by Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle
Freedom is the ability to choose what is right for one’s own life, barring our choices do not harm others.
That being said, that qualifier to freedom stands also as the basis of the argument for the many people who have designated themselves as pro-lifers.
Yet, the whole truth of being a pro-life advocate means much more than being anti-abortion. Instead, the whole truth of being a pro-life advocate requires taking everything into consideration and making the required social and legal changes long before one can conscientiously call his or her self a pro-lifer.
But before we dig into the complexities to be considered, let us first address the argument put forward by many Christians … that abortion is murder and therefore breaks a commandment. For those who are unfamiliar with the Bible, consider this truth … When Jesus came he was asked by his disciples what were the greatest commandments and he replied, “Love God with all you heart and soul and love you neighbor as you love yourself … and even as I have loved you” aware as he was that all people sin and God forgives all sin when Jesus is embraced, so focusing on one sin and disregarding others is also a sin because Christians are not supposed to judge others because as people we do not see the true heart of people and the truth behind their choices.
Now beyond the spiritual, let us also consider the practical, logical, and compassionate consequences of our decision to legally enforce abortion prevention.
One of the biggest determinants of children derailing in their childhood, teen and in adult years results from, even more than abuse and violence, being unwanted and/or abandoned.
Not just maladjusted, feeling unwanted and abandoned transforms children’s healthy social development into a variety of unhealthy compensating thinking and behavior, often with unconscious awareness, that seeks to fill the voids created by being unwanted and abandoned, not just physically, but most importantly emotionally.
Children’s protection and welfare agencies are overwhelmed with the consequences of women and men having children to fill the voids in their lives, naively thinking having children will fill that void that only awareness and healing will resolve.
Fostering and adopting someone else’s children, especially those with the expected behavioral problems can exacerbate a child or teen’s feelings of feeling unwanted and abandoned as does the shuffling from home to home if the child’s reactions to his or her circumstances challenges the caregivers too much and they also abandon the children and youths.
Living environments, especially group homes, that do not take into a child or teen’s “Love Language” (see Gary Chapman’s “The Five Languages of Love) and Personality Type” (see the Myers-Briggs Personality Type, known as the MBTI books and related materials) into careful consideration, add more fuel to increasing sadness or anger levels, resulting in severe depression and even suicide. Children and teens who run away often become victimized further by pedophiles, pimps, human traffickers and murderers. And, of course, for other children and teens, a turn to crime to vent their anger and pain on others rather than solely on themselves, fosters the development not just of liars and thieves, but also of rapists and murderers, including serial killers and terrorists.
And then there is the scenario of a woman who becomes impregnated by a relative due to incest or a rapist and then, because of the law, is forced to bear the child. Should a mother or child be forced to endure a further violation of a woman’s right to choose, plus have to deal with the consequences of having to raise the child or the angst born of giving the child away or selling the child or even killing the born child or having to share custody and care with a molester or rapist?
The question begged is would you want to be a mother or child forced into those circumstances and the debilitating outcomes?
Social and Economic Constructs
Democracy, the right to choose, serves as one of the foundation of the western world. Laws would not have to made if people were respectful of everyone’s right to make their own choices and were also respectful by not violating another person’s person or belongings.
But as the burdened justice system reveals people from all walks of life disrespect democracy and people, often because they too were disrespected in various degrees.
With capitalism another staple defining our western culture, there is outrage by some people, including and especially those who label themselves as pro-lifers who are fearful of our nations becoming socialistic, that all goods and services would be divided equally, versus democratic and capitalistic, yet those pro-lifers are in fact fostering the need for more social services by forcing women to have children they do not want or cannot afford to care for themselves and are unlikely to receive support from the genetic father either.
Sadly, capitalism remains more of a vision than a reality for the majority of western culture because of the illusion of meritocracy, that if you work hard you will have the same opportunities for unusual success, which is not true. If you have even been poor, impoverished, living below the poverty level, you know how hard living can truly be. You are at the whim of landlords, many of which are disrespectful and often abusive. You are vulnerable to those who prey on the vulnerable. Privacy is often a wish rather than a reality in your living space and also if you have to deal with social agencies who scrutinize every area of your life as well as in communities. Most people assume the poor steal, though I have witnessed theft at all income levels. You are prohibited from much of what those above the poverty level take for granted … secure Internet access, good credit ratings now required for jobs as well as for securing a place to live and getting back and forth from where we need to go. Then there’s healthcare, dental care, vision care, and even counseling for the depression poverty can also burden us with. And then of course there is the time required to shop, find the best food prices, carry food home in the kind of open bags susceptible to the weather’s exposure (I don’t know why retailers have not realized that putting lockers near the entrances and exits would allow walkers to put their knapsacks and other over-the-shoulder zippered bags and would ease the pressure on staff to watch the stereotypical potential shoplifters rather than the non-stereotypical ones), which are much kinder to a person’s body when loaded with purchases rather than pulling shoulder sockets from the weight, especially over time, and the list goes on.
Adding to capitalism’s dark side also is the greed to have as much as possible that compels employers to provide the very minimum they pay employees. And with the change from full time work with benefits to part time work with benefits and now contract work with no benefits, businesses and organizations have also pushed, because of greedy capitalism, the need for more social services and non-profit support. Consider the parent(s) who send their children to school hungry and who also cannot afford school supplies once provided by schools … and so the list goes on.
What is pro-life about having so much while people are living in parks on the streets, while people also suffer from malnutrition because cheap food is processed, packaged that starves the body and creates illnesses from inflammation from not being real food the body recognizes and needs for health.
Reflecting one of the most in-our-face consequences of not being a truly pro-lifer stares back at us everyday … The earth is humanity’s home.
For years, we have done what we wanted to the earth and its inhabitants without seriously considering the consequences. We have polluted the air we breathe to the point that earth itself has become unbalanced and sick, raging with its own diseases of severer weather, high velocity storms, volcanoes, tsunamis, droughts, floods, and wildfires. We have annihilated species, even for pleasure, though often born of ignorance of the consequences or a lack of caring and respect. We have taken animals into our homes and discarded, abandoned them when they no longer suited our interests. We have taken creatures into our homes that naturally harm us because they are not meant to live with us.
We eat meat and instead of using the hides for clothing and repairable footwear, we decorate furniture and accessories with the prized products rather than using them for the care for the many. Do you know what shows up inmost recycled/used clothing shops … footwear that looks new but has seldom been worn much because of the discomfort and even pain the unforgiving manmade materials create.
Locally grown food seldom feeds its communities, is transported and transformed into a lot of processed food that is cheapish, has few nutrients, fills bodies with stuff a body does not recognize or cannot use and therefore dumps the substances in our bodies where it should not be, creating inflammation and preventable illnesses.
Health care of our abused bodies has become big business rather than the stewardship of the bodies that carry our souls and spirits.
A once-healthy planet managed by people who do not value all life shows us clearly what we truly need to advocate for … and what to keep our noses out of.
A REAL PRO LIFER
Perhaps next time we want to describe ourselves as a pro lifer … anti abortion advocates … we will consider at least these, if not all of the consequences of taking such a stance and forcing it on others, that we will instead put our efforts towards making the changes that will eliminate, as much as possible, the need for an aborted pregnancy, becoming the change agents our whole world needs.
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, Writer, Artist, Founder, and President of the for-profit social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle. All copyrights reserved.