Friday, February 11, 2005

On Houdini and Abortion

Hello and welcome to Yeah, But Houdini Didn't Have These Hips!

This is my personal blog, used for writing and and fleshing out my thoughts, keeping in touch with friends and family, and building a community of on-line understanding friends.

I've had to restrict Anonymous comments, since unfortunately this blog has gotten some trolls who feel most comfortable spewing hate anonymously. I apologize to all of the non-trolls who don't have Blogger accounts and are inconvenienced by this, but I had to make the change.

I am understanding when well-intentioned people write something potentially offensive through ignorance. Posts and posters that are blatantly disrespectful of people with disabilities, feminists, women, liberals, religious groups, etc. will not be tolerated.

I really hate having to write this; most of it is common sense and it should offend most reasonable people because it assumes that readers can't comment politely and maturely. But, unfortunately, not everyone does understand this concept.

My most common trolls are anti-abortion activists. I don't have the time or inclination to debate the same topics over and over again with each new troll who stops by and wants to take a swing at telling me how wrong I am. Instead, I'm compiling some responses and links here.

Visitors who just stop by in order to "debate" abortion-related issues should check out this post first, and realize that my decision not to go 'round and 'round the same old mulberry bush with each anti-abortion activist does not mean that I don't have answers to your questions and challenges. It means that I've already addressed your points here or elsewhere, or someone else has already done so much more eloquently than I have and I do not choose to repeat myself or them.
  1. I consider myself to be pro-life.
  2. I am also pro-choice.
  3. Experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood (all of which I have loved) has made me a stronger advocate for choice.
  4. I am Christian.
  5. I do not believe that legislating my values onto society is the best way to encourage people to make moral choices.
  6. I do not believe that a zygote, morula, blastocyst, embryo, or early second trimester fetus is fully human with the same rights and responsibilities of humans. Until a baby can exist - with or without medical assistance - outside of a woman's womb, the baby is not a baby. The potential child is a zygote, morula, blastocyst, embryo, or fetus.
  7. When I was about 16 weeks pregnant with a very much wanted and planned first child, I felt my baby move for the first time. When I was about 20 weeks pregnant, I learned that she would have several serious health and developmental concerns. My fetus was my baby and my husband and I made the right decision for our family - including our daughter - by deciding to continue the pregnancy. My husband is a wonderful, supportive man, and he wanted this baby very much. But ultimately, it was my body and my decision. Because of the nature of our partnership, we made the decision together. I do not believe that my decision or decision process would be the right decision for every woman, every family, every situation.
  8. I believe that a discussion about abortion is best carried out by women. In arguments for or against abortion, men often insist that any child that results from sex is equally theirs so they should have an equal say. But pregnancy is not an equal opportunity experience. There is no valid point of comparison. Pregnancy is a unique and nuanced situation.
  9. I believe that too many women who learn that they are pregnant choose to have abortions.
  10. I believe that many factors encourage women to have abortions, and this designation most definitely includes "pro-life" Republican legislators who vote to decrease programming for social programs that help women and children and families. Also, what Portia said.
  11. I believe that too many pregnant women who learn that the fetus they are carrying has Trisomy 21, Down syndrome, choose to have abortions.
  12. I believe that as the parent of a child with Trisomy 21, it is my responsibility to share my daughter's wonderful life and our incredible family experience with others, so that fewer women need to make this choice in fear and ignorance of the unknown.
Other thoughts on abortion:
  • If you're interested in talking about abortion and the Bible, this is an interesting read.
  • If you're interested in what Americans really believe about legalized abortion, this is an interesting read.
There's lots of interesting stuff to read out there. The long and short of it is that I'm not interested in what your religion tells you about abortion. I believe that it is your right to believe as you believe, preach it from your pulpits, and live your life as you see fit. Also, I believe it's your responsibility to discuss these issues with people you're considering having sex with, to reduce heartache down the line. But I don't believe in any religion's right to make decisions about my reproductive health for me. Many women say that those decisions are between them and their doctor. For me, I would amend that to say that those decisions are between my doctor, my husband, and me, with the understanding that my conscience is largely the product of what I've learned from my family and my religious upbringing.


Nordette Adams said...

I identified with this post and enjoyed reading other portions of your blog, which is why I mentioned your blog and post at this link.

christopher said...

Beautifully said and agree completely -- I am also a mother, Presby. pastor and feel what you have said speaks to a deeper longing in my soul that perhaps we won't have to make a decision about making a choice someday if there is good health care, child care, etc...for all.

Sarahlynn said...

I appreciated the linkback, Nordette!

Christopher, increasingly, that's where my heart is, also. It pains me that we're so bound up in ideology now that we can't see issues (let alone the humanity of those we disparage). We can't work together effectively because we're too busy seeking ill for our "enemies."

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing post. If only everyone could read it, take a deep breath, and feel the truth of it. You're a talented and brave writer.

Sarahlynn said...

Thank you, Mini!