A discussion about abortion on Twitter. Same questions. Same arguments. 37 years of advocacy on both sides…I continue to be so frustrated about this but here’s what I said and this blog will be a more lengthy answer to what I meant.
First of all, I don’t really think the author of the first Tweet is truly interested to know what crime (worthy of death) a pre-born baby committed. The author is interested in reminding me that abortion is something that should NEVER happen at ANY time for ANY reason, period. This person knows very well the answer to the question.
I replied by asking what crime a single mother committed? The obvious answer is that she had sex and got pregnant. Instead of focusing on her crime, I suddenly shifted gears and began to talk about the children of a single mother I know who had four unplanned pregnancies. Children with hellish lives, no support, constant shame, (because they were basically feral children who were dirty, underfed and desperately just trying to satisfy their basic needs among themselves). These kids all had a propensity for criminal behavior because Mom was in her room usually behind a locked door so she could watch TV and avoid taking care of them. This mother got the pro-life, anti-abortion message loud and clear. Having a baby became a visit into dreamland for her. She could have been a poster child for the anti-abortion movement. Though she could have easily accessed birth control from Planned Parenthood to prevent her unwanted pregnancies, having a baby was literally no big deal for her. On Medicaid, she paid for nothing. Her baby on Medicaid could get sick, could need extensive medical interventions for free. What Medicaid could not do was help her become a responsible parent. As a committed anti-abortion advocate myself, I really wanted to be proud of her for not terminating her pregnancies. I was not.
The only positive input these children had came from a severely abused older woman and a male pedophile. More than once, these kids were tearing apart the apartment they lived in because they were bored and alone. Hinges taken off the doors, holes put in the walls, windows taken out and the list goes on. As they grew up, Social Services was repeatedly called in to assess the situation and attempt to help the kids. Why they weren’t taken away remains a mystery to me. One of the children has been in and out of behavioral units, taken into a special school and yet when he is discharged or released, he has no idea where to go or what to do and is now in prison. His mother has been virtually held unaccountable for any of the neglect and/or abandonment. I don’t know why that is. Her situation threw me into a very serious ethical dilemma. These children’s lives are a living nightmare and there is no end in sight. I genuinely wish the children could have been taken away from her after they were born, but that is unethical. I have found myself wishing that for their sakes the mother would have chosen abortion. It would have saved them from the continual disintegration of their lives. When children starve both physically and emotionally, they are a risk to themselves and to those who cross their paths.
Wishing for a better life, a fuller life for these four children has been all that I was capable of doing. She continued to have her parental rights in tact throughout their lives. I know that I cannot ever endorse forced abortions. Knowing this woman, I have serious doubts that she would ever consider abortion for herself either. The entire experience of knowing and being on the edge of this family’s life has made me ask very, very hard questions and made me both prolife and prochoice.
What I wish to say cannot be said in a short tweet. What I wish to say is as follows.
The issue of abortion, though easy for many to find a black and white, all or nothing, either/or issue, is to me anything but that. Though the actual procedures are barbaric to me and I could not have an abortion personally, I have observed that throughout history, abortion has been sought and provided for. I believe that…
- women will seek abortion whether it is legal or not.
- people will perform abortion whether it is legal or not.
Realities like this will exist until the end of human life…
- immoral grandfathers, fathers, brothers and uncles will abuse and impregnate their daughters, sisters and nieces. As a #MeToo woman myself, I will fight my heart out to hold perpetrators accountable any chance I get.
- philanderers will continue to exist and they will use their money, power and physical strength to subdue beautiful women, most often against their will.
- women will most likely be blamed for getting themselves pregnant
- men will walk away unless the law holds them accountable
- pregnancies will exist where pre-born children are in excruciating pain, have gross deformities or serious illnesses that will make life in utero torture as well as impossible to continue after birth.
- pregnancies will exist that threaten the life of the mother.
These issues are reality. I believe that reality must be faced and validated. The choice to terminate any pregnancy should be a most serious and thoughtful one. If women have the right to choose, like they presently do, there will be women who won’t have any of the above situations in their lives, they will just simply want to end something they don’t feel is right for them. Government cannot control that even if they outlaw abortion. That is reality. If the abortion issue is focused solely on the life/death of a pre-term child without taking any of these realities into consideration or minimizing their significance, there will be little or no progress for anyone. How we deal with abortion will simply flip from right to left with each new administration.
As a pro-life, anti-abortion woman, with very real thoughts and experiences about all of this and having been in this fight for 37 years, I have chosen to devote any of my energies toward making unwanted pregnancy a rare occurrence. I strongly support Planned Parenthood because I have been in a clinic assisting someone with acquiring free birth control. It was the ONLY place she could get it and had no reservations about premarital sex. She had been horrifically raped by coworkers in a place where she was the only woman among them. She was already “impure” and if the opportunity for consensual sex arose, she was honest about the fact that she would participate. Most of society, Christian or not, agrees that sex before marriage is no longer unexpected. Like it or not, this is the world we live. Pretending to be Puritans landing at Plymouth Rock will not work. It never has, it never will. I have come to the conclusion that the constant debate over whether or not we can harness and control the women and providers who get and perform abortions is utterly useless.
In the political realm, to imagine that Donald J. Trump has never paid for his wife’s or one of his conquest’s abortions is to have one’s head buried very deep in the sand. Someone who regularly participates in prostitution and regularly pays off his women, the odds are extremely high that he has done so more than once.
In addition to our president’s constant use of prostitutes, I became aware of the reality that when America’s NFL teams come to any town to play football, prostitution requests increase exponentially with the highest being during the Superbowl. Many of these women are actually sex slaves, some in their pre-teens who have been taken against their will. Maybe, if we’re interested in saving the unborn, we should put a lot more volunteer effort in assisting law enforcement in bringing these bastards into jail or forcing them to be castrated. By the way, most back alley abortions are paid for by men who engage in these activities.
In conclusion, spare me the shallow questions about the unborn. Spare me about how important it is to save the life of an unborn child while you work to cut benefits to pregnant women and their children. Spare me the abstinence instructions when the odds are quite high that you haven’t been abstinent yourself. Put your money and mouth into support of free birth control in schools and at any pregnancy crisis center. Educate your children about the realities of passion and its override of rational thought in the moment. Equip them with the means to protect themselves. Bring the entire issue of sex out of the closet and deal with it. I will continue to make abortions rare by attacking the above issues at the source rather than pretending I can control the women facing their outcome.