Monday, August 31, 2009

Abortion, Pro-Choice, or Anti-Life

Abortion divides our country down the middle between the conservative and the liberal, or so it seems.

I was glad to hear on the radio today that someone understood that one can value the right of choice, without affirming an "outcome" (abortion).

Abortion is the actual procedure that dissolves the possibility that the woman will have the child. A "D&C" is a medical procedure that "cleans out the uterus" and is used for various medical conditions. It helps the woman to stop bleeding, and is used for other diseases of the uterus.

Pro-choice is the right to choose to abort. This right is the individual right to decide for themselves whether they want or will to have the probability of a child.

Anti-Life is an attitude toward life that denies life, not just its physical existance, but its quality. Life should be about more than quantity.

The conservative views life as given by God. Some believe that God actually "causes" the life to come into being, as a product of his intervention in history and they use Psalm 139 as "proof" of God's view. These believe that God directly directs a "special creation", in the human child. God is a personal God.

Others take a more moderate view of life as a gift, whether directly "caused" or not. These believe that life, even as an evolutionary "product", is the result of a Creative Being. These can be Diests, Intelligent Designers, Theistic evolutionists or agnostics (leaning toward statistical probability).

And still, other believe that life is the product of chance, a mere product of physicality. These people believe that life is valued not because of any innate nature, or divine gifting, but only as the quality and function of life, as human life is no more than any other "life form".

Why is this debate important? I believe it is important not because of one's view of God's intervention in history or how life got here, but how we view human life as "different" from other life forms and the responsibility of government in respecting that difference. It has a lot to do with how the government will decide medical decisions, if our healthcare becomes "universalized".

Even, if our healthcare is not universalized, we must face the fact that we must come to understand some kind of ethical standard and value for human life, so that human life will be protected and valued. These are pivotal decisions that probably will impact us in one way or another through family members, friends, or neighbors.

I believe that the radio talk host was correct in describing a moral imperative to "life", which is choice. Choice must be valued and affirmed in every way possible to maintain a free society and to affirm the value of a "higher life form". Choice is the only difference between human life and any other form of life. We should not be intruding into other's lives and evaluating their decisions. These are personal issues of faith, personal responsiblity and conviction.

Pro-choice does not have to be "anti-life", for if one does not have the freedom to choose, then is life of value? If a life is only carrying out another's "will", whether political (Hitler) or religious (Taliban), then is a particular life "owned"or valued by its owner, as well as the larger society? Self responsiblity for one's choices, is the first freedom that a free society should guarantee its citizens.

And because life is valued for its quality and not its quantity, Americans "fight" for freedom.

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