Recently, I stumbled across a blog that stated the following:
“As you all know, I am pro-choice. I don’t believe in parental notification laws. I believe you can have an abortion for whatever reason you want. And yes I am a mother. And yes I was upset when I miscarried cuz that was a baby to me. However, IT IS MY CHOICE!!! And that’s what the abortion debate is about. […] Fine, if you are prolife. I don’t push my opinions on you and I expect you to do the same.”
A few things struck me here:
- This person is a mother and still believes—even after having gone through the whole pregnancy and childbirth experience—that abortion (the right to kill her baby in utero) is still something she thinks she wants to defend.
- She admits she is aware there is a baby within. (Pro-abortionists usually favor referring to an unborn baby as a zygote or fetus—anything to avoid calling it a baby, because really—who wants to kill an innocent, defenseless baby? Killing babies is just bad mojo.)
- She illustrates defensiveness over anyone telling her what she can and cannot do with her body. This appears to be the main foundation upon which she rests her entire pro-choice position. One can only wonder if she takes other physical mandates as personally. After all, it’s against the law to physically assault others with your body. It’s against the law to neglect buckling your body into your car. It’s against the law to walk in public while nude. We have all these laws that tell us what we can and cannot do, where we can and cannot go and even what we can and cannot say.
- She says it’s not her place to tell others what to do. Isn’t this what laws are? Rules, created by people, set to define appropriate behavior? We live in a world of laws; otherwise we live in a world of chaos. Daily, we choose to either work within those laws (citizen), without those laws (criminal), or on the laws (lawmaker.) Throughout our lives, most of us have donned two or three of these roles at one time or another, to varying degrees.
I think the most troubling idea here is the notion this mother knows there is a baby in the womb but thinks her “right” is more important than her baby’s life. Some questions I’m struggling with:
- Does this rigidity offer her a much needed sense of control or certainty in her life?
- Does she feel her life is so restricted by laws that tell her what she can and cannot do with her body that she simply cannot bear one more law?
- Is it that she was influenced by someone close to her in her past and now subconsciously clings to the pro-abortion paradigm that was originally given to her?
And the biggest question of all:
- What pushes this young mother to defend this pro-abortion mindset even after seeing her baby for the first time? Can a new mother truly look at her newborn baby after enduring 10 months of pregnancy’s highs and lows and think, “Yes, I should definitely have had the right to kill this child while she was inside my body?”
Many times, a prolife stance may turn into a discussion about God and religion. Unfortunately, imagery and Christianity tends to remind those standing outside those religious paradigms of their separateness; the exact opposite effect of fostering and understanding of unity and connected thinking.
An atheist who rejects the belief that there is a Divine force that surrounds us and guides us may be put off by the use of religious imagery. In a recent news story, an atheist group filed a lawsuit in New York to remove the cross (a distinctly Christian symbol) from the Ground Zero memorial at the site of the World Trade Center.
Indeed, people on both sides of this issue may be missing the point. Those who put up the cross meant well and likely were not seeking to alienate anyone. Yet it is likely atheists have not been the only segment to notice the cross speaks to Christian loss and grieving—at exclusion by omission of all other faiths (or in the atheists’ case, non-faith.)
A peace-loving Muslim who may have suffered racial or religious rebuke by their non-Muslim neighbors as a result of the 9/11 attacks may notice a purely Christian monument at the center of Ground Zero and feel a pang of isolation. In that moment, that person may feel very much outside the American melting pot in which they are trying to belong.
Often in prolife circles, the sanctity of human life argument is placed squarely upon quotes from the Bible. Here are several of the more poignant biblical verses:
- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27
- You shall not murder. ~ Exodus 20:13
- I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. ~ Deuteronomy 30:19b-20
- Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. ~ Isaiah 49:1b
- Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. ~ Jeremiah 1:5a
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
- Your hands have made and fashioned me. ~ Psalm 119:73a
- You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth. Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be. ~ Psalm 139:13-16
It is my belief that the principle of the sanctity of life is separate from any religious backing. Regardless of which body of religious teachings you hold—whether built upon the Bible, the Qur’an, the Tanakh, or other religious works—I believe the idea of sanctity of life to be a separate issue. Your religion (really, your interpretation of your religion) may agree with a belief in the sanctity of life and if it does, great. However, I believe the sanctity of life to be a universal principle and this is different than being a religious mandate, subject to interpretation by a group of believers.
Popular in prolife circles, the term “sanctity of life” describes the belief that all human life is sacred, from the moment of conception (even science has proven this is the instant the spark of new life begins) leading until an individual’s natural death.
Unfortunately, there are often other messages that accompany and serve to dilute the prolife delivery of a sanctity of life message. Many times a prolife delivery of a sanctity of life message carries spiritual, political, religious or patriotic undercurrents through its choice of words and imagery. This is fine, so long as the one experiencing the message subscribes to those additional views. The inherent problem is the potential alienation of anyone who stands outside those secondary belief systems.