Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Our Third Entry

I’ve been pondering this question myself for some time. I attend an evangelical-fundamentalist-fire-and-brimstone sort of church, and the topic always comes up when there’s an abortion protest about why I refuse to attend.

See, I’m sort of the unwilling church poster child for the Pro-Lifers. Or, rather, I’m the mother of the poster child. When I became pregnant with my son, Joey, I had a blood clot left over from my first pregnancy. My obstetrician, a devout Catholic, came to me with the dire news. The best chance she could give me was 50:50 odds that either I would survive OR that she could save the baby. OR...not both. At the time, my daughter was five months old. I had to decide if risking my life to bring my son into the world was worth the chance that my husband might have to raise her alone. Because of my faith, I did not hesitate for a moment in my decision not to terminate the pregnancy. I’ve never regretted that decision; however, I’m glad that I live in a world where I had the right to make the decision for myself. My political beliefs, which are to a degree separate from my religious beliefs, tell me that it’s none of the government’s business whether or not I carry a baby to term. That decision was between me, my husband, our doctor and God. I’d rather Jerry Falwell and George W. Bush not have a say in the matter, as it was, quite frankly, none of their concern.

I wonder why the Christian community focuses so hard on ending abortion, when, in fact, ending unwanted pregnancy would be a much more successful campaign. I believe that one of the reasons there are so many unwanted pregnancies in our modern world is because people are out there having irresponsible sex trying to fill the emptiness in their lives. Birth control is, of course, one solution. Another solution might be for the Christian community to spend less time passing judgment about people’s private lives and more time in spreading the love of Jesus Christ. I’m not saying that churches should condone immoral behavior. My point is that Christian people nowadays seem to think they have to be the morality police, and instead of reaching out to people, they’re pushing them as far as they can go in the opposite direction.

From my standpoint as a parent, I intend to teach my kids about birth control. Teenagers have been having sex probably since about thirteen years after God created the Earth. Telling them how to prevent getting pregnant is not going to give them any new ideas. I also intend to teach them that sex, used irresponsibly, is a weapon that can ruin a life. If you’re not old enough to face the consequences of sex, you’re not old enough to have sex. Furthermore, I hope to teach them to respect their own bodies in a way that they will decide to save sex for that really special someone.

Mary Nichols


Blogger Angela said...

This is a brilliant post and very well written. I believe we would see a decline in the number of abortions if only we would focus on educating people about birth control and family planning.

My mother took me to Planned Parenthood when I was 18 to put me on birth control, even though I was not sexually active, and have them explain to me (in graphic detail) the dangers of STDs and unwanted pregnancies. I think it was probably the best thing she could have done for me. It had a great impact on me and it took a lot of soul searching before I became sexually active.

1/14/2005 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Day Late Critic said...

Thank you - I am very happy that you feel that a woman's choice is hers not the governments. To many times people label pro-choicers as pro-abortionists. No, I personally would not have an abortion but that is my body and my choice.

Your point about ending the need for abortion is very valid and should be the focus of the "protest" energy. Promoting abstinence is nobel and good in theory but living in reality we know that we must equip the children with the tools (information)to handle the world before them.

1/27/2005 03:07:00 PM  

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