A while back I asked for feedback on abortion from a number of people who had voiced opinions re same on various forums, blogs, FB, etc. (it helps to read the original post so to better understand the specific responses below). I was seeking honest feedback; I wasn't going to challenge anyone's POV, I wasn't going to argue, I wasn't going to make any editorial comments. Rather, I wanted to see what people had to say / feel / think on the topic without them having to wade through a bunch of argumentative posts to one another.
In short, I wanted people to sum up as succinctly as they could their opinions on the topic.
I did not get as much feedback as I had hoped for. To be fair, the holidays were soon upon us, and some of the people I contacted had already planned time consuming events prior to my asking them, but I still wish more people would have responded.
While I gave people the option of using a pseudonym or being identified, I have opted just to use Poster A-1, Poster A-2, etc. even for those who gave permission to have their names used. No editing except for formatting purposes & to clarify spelling in one reference.
I appreciate the fact that you have the same freedoms that I have which came at a very high price, that which was the price of American blood. The question as I understood it was what price would I be willing to pay to protect an unborn baby. Well, I don't consider myself an extremist, I don't believe in abortion except to save the life of a mother. I would not bomb an abortion clinic, or threaten those walking into an abortion clinic. I simply want them to know that what they are choosing to eliminate is that of an unborn baby, not a blob of tissue to be tossed in "garbage can". So I do believe that there is a peaceful way to demonstrate against this horrific act. Now what would I pay to save the life of a baby, I have never been put in such a position but with all my heart I believe that I would give my own life to save a baby. I don't say that lightly, with every fiber of my being I honestly think I would be willing give up any little extras if it meant that abortion would come to a halt. I don't hate anyone who has had or given an abortion, God will deal with those people. Wanting to save babies shouldn't be looked at as being a "religious fanatic or extremist," not to say you said that but many have and do say that. I will never apologize for my convictions, and I will always try to respect others beliefs not agree but respect them.
Thank you for submitting your blog to me. I am not a professional writer so I apologize if my writing seemed jumbled or disorganized.
There's an awful lot here, but I do have some thoughts.
First, I would say that proposing an expanded welfare system such as you have is not the answer. The current welfare system which provides for so many today is a system that ensures that those people who live off the government teat will remain on it. The system does not encourage those on the receiving end to work their way out. In fact, it does the opposite. (Being a minority who was born in lower Manhattan, I have seen folks who were on welfare when I was young, and are still on welfare now. And I have seen many play the system to their benefit.)
I would love to see abortion outlawed completely. (Except in cases where the mother's life is in danger. Literally and physically in danger... which is extremely rare.) But expanding the current welfare system that allows people to live off the backs of others is not an answer.
I would back a system that provides for needs, but also demands that those who benefit from the system produce. Education and/or job training is a must. Single parent or not, they must produce. Why? Because that is life. Many single parents meet the needs of their children, and provide as well. The weight of sacrifice ought to be on the ones in the system, the ones with the need, not the ones who provide for the system. Because the goal is to get them OUT of the system, standing on their own two feet, and sharing in the burden of supporting the next generation of those in need.
Further, I would also say that the dilemma you set up is a false one. If I make the argument that abortion is the unjust killing of a nascent human being, and that the unjust killing of ANY human being is wrong because human life has intrinsic value, and then I refuse to lower my standard of living to support those who find themselves with an unplanned/unwanted child, that in no way disproves my argument.
So, while the horns of this dilemma you have created may show one to be a selfish person it in no way refutes the argument that abortion is evil and ought to be outlawed In short, you may (or may not) prove someone cold-hearted, but not wrong.
My wife and I have been volunteers for a local crisis pregnancy organization for many years. We've given of our time, we've have given of our resources, and we have even opened our home to a young lady who was thrown out of her home for being pregnant.
That organization was also instrumental in the continued existence of my nephew who is now 13. They met the needs of my sister-in-law while she lived with us after being thrown out by her roommates for being pregnant. This organization set up job training, temporary shelter after my nephew was born, and guided my sister-in-law in helping her to become self-sufficient. But, she had to work, and work hard.
It wasn't a free ride. It was loving support. A time of grace, but there was an understanding that this time was temporary, and that life and maturity demand that you take the bull by the horns and make the necessary sacrifice for you and your child.
So, I don't agree that I NEED to give up anything, but I am WILLING to lend an arm and use what I have to help another to stand up on their own.
But even if I don't and I choose not to lift a finger, it doesn't make my view on abortion any less right.
Here's a bit of philosophy which forms the basis of my opinions on abortion:
First, a definition: I will define "abortion" as the artificial premature termination of a pregnancy (as opposed to natural abortions, which are normally called "miscarriages"). Technically speaking, this means that an abortion does not have to result in the killing of the fetus; c-sections can be considered to be abortions, although I am primarily concerned with abortions that result in the death of a fetus.
First of all, the parameters: 1) The right of a fetus to live is less than or equal to that of someone who has already been born. 2) The right of a mother to have an abortion is less than or equal to her right to have an emergency appendectomy.
Any opinion outside those parameters, I consider to be fanatical (note that less than includes zero, and equal includes, well, equal).
Now, let's take the most extreme point of view in parameter #1: that the right of a fetus to live is equal to the right of a person who has already been born. Therefore, under circumstances where a person who has already been born can be killed, it would be unreasonable to prohibit an abortion.
A pregnant woman is acting as a life support system for a fetus. Now, consider the following: under U.S. law, nobody can be forced to give organs, or even blood, against their will. Certainly, if the mother's life is in danger, abortion should be a matter of self-defense. As far as severe consequences to the mother's health, one wonders why the government has no problem defining conditions under which morphine can be used, but so much trouble defining what health conditions would merit abortions during the periods where such regulation is allowed, such as 3rd trimester abortion.
Finally, it stands to reason that, since an abortion is not the same thing as killing a fetus, then if the abortion can be performed without killing the fetus, and not causing severe damage to the mother compared to an abortion that would kill the fetus (see the above about defining "severe damage"), then the fetus should be delivered alive. This is actually an increasingly common procedure, with female celebrities having early c-sections to protect their figures.
As I pointed out, this is just an initial base, and ignores vital but more nebulous considerations such as the mother's level of responsibility for the fetus' condition, and the father's right, if any, to be an advocate for the fetus. But it's still useful...
I would sacrifice having my own children to adopt unwanted ones. I think this is a more direct and effective method than some sort of tax burden because 1) 100% of your investment goes to something you can control 100% of, 2) Your investment directly benefits you back emotionally and perhaps even financially, as would be the case with raising any other child, and 3) you cut out the often mismanaged and bloated layer of government as the middleman between your cash and the cause.
I think if more people thought about adoption instead of having dozens of their own kids like the Duggars or spending truckloads of money on making themselves fertile, the world would be a better place.