Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Friday, September 16, 2005

Life is Precious

Recently, someone responded to my post on whether or not to eat meat and said, " I agree that life is precious. Can I take it then that you are pro-life, too?"

This is my response.

I do think life is precious. I am personally pro-life, but politically pro-choice.

While I dislike the idea of rampant abortions (who doesn't?) I just cannot support pro-life legislation. What if a woman is raped, or her life is endagered by the preganancy? I think she should have the choice to terminate. And of course, many pro-life politicians often say that rape, incest, etc. would be exceptions, but how could that be enforced? Only 10% of rapes are ever reported. And even if she did go to the police, with the backlog in the courts, by the time her case came to trial, it would be too late to get an abortion. And what if there just wasn't proof that a rape occurred? I just don't see how such legislation could be viable.

And even if rape, incest, or endangerment to the woman's health were not factors, I cannot in good conscience support a law that might result in desperate young girls sticking knitting needles up themselves and endangering their lives. I can't stand the thought of women getting back ally abortions and putting their lives at risk. Because ultimately, if a woman is determined to get an abortion, she'll get one - despite the law. And the results might be far more tragic than if she had had it done by medical professionals.

Ultimately, it's a question of compassion for me. I am not (and no one else is either) capable of understanding the desperation, fear and terror that would lead a woman to want an abortion. If a woman is so desperate enough as to want that, I don't want the law to stop her. I respect her knowledge of herself and what she can handle in her life. And if she knows she is not capable emotionally or physically to see that pregnancy through, I think the law and society need to respect that.

I also realize, however, that many women will abuse the opportunities to abort. And I understand that that is what most pro-lifers feel so strongly about. But rather than outlawing abortion, I think it would be better to educate more about birth control and teach women about options other than abortion.

So ultimately, I do believe life is precious. All life. Both the woman's life and the potential life of the unborn child. But if I had to pick the more important between the two, I would always pick the woman's.


Blogger Brooke said...

Caroline, I'm the same. Politically pro-choice but personally pro-life. There is so much to say on the subject and it is emotionally draining to talk about. I appreciate your comments.

9/17/2005 11:33 PM  

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