Once politicized, most issues go straight to hell. Warring factions are almost immediately established on both sides of an impenetrable DMZ. Words and phrases are hijacked and given vitriolic meaning and unbending definitions. By both sides. The real crux of the issue gets so obfuscated and buried in the rhetoric, anger, and religious fervor, that intelligent dialogue often proves virtually impossible.
Abortion may be the poster child for this phenomenon.
I am choosing this venue/medium for the purpose of what I wrote above. In person, too much emotion clouds judgment and paralyzes communication. Dialogue usually devolves quickly and the digging of philosophical foxholes commences. There is no give and take. Amazingly, I’ve found that sometimes, online chat room dialogues can approach reason and pragmatism, because most people think, pause, reflect before the more laborious (than speaking) task of typing their thoughts.
I will not be wishy washy. I will state my stance clearly, and then open the floor. My desire is for the red hot buzz words to be left out of the argument, but that may be unrealistic on my part. Terms like “pro abortion”. Really? Honestly? Is there actually someone out there that thinks a woman is ADVOCATING abortion or DESIRES an abortion? No one WANTS an abortion. It is an incredibly difficult decision for any woman to make. Some may make it more cavalierly than others, but I’ve never met a woman who’s had an abortion that approached it in any way other than as a potential life-altering decision. And then lived with that decision hovering in their psyche for years, if not forever. Regret is often a major part of the decision making process. And women who have abused the privilege of “choice”…well, I believe them to be in the minority, no pun intended.
When I have been reluctantly drawn into a snarky exchange on this subject, I usually end it with a line that I am not proud of, but think is apt and a legitimate question: “If you don’t want her to have an abortion, and she does not want the baby, for whatever reason, then why don’t YOU adopt it?”
“Pro life”, is another divisive phrase. Simply by its implied notion that the other side is “anti” life, this phrase should not be part of the discussion. Aren’t we all “pro life”? We’re talking about civilized society, of course.
I think, and clearly this is my opinion only, that when most of the hostility and religious fervor is removed (and that is rare), the issue comes down to two sides.
My side is simple and clear, and does not involve medicine, biology or religion. I am Pro Choice. The issue begins and ends there for me for one obvious (to me) reason. If men could get pregnant, there would be abortion pup tents on every corner, and men would be having them between the 2nd and 3rd lunchtime martini. If you don’t believe that, then this discussion is probably not for you. It comes back to fairness. Men, and last I checked, I was one, have every right to weigh in with thoughts and opinions, but then we should step the fuck away. It is not our body. If a relationship is involved, then of course the woman should solicit and consider the man’s position. If the woman is alone, the decision should be between her conscious, her doctor, her god if she has one, and her heart. Period.
OK, that’s a brief synopsis of where I stand. I am not disavowing the inherent complexity of the subject. I am an advocate of distilling where possible, and abortion comes down to the above paragraph, for me.
The other side of the argument (also in my opinion) is the medical issue. When is the fetus considered a life? I am not at all expert in the sequence or terminology of most of this side of the issue. I’m sure there are those out there that are far more informed on this than I. Feel free to weigh in and inform me/us. However, be cognizant that, like global warming for example, anyone can find a medical professional to support whatever your take is on abortion. But contradictions abound. There is little universality medically, religiously or morally. My stance steers clear, by design, of the medical side of the equation. But I understand and have encountered several very well-reasoned arguments on this side of the debate.
I want to stress even further that, I am a man, and my opinion should NEVER be the deciding one in this issue. I have no first hand experience with abortion, but I would hope I could follow my layout above for how a man should involve himself.
I am convinced there is a correlation with gay people and abortion. There are probably more people in your life that are either gay or have had an abortion (or both) than you are aware of. It’s more common than you think.
© Copyright 2016 Bill Rayburn. All rights reserved.