Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Letter to True Believers

Dear Pro-Lifers,

I might be willing to deny the right of a woman to have an abortion if the society in which I lived would meet certain conditions. These conditions were not met in the past when women felt the need for abortion so strongly that many would get one in dangerously clandestine ways.

In the past women got abortions because

1. Her pregnancy would result in social stigma that made it impossible for her to continue as a respected member of society and continue her education, and hold down a decent job and marry a good man.

2. The child of a single mother was deemed illegitimate and faced social stigma as severe as the mother’s.

3. A child with severe birth defects or genetic predisposition to debilitating illness would suffer needlessly and would require expensive medical care that would have little real effect on relieving the suffering that the child would face.

4. The father refused to be responsible for the child.

5. The community refused to assist the mother in caring for the child.

So under what conditions would I be willing to disallow abortions?
1. The community churches would pay for all medical care for a child born with a birth defect or genetic predisposition to a severe medical condition. The churches would do this without demanding that the child or his mother accept as truth the precepts of the church or regularly attend services or make any claim to Christianity. The church would do this simply because the members voted against aborting this child and so have some responsibility in insuring that this child be cared for properly.
2. The community churches and all of its members would make a single mother feel welcome in their communities, not ostracize her, not prevent her from supporting her child by denying her a job in the community.
3. The community churches and all of its members would encourage employers to hire women that have illegitimate children.
4. The churches and all of their members would assist women, especially single mothers with low income, in obtaining low-cost, quality child care so that she can work to support the children. Religion must not be forced on these children as a condition of the child care assistance.
5. The churches and all of their members would make the child welcome in the community, would prevent its own children from teasing a child and bullying a child based on its status as illegitimate, would not stigmatize the child for its origins, and would not in any make the child wish it had never been born.
6. The churches will pay all fees for adoption by anyone willing to offer the unwanted children a good home, a home not necessarily Christian, but one where the child is not abused, where the child will be loved, and where the child has at least one parent that wants him or her.

If the churches and or their members push for an abortion ban, then the churches and their members must make the changes in its attitudes towards illegitimate and defective children that forced many women to get abortions to begin with. If the churches that push for an abortion ban insist that life is precious, then they should take responsibility for making sure that the child has a chance to realize that his life is precious. The social ostracism of the past does not affirm life. The bankruptcy of family by medical bills does not affirm life. The bullying by other children and even by members of community churches does not affirm life.

Once again Mississippians want to demand that all people live according to their own church doctrines. But this is a country of religious freedom. Such demands go against every principle on which this country was established. Forcing religion-based morality on Americans is the same thing that is happening in Afghanistan where a Christian convert faces the death penalty.

And if your argument is that abortion is murder, then outlaw all murder: self-defense of property, self-defense against sexual assault and rape, and war. These are all just as murderous. Why should abortion be singled out as wrong? Write a law that is completely fair and expresses your opposition against all murder. If you insist that you can defend yourself, that you can send your fellow citizens to war, then you are not against murder. Get real.

1 comment:

sharlet said...

In closing, well-said! It's time they realise how flawed their argument is!