A few days ago, I was told that January 22nd is Blogging for Choice day. The question that a friend posed on her own blog was, "Why do you vote pro-choice?" Here's the thing: I don't vote pro-choice. And I have yet to find any political candidate whom I could support because of this. Either they're pro-life and something else is askew or they're pro-choice and another issue I concede to be important lines up.
I was raised Catholic, and it took, to the point where I'm not one of those who say they're Catholic, but they never go to church, or only when they're awake and not busy and "feel like it," or don't partake in the sacraments, or most of the other things "Catholics" try to glom to. I'm one of those Catholics who go to church every Sunday, even when I'm tired, or don't feel like it, or have a million other things to do, or am out of town. I volunteer in the capacity of being a Eucharistic Minister (my schedule changes each semester, and I tend to be busy different days, but since I go to church anyway, this is something I can do). The past few years have been kinda difficult because I've been unsure of myself, religiously speaking, but I've talked to a few priests and have worked through it, for the most part.
And because of my being Catholic, I'm pro-life; I really believe that a life is a life from the moment of conception - not the moment it comes out of the womb. My religious beliefs absolutely affect my feelings about abortion. (And what I worry – as much as I ever worry about these things – is that it will be thought that I haven’t thought my position through simply because I’m Catholic.)
But here's the other thing – I understand that women might feel that abortion is their only option, and as strongly as I feel about abortion, I understand that other women feel differently, with all this would entail. There is exactly one reason I can think of that would - for me - justify an abortion (if the baby were to die, and the mother would as well). The (in)convenience of pregnancy does not always come at the best time, but to my mind that does not justify an abortion. I cannot envision any circumstance in which I would personally get an abortion. The conflicting aspect to my rumination is that I'm wary of the illegality of abortion. As deeply as I'm pro-life, I would worry about women going to and through extreme, very dangerous measures, to get this abortion, thereby injuring themselves - and the child - to the point where quality of life would be negligible. I understand that there are a lot of people out there who have counter-arguments, who feel as strongly as I do, who are lucky and can have children (I cannot), who will and can have more children.
As with any issue as it pertains to freedom, I absolutely support the individual decision that goes with the action that I am absolutely against. I don't know if that makes me pro-choice or pro-life, though. The easy way out would be that all women felt comparably, at which point this wouldn't be an issue. Personally, I'd rather everyone were pro-life, but I know the likelihood of that happening is small.
Bottom line, though: What it comes down to is that I'm absolutely pro-life, and what I have no trouble proclaiming is that I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned. I don't think it should be legal, period. As much as I support individual freedom, I still think that in the case of abortion, not everyone's freedom is entirely being considered. And someone's freedom will always be taken away, won't it - it'll either be the woman's, or the unborn child's.
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