How Pro-Life Are You, Really?

A monumental decision has been made, very recently. It has divided families, split cities and nations in two. It has caused uproars all over the blogiverse, and it is all about the rights of individuals versus the rights of those who have yet to be born. It’s about the right to medical privacy, or privacy in general, versus the rights of a few to dictate someone’s life according to a set of morals dictated by those few. It is about, in the end, the freedom to exist versus a fascist dystopia in the making. Which side are you on?

You might be surprised by the results.

For the following document, I will be using “pregnant person” in lieu of gendered terminology. Because this is a decision that impacts many more people than you might initially believe. More on this further on. Also this post will contain references to sexual assault, birth defects, and other biological unpleasantness that may discomfort or disturb many people. You have been warned.

Every Child is a Gift. Or is it?

The first hard-hitting decision usually involves the exception “in cases of rape or incest”. Which is a moral high-ground to take for the Whataboutism, but functionally impossible. Can the pregnant person truly prove they were raped or the victim of incest to your satisfaction? Or are they just saying things to get their way?

Given that extant rape cases very rarely find the perpetrator at all, and even more rarely convict? It’s safe to say that a pregnant person who was raped is going to be forced into even more trauma because they couldn’t satisfy a judicial panel.

I’m calling it now – even if they can get the abortion, they won’t be allowed to use the resulting tissues to persecute the rapist as solid evidence of their crime. Why? Because “the child deserves a burial.” At the rape victim’s expense, of course.

If that degree of cruelty suits you, you might not be as pro-life as you think you are.

If, on the other hand, you believe every child is a gift, then it shouldn’t matter to you if the child is the result of violence or a creepy relative. That child is a divine gift from the heavens and deserves to be cherished. Do they deserve to be cherished by you? Or do they deserve to be cherished by their birth parent(s)? This is a very important question.

Making someone raise a child they didn’t want is not going to cause the child to be cherished. You don’t want to think about children suffering from domestic abuse because that doesn’t fit your ideal in which every child born is a child that is automatically loved. Plus, leaving a forced birth with the birther means you don’t need to be concerned at all past that point.

If you truly cared about the babies being born, you should also care that they are fed, clothed, raised in safety, given love, and an education. If your immediate reaction to that was about “leeches” sucking money from proper concerns, then you just want to punish pregnant people. You don’t really think that children are a gift. You think they are a penance. That’s a horrible thing to say to anyone’s baby.

Is Abortion Against the Word of God?

There are a lot of people claiming that abortion is against their scripture. These people are mostly of the Christian faith, but there are others who follow similar books. All I ask is that you show me the chapter and verse, in English[because I don’t know other languages], that justifies your position.

I’ll wait.

I can tell you now that the Christian bible has no such passage. You can go looking. You can point to a bit that says the Divine Powers know us even when we’re being formed inside a pregnant person. But it doesn’t actually say anything about abortion.

The closest it gets is about perpetrating violence against a pregnant person and causing their death.

[This is where I repeat my mantra: “I’m a writer, I research stuff for fun.”]

When those sacred words were written down, there was little concept of conception. People got pregnant. People either had a healthy baby or it miscarried for reasons usually left to the Divine. This was not concerning to them. It was just the way of the world.

All this stuff about the Divine wanting babies to be born regardless of the wants of the pregnant person is a very recent invention. About as recent as the right to access abortion, in fact.

So, in fact, you are arguing for your moral stance regarding a pregnant person who got pregnant against your personal moral standards. You find that person abhorrent and therefore use the shield of your faith to dictate a massive change to their life.

Take five seconds in Imagine-land to picture a group of extremists rising to power and telling you, that because of their faith, you couldn’t leave your house unless you were wearing a fool’s hat and fish on your feet. You would be outraged, right? You would be hostile to those extremists. You would say something like, “Why should their religion dictate my life?”

So why should your religion dictate anyone else’s life?

Lazy/Irresponsible/Wicked Pregnant People

“I’m just not in favour of people using it instead of a contraceptive!”

Interesting stance. How do you know that the pregnant person was lazy, irresponsible, or just plain ‘immoral’ according to you? Can you prove, for instance, that they took every possible precaution that they did everything right and still ended up ‘wrong’?

Can you prove that they were not in an abusive situation that gave them their pregnancy?

Can you prove that some skeezeball decided to “ride bareback” and it was therefore not their fault?

Can you prove that they had/have no other options?

Can they?

What are you doing to fight for the right of potentially pregnant people to actually have access to contraceptives? How aware of you of the legal hoops and miles of red tape a potentially pregnant person might have to plough through in order to even achieve the acquisition of contraception? Did you know that some potentially pregnant people have to get an associated male’s consent to even go near contraception?

Did you also know that some potentially pregnant people think that they are “not in danger” and wind up unpleasantly surprised? Did you know that it’s not just women who can find themselves “in danger”?

Gender Non-Conformity

Intersex people. Transgender men. Post-menopausal people. Gender isn’t just two chromosomes. Pregnancy isn’t just for girls. There’s a fringe group who’s always overlooked in this debate, and it’s the people who think they can’t get pregnant or don’t know they can get pregnant.

Abortion is healthcare for them, too.

For those not familiar, being intersex is a condition where a baby’s genitalia doesn’t conform with the extant binary. A doctor uses a very small ruler to determine whether the kid is a boy or a girl based on the length of a very specific body part. This is routinely referred to as being AMAB [Assigned Male At Birth] and AFAB [Assigned Female At Birth] respectively. Trans people and nonbinary folks have adopted it because it fits so well.

I shall pass over the bit about brutal “corrective” surgeries for this piece. If you want to do your own research, don’t do it whilst eating.

Suffice to say that there are self-identified men walking this wide and varied earth who have uteri. Some of them are unaware. Some have taken extreme measures to shut it down. They, too, can find themselves in a situation where abortion is not only necessary but also vital.

Same with “change of life” babies. There’s plenty of people who believe they have gone through menopause, only to find out that -whoops- there was one more bullet in that metaphorical gun. They may or may not have the physical health to go through with it all.

Who are you to decide which one is necessary and which one is extravagant?

Medical Emergencies Only

Ah yes. The good old tried and true standby. It should only happen if the pregnant person’s life is at risk. How is this decided? How fast can this be decided? Do you have any idea how quickly a crisis can happen with a pregnant person? There’s not always time to put this in front of a board of directors. Or a panel of clinicians.

Do you class domestic abuse as an emergency?

Did you know that the leading cause of death in pregnant people is murder? That’s right, Pro-lifers. Pregnant people are most often murdered by the person who made them pregnant. Whether they wanted to be pregnant or not.

How do you make certain that emergencies are prevented? Can you guarantee that every pregnant person gets the healthcare they need to maintain the pregnancy? No! Of course not. Access to proper healthcare is one of the biggest issues in this entire debate.

Because, in cold and brutal reality, the leading cause of abortions is poverty.

Which is not something the average pro-lifer wants to glance at, to be honest. That’s problematic.

Partial-birth/Late Term Abortions Should Be Banned

This is where the Pro-lifers drag out the disgusting diagrams because it helps their cause to make people disgusted with people who choose to abort. They leave out a lot of details. Especially details like:

Partial-birth abortions are the direct result of the Pro-life movement.

That’s right. Way back in the day, when it became a necessity to terminate a pregnancy late in term, the pregnant person was allowed to birth a whole baby. They were allowed to hold that child. To mourn them. Because a late term abortion is an act of desperation.

This is, almost uniformly, a pregnancy that was wanted. A pregnancy that was planned. A birth that was anticipated. They come with names, or with the thought that they would have time to think of one. These are pregnant people who did everything right, and have to face the dire fact that they failed anyway.

But the Pro-life movement decided that was too nice for those dirty abortionists and campaigned for something way more gross to happen. All to better their cause and be cruel to pregnant people who have literally no other choice.

Banning late term abortions means that pregnant people and their babies die.

It saves nobody.

It serves no divine will.

It is merely cruelty for cruelty’s sake. Nothing more.

Ending Teen Pregnancy

Valiant effort, but forcing pregnant teenagers to remain pregnant isn’t going to help anyone. Least of all the teenagers. You might argue that the cure for cancer could be trapped in the neurons of an unborn foetus, but what if the cure for cancer is waiting in the brain of a teen who was prevented from getting an education because you wanted her to be a parent instead?

Did you know that the leading cause of pregnant teenagers is grown-ass adults easily able to be their parents?

It’s true. Most pregnant fifteen-year-olds are impregnated by forty-or-over men who’ve probably been grooming them since thirteen if you’re lucky. Younger if you’re not.

There’s also a train of thought that teaching teens about sex is going to encourage them to do more of it. No such luck. Teaching abstinence-only sex ed only causes more teens to get pregnant. Because they don’t believe any contraception works, so why bother?

Best to let them know all the alternatives with actual facts, and have support systems in place for the ones who decide they actually want a kid anyway.

Whataboutism

You want to save the babies. I get it. You think it’s a good cause.

What about the baby who, at age six, was forced to give birth? The youngest pregnant person on record was six years old when she was forced to deliver a baby by cesarean. You can google it.

What about the twelve-year-old who was forced to marry her rapist to preserve his reputation as a preacher? See my argument above about grown-ass adults impregnating literal children. This, too, is google-able.

What about the countless babies who don’t have enough food?

What about the babies living on the street who don’t have homes?

What about the babies who are murdered by their abusive family members?

What about the babies lingering in substandard foster homes because they’re deemed “unadoptable”?

What about the babies in institutions who are abused by the staff who are employed to care for them?

What about the next batch of babies about to be shot down by another “lone wolf madman” with army-grade artillery and a manifesto?

What about the countless LGBTIPAQ+ babies who are forced out of their homes because of their alleged caregivers’ moral standards?

Do you care about those babies? Are you doing anything to help them? No? Then you don’t actually care about babies.

My Thoughts, Beliefs, and Opinions

I don’t believe that anyone’s beliefs should impede on anyone else’s actions. If you, personally, believe that raisins are the tools of the brain-eating elder gods, that’s fine. The instant you try to ban raisins or prevent the local schools from offering them to kids, that’s where you cross the line. You might believe that you are saving children from having their brains eaten by the elder gods, but you’re still impeding other people’s freedom.

I believe that every child born has the right to be raised in love. That means that they have a stable home, parents/guardians doing their best for the kid, and the kid has access to adequate nutrition/clothing/cleanliness/shelter/education/healthcare.

What shape that takes is in the best interests of the kid.

If a family is too impoverished to take care of a kid, that family surely deserves to have adequate resources.

If a family is abusive to a child, then that is not an environment of love and authorities should step in to help them find one.

If a family doesn’t know how to care for a kid, helpers and educators should provide that knowledge and assistance.

If a child has special needs, those needs should be fulfilled. And, yes, on the taxpayer’s money if necessary. Nobody should have to suffer because of how one person was born.

I was an unplanned child. I know how much it hurts to be told that my existence turned someone else’s life into a prison sentence. It’s messed up. Nobody should have to go through that.

Every child born has the right to be loved.

It is our responsibility to make certain it happens.

Freedom includes choice. All the choices. Including the choice to be a parent.

2 thoughts on “How Pro-Life Are You, Really?

  1. Absolutely brilliant post, very thoughtful and considered. I fear that your words will fall on deaf ears among the forced-birth crowd, but you never know, some of them may rethink their attitudes.

    Like

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