Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's Time to Talk

All too often, abortion debates focus almost exclusively on the potential life growing inside a pregnant woman, rather than on the woman herself. It sometimes seems that a woman, upon becoming pregnant, ceases to be a full and complex human being. Instead, the fertilized egg, zygote or embryo in her uterus is valued more highly than her actual life.
This happened recently in Texas, where a brain-dead pregnant woman was put on life support for weeks against her own wishes and those of her husband and parents. Marlise Muñoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed on the kitchen floor and suffered oxygen deprivation to the brain. Because she was pregnant, machines kept her heart and lungs working in order to keep her fetus alive. Only after tests revealed severe fetal "abnormalities" did a judge overrule the hospital's directive and order Muñoz to be disconnected from the machines.
Such a tragic incident spotlights the horrible impact of intrusive laws that claim to be pro-life but actually trample on the lives of women and their families. Unfortunately,many people who promote these laws often claim religion as their justification.
Given this connection, one might assume that to be religious is to be anti-choice -- and conversely, that one cannot be both a person of faith and a supporter of abortion care. But in reality, people of faith have long supported a woman's right to make the complex decision about whether to have a child, trusting that she will discern what is best for her. Many Christian religions, as well as Judaism and other faiths, consider reproductive health care to be a justice issue. And 7 out of 10 women who get abortions are religious.
Read the rest here

1 comment:

Scribbler said...

Scribbler says:

I agree with the premise as far as it goes. Sometimes waving a Bible is not the correct approach to solving the pro-life/pro-choice debate. It is time for a true public debate on the abortion issue. As a matter of fact, that debate should have occurred before the Warren court found a Constitutional right to privacy, including a right to abortion, and ended public debate. But without public debate and the opportunity to form a consensus, we are today a divided and often angry nation on the subject of legalized abortion.

Was the treatment of the brain-dead Texas woman proper? No. But it is an extreme example. But by the same token, pro-choice has its Kermit Gosnell’s and George Tillers. It has small victims of botched abortions tossed in closets and left to die. Planned Parenthood, an organization that receives millions of taxpayer dollars to counsel for and offer abortions to women, even to minors in many cases without parental consent.

Yes, a conversation is past due. And that conversation need not include shaming, violence, judgment, “simplistic theology,” or any other distasteful tactics. But if the argument concerns women’s reproductive health rights, it must include the ramifications of abortion on women’s health, public access to videos of late-term abortions, and for women seeking abortion, all the information available, including ultrasounds, in order to make an informed decision.