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Choose Life

Choose Life

There is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while but wasn’t ready to blog about until I read, on The New York Times online, about the guy who murdered an abortion doctor and claimed in his defense that he was justified because he opposed abortion.

Over the years I’ve mostly stayed out of the pro-life/pro-choice hysteria and debates. I know from personal experience just how complicated and personal the whole thing is, because 27 years ago I chose life.

I was unmarried, and, in fact, uninterested in marriage, when I got pregnant at 19. The obvious choice would have been to have an abortion. I weighed my options. I searched my soul. My mother and sisters wanted me to have an abortion. Society at that time was still embarrassed by a young, white woman pregnant out of wedlock (this was before Murphy Brown!). But something inside of me made me shudder at the thought of ending a little life. My “religion” believes that everything happens for a reason and it’s our challenge to face it. I am no longer a Christian. But I believe in God. I believe in a God who opposes ALL KILLING of people. I believe all people should have a choice, and in making the right personal choice, we take one more step closer to God—or evolutionary success—whatever you choose to call it. It’s your choice!

Why American Women Should Not Take Our Freedom for Granted

I had my daughter. And together we stumbled through life. I never once regretted my choice because I made it myself, from my own heart. Together, she and I have explored our shared history as women (in our book, It’s My Pleasure), and discovered just how the lack of choice for women over the centuries has bound us, KILLED us, and kept us from living full lives and reaching our maximum potential. The stories of men and their idiotic ideas about women—such as, oh, the wandering womb, and the belief that we’re incapable of doing anything ourselves other than looking pretty and lifting our skirts for them…and breeding, and dying from giving birth. Women were disposable frigging and breeding machines for most of history.

Find out what your doctor’s and your hospital’s philosophies are on controversial topics like reproductive rights and end-of-life care.

The older I get and the more I watch the polarized debates, the more my thinking evolves, and here is where I stand today:

IF your belief is pro-life, then you MUST be opposed to all killing of humans. You must be antiwar. You must be against the death penalty. You must be against domestic violence. You must be against murder of any kind. You are either pro-life or you aren’t, in my opinion. After all, how can you measure the value of an unborn child against that of a child, woman, or man? In this respect, I am pro-life.

IF your belief is pro-choice, then you must respect all choices, and work vigilantly toward respecting all life and helping woman and men HAVE choices, which in many countries around the world don’t exist. In this respect, I am pro-choice.

I think of my view as a common ground. How about a Choose Life movement? I am pro-life in that I don’t believe in killing, either in war or in reproduction. But I am so very, very grateful that I could make that choice myself, so therefore, I am also pro-choice. I am not a conservative. I am not a Republican. I am not a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim; I don’t have a name for what I am.

Isn’t the ultimate goal that we create a world where all people are educated and empowered and rewarded to make the choices that respect life? Even the early proabortionists were “against abortion,” but they saw their sisters, daughters, friends, and neighbors die from back-alley abortions because they were ashamed, afraid, or too poor to bring a child into the world. Young girls who were impregnated by male relatives or worse, the clergy, were sent away and had their children wrenched from them. How is any of that good?

Shouldn’t we be educating our daughters on the function of their sexuality so they are protected from unwanted pregnancy, but also from sexually transmitted diseases? Shouldn’t we be reaching out and helping the women among us who need our assistance and help?

By polarizing the debate into uncompromising positions, we have lost another whole generation of girls to the ambiguous, unwinnable war of ideals that has no resolution. Fortunately, that guy who shot the doctor was found guilty. It didn’t take the jury long to come to a decision.

I made my decision. I choose life. But I long for the day when all women around the world have the right to marry for love, the knowledge and empowerment to protect their bodies from unwanted conception, and the safety and wisdom to bring all children into the world with love and acceptance.

Pursue gratitude, happy micromoments, and everyday pleasures so you’ll have good reason to smile.

Read more: Inspiration, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen, News & Issues, Women's Health, , , , , ,

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123 comments

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3:56PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

ive always respected the stance "im not ok with abortion but its going to happen whether i like it or not and my opinion shouldn't dictate others' choices"

6:46PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:43PM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

I agree with you completely. Everyone has their own beliefs about whether or not abortion is really appropriate; ultimately it doesn't get anyone anywhere about reproductive rights. And because there are so many teenage girls and young women who don't get the comprehensive sex education they need to keep themselves sexually healthy and able to respect themselves as people.

11:42AM PST on Mar 9, 2011

WOW!! I couldn't ahve said it better my self. Thank you for this. I have always been pro-life in the sense you speak of and I have never been able to get it out the way you have. Thanks

5:48PM PST on Feb 6, 2011

Thanks!

12:57PM PST on Jan 30, 2011

People try to make this issue so black and white. It is possible to oppose abortion and be pro choice. All you have to do is realize that the intricate moments and details that make every individual the person they are are drastically different from yourself. Everyone lives in a different reality. In my reality I plan to never have an abortion unless I feel I really have no other choice but that doesn't give me the right to have opinions about the cumulative events that have happened in another woman's life to allow her to make that decision. Honestly, I think sometimes souls choose to be conceived in to a woman's body with the knowledge that they will be aborted because their mission here on Earth is simply to facilitate the evolution of the woman they enter.

4:48PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

Is there really any justification in destroying another life? Is there really any cercumstances where a mothers life would be spared by having an abortion?? And a million or more circumstances to justify ALL those babies. Come on now. Who is fooling who? We don't even need the stem cells now. That is proven- so what is the need??And in case of rape two wrongs don't make a right. When will the excuses end? Many who can't have babies are waiting around the corner to adopt.

5:34PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

controversial. I'm not against abortion anymore because there are certain circumstances where/when it's justified.

10:53AM PST on Jan 13, 2011

Cindy and Megan, It is so much extra trouble to carry the baby to term and adopt it out. There is the weight gain, stigma, social life is gone. Now who is going to have sex with you?? Abortion is anonymous, adopting out... everyone knows you are a bad mother.

10:44AM PST on Jan 13, 2011

I agree, babies are such a precious gift and those of us who really want children and can,t have them appreciate when they go up for adoption. Most of the babies who were aborted were healthy beings that would have contributed a lot to society. Even the babies less then perfect are a gift to many who have the love, resources and care to give to them. Choose life and let someone else choose adoption!!!!!!!!!!!!

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