Sunday, January 19, 2014

Abortion (Pro Life Versus Pro Choice) Actually ISN'T the Issue (In Support of Mothers AND Children)

 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.

In Support Of Mothers and Their Born/Unborn Children:
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.
(End of article)

We need more compassion. We need to build this global community where we can live in peace and harmony. We do this by the law of love, NOT by the law of the people. Because then the question arises- which religion, race, people group ect. get to make the law? Which group of people get to choose for everyone else? Are we so hung up on our prideful self righteousness that we have the audacity to choose for another person? We can only influence in love. Jesus never forced anyone to choose. Jesus never promoted spiritual manipulation or used his power at any level over another. He gave us the ultimate example, the law of love, sacrifice, GRACE and life. We each get to choose. That is the beauty of it all. The choice. Not the robotic submission of will, no matter how noble the reason is.

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.


Anonymous said...

this brought me to tears....
a beautiful reflection of Love in the purest of forms
really K
I don't have anything else to say
I just want to hug you
and tell you that I am so proud of you
and so proud to call you sister....friend- Cat

Anonymous said...

I agree with your letter; there needs to be so much more support available for women and children…fathers too actually as I believe many could step up to the plate differently than they do if they had the needed support.
I agree too that love is the language that must truly be spoken in order for any message to be heard. Sadly, far too often harsh emotion, opinion, and pride are demonstrated rather than love and it is so sad. Sad because no one wins. Not the mother, not the justice fighter, and not the child whose life is at stake.
I struggle with the making of laws, the separation of religion and state and how that all should work. I don’t think that laws change what is in our hearts but I wonder, do they deter us? One thing that you asked was what religion gets to choose? I guess that I don’t see abortion as a religious issue but as a human rights issue. In the same way that I believe that those who are gay (as one example) should receive the same justice, dignity, and care that I should so do I believe that the unborn should. We have and should have laws in place to protect human rights.
And what about the abortions made based on gender? Based on possible disabilities? Based on convenience because “preventative measures” weren’t taken or failed? Sadly statistics show that those are high and growing all the time. Gender based abortions rates within Canada and many countries are noted as very concerning but are acknowledged as being extremely hard to address because of “women’s rights”. It is hard for me to think about so many precious baby girls losing their lives because they happen to be the wrong gender.
You are right, it is a deep and complicated issue, but most human rights issues are. Another thing that is sad to me is that all over the world are those who are exhausting themselves and who are physically and emotionally invested in supporting women and families both prebirth and postbirth. These same people are truly prolife including advocating for the unborn and yet so often they are lumped in with those who do hostile acts or act hatefully in the name of saving lives. Yet I really do believe that we can be bold and yet lovingly outspoken in our defense of the unborn, indeed, as we can for all of humanity.- Marissa

Kmarie Jones said...

Thanks Cat:)
Yes. Excellent thoughts to the conversation. I believe deeply in human rights and non discrimination for the unborn too and the voiceless... But I don't believe a law will make it better for them. Even from experience if a family on the autism scale what will make life better and the choice to choose a certain gender or brain type is more advocation and information of differences, better well rounded curriculum in schools and other such things. Every situation is so unique. In some cases sO purely selfish in others it's rather grey. There is no simple answer... A law is a simple answer that does not solve the deeper issue.
Thanks for adding these great thoughts!;)

Anonymous said...

But do you not believe that laws can be part of education and information? For example, laws in regards to race discrimination; laws were made (or changed) that black people could use the same buildings as white people or they could not be refused positions based on their race. The laws themselves didn't change things but have played a part in the education of Canada on race based discrimination (we still have a long ways to go). Call me a cynic but I still believe that without those laws, my husbands siblings would face much more discrimination than they already do. Again the laws themselves don't change people's hearts but I see the value in having some governing guide that says, "This person can not be abused or mistreated, if they are, there are consequences. If you choose to do so, that is wrong." Yes we continue to focus on advocation, support, and education but within that there is an acknowledgment of what is wrong and what is abusive. I personally don't see that acknowledgement in many conversations regarding the abused unborn. Even when there is talk of providing what is needed for lowered abortion rates it is solely in regards to the rights of the mother and what it does to her or to unburden the healthcare system which is where I take issue because it does not address the human rights of the unborn. I think that is perhaps why some focus on changing the laws, because they want an acknowledgement of the unborn.- Marissa

Anonymous said...

I agree with so much that both you and Marissa wrote. The only thing I'll add is the question of my rights as a tax payer. I agree that laws don't fix things but what about publicly funded abortions and my lack of choice in whether I have to fund a service I find to be a violation of human rights. Abortion has impacted the lives of many of my close friends and family and I cringe when people speak hurtfully toward them or around them regarding this issue. But I also don't feel badly for saying that I don't want to pay to harm someone else's child. Tricky topic this one. I pray that I get the chance to someday help a mama lovingly take care of a baby that she wasn't sure she could.- Lola

Kmarie Jones said...

Laws have their place and as fallen beings we need some but we can't base ALL of ethics on the letter of the law. However, in the case of discrimination , the law did help protect but I hope to point out that it was the opposite of those same laws that got society into trouble in the first place. People deeply believing they were religiously and protectively making their children have a better place. Just read the laws of Mississippi pre 1960s. Those laws were intentionally made and they thought they were doing what was best. It's sad and ignorant which is why I believe law is not the answer. It can be part of the question but really it's each story doing their part. Of course we also need justice but abortion is more complicated than most things because it is two lives and involves two bodies. It's not as clear cut. It's a law that forces a solution set for each mother when each situation is sooo different. If we did have to get a law I would begin perhaps with genetic testing for the non life threatening disabilities ect. That choice does not often help. Instead we should have more books and medics talking about the positive attributes of differences genetically.
My point is that it's such a multi layer issue unlike clear discrimination. Each situation is different. Violence against race is violence. Some abortions are to save the life of a mother. It really is situational.
But I respect what you are saying and we need people who passionately take a stance for love.. Even if it may be different. I like your message in your writing. We are both fighting for human life in different forms. We both believe in the innate beauty of the born and unborn. We just have a different way of acting it out. The problem I have is the people who adamantly march for abortion yet give no aid compassion or support to women around them. We need more action and compassion... Even if the law is passed. But I know you also take action and that is what I like- even if we differ on how that action is carried- I hope we can focus on our commonalities in love. Thanks for caring to comment:)

Lola: Yes, I would rather government money was making more programs like growing opportunities and prevention, abuse centers ect. Sad and twisted this world is...You are one of the women that live out that compassion. You helped change my life with your doulaship. You help change attitudes on birth and afterword. And You will help aide future mothers and children. I appreciate how you live your gifts. I live mine in researching, writing, advocating, and attending fostership conferences to spread the news ( even if I can not) Abortion has hit some of my family and friend too and they feel so judged. It does not help their lives to have this. They need to heal and each situation was so different. Some were incredibly selfish and aweful choices and others were based on self sacrifice or what was believed to be the most ethical choice at the time due to circumstances. I want them to know that we all make tough decisions and that they are not judged by me for theirs. Only loved and supported...even the ones that were clearly self based. Because that love enables better choices later on.
But I AM an most of my beliefs don't always work in a fallen world...but I can advocate for them!:)

Anonymous said...

I echo Cat completely. just amazing. what a gift to this broken world you are. xoxo- Nyssa

Anonymous said...

hanks for taking the time to write to the paper. I wish more people put their thoughts out there, on each side, and that there was more opportunity for discussion without name calling either way, or the anger. Anger has its place, but more often when something personally affects us, as in, we've gone through it ourselves or someone incredibly close has. Otherwise, the anger clouds the issues, when it's mostly about people that are unknown to those writing (I'm thinking of the first letter in the paper that you referred to, to which you wrote your response). I wish the medical system didn't benefit financially by the ending of lives, which they usually do, and which makes it harder to make just choices that don't involve someone getting a big payoff. I do know that women who have abortions live with big time guilt the rest of their lives, and I would not wish that on anyone. To me, it speaks of the fact that a life, no matter how old, is still a life, and our hearts know that, no matter what language is used to refer to the life (fetus, etc).

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that although law is there to protect the rights of people, the same law sometimes messes with people's law sometimes is a double edged sword..and the state has to be very careful before passing any law that might put a person/woman into real trouble...I am not that knowledgeable about this issue though.
I feel that people's lives which include abortion rights/woman's rights are more complicated than general laws on tax or health.
No consensus can be reached regarding abortion..if a woman is raped or a victim of forced sex or is drugged before sex ..then it is her choice whether she wants to keep the baby or not...sometimes woman gets pregnant under very harsh conditions ...sometimes women does not plan for a child and takes adequate protection...yet a child is born..sometimes, women do not want a child but wants sex..and a child is born ...Under these circumstances, the right of the woman should prevail over rigid state laws.
Kmarie, I am ignorant about abortion laws of Canada, I am from a different country -I am trying to see the issue from a "human angle " and writing what I "feel". I may be wrong in my assumptions but this is what I feel from inside.- Sangha

Anonymous said...

great letter, well put. tricky subject. Abortion has touched many different areas of my life (obviously if you've read my post on that) including why i am here today! Mom had an abortion before me ( she was TOTALY LIED TO by the way.. but i won't go into that)... had a deep wound from aborting her baby and hence i was conceived to fill the void. So... would i still be here if it wasn't for the life that was taken before me?

Laws are tricky things.. i agree with marissa and lola.. i think there can be laws in place to educate... and also can i choose where my tax dollars are going? anyway... keep writing friend. keep gowing... keep loving!- MLW

Called to Question said...

This is, indeed, a difficult subject to assess. There is no one or two opinions to this conversation. It is not just a battle of liberal and conservative minds, but a challenge of all minds and hearts from every avenue of life.

'When does human life begin?', perhaps, the foundational question of this entire topic. For the some it is at the point of conception, when egg and sperm connect, others believe it is at the point of birth while some have no regard for it at all.

The simple/difficult matter of it is, that no matter what stance one takes they can not hold to that view without abstaining from a hypocritical conviction.

By this I mean to say this. To those who believe that Human life begins at conception, it is wrong to destroy anything post-conception. Leaving the possibility of human life up to the use of, or lack thereof, contraceptives. Here in, is where the hypocrisy of conviction lies. If it is wrong to destroy life after conception, the joining of sperm and egg, then, is it not wrong to withhold the chance of conception by the use of condemns and any other use of birth control? In other words, If your going to have sex then you better let it all out, to refrain is to take a life or the potentiality of one. There are many strong adheres to this point of view, all birth control is the taking away of God's given right to conception, particularly within the Catholic society.

To those who argue that human life does not begin until birth, that it is permissible to destroy that of which is not yet born, to them I say this. If is allowable to destroy the living unborn then it is permissible to destroy the living born, whether a day, five years or 18 years after birth.

I could go on, but I will stop at this point. just a few thoughts. Great post. I love advocating with you my dear.

Ashe said...

I guess Growing Opportunities is kind of like our Women, Infants, Children (WIC) program here in the states. You go the health department to get these checks/vouchers for stuff like milk, cheese, and stuff, and every so often you have to see the nurse so she can how you and the kid are doing even if you're taking the kid to all their pediatric appointments. My family kinda started under the poverty line too.

Kmarie Audrey said...

That is great that they have that program...Yea starting under the poverty line is hard but it also builds a thrifty sense of being, shows priorities and we never ever ever take the fact that we have groceries for granted....because of the years we really really really struggled....even now we are considered under the poverty line but JUST and I don't think we are- we are really rich because we have learned how to manage debt and how to live without a lot of things yet make our house a home with hard work and creative I really think we are lucky....however, I do not thnk being poor for a long period is good for a family...I would not advocate for it but I did see some benefits after we came out of our about 7 year slump...the first 4 years almost broke us but we were lucky to have community and was bad but also good sometimes too...but I would not wish it on most people I suppose.