You may have heard. New York State signed into law the ability of mothers to terminate a pregnancy at any time, even up to the due date of the child. It seems this is an attempt to thwart a change in existing legislation at the Federal level, now that the balance of the Supreme Court is perceived to have changed.
This sets up a very tough choice.
There is no sense attempting to capture popular sediment on this. It is a divisive issue at its finest. Here are my thoughts.
We as society and particularly as Americans, believe that women, actually any human, has certain inalienable rights; a right that can’t be taken by an outside agency. The U.S. Declaration of Independence stakes its claim on the “pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. An interesting position perhaps to be examined another time, but it seems even more primal than those rights is the right to exist and if unable, be provided the basic means with which to do so. We offer this basic “right” to our growing homeless population, those with special needs, the elderly and infirmed.
And women have been treated for much of known history as “lesser” than men. It’s understandable that a woman would want control over her own body and as a segment of the human population, she has grown tired of being lorded over and told what to do. It’s difficult for me to relate or even empathize, when not part of an oppressed class. But I do accept this as the case and regret all those before me that have done this for so long and continue to do so.
I must disclose that I have a bias as it relates to this issue: my very existence depends on it.
I was born in the early 1960s, in a small, rural community. My mother was in high school and became pregnant by accident, not by choice. This created a significant disruption in the lives of my parents and extended family. My dad didn’t finish college. My grandparents accommodated for my parents and finally me for a time. This was of no one’s choosing. This was a life-altering event for all involved, and it didn’t begin as a happy, blessed event, rather, as an anxiety-ridden event.
Had my mother and father had access to the choice to eliminate their problem, had they lived in a different time, had they lived in a different place, had they held values that would permit the choice to be made, well; you wouldn’t be reading this message. I wouldn’t exist.
So, I guess that makes me biased.
We make decisions for the “greater good” all the time. We sacrifice for our children. We give money to organizations that offer a hand up to those in need. Tens of thousands of young men and women risk their very lives for their country. We use taxpayer dollars to help those who are unable to help themselves, because they have this inalienable right – the right to exist and if unable, be provided the basic means with which to do so.
I would not intentionally or knowingly want to disrespect a woman’s right to make choices over her own body. I wonder if in how many of those cases, we ought to allow the “greater good” to govern the choice?
After all, who is representing the children in the matter?