Blog For Choice

Blog for Choice Day - January 22, 2007

Today is Blog For Choice Day, and this year's topic is "Why Are You Pro Choice?"

To be fair, I must start at the beginning and explain that I was once a devout Southern Baptist and I initially sided with Pro-Life positions. I was young, and the issue was black and white. Pregnant women have babies. Babies live to become people. Life is precious and should not be stolen, ergo pregnancies are precious and should not be robbed of their chance to become people.

And then one day I tried explaining this reductionist argument to my father. He was quite livid, not for my position per se; his anger was directed at my simplistic binary logic. He suggested that some pregnancies aren't planned, and that some people live outside the quaint little Baptist Bubble in which I existed. My father's arguments didn't quite convince me at the time, but as I grew older I started to notice that the world was much more complex. Women are much, much more complex than I initially thought. I began to realize that my father wasn't defending his ideology, he was defending the principle of choice.

The responsibility of The Choice belongs to the one who bears the pain of the reality: the woman. I trust her to know the limits of her physical and mental health; I trust her to know whether she is ready for the responsibility of bearing a child. I trust Her more than I trust the Government to make The Choice.

And so I have come full-circle. I have basically traded one simplistic position for another. I am pro-choice simply because I am a man. I am not so arrogant as to believe that I can make a better biological decision for a woman; I am not so arrogant as to believe that I understand this issue like a woman does. Therefore, the Choice and the responsibility of the Choice belong to Women.

And what of the babies? Well, the human body seems to abort(miscarry) 10%-25% of recognized pregnancies and 50%-75% of unrecognized/unknown pregnancies (source). And America ranks second highest in the developing world with regard to the number of infant mortalities (source). 1 out of 5 children in my home state of Texas has no medical insurance (source).

It's difficult for me to embrace my old simplistic "All Life Is Precious!" philosophy when I live in a complex world where we obviously do not place a high premium on the lives that are already here. A National Health Care Plan would reduce the number of miscarriages due to insufficient health care, it would reduce the number of infant moralities, and would improve the quality of life for the children that have already been born. Life is precious, and I suspect that if we worked hard to improve the quality of life for all people in the United States then we would actually see a reduction in the number of abortions. And that's a goal that I think we should all work toward.


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