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My Stance on Abortion

Wednesday 09 July 2003 at 12:47 am Michael, Herb, Cheiser and I had a sort of spontaneous guys night out tonight, and after consuming too much steak and beeeeer (yes, still feeling the effects of it) we happened upon the topic of abortion.

Abortion is one of those things that people seem to have very strong feelings about -- when "life" starts, the definition of an individual life, the taking of a fetus, etc... I respect each and every one of those feelings. Those feelings are for you to decide on -- where your proverbial line is. The conversation that we got into was about how the government fits into all of that.

While several thoughts, positions and postulations were discussed (all of which were completely valid), I am going to discuss my own position.

My position is simply defined as this: personally, I am Pro-Life; politcically, I am Pro-Choice. Maybe you understand, maybe you don't; this is what it means to me.

I was brought up in the reformed church, and in my church (Hope Church) the teaching was very eclectic -- a little catholicism, a little judaism, but overall a bible-based message. Throughout growing up, throughout my attendence at a christian liberal arts college, throughout the rest of my life up to this point, I've learned, listened, and discussed abortion.

Personally, I am Pro-Life; to me, that means that I am pretty much against aborting a fetus at any stage of the pregnancy. Now I have never been challenged with a pregnancy that was unwanted; never been challenged with the news that my wife and I are going to have a baby with Downs; never challenged with the fact that I couldn't take care of the child. Any of those cases directly applied to my life could strongly challenge that stance. But as I haven't met those challenges, I continue to be Pro-Life.

Politically, however, I am Pro-Choice. I do not believe the government should decide when a woman can or cannot have an abortion; when it is or is not legal for a trained medical professional with the proper credentials to perform an abortion, whether in the first, second or third trimester. I don't believe this is a decision that the government of my country should regulate beyond the understanding that the medical professional, based on what that professional believes, must keep the health and safety of the mother in mind at all times (although even that could be argued at length).

I think that there are so few doctors in this world that would be willing to perform 2nd or 3rd trimester abortions that a woman seeking such an abortion would have to be extremely determined to find such a doctor. On the other hand, a woman seeking a 3rd trimester abortion, and who was able to find a doctor willing to perform such an abortion, should be legally able to get that abortion, even though it is against every belief I hold in my head and heart.

If abortion is such a strong point for someone, they should volunteer at the office of the doctor(s) that perform abortions and offer free, non-committal councelling on abortion topics. People who are against abortion need to share their viewpoints with those seeking abortion, but must also be willing to allow the woman to make her own decision after that education.

Don't make sweeping laws against abortion just because YOU think it is wrong, bad, and unethical. Someone out there in the country you live in probably doesn't think like you, doesn't believe like you, doesn't live their life like you. Their beliefs, however different from yours, need to be respected and protected.

Sure, there are soooooo many points of discussion, and feel free to bring them up -- just comment. I can't hit on all of them, and obviously I have an opinion on all of them; so share your thoughts in your own words.