Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preserving Life: A Controversial Reflection On the Pro-Choice Debate

A flower does not begin a flower but a seedling, planted by the two hands of its gardener. It is not without a little love, care, and some patience, provided by those two tender hands over time, that that once tiny seedling can flourish and eventually blossom into the beautiful flower it’s destined to become.

Epictetus, an ancient Greek philosopher, once said, “No great thing is created suddenly.” In essence, greatness is an incubation process, and it takes time to develop, much like a mother’s carrying a child in her womb. But without a chance, greatness can never be achieved; it can never even be acquired, let alone perceived. When we support the idea of abortion as a feasible means to an end, we support the most basic violation of human rights: the right to LIFE, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. How can we be so selfish as to deny another the right to live, to have aspirations and dreams of their own, and to strive to achieve greatness for themselves? We will never know if we never give them a chance; instead, we often look towards the route that will best quench the thirst for resolution to our “problem”, our “mistake”—by diminishing the affects of cognitive dissonance, and clearing our head of the many conflicting thoughts that sail across our guilty mind like a boat amidst a tumultuous sea of regret and negative emotions. Unfortunately for many, the resolution to their “problem” is abortion.

And now to propose some questions… In America, do we not go through 12+ years of schooling? And do we not learn in the course of those 12 years at least once the process of human reproduction and the possible result of our participation in sexual acts between two members of opposite sex? While it may be said that not everyone in the world has such access to sexual education, and in some cases (such as rape or incest) not everyone is entirely at fault and at will for the result of pregnancy, it goes to say, that in the United States, where this topic is of great concern and importance to both men and women alike, we cannot deny then that we don’t have at least some knowledge of the consequences of having sex. Using negligence as an excuse for our life problems is not a valid excuse whatsoever.

Furthermore, in addressing the idea that men are in no way and should not in any way be part of a woman’s decision making process of whether or not she is to have an abortion is, simply put, absurd. While men may only contribute the sperm and the women do carry the baby for the first nine months of its pre-natal life, it still remains that that baby would not be in the first place without both, that that child is not strictly of one but possessing genes from both the parents, that what is hers is equally his. I know a father would be greatly displeased if he did not have a say in his own child’s life—as if he himself had no responsibility in the creation of human life whether by will or by unplanned pregnancy, and that ultimately, his opinion on the matter was of little to no importance. It just so happens, that women carry the baby—that's nature—but the presence of the way things simply are as a result of Nature’s workings should not mean the absence of opinion and responsibility of one’s actions on the male’s part.

In continuation of said point, the woman’s justification that, “it’s my body and I have complete say over what comes and goes into and out of it ” may appear quite logical and indisputable at a glance, but under more careful examination, and in arguing about abortion in particular, it is in all actuality quite paradoxical. I suppose the woman then, in cases of consented sex, had “complete say over what comes and goes into and out” of her body in respect to allowing the male to ejaculate inside her, and as a result is now held personally accountable for the pregnancy. Furthermore, when the male then decides to leave her because he finds out she is now pregnant, he is not responsible for the child because “he has no say” over a woman’s decision to keep or abort her child. Ludicrous? Any sensible person would agree, that yes it is. But it is easy to see how the implied context of a statement can easily be flipped to work against it once that statement is recognized as being contradictory. Obviously a man leaving his pregnant female counterpart is a reflection of him evading his own personal responsibilities and obligation to be there for his baby’s birth and watch them grow up. So if he has an indisputable obligation to support his wife in her pregnancy, then he has an indisputable say in the life of his child. Anything contrary to that understanding would support the obviously ridiculous hypothetical situation described above.

Overall and simply put, a life is a life. Once human life is created, that individual has the right to live. They have a right to learn, to grow, to laugh, to play… just like any other child who was given the chance to thrive. Though we may all not achieve greatness, we have the right to try, and with a bit of self-cultivation and some determination we can do just that. Perhaps, all those lives who were never given a chance of their own could have grown into someone exceptionally noteworthy, someone admirable, respectable—a passionate civil rights activist like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the world’s brightest scientist who goes on to making an astonishing ground-breaking discovery in the fields of science, medicine, or technology. Perhaps they will flourish into a man or woman of remarkable character like the wise Mahatma Gandhi, or speak kind words of peace and love like Jesus. No great thing is created suddenly, and that’s the truth.

Don’t be the one to say yes to abortion; always remember, adoption is an option, and one couple’s unwanted child may prove to be the ultimate blessing to those who cannot have children of their own.

We only have one life to live here on Earth and one chance to live it. Their life is in your hands.

A life is a life.

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