Abortion - A Conversation Today

 

The Scene:  George having a discussion outside with neighbor S, a self-described “Christian Man” and his wife, with several silent spectators, and briefly with D, a “radical” who lives in S’s Chicago beachfront condo building

We are in complete agreement on some issues, abortion not being one of them.  “Killing babies” is the simplest way to explain S and his wife’s position on abortion.   With the exception of young girls and other clear rape, they believe that women, including young women, should make the rational case of Not having sexual intercourse, except when they are prepared to give birth to a child.  At some points it was referenced in terms of “keeping her legs closed” or similar.

It is interesting how the discussion can generally avoid having any direct connection to religion.  While religion is not explicitly stated in this part of the discussion, there is a complete clarity that a particular “Christian belief system” is – “reality”.   One significant Jewish religious position of recognizing a female person’s right to bodily autonomy, including abortion, is spoken of as if it was some kind of peculiar oddity, not a serious ethical and religious position.

It is most challenging to hear that:

1.    Abortion is 100% killing a baby –

and:

2.    This country and its people have no responsibility to help parents’ responsibilities in the raising of their children.

Reiterating this point, “pro-life” – as it relates to abortion being 100% wrong is a totally different issue from any responsibility of assistance being provided to the parent(s) and/or caregivers of children.   Those who are unwilling or unable to provide (fully) for their children should not be having sexual intercourse.

While I try to be respectful of others’ opinions, I must say that I am troubled by this perspective!   In no way do I feel that individuals should be forbidden from expressing their opinions.  

I can not accept, for example, the statement that one should understand that now, in the period following the Dobbs Decision, things may be unsettled as people adjust to the new realities. 

I see a terrifying world where poor women and girls, particularly, are no longer (if they ever were) equal citizens of this country.   Death – from untreated, and mis-treated miscarriages is “murder” caused by those creating and enforcing many new laws in a majority of U.S. states.

I am not “pro-choice”!    I am pro-abortion.   I believe that abortion is something that ideally anyone considering and/or wanting to have should not be ashamed of in any way.   It would be nice if abortions were less necessary than they are.  

I would note, for example, that in The Netherlands, there is a much freer attitude towards teenagers and sex.   In this “liberal” environment, many parents allow their children to have sex at home, when they choose to become sexual.   Strangely, in the Netherlands, the average age when teenagers have sex is older than in the United States.

S and I spent a lot of (wasted for me) time discussing the idea that for me, abortion, at least until the birth of the child itself is starting, is ethically a valid choice.  Late-term abortions, which generally relate to either the potential death of the likely mother, or extreme fetal abnormalities, are less common, but are important as an option for girls and women and some trans people.

I have witnessed many young women and girls enter a Chicago abortion clinic either to have an abortion or to take medication to prevent a possible pregnancy.   I have never experienced a single individual who was making a simple, casual choice.   Choosing to abort – is not “fun”, though for many it is an important choice they should have!


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