A letter to the editor showed up in a local paper urging people to write in to eradicate abortion. My husband came home as I was writing a feisty little piece (that ended up being the first draft of four) to the paper. He had the same idea. We ended up writing the final draft together. The issues are deeper than a law or abortion. When we take away a choice...especially a choice regarding the human body in our fallen state, we end up messing the lines of human life even more. Of course every situation is different. Some abortions are a violation of human rights by discrimination. But a law won't change this. What needs to change is prejudices, awareness and the thousands of blogs that show the beauty of the differently wired or created in life.
Did you know abortion rates go up (NOT DOWN) when abortion laws are in effect? Women feel more desperate. Coming from a person who believes in God, I believe choice was the first gift given to us. We were given a tree, to choose good or evil. God did not take away that choice even with all it's consequences. If God didn't why do we think we have the rights too? When did we set ourselves up as God over life? I kept my feisty little first edition because it would make a great speech one day...just not a good article. As my father says, in newspapers or articles, you make your point and have people consider those points when you use honey and Logos (Pathos can be saved for speeches and personal blogs!) Honey attracts flies that would otherwise respond in defence. I am afraid I still can not quite manage full honey ness:) But I hope the deeper issues show themselves. A law will not take away the complicated situation. Better prevention, more support, and loving compassion heals a multitude of lives. We need to advocate for better programs NOT more red tape. I do not believe taking away a choice is the answer for so many other reasons not stated in this article.
Human life is innately valuable and each life deserves to be, however, the issues choosing life are deep and complicated. Increased support is needed for mothers who feel they have no where else to turn. Attitudes and judgements affect the choice of life. The support (and the lack thereof) before/after birth become part of the weighing factors in life choices. Promotional mental health programs, comprehensive birth control strategies, and a general sense of empathetic awareness affect the choice of life.
Recently, the government cut the program "Growing Opportunities" from a local area. It was one of the few places impoverished or teenage mothers could go to get gentle aid. Each week they received milk coupons, a few bags of groceries, nutritional guidance, mental support, and occasional visits from a nurse. We know of this firsthand because ten years ago we were expecting and under the poverty line. Growing Opportunities gave our family a strong beginning. We cannot judge the desperation of another until we have lived under a similar pressure. Our story had the support of family, friends and community, yet still we struggled. We can only imagine, with compassion, the forced decision of a mother who has none of that.
Sometimes, it seems that we get lost arguing about issues or advocating for laws. Shouldn't we live our beliefs instead? Some ways to do this could be by volunteering at safe homes, taking food to women who can barely feed themselves (let alone a babe), seeking to protect families who are the victims of abuse and violence, compassionately supporting women who may be hard to love, engaging in regular conversations with the downcast, poor and misused, and considering Fostership.
When we advocate for prenatal programs, calming natural birth strategies, promotion of doulas, stronger action against the violence of women/children, and additional support for the first few years of a child's life, abortion rates will gradually go down. We have a responsibility to the children already born. The Foster system is in desperate need of good families to take in the destitute children. Perhaps the mothers who chose to carry their children abandoned the babes to drugs, abuse or simply did not have the means to keep the child they loved?
Currently in our province, children are living in hotel rooms waiting for placement, foster homes are crowded, and placing of newborns is difficult. If you want to be a voice for the children, consider the already born. Instead of demeaning marches and petitions, consider the unborn children by aiding their mothers and advocating for merciful programs. Become a Foster parent, volunteer, or counselor. Support Pregnancy centers that give options of protection. Write to reinstate the program Growing Opportunities. To choose life means stepping out to take active responsibility for tough and complicated issues. We cannot make the choice of another. We can only influence that choice by love and compassion. We must be the change we wish to see in the world. Let's consider uniting and advocating for the needs of our surroundings. Together as a compassionate community we CAN make a difference, one child and one mother at a time.
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Let's change the conversation. Let's change it with action of our beliefs in compassion and empathy. LOVE. We live in a broken world. Awful, brutal circumstances happen that we can not prevent, but we can help heal despite this fact. It's all in our choices. We can choose what we stand for by living it, not by forcing it.*
*I support some mothers who choose not to go through with the life inside of them because I know there are different circumstances for everything. It can not all be summed up together. Sometimes the best choice doesn't seem like the right one to outsiders. I also support mothers who choose to go through pregnancy but give the life up for adoption or keep the life born...again it is circumstantial and can not be judged. We do not know the suffering of another. This post was written from more of a conservative christian viewpoint because that was the audience it was originally written to in...and one needs to speak the audience's language when writing about specific topics.