Speaking Personally-Part IV of a Pro-Life Series
Wed, 12/16/2020 - 4:07pm admin
What is There to Fear?
Amanda Mendez, publisher
In the previous installment of this series, I explored what I called matters of compassion. Some of the most compelling parts of the pro-choice argument are the calls for compassion for women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant.
It is useful at this juncture to consider the future that proponents of abortion claim to be fighting against. What exactly is there to be afraid of in a world in which voluntary abortion is no longer legal? Clearly, the fear is dangerous, illegal abortions. However, I suggest that this is a fear from a different age.
As I pointed out in the last installment, women have unprecedented autonomy in today’s world, and that is a great thing. The desperation that an unplanned pregnancy can cause can be answered in very practical and accessible ways. The panic and shame that might prompt a woman to seek out a dangerous and illegal procedure are relics of a bygone era. The world has changed, and it is time that the narrative about unplanned pregnancy and abortion changed too.
The women who would seek an illegal procedure are an exception to the rule, an exceedingly small minority. If abortions were illegal, most women would not attempt a dangerous procedure. Most women would cope with the pregnancy. Why? Because they can. I reiterate: it is a disservice to female resiliency and strength to insinuate that a surprise pregnancy is a desperate crisis. The answer to minimizing dangerous, illegal abortions is not to make abortion more accessible, but to change the social narrative surrounding unplanned pregnancy.
All my ideas about the choice/life debate are underpinned by a traditional type of feminism. As a mother myself, I know childbirth is the most extreme thing the human body can do. And I know it can be scary. Caring for a newborn is no mean task either. Postpartum depression is a looming monster for many women. However, it is deeply offensive to validate any woman’s fear of facing these challenges.
To be complicit in the end of an unborn child’s life not only snuffs out all the potential contained in that child, but also steals a woman’s opportunity to find strength in overcoming adversity.* Abortion steals power from women and stops a beating heart.
And to those who would argue in favor of abortions that are not motivated by fear or desperation, I’m afraid my rebuttal will be a bit blunt. Choosing not to become a mother should begin with choosing to avoid the activity that results in children. If a child would ruin your life and drive you to desperation, the responsible choice is one which offers no risk. There is no form of contraception that is 100% effective. Sexual activity is not a fundamental human right, and abstinence is not an impossible undertaking. I intend to touch on this idea more fully when I flesh out ideas for promoting a pro-life culture in the next and final installment of this series.