As the election draws near I am hearing more and more from my conservative friends regarding the pro-life vs. pro choice argument. The Catholics and Evangelical Christians are especially vigilant on this issue. They feel as they did the last 8 years that to vote for someone who is pro-choice is a vote for a pro abortionist or a baby killer. Some are even saying now that to vote for Senator Obama is to bring eternal damnation upon ones self.
Someone asked my opinion of the abortion issue recently. And I have debated with my right leaning Christian friends for years. What gets me most in this debate is the fact that rarely is there any balance in the discussion… especially from my Christian and Catholic friends.
I can say for sure I am totally pro-life. I don’t believe that abortion is a good thing for anyone – certainly not as a form of birth control as some have practiced. I believe these people are rare however. The abortion rate outside of reasons for the health of a mother, or in cases of rape and incest is horrible. I honestly feel that most people who are pro-choice would agree with me on that. Most Americans are not pro-abortion.
Where my right wing friends miss it however, is the narrow scope in which they focus on the unborn exclusively. If one is to be truly pro-life, he has to be pro-life across the board. In the scriptures Jesus himself said that He came to give life… and to give it more abundantly. This is to say that the act of living is not the end all. Quality of life is also important. So to protect the unborn is great, to help promote and preserve the lives of the living once they make it past the womb is even better.
And yet how ironic is it that most so called pro-lifers are for government stepping in to control the womb, but are against government helping to promote and preserve healthy living standards for poor or lower enconomically developed families. How ironic is it that when it comes to public education, most of the Christian right do not fight for better schools and better teachers. How ironic is it that these same Christians and Catholics are against goverment providing or helping with the cost of health-care? Basically what they are saying is:
“This unborn child is a gift from God and should be allowed to live by any means! But once the child leaves the womb, the mother and child are on their own and it is not our responsibility to make sure that child has every opportunity to make it.”
Now pardon me – but that is some dumb backwards ass shit!
We need a holistic approach to the situation. Let’s not look at this thing from the view of the womb alone. That is putting the proverbial cart before the horse.
Let’s start with sex education. Palin and McCain are against sex education in schools. Palin in particular is in foolish denial for being against sex education, as if that would encourage kids to have sex. Funny thing is, her daughter certainly found a way to knock boots regularly and came up pregnant. Sex is a natural desire as well as a natural act. No sense in denying the obvious as if it’s going to go away. And yes it should be taught at home first, but too many parents don’t. So again if the child in the womb should be a governmental concern, so should the educating of the youth so that they can at least help prevent unwanted or premature pregnancies in the first place – Let alone helping to prevent the spread of STDs or HIV.
How about healthcare? Millions of children are uninsured and use the emergency room as a heathcare provider. When they can’t pay, we as citizens and tax payers pay anyway. So why not have a system where proper healthcare can be obtained. That five thousand dollar credit McCain is offering, that is he going to turn around and tax anyway, is not nearly as good as Obama’s healthcare plan. Again this is especially important for the less fortunate children that we wanted to protect in the womb in making sure they were allowed to live in the first place.
Adoption: A good friend of mine adopted two girls a few years ago. I attended her ceremony when she became certified by the state to adopt. When I looked in the book that had the list of kids who were on the state rolls for pending foster care in need of adoption, I started crying from the thousands and thousands of young faces I saw. They each had pictures and portfolios about their virtues. This one likes bowling, the other loves math. It was as if they were “selling” themselves to some perspective parents who would “pick” them as if they were picking a puppy dog. What was most disturbing was the older faces I saw of kids who were 5-17 years of age. Basically from what I was told at the agency, most of the teen-aged kids can forget it. Couples tend to want the young cuddly types. Babies are cool, but teens are a pain with baggage.
Then you got couples who take their asses clean out of the county to Honduras or some place like that to adopt little foreign kids… like that shit is hot or exotic or something – leaving the American born kids here to rot. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t hatin! I know a couple who adopted a kid from South America. They are good people and at the time they didn’t think they could have kids naturally. Later they were successful in having one of their own.
We had lunch before the 2000 election. They had not adopted yet and were considering their options. As far as the presidency was concerned, abortion was the key reason they were voting for Bush. I said to them however, “You care so much about abortion, and rightfully so. But I guarantee you there are some kids you can adopt right here who need a home. Or there are some kids in church or in your neighborhood who need a good man and woman in their lives to be a mentor for.” I told my friend’s wife, “Take some teenager under your wing who doesn’t have a mother and teach her how to be a woman. Show her how to take care of her body and eat right. Help her with her education. Don’t just look out for those kids in the womb, do God’s work as well by tending to the sheep He has here on the earth who are less fortunate or have special needs.” They both looked at me with blank stares. Needless to say they didn’t do either. They adopted abroad, had their own and kept to themselves. That is a typical picture of the Christian and Catholic communities when it comes to this subject.
So I say to all you pro-lifers who are passionate about protecting the unborn… Hooray! But step your game up and stop being a half-assed pro-lifer. There are many more ways to help prevent abortion. To work from that angle alone, or to back a canidate in an attempt to reverse Roe V Wade is shortsighted at best. Believe me, there are many many other issues that concern life. Each of the important things on the table, education, healthcare, jobs, oppertunities to gain wealth or live in a safe neighborhood are all issues of life. And hell I didn’t even touch the wickedness and injustices of the death penalty.
No way you can tell me it’s godly or Christian to put so much energy in protecting unborn children, only to turn a cold heart to those same kids who may not have the resources to live a healthy life. Don’t forsake the one goal without neglecting the other. All of the children of this nation of ours are important and we each have a stake in taking some responsibility for their welfare and success.