Monday, January 17, 2011

In the beginning, what are the “right” boundaries?

Right to Lifers believe that the rights of an embryo/fetus always take precedent over the rights of the woman carrying it.

Pro Choicers believe that a woman has some rights that supersede those of the embryo/fetus for some portion of time between conception and birth.

The US Supreme Court in Roe v Wade ( concurred with the Pro Choicers -- deciding that there is a period between conception and birth where a woman's rights supersede those of the embryo (and state).

In my view, the US Supreme Court decision was proper and fair. There is no good clean dividing line between non-existence and life and a reasonable choice by reasonable people is the best we can do. In this case the woman herself is in the best position to make that decision, as it is her body and her life.

We (mankind) have empowered ourselves to make decisions for ourselves rather than letting nature dictate -- by using knowledge and tools to change the world around us. Yes we chose to bite into the Apple of Knowledge and now we have the right and responsibility to choose our own destiny. For better or worse, this is the path that God (or whoever) has let us pursue.

We have enough people already in the world. It is not a requirement we have more and in fact we should even reduce our population. Mistakes are easy to make at conception. Nature itself causes "abortion" to happen if it determines that the embryo/fetus is not viable. For a portion of time, people should likewise have that option to choose for medical, economic, and life reasons. Not all women or families want or are capable of raising a child (or an additional one) -- or be willing to give it away for adoption. None of us have unlimited resources. We all must make hard choices at times. We cannot have unlimited life. In fact cancer is an example of unlimited life with no control.

The foundation of the US is based upon a balance between the rights of the many and the rights of the few. We cannot dictate one religious view on others.

Thus not only is pro choice correct for moral reasons, it is also correct for many practical reasons as well. There is not a simple black and white choice in this case. We have the power, we have the responsibility, we have the right for each of us to make our own choices and choose our own destinies.

The birth of each human has huge consequences for our world and deserves to be weighed carefully by those who are most responsible for that new life -- the parents and particularly the woman who is bearing the child. Roe v Wade is a reasonable compromise.


Denis said...

50,000,000 choices to end a life because pregnancy and parenthood are inconvenient since Roe v Wade (only 1.5% of women have abortions due to rape or incest). Hardly seems reasonable. Tim, when you were a single fertilized egg you were a person with unique DNA ... there is no grey area and there is no way you can compare a woman's choice to end the life of a baby growing inside her with the natural miscarriage of an inviable pregnancy. That's just crass and a cheap attempt to justify the unjustifiable. How about preaching responsibility instead of condoning this epidemic.

Tim Oey said...

Denis, I believe you misunderstand. No one wants abortion, but who should make the choice? You? Will you step forward to adopt all those babies? Will you step forward to provide for their mothers? Yet you would require those mothers to have a child even though they have reached the very difficult decision to have an abortion? Yes there is very much a grey area here. And the best person to make this very difficult choice is the person who it matters to most -- the mother and to a great extent the father. Not you, not me, just them. Life is not always fair. Life requires sacrifice. And the right people to make this decision are the prospective parents, particularly the prospective mother.

As for the responsibility of the state in this matter, it is education and planned parenthood -- not banning abortion. Children are not trifles. After birth they need considerable resources and a loving family to grow up to be upstanding citizens. That is the life we deserve to give our kids.

True responsibility is not dictating that others just live the way you or I want them to live or believing what you or I want them to believe. It is loving them enough to let them make their own choices. It is educating them so they can make the best choice.

If you truly feel that abortion is wrong, then devote yourself to educating everyone you can about how to avoid needing abortion -- planned parenthood, contraception, sterilization, etc. Those are far better choices than abortion. Yet people are human, mistakes are made, and human life is to precious to waste. REDUCE, reuse, recycle. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Living and dying are all a part of life. Let people live their own lives and make their own choices in grey areas.

One final note, abortion is not an epidemic. Since 1990 the rate of abortions has been going down steadily in the US despite a large increase in the size of the US population.