Monday, January 4, 2010

On Life and Choice

I have been thinking a lot lately about how to clearly define my position on the hot-botton issue of abortion.  This is a blog about being a woman and about being a Christian, and this issue often comes up as the argument as to why one cannot either be a feminist or an Evangelical: "But they believe in abortion!" or "They want to tell us what to do with our bodies!"  So, I will clearly try to define my position, as it is very important to me.

I consider myself pro-life, though I do not consider myself anti-choice.  I believe in choice like I believe in hope: without it, one's soul will die.  God does not remove decision-making from the human experience, so I will not either.  However, as much as I am pro-"choice" in non-abortion terms, I view abortion like I view any other act of violence toward a human: Sure, I'll let you have the choice to hurt another person, but I am not going to tell you it's okay and I will try to stop you and change the circumstances that surround your situation.  As much as I sympathize with women who are faced with difficult reproductive choices, I have come to the conclusion that the only logical place to define life's beginning is with conception, not with birth or even viability of a fetus.  And if I truly believe that life starts at conception, I can see no other option than to be opposed to abortion.  The belief that life starts at conception is not even as spiritual for me as it is logical.  The Bible states that God knows us in our mother's wombs, yes, but that is not my main argument behind life beginning at conception.  That is simply affirmation to what I would believe if I was a Christian or not.  Being a Christian does mandate that I speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, of which I can think of no other group that better fits the bill.

Now, the politics of my position is sticky.  I want to reduce abortions, not simply be opposed to them.  So for now, I cannot ethically vote for many pro-life candidates who are undesirable candidates in all other regards.  I would love to see more pro-life politicians who are open to dialogue, not just debate.  And I would love to see more pro-life congressmen on both sides of the aisle, so to speak.  I am sad that feminism has failed to accomodate pro-life women as I see us as a great asset to not only the female experience, but to all of humanity.  And I am sad that Evangelicals have often focused on this issue while ignoring other atrocities of humanity: ethnic cleansing, environmental waste, greed and materialism, and hatred.

So, that is my short take on this issue.  I doubt I will revisit it, but I might surprise myself one day.
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