Until this past year, I was a very avid supporter of a strictly pro-life agenda. I was so stuck on that side that I never actually took the time to speak to any pro-choicers about their views. I avoided discussions on the topic like the plague, and was convinced that every pro-choice supporter felt about it the way the loudest, most vocal people on their side felt.
I’ve always been the type to make sure I am well-educated on a topic before speaking about it, which is probably another reason I never really spoke about the issue. I couldn’t deny not being educated, and I often found myself so enraged at the idea that someone could be pro-abortion, that I didn’t even want to fathom what they might say. Then one day, I decided to speak up, decided to get clarification, and decided to listen.
One friend said something that day that made me rethink everything. ‘Pro-choice is not about being pro-abortion,’ she said.
Especially as a Christian, when I’ve spoken with pro-lifers, I’ve always been given the impression that those who are pro-choice support the idea of abortion, think there is nothing wrong with abortion, and believe that there need be no regulation on abortion. After all, that is what we have often heard from some of the most vocal *pro-choicers.
But if I’m being honest, I should have known that the loudest and most vocal did not necessarily represent the whole, or for that matter, possibly not even the majority. After all, in every other area, the loud ones almost always tend to be the drastic, obscure ones. We see it in Christianity (WBC anyone?), Feminism, Atheism, Muslim – all of it.
The more I talked, studied and researched the issue, the more I began to see that if I really value the pro-life argument, then the best thing I can do, at least here in Canada, is support a pro-choice legislation. Here’s why:
Currently, because abortion is technically only legal in an instance that the pregnancy is deemed a health risk to the woman. But within that, there is no actual definition of what that ‘health’ risk entails. There is also no ruling on at what point during the pregnancy is too late for an abortion. There is no definition of when that fetus becomes a person.
And while it’s not legal, there are still ways to get abortions. There are ways around the ‘health’ factor (several hospitals that did offer them across Canada were found to be okaying the abortions without actually going through the ‘reviewal’ process), but there is also the issue of timeline. While I truly believe that MOST doctors would not abort a child that is almost to term, the law does not prevent them from being able to. Which opens the door that someone *could*.
When I sat down to speak to more people who identify as pro-choice, I found that most also do not deny the fact that there is a high number of women who later regret their abortion and suffer either physical or mental trauma because of it. But because of the way the government currently handles abortion, our country is lacking in appropriate resources to help prevent this type of situation.
There is no funding put into place for education, therapy and even proper ‘reviewal’ processes. The only warnings about the possible emotional and physical repercussions of abortion are the ones slung at them by pro-lifers – often-times in radical ways that are not sensitive to the situation that the woman is facing.
Legalizing abortion would allow for the implementation of regulations and laws – laws that protect the women and provide ways to ensure they are properly informed, but also laws that protect the child, laws that define when that child becomes a child and is no longer considered a fetus. Processes could also be put in place – that prior to going through with the procedure, the woman would need to meet with a psychologist, or psychiatrist about both the physical and mental/emotional risks they are facing. They could meet with a counselor to talk about the reasoning – to make sure that they are really sure about this.
It would also allow for the types of laws that could prevent a woman from getting more than one abortion simply because she doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of her actions. The kind of woman who would use it as a form of birth control, rather than dealing with her sexual encounters responsibly by employing protection, etc.
When it comes down to it – I don’t believe abortion is okay (unless we’re talking someone who was raped – totally different ball game). I don’t believe that a child isn’t a child until it’s born. But I also have to face the facts – there is more damage done to women and to children from illegal abortions, and through a lack of proper education on it with it being a ‘taboo’ subject. Keeping it illegal keeps the discussions closed and the more dangerous options open.
I don’t believe abortion is okay. But I do believe that legalizing it would open the door to have less abortions, more regulation, and more awareness. And for that reason, I choose to support a pro-choice legislation.