Next Tuesday, we South Dakotans get to vote on Referred Law 6–the nationally infamous abortion ban law. The people of our state have been called a lot of things since this law passed both houses in Pierre early this year–“radicals,” “religious extremists,” “too far right,” along with some unflattering redneck terms. I hope future generations will call us “brave heroes.” Let me explain…
It would be easy to just sit back and hold our feelings about this in. It’s a divisive issue all over this nation. It’s not very popular in some places to talk about “pro-life” beliefs. It’s become a very uncomfortable debate. Many have organized boycotts aimed at hurting our state economy and political clout. Kind of like my three year old at the grocery store when I say “no, we’re not buying the 5-gallon double fudge chocolate ice cream.”
I know I haven’t done my part. I’ve failed to fight for what I’m sure is right. I’ve been sitting back, fearful of what people might think of me if I became outspoken. Sure, I put a sign in my yard a couple weeks ago, but that’s it. That’s all I’ve done for the babies. Big frickin’ deal. And to my Creator and all those little ones who have been killed before they took their first breath, I’m sorry. Deeply sorry.
Abortion isn’t about Democrat or Republican, Catholic or Protestant, Left or Right, Church or State. And if we really want to win this fight, I think it has to stop being about the Bible too. Of course our faith teaches us to protect every life, but toting a bible to Capital Hill won’t get us far anymore. Our nation, whether we like it or not, isn’t about defending long-held Christian morality and faith. It’s about protecting everybody’s right to practice whatever morals and faith they choose, if any.
That’s why I don’t get it. I can’t understand the argument that abortion should be a woman’s choice. How can it be someone’s right to decide to kill another someone? I have all the compassion in the world for women who are victims of unimaginable cruelties like rape and incest. We should do everything in our power as a wealthy nation to fight these horrible things and take care of those who suffer by them. Of course some victims would choose not to carry and give birth to a baby from rape or incest if they could. But once that child has been given the gift of life, it’s no longer a choice for anyone to make. Now there is another human life at stake. Another little person with a future and a purpose.
For those who think it’s OK to take a child’s life as a matter of convenience, I’m hopelessly baffled. If you’re correct, then maybe we should just widen this pro-choice movement a bit, eh? How about this argument: “You know, you might not like it if I murder a few people here and there, but it’s my choice. They were really making my life more difficult. You don’t have to kill people if you don’t want to, but don’t you dare try to tell me I can’t do it. I’m pro-choice.” Not buying? Oh, that’s right–that would mean we would all have to live in fear. Someone might choose to kill you or someone you love. Yea, you’re right, let’s just stick to killing babies before they’re born–we’ve already made it out of there safely.
Abortion doesn’t have to be about religion. There is a valid secular argument here too. Let’s, just for a moment, take religion out of the discussion. “Pro-life” is about basic human rights. Remember, the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Our great nation was founded on this, and is still supposed to be all about it. No one on earth can tell you or me exactly when that group of cells we call a fetus becomes a human life. No one. And so, if we cannot be sure when life begins, how then can we be sure we are not destroying a person with abortion? We can’t know for sure.
Does it matter if that person is helpless and cannot live without relying on another person? Neither can my one-year-old. Is a 3-year old not really a person because she can’t cook for herself or have a job or drive a car–things only more mature, more fully-developed humans can do? Of course she is. When we hear stories about babies being left in dumpsters, we get sick to our stomach as a nation. We’re appalled at the discompassion.
We do everything in our power–all the high tech medicine and the best doctors–to save a child who has been born from her mother’s womb. Is it not that same child while still in the womb? When my wife and I are pregnant (three little girls so far:-)), we know each child from early on in the pregnancy. We talk to her every day. She begins to respond to her mother’s or my voice. She is comforted and calmed by me touching her mother’s belly. And this is not a little person in there?
If you can’t see the cartoon clearly, just click on it to see a better version. Of course I’m not comparing “W” to Mr. Lincoln. Hate to even use the two in the same sentence. I threw this cartoon up because it shows a bit about how I feel on this abortion issue. I was up Monday night battling another bout of insomnia. I started watching a movie called Amistad. I’ve seen it before, but it’s message didn’t hit me as profoundly last time. It’s about a group of people from Africa who are captured by a slave ship in 1839. This group of 44 breaks free and kills their captors and takes over the boat. They end up landing on the eastern shore of the USA. Matthew McConaughey plays a lawyer hired by a wealthy abolitionist and his business partner (played by my favorite actor of all time: Morgan Freeman) to defend the group of Africans. A long court battle ensues about who “owns” the group. Are they slaves from Cuba, as the ship’s manifest claims? Are they property of the Queen of Spain, since she owned the ship? Or, as McConaughey’s character claims, could they actually be people, not property? Since the Africans have a language barrier with everybody involved, they can’t tell their story. They can’t fight for themselves in an unfamiliar and terrifying world where they are treated like animals or worse.
Kind of like unborn babies.
Now I haven’t used this blog as a political soapbox, and don’t plan to head in that direction (don’t worry). But I can’t stop thinking about how the Abortion battle compares to two other terrible chapters in history. Slavery was an ugly wound for our nation. The Holocaust was unimaginable for our world. Both took horrible wars for we, as people, to wake up. Now we look back and can’t understand how anyone could have allowed themselves to justify such oppression and murder as perfectly OK. Are we any better today, in this nation where killing helpless babies for convenience is deemed perfectly OK?