'll probably be as shocked as I was. The answer to America's abortion 'dilemma' is not to just 'make abortion illegal', but for us to refocus our priorities as a nation and as a society, and put the money and resources towards helping and healing women and their unborn children. This is the truly prowoman, prochild, prolife way.