I'm gearing up to write another paper for school.
This one's on abortion.
You know, I'm not going to try to go into my personal ideas or convictions about abortion.
The fact of the matter is, because I can't.
Because I don't know how I feel about the issue.
Except to say, this is -
This is not going to be an easy paper to write.
Just one thing before I let this one alone for the evening - and this should in no way be taken as an indication of my opinions about abortion, pro or con, whatever, it's just thoughts I'm having while spending time going through material on both sides of the issue, and it's just so -
Well for example, I ran across a list of pro-life responses to pro-choice arguments, and it goes like this -
Pro-choice argument: Abortion helps solve the problem of overpopulation.
Pro-life response:The current birth rate in America is less than what is needed to maintain our population level. In 1957, the average American woman in her reproductive years bore 3.7 children. Taking into account all causes of death and the increases in average life span, zero population growth requires that the average woman bears 2.1 children. Since 1972, the average in America has been 1.8 children – a figure that is below zero population growth. In fact, any increases since 1972 have been due to immigration.
What about elsewhere? There are now 6 billion people on Earth. The planet's population will most likely continue to climb until 2050, when it will peak at 9 billion. Other predictions have the world's population peaking at 7.5 billion in 2040. In either case, it will then go into a sharp decline. With fertility rates low and anti-foreigner sentiment rising in Europe, the United Nations recently released a study that suggests Europe will need mass migration from the Third World to populate it. The report, written by the United Nations Population Division, states that South Korea, Japan, Europe and Russia are facing population crunches. If Japan continues its current abortion policies and fails to raise its average birth rate of 1.4 children per married couple, will have fewer than 500 people by the year 3000 (see "The Overpopulation Lie"). By 2050, the population of Russia will reduce to 150 million. In the 1970s, Russia's population rivaled America's, at more than 225 million people.
Finally, the entire population of the world could be placed in one gigantic city within the borders of the state of Texas (with a population density less than many cities around the world).
How can I look at pictures of the mangled corpses of aborted fetuses and be sickened and appalled and saddened, and yet it's the anti-over-population
argument that completely sends my mind into a tailspin?
And would you understand what I mean if I say that it makes me feel like something less than human to say that - that I find knowing distortion of truth
more horrifying, at this moment, than the idea that the act of abortion may in fact actually be the purposeful destruction of a potential human life?
Huh. I didn't want to venture into potentially conflict-causing territory with this entry, but being eyeballs deep in this stuff, it's hard not to say something
Seriously, though. I'm not making this stuff up.
Here's the link, just for the "Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments" part of a site that I don't recommend you casually wander further into, if you don't want to go screaming mad: http://www.abortiontv.com/AnswersToProChoice.htm
I guess they have to have some kind of answer to the pro-choice argument that "Abortion helps solve the problem of overpopulation" - but I can't say that I have any respect for either of them - the argument or the answer.
Both reek of ignorance. Criminal, unpardonable
I'm not going to say how I feel about abortion. Because I don't know how I feel.
I know what I can
I can say that I will never look at a woman who has had an abortion and think of her as a "baby killer". Anymore than I would look at a war veteran and think that.
How different is it, really?
One way or another, somebody dies. A person, a piece of tissue, a part of a person who wonders if the choices that they've made make them less of a person -
And yet, life goes on.
People live and die every day. Lives begin and end, and fairness isn't part of who wakes up tomorrow and who doesn't.
There are choices, and there are consequences to every choice. Abortion, adoption, single parenthood, marriages made, not for love, but to satisfy convention, careers that require commitments, relationships that don't have anything near the tensile strength required to sustain not two, but three lives, histories and personal pasts that can preclude an individual's ability to see themselves as capable of the responsibility for another living, breathing, needing, deserving human being -I don't know how I feel.
But one thing I do
know -I do not want to be lied to.
If I were to decide that abortion is something that is wrong, I am only going to be convinced by truth, not by contrivance. Not by emotionally-weighted distortions of reality.
And if I were to decide that - it would be my choice.
Not my choice for anyone else.
It would not give me the right to look at anyone else and say, what you've done is wrong.
Because if I ever did, I would have to say - you aren't the only one who's had to make hard choices.
We've both been in the same war, my friend.
I've been on both sides.
I have no more enemies.
I only recognize fellow casualties.
This semester is taking me to new depths of hell, I think.
Last week I sat in the hallway before class, listening to some happy moron babbling about how their writing assignment was to "imagine being given a wish by the Wish Fairy!"
I get to choose between such light and airy topics as female genital mutilation or abortion, food riots in Italy or polygamy in Mali.
Between this class and Poli-Sci, school feels so - personally revealing, emotionally threatening, potentially explosive - and as much as it's twisting my brain inside-out right now, I don't feel like I have the choice to look away from what I don't want to see anymore.
So you see - I'm having a little bit of a hard time with this semester...