Does Being Pro-life Mean You Think Mother’s are Just Incubators?

This post is actually a response from a few comments I received from a previous post “To Everyone Who Doesn’t Understand Why A Woman Would Have an Abortion”.

First and foremost, I’m very grateful for the chance to have a good discussion about this topic, because too many times it gets very emotional and irrational.

I will be responding to several comments from a previous commenter like I said, I think this person’s remarks are probably widely held by many other pro-choice people.

Her first comment:

“the stark reality is that two beings sharing the same space and resources cannot have equal rights. It’s just not possible. They can both be considered valuable, but when push comes to shove the legal rights of one must trump the other. If it’s the fetus that’s considered the most valuable then the mother is stripped of her rights to bodily autonomy and thus is considered legally nothing more than an incubator for the fetus. That isn’t compassionate, empathetic or caring. The mothers bodily systems providing everything for the fetus, always with some physical cost and for some at a great physical cost even to the point that it can cost her her life if things go terribly wrong. Thus in my view the ONLY reasonable way to deal with this issue is to give the woman the ultimate control over her health and body.”

The first part is a very common view…that 2 things that occupy the same space and use the same resources can’t have the same rights.  This is a very interesting comment to me because I live in a household of not 2, but 5 people.  We all occupy the same space, and use the same resources (for food, shelter, utilities, bathroom, etc.)  Yet, are we all unequal? No, because we all have inherent worth…it shouldn’t matter whether or not we share a space or use the same resources.

For a more relateable example..let’s use a mother and her 1 year old child (I think this is more of what the comment was getting at). The child is completely dependent on the mother for life.  Literally, without the mother, the child will die.  This is similar to a human fetus.  Would you assert that a 1yr. old child does not have rights when you compare it to his/her mother?  This child uses the same resources as the mother, and occupies the same space, so when “push comes to shove” who gets rights?

See…I think it’s extremely unfair to make an ultimatum for “who gets the rights”. This concept that only ONE can have rights. They BOTH have rights.  That’s why we must love them both.

But here’s the kicker…. If both are valuable, one of them can’t do something that will hurt the other.  That is unjust.

If there were NO other people in the person could do whatever he wanted.  There’s no one else to consider.

For example, he could drive recklessly, launch fireworks, shoot guns at any given time, etc.  However, the moment other people come into the picture…he no longer has the right to do those things.  A man can’t just shoot a gun recklessly in a populated city, he might harm another.  This is NOT because we don’t care about his “right” to shoot his gun, but we care about everyone else’s “rights” to be safe and not get shot.  If you really care about equal rights, then some individual rights must be sacrificed if they violate other people’s rights or well-being. 

Abortion hurts the inherent dignity and worth of the human being growing inside the mother.  And often times, abortion ends up hurting the mother too…This is why I can’t support abortion.

By being pro-life, many people think that means we love the baby more than the mother…and that’s just not true.  I love them both.  Once there is a human fetus or embryo or whatever you choose to call it (by the way it’s all human life…human embryo, human fetus, human child, human adolescent, human adult…they are all stages of a human life and that is undeniable) the mother has to act in accord with the consideration of that fetus.

Yes, sometimes it’s hard!  Responsibility is tough.  One can’t engage in sex without being prepared for the responsibility that comes with it…and sometimes that means a baby.

I refuse to think it is “cruel or unfair” towards the woman to be pro-life.

We’re in a dilemma because if we value the mother more than the child…the child dies, but if we value the child more than the mother, the mother’s life is perceived as an “incubator” like the commenter suggested.

How can we truly love them both?? It really is a tough question.

But I don’t think the answer is giving one ultimate control over the other though.

I understand it can be a crisis situation…trust me I do, I’ve been there.  I had my own crisis pregnancy. But that is why I’m a firm believer of removing the “crisis” from the pregnancy, NOT the “pregnancy” from the crisis.

And that is precisely why I suggest having a real, genuine, understanding for these women, and counseling them towards alternative options to abortion.

Because the reality is…no one can be TRULY compassionate and empathetic unless they take into account there are TWO humans involved.

That is why I choose to be:





39 thoughts on “Does Being Pro-life Mean You Think Mother’s are Just Incubators?

  1. You are so smart and so holy! Such a good perspective on the pro-life movement. Miss you and that beautiful daughter of yours like crazy! Thanks for starting thr blog trend 😉 love you!!

  2. I appreciated your post on why empathy is necessary because of the many reasons women find themselves needing abortions. This post disappoints me, no offence. It falls into the same old pro life tropes that are really about women’s sexuality. Woman has sex, therefore she has to damn well face the consequences. The implication being, if she didn’t want the sex, she shouldn’t have opened her legs. Same old sexual judgement.

    And your examples are off base. A one year old child will not die without its mother. Not at all. Because a child of that age can rely on other people, from fathers to grandparents to foster parents to whatever. A foetus in the womb has no independent life. Before a certain stage, it can’t even exist independently despite the best medical care known in the world. You don’t even get brain waves happening until the first couple of months of pregnancy. To suggest that a foetus at this stage has equal status as a fully formed, autonomous human is a big leap.

  3. First I want to say I appreciate your addressing of my comments in such a way. I read your “I’m that girl” essays and I do appreciate where you’re coming from.

    I want to share a little about myself as well. I am a 35 yo woman, mother to a wonderful little boy who is just turned one. I have wanted to be a mother ever since I can remember and it took a long long time to get pregnant with him. I “get” the emotional aspect of this issue, pregnancies result in infants, cute little human infants who are helpless, precious and in need of nurturing care and protection.

    I think society should do much much more than it is doing right now to prevent abortions. But under NO circumstance to I feel it should be a legal issue.

    And to be perfectly clear, “Pro-life” and “Pro-choice” are terms that apply to how one feels about the legality of abortion. Nothing more and nothing less. Lots of people who from their actions show they do not feel human life is worth respect and protection are politically pro-life and plenty of people who by their actions show that they do feel human life is worth respect and protection are politically pro-choice.

    A person could work hard to convince people to not abort, could never advise anyone to abort, could choose to never abort themselves and yet still feel that women deserve legal rights to make their own health care choices in the end.

    I want to point out also that abortion being illegal does nothing to stop abortions. Women who can afford them get them from other places where it’s legal and women who can’t afford them will try their own methods or get a back alley abortion. Abortions still happen, they just happen in unsafe settings that endanger the life of the mother as well as ending pregnancy.

    Now I wanted to respond to some specific points. You said:

    If both are valuable, one of them can’t do something that will hurt the other.

    My response is that often times the pregnancies DO hurt women in a variety of ways. If the pregnancy is being harmful to the mother, why should she not get to choose how to deal with that harm that is presented to her health and body?

    You use the comparison of people residing in the same house and sharing resources. That is not an apt comparison to one human residing inside of, and tapping into, the physical body of another. Also, if one person owns the house and one person does not, that effects the rights they have in regards to their residence. One DOES have greater legal rights than the other. They both may have legal rights but one does have greater rights than the other. Also, if one person is providing the resources and the other refuses to contribute anything, the person providing has the right to stop providing for the other.

    And with a child, a one year old, the mother can find someone else to physically take the child, for babysitting or if she finds she cannot handle them she can find someone to adopt them or give them up to the state. The child is not tapping into the mothers bodily systems as their only means of survival. They can survive with care from a variety of other adults. Also, I DO have greater rights than my child. I can choose what health care I wish for myself, he receives whatever health care I and his father choose for him. He cannot vote, he cannot become emancipated and he is within my control, he has rights, but his rights are much more limited than my rights as an adult are.

    I have more to say in response, but my little one is waking from his nap so I’ll have to get back here later.

  4. I want to address the whole women first thing. To me that means we have to trust that women will make the choices that they feel are best for their lives and their health. That we cannot legally take away their choices and substitute the judgement of others.

    As for the “sex leads to pregnancy” thing, there are many times when the woman didn’t choose to have sex. Rape leads to pregnancy also. Then there are women who are on birth control but it fails.

    While it’s great that your situation worked out, it’s a mistake to think that means that all crisis pregnancies are best solved by the woman remaining pregnant. The different circumstances that women are in that are their “crisis” are as varied as the women themselves. For some it’s circumstantial(say pregnant by an ex who abused them) for some it’s health, for some it’s financial (if a woman knows being pregnant means she’ll lose her job and she needs to provide food and housing for her already born children the welfare of the born children will most likely be prioritized over the pregnancy) for some it’s for their mental health.

    We have to trust that these women know their circumstances best and will make the best choice for their lives. To do anything else isn’t putting her first.

    I’ve got to go again but I do still have more to say if you’re interested. I appreciate the opportunity for calm discourse on this subject because I think it is a critically important issue of our times and as you say, it’s often too emotional.

  5. You are totally right in that parents do have more rights than their children, but, if you don’t mind me saying this, those rights that you mentioned are little more trivial than the right to live. My point was that a parent does not have a right to kill their 1 year old child…that is where they BOTH have inherent worth and rights to life..and life specifically.
    I also totally understand that a woman’s life may be in danger during a pregnancy. That is why I am pro-life in the whole sense of the word. I would never say that one or the other must die so one can live…I would say that we should do the best we can to save them both!! Now, one of them might die, and that is a tragedy, but as long as the intent is to save them both, that, I believe is the difference. When one purposely kills one so the other might live, that is where I would disagree.
    For example, if a house is burning down and there are 2 people in it. We should try to save them both. Now if one doesn’t make it in the effort to save them both, although unfortunate, we did try. Now if we go in and purposely shoot one so that a fireman only has to save one and make it easier, that is unjust. I believe it’s all in the intent….and abortion is intentionally killing that life. When a child dies in a circumstance where they are trying to save the mother, but they didn’t intentionally kill the child…that is not called abortion. It wasn’t a purposeful death. And that of course, is the difference for me.
    I do really want both to be safe. Don’t think I want mother’s to die, because that is not the case.
    (PS-I really am enjoying this discussion…one of the best I’ve ever had)

  6. I don’t think you want mothers to die. I do believe you, and indeed many other people who are pro-life, do care about the mothers. I just think that you haven’t considered the reality of what abortion being criminalized means for women who will seek them out.

    Here is an piece written by a prosecutor about the subject.

    So, separating this from the emotional side we have to look at the nitty gritty of what abortion being illegal means.

    I’m curious how you think it being illegal should be handled? What, if any exceptions do you believe should be allowed and under what circumstance and who gets to make that call? What sort of punishments should happen and to whom? What is the end goal of the laws, punishment or less prenatal human lives lost?

    How are you going to save the life of the fetus if the mother is willing to risk her life to terminate her pregnancy?

    Again, and for emphasis, laws against abortions do NOT result in fewer abortions. They result in more women being harmed by unsafe procedures preformed in unsanitary environments by people who are not trained. It would mean many of these women who become ill because of these factors would be reluctant to seek medical help for fear of repercussions. So more women die and more children are left motherless. Then if part of the laws are women being punished then you have families suffering from the mothers prosecution and punishment. Then also every miscarriage becomes suspect and maybe it ends up with miscarriages being investigated. Then you have Dr.s not free to use their own best judgement but rather making choices based on the laws and that leaves women suffering as well waiting until the “right” moment that her life is in enough danger to warrant a termination.

    How exactly are you going to save them both? How are laws going to effect that change to make women not want to consider abortion?

    You don’t want mothers to die, but you do want to create a legal situation, in the name of trying to save everyone, where they will die all the same. I understand you wish every pregnancy could be saved, but that isn’t possible. Women are individual autonomous beings that, legality aside, WILL seek out abortions if they feel that is the best option for their life and that isn’t your call to make. Your call to make was made when YOU made your choices. History has shown over and over what happens when abortions are illegal. Countries where abortion is illegal show this over and over as well.

    So I feel your stance is a very emotional one and you haven’t considered all the ramifications the criminalization of abortion and how it would negatively impact the lives of countless women even to the point of costing them their lives.

  7. Because the reality is…no one can be TRULY compassionate and empathetic unless they take into account there are TWO humans involved.

    I was re-reading your post and this jumped out at me. I do consider there are two lives involved there. But one life has a fully functional body and one does not. The one without the fully functional body is dependent on the body of the other for everything.

    Suppose a machine was invented that allowed a person on the other end of life, facing death, to continue to live by tapping into the bodily resources of another human in such a manner as an embryo/fetus does. This would carry health risks for the healthy person doing this of course. Some people would tolerate it with only minor discomfort but for others it would cause long lasting complications and for some, it would kill them. Would it be considered legal and ethical for people to be forced and compelled by law to keep another human alive in such a manner?

    That is how I look at abortion. Just because it’s on the other end of the life cycle does not mean one human has a right to negatively impact another humans body in such a manner and to live off of it *without the express consent* of the person whose life is being hijacked and whose body is being directly impacted on a physical level.

    While laws against abortions don’t stop abortions other things have been shown to lower the rate of abortion. Free birth control. Good education and a good sex education. Good social safety net for mothers with housing, job assurance, food and a good educational system including early education. If a mother knows she can provide these things for her child she is much less likely to consider abortion. It’s very ironic that most people who are adamantly pro-life are also against most of those things. They call women on welfare having babies “welfare queens” yet don’t want to give out affordable birth control and are working to shut down the health clinics that serve these women and for some of them it’s their only health care. The “pro-life” movement comes off as very judgmental, uncaring and frankly, only caring about the sacred fetus.

    I do consider there are two lives there. I am not glad when women choose abortion. I understand a potential born human was lost. But I don’t think that abortion being restricted does anything to stop abortion or lessen the numbers of abortions that happen. I think it endangers women and I think that at the heart of the matter abortions are a medical procedure, they need to be left in control of the people undergoing them and the doctors who are performing them and the efforts to save pregnancies needs to happen in different ways. That’s the only way lives will actually be saved. Not through abortion being criminalized.

  8. I think it’s interesting that your only focus is the abortions regarding health concerns. My posts are typically about the HUGE majority of abortions that are happening with out any health concerns.
    The abortions you speak of (like ectopic pregnancies) happen in actual Doctor’s offices with real OBGYNs, not at the Planned Parenthood down the street.
    When the life of the mother is truly at risk…I am all for saving her, and if that causes the death of the child, that is still ok…because it is NOT an abortion. The child wasn’t purposely killed, the child died in the effort to save the mother. Again, that is the biggest difference.
    I don’t think that the bill really affects the types of abortions your main argument is about, because those abortions aren’t taking place in the facilities that are shut down from the bill. Those are the ones that women are turning to in fear, not because of a health reason (this is a general statement, there may very well be a few that are in a health crisis but most of the health crises are attended to in an actual hospital or Doctor’s office, not an abortion facility)
    So, I don’t know if that clarifies my stance anymore for you. I think we really are discussing from completely different platforms.
    The empathy piece is for women who have no health concern for their pregnancy. I can understand it may still hurt them in other areas, but with the great adoption programs we have, a reasonable way to save both of them.

  9. The health concerns are there with elective abortions done illegally because they are dangerous. The illegality CREATES the health issues that I’m worried about.

    Women WILL seek out elective abortions despite the legal standing. That creates a health risk for them and puts womens lives in danger. Not directly because of the pregnancy but because they WILL seek abortions out no matter if it is against the law or not. I don’t know how more clearly that point can be made.

    1. I still think the answer is to find ways to help those women rather than just make abortion legal. Woman are dying from abortions and so are millions of babies. The goal is to help all parties involved one step at a time.

      Just like people do drugs regardless of the law, doesn’t mean all drugs should be legal.

      I can totally understand that some women will seek out abortions regardless of legality, but I don’t think that in itself is a justification to keep it legal. It IS more of a reason to create many more crisis pregnancy centers that offer free services to these women and help them through the crisis safely and lovingly.

  10. I am not saying just make abortion legal and not do anything else. I am saying the answer work hard in many ways to try to lower abortion rates while keeping it legal for the welfare of the women who *will* seek it out.

    We are back to the starting point if we refuse to let women have legal elective abortions, we ARE legally reducing them to incubators for the humans they produce. It is just what it is.

    I do find it interesting that you don’t think keeping women safe is justification for legal abortion.

    Some 68,000 thousand women worldwide died last year because of illegal abortions. In America last year 12 women died from legal abortion. I tried to find a worldwide number for deaths from legal abortion but I wasn’t able to. So it’s rather interesting you bring up “women are dying from abortions” as if it’s a strike against legal abortion.

    While it is very sad and tragic that the 12 women died from legal abortions, abortion IS a medical procedure and as such there will always be SOME risk. It will never, ever be risk free. It’s just very very clear what causes the overwhelming majority of deaths due to abortion, unsafe procedures preformed in unsanitary environments by unskilled people because of abortion being a criminal act.

    I just strongly and passionately those women deserve to be as safe as possible even if they are choosing an option others feel is morally reprehensible.

  11. From all the searching I’ve done it looks like the death rate from illegal abortions was something around 5000 women a year. After legal abortion it’s somewhere around 10-12. 4990 some women a year living instead of dying is huge to me. In both cases the babies die as well, I just think the women don’t need to die with them.

    1. That is a good point. If we are going with minimizing deaths though we can’t overlook the 3,300+ babies that die daily from abortion. If we really are trying to save the most possible lives…the legality of abortion needs to be questioned

      1. Because those women that are pregnant with those 3300 babies have a better chance of seeking options counseling and choosing to parent or adopt rather than a fear motivated decision to abort. That is thousands of lives saved daily. I understand lives will be lost either way, but more lives are being lost with legalized abortion…more than 50 million actually. So out sounds to me that our difference is that you don’t consider the unborn a life. If you do, then saving the most overall lives would mean making abortion illegal, or putting more restrictions when abortion is considered necessary.

  12. No, they don’t actually seek out other options. In a comment to your post about empathy I linked to an article that was all about how abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is legal and countries where it is illegal.

    From that article: A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.

    Moreover, the researchers found that abortion was safe in countries where it was legal, but dangerous in countries where it was outlawed and performed clandestinely.

    (Nellie here again)

    Can you show me anything, any studies or any cites, that shows that abortion being illegal means that women do not seek out abortions or are more likely to seek out counseling? That it keeps them safer in any way? There are enough countries in the world where it is illegal that if it was safer and resulted in fewer abortions and fewer maternal deaths that shouldn’t be hard to provide.

    I do consider the unborn a life. And I consider it a precious life worth protecting and encouraging others to protect in a variety of ways. I think this should happen through things like government programs providing good prenatal care given to every pregnant woman regardless of her ability to pay and supporting the mother and child if need be until the mother can get on her own feet(with programs to get her on her feet if need be). I simply don’t think the life of the unborn trumps the rights of the mother to make her own health care choices.

    1. Working at a pregnancy center I know that when woman are offered genuine support and love and given solid resources…they often change their mind if they were originally seeking abortion. I know because I’ve seen it countless times. I would hope that if abortions are illegal, these women would largely seek out the free services at pregnancy centers. But I just can’t really imagine 3,000+ women seeking illegal abortions per day…so I will see about the research on that and look into your articles.

  13. I hope you don’t mind how much I’ve commented! I really do appreciate this opportunity to see this issue discussed in such a manner.

    I was rereading your post and this jumped out at me.

    But I don’t think the answer is giving one ultimate control over the other though.

    Here’s the problem with your approach in my opinion, the relationship between woman and the life she’s gestating is inherently unequal and to give them equal consideration is unfair to the woman. In the case of a woman being pregnant, there is no “sharing” of control, either the woman controls her body or her body is controlled for her for the sake of the fetus. It is either one or the other. We can *LOVE* and *PROVIDE* for them both, but when it comes down to the legal right to control ones body either you have it or you don’t. So one HAS TO, ABSOLUTELY MUST be given ultimate control.

    When a human is first conceived they have no brain. They have no heart, they have no nervous system, they have no muscles and cannot breath nor do they have the ability to exist outside of the body of the human who is gestating them. Given time, with her body tending to the needs of the human life inside of her at the expense of her own body to one degree or another, those things will come(except for breathing which comes at birth) but at conception they are not there. I do not understand how anyone can look at a woman who has a fully formed body and perfectly functional brain who has an established life and loved ones and who has hopes and dreams and her own ideas and morals as well as having strong opinions of whether carrying a pregnancy to term is something that will be good for her body and her life and say that something without any of the hallmarks of humanity save for DNA has rights that trump hers?

    This post is basically justifications for forcing women to be incubators. You’re not saying “they aren’t going to be forced to be incubators and this is why” you gave reasons you think its’ justified. Which is fine, but again it is what it is. If you (general) are pro-life, you want to legally reduce women to incubators for the potential human lives they are growing. It doesn’t really matter if you love them, or think you love them. You want to force women to use their bodies to gestate a child against their will.

    Also, with the whole “sex causes pregnancy” bit there are plenty of women who become pregnant through no choice of their own. Rape causes pregnancy too as well as incest. Why should a woman who has suffered the trauma of rape be forced AGAIN to do something against her will?

    1. I would suggest reading “Why Pro-Life: defending the unborn and their mothers” by Randy Alcorn. It has the best summation of my stance on the issue including the hard issues like rape and the life of the mother.

      But I can’t stress enough there are some inherent rights that I don’t think cab really be compromised and that is the right to life, and even though that life is small, it has a beating heart by the time a woman finds out she’s pregnant. I wish adoption was promoted more because this is truly the best solution for those that can’t parent. I’ve seen to many women…yes women who are horribly hurt by abortion, that there just has to be a better way. There are dozens of post abortive groups even that are speaking out against it.

      I just don’t really agree with changing terms based on the subjective “wantedness” of the pregnancy. For one woman she’s an incubator, and another she’s pregnant and nourishing life. Whatever language you use…there is something growing and that something is human…

      I know my stance is not popular, but seen that choosing life is healing with less regret and suffering

      1. So I read “Why Pro-Life” and wow, he compares abortion to rape over and over. I was rather sickened by that frankly. He said ” When presenting the pro-life position on school campuses, I’ve sometimes begun by saying, “I am pro-choice. That’s why I believe every man has the right to rape a woman if that’s his choice. After all, it’s his body, and we don’t have the right to tell him what he can and cannot do with it.”

        After I let the shock settle in, I ask them to tell me the fallacy of my argument. They point out that in asserting the man’s right to choose I’ve ignored the harm done to the innocent woman, whose rights have been violated.”

        Okay, that is such a totally and completely inapt comparison and I find it downright offensive to compare those two things. That woman that the man raped? Has absolutely NO effect on the rapists body and life if he doesn’t rape her. If he doesn’t rape her the negative effects on him are exactly NONE. Her body and her life has NOTHING to do with him and his body and his life. He goes about his life with no ill effects for having not raped her. He has to deal with no fall-out, he has to go to no doctors appointments, he doesn’t face physical complications and he doesn’t end up with a permanently changed body and a dependent he has to choose whether to raise or not as a result. The effects on her body of a pregnancy are profound and undeniable.

        Raping a person is in no way shape or form comparable to a woman choosing abortion rather than to accept the physical toll and the upheaval and complete disruption to ones life a pregnancy brings.

        It also bugged me his bringing up adoption as he did because adoption is a choice for someone who doesn’t want to parent a child they have chosen to carry to term, it’s not a choice for a woman who is six weeks pregnant and doesn’t want to be pregnant and doesn’t want to carry the pregnancy to term. When there is a true choice for women who don’t want to be pregnant without killing the “baby” then I might consider being pro-life.

        Also, there are many many “unadoptable” children languishing in foster care. He bemoans the lack of “adoptable” babies but there are countless numbers of children in foster care who aren’t adoptable because they aren’t infants, they aren’t white, they are damaged and they age out of foster care ALL THE TIME without families.

        And I don’t mean to change the terms myself. All pregnant women incubate, or gestate, humans in their pregnancies. These pregnancies carried to term, if everything goes well, result in a newborn human. Some women, like myself, try very very hard to incubate a human. I just think all women should be able to make a conscious choice that they are willing to do that I don’t think it should be dictated to them that they must do so just because sperm meets egg. I don’t think the rights of a human unable to survive on its own trump the rights of the human it is totally dependent upon.

        I also know people who have had abortions. They weren’t traumatized by them and they didn’t regret them and even many years later still felt it was the right choice for them at that time. And they weren’t bad parents to the children they chose to bring into the world. They were loving and attentive parents also so I don’t buy the whole “people who abort are lousy parents” bit either. I’m not denying there are some who regret their abortions but there are people who DON’T regret them also.

        Frankly that whole piece was so biased it left a bad taste in my mouth. I sincerely doubt that all or most PP employees are doing anything but trying to provide health care. I don’t think they are pressuring women to have abortions. I went to planned parenthood to have my pregnancy verified and even though I made no comment on whether it was wanted or unwanted (even though it was wanted) they did not suggest I should abort or point me towards abortion or anything of the sort. The staff was warm and caring and did question me about if I felt safe at home and if there was any abuse I was dealing with and gave me information about how to apply for government help if I needed it and a pamphlet with the stages of growth with illustrations of the fetus and information as to what its development was at different stages and things the mother might experience physically at that time. So maybe there are planned parenthood’s out there that encourage abortion but there are also crisis pregnancy centers that lie outright to women and treat them poorly as well.

        Anyway I know there is right at zero chance either of us will change the others mind. I do think it would be awesome if there were stellar government programs so no woman ever felt compelled to abort due to finances, I think it would be awesome if there were free birth control so there aren’t as many unwanted pregnancies that women will consider aborting. I think gently encouraging women who express any unsureness about wanting to abort is a good thing.

        But I think that making it a criminal matter only makes criminals out of women who don’t deserve to be considered criminals and I think it only drives it underground making it unsafe. I think it needs to stay safe and hopefully with a supportive society it will also be rare.

  14. To clarify a sentence at the end, “I think gently encouraging women who express any unsureness to make sure it’s really really what they want without ANY outside pressure is a good thing”.

    1. Great discussion. My final comment is that I think this world is incredibly broken…and abortion is just fueling the brokenness. My job isn’t to judge choices, but it is to speak truth in a compassionate way…so thank you for challenging me in that way.

  15. It wasn’t a bad discussion at all. I absolutely do think you’re judging choices though, you’re judging choices to the point you, literally in a court of law with (some sort) of penalties attaches, want people judged. And you are welcome, and thank you for the discussion as well.

    1. Well..Everyone judges choices….that’s why we have a law system, because some choices are wrong. I’m saying I am not going to condemn anyone, i totally disagree with that. The ultimate decider is seeking truth and morality…and that’s something many pro-choicers refuse too acknowledge as part of the discussion.

      1. Since I have some time on the internet (yay for naptime 🙂 I wanted to address this even though you haven’t had a chance to come back and clarify for me what you meant. If I’m off base in what you meant then I’ll welcome the clarification.

        I think the reason that people who are pro-choice don’t focus on the morality of abortion is because they feel it’s a situation where people can have different moral beliefs and live according to them and the law shouldn’t dictate the behavior of a person based on the morals of another. Saying abortion should be legal is not saying you find it moral. Saying abortion should be legal is saying “their choice in that matter is none of my business”.

        The law is there not for enforcement of morality. Part of living in a free society is accepting that others may engage in behavior that we may find totally objectionable and morally deplorable. But when you say “I want a law against x behavior” then you are indeed condemning those who exhibit that behavior. You may not personally condemn them to their face “you are wrong for engaging in x behavior” but you are still condemning them with the efforts to criminalize the behavior.

        The truth is that different people have different views on when a developing person in utero should qualify for rights that are shared by the born and physically independent people. For some it’s at conception, for some it’s viability and for some it’s not until birth and the human is physically separated from it’s mother. In a way I do think the conceived human should have equal rights. But that isn’t greater rights and no born human has the right to demand from another human their blood, their organs, their bone marrow or their uterus even if the one demanding will die without that. I don’t think that any embryo has a right to reside in a womans body and grow off of her without her permission any more than I have the right to demand another person donate their bone marrow to me without their permission so I may live.

      2. I really have to disagree. The law is definitely in place to enforce basic morality. That is why it is against the law to murder, steal, etc. These are inherent
        “wrongs” if you will. And we differ in opinion because I think abortion is a basic morality and rights issue whereas I’m guessing you don’t consider it that way.

      3. I do consider it a basic rights issue. Where we differ is I consider that the rights of the woman bearing the pregnancy has greater rights and you feel the embryo/fetus/”baby” has greater rights.

        Which is why I said two beings cannot share the same rights. You can disagree all you want but when push comes to shove the rights of ONE of the two beings involved will trump.

        I also find it a moral issue (just as many many people find it immoral but are pro-choice) but like the vast majority of moral issues I feel it’s one for an individual to decide for themselves rather than for it to be dictated by law.

        Is there any other instance where a person can be compelled to use their blood and organs to save another person? Even after we die we have the right to say doctors may not use our bodies and organs to save others. I think the right to decide if a person is going to support the life of another with ones body is sacred.

        Would you consider it right for a law to be made compelling people to donate blood or organs like a kidney or bone marrow to people who are dying? These things save peoples lives. If it’s moral to compel a woman to bear any child she becomes pregnant with to save it’s life then is it also moral to force a man to donate parts of his body to save others. And yet I doubt you’d argue that forcing that sort of donation on a person is right. Yet people who are pro-life would force a donation from a pregnant woman of her body that she can only get out of if she is about to die.

      4. A pregnancy is a natural part of life. It is actually the only way humans come to existence. I think that is a huge difference from forcing someone to give blood. It’s so uncomparable I can’t really comment.

        Regardless of that odd comparison, people are not free to choose whatever they want to do without having some consequences.

        There is no such thing as a freedom unless there is responsibility.

        I do not in any way think that continuing a pregnancy is forfeiting a woman’s rights. She can still hold a job, because it is illegal to discriminate against pregnant women, and she can then sign away paternal rights if parenting is not in her best interest.

        I know you may argue that those 9 months are minimizing a woman to nothing but a mere “incubator” but it is the only way lives are created. And once an innocent life is in existence, it is our duty to at least try to protect it.

        I also think that mothers and their children are intimately connected because of the nature of a pregnancy where a mother’s body grows and nurtures a unique person. Because they are so closely bound, there are also consequences for abortion. The several post-abortive groups are proof enough of the types of consequences.

        Either way I completely disagree that I value the baby’s life MORE than the mother. You assumption on that is because you think that “wantedness” of a pregnancy is justification for a woman to do as she pleases, whether or not it is right or wrong. Just because I don’t think the “wantedness” of a pregnancy is grounds for terminating it does in NO WAY mean I undervalue a woman’s rights.

        When someone is pulled over for reckless driving and given a ticket…it is not because his “rights” are being undermined, it is because it is to protect the rights of everyone.

        When a woman chooses abortion it is not just “undermining” someone else’s rights, it is actually ending a life, thus allowing no rights at all. Continuing a pregnancy, although it may come with limited time period of hardships, is not actually preventing a woman from her basic rights.

        All of this said…does not mean I want harm for women or hate pro-choicers, I have a lot of understanding for the abortion culture. I just don’t think abortion culture is helping anyone out in the big scheme of things and it’s hurting too many people for me to be morally relativistic about it.

      5. Just because it’s a natural part of life doesn’t mean that women should have no legal choices to terminate unless they are on deaths door. I don’t find it an odd comparison at all, any more odd than comparing a fetus living inside it’s mother to roommates sharing a house. It actually makes a lot more sense to me because blood and other types of donation 1) require a physical toll and 2) save peoples lives. I mean, people die without blood and bone marrow donations, an embryo dies without the “donation” of the mothers uterus and bodily resources.

        How many states are “at will” employment states? I mean, it would be really really hard for a woman to prove discrimination in the case of being fired for pregnancy but then also, pregnancy is going to require at least SOME time off. And if a woman is a single mother working two jobs to keep her head above water it’s not going to be any comfort for her that her boss fired her illegally when she can’t prove it and has no money to try to hire a lawyer to defend her rights.

        Laws saying women must carry any and every pregnancy to term unless they are on deaths door is what minimizes a woman to legally nothing but an incubator. I think there are ways to protect it without making abortion illegal.

        And plenty of women, the vast majority from the studies I’ve seen, feel relief predominantly after an abortion and most of them will have little if any negative emotional repercussions. Not to say there are none that have negative emotional repercussions but that is not the business of the law to save people from the consequences of their actions.

        And yeah you value them “equally” that’s why when the mother is on deaths door, then and only then can she terminate if needed.

        I don’t think the “wantedness” of a pregnancy is justification for anything. Whether I personally think abortion is ever justified is really beside this debate. You do know that plenty of people end up aborting wanted pregnancies too right, because of things going wrong. Abortion laws negatively effect them as well. I think the clear proof that abortion being illegal is dangerous to women in a profound way is justification for allowing women to make their own choices based on their own morals. Have endless social programs to encourage women to carry to term and to help them but being illegal has terrible consequences for the women who will abort, whether you, the pope or the laws says they should.

        I think what really chafes me about your stance is you seem to think that making abortion illegal is somehow going to magically make abortion not happen. People who can afford it will go to places it’s legal or they will find a doctor who is willing to “recommend” an abortion that’s looks on paper like it’s legal even though it’s not or they will take matters into their own hands. You may not want harm to come to women, but harm will indeed come to them whether you “want” it or not if abortion becomes illegal.

      6. I absolutely realize people will seek out abortions whether or not they were legal. I am not that naive. But I think this is a moral issue and science is on our side. Once the viability of a baby outside of the womb is in the first trimester, it will be impossible to ignore.

        Something I’m sure you have noticed about me is that I’m not as concerned with the law as I am with truth. Laws are always changing and are not reliable reflections of what is just.

        I am more concerned with loving these broken women and helping then seek tangible ways to choose life, while still caring about then and their future.

        I don’t think abortion is an inherent right…it is something that was produced from the sexual revolution. If abortion were an inherent right like life is…it would have been condoned and never have even made it to a legal issue.

        I think abortion cheapens life to mere subjective wantedness, objectifies women because it removes any sort of consequence for using them, and as science shows…it literally ends human lives.

        No policy is going to please everyone and either way people ate dying…so I would rather concern myself with truth, even if it is unpopular.

        That is why I would rather actually love and help women than argue logistics…because that actually makes a difference that I think we both want

      7. But yet you are willing to support a legal climate that would cause those who do seek those out should be put in danger. I’ve read too many articles by doctors who worked in ER’s in the time before legal abortion to believe that it will ever be morally acceptable to have abortion be illegal. Women will go to ANY lengths to try to abort, I’ve read about women who had someone batter their belly to try to induce abortion, women who put turpentine up inside of themselves, women inserting sharp objects up inside themselves and having their bowels literally falling out of them in the ER. I urge you to read and research not just about what a “baby” goes through during an abortion but to also learn about the things women absolutely DID do to themselves in efforts to induce abortion before legal abortion was available. And I am a strong supporter of science but I don’t think it has a pro-life bent on the subject. I also do not believe viability will ever ever reach that early in the pregnancy. When you look at the development of the fetus at that stage and it’s needs there is no way that it will ever be possible IMO.

        And despite claiming you are not as concerned with law as you are with truth you argue quite heartily for abortion to be against the law. While not wanting to bother with the “logistics”. Logistics that women you claim to love and care about will have to go through. Again I say loving them and caring about them, truly wholly selflessly caring for them means you would not want them to, even while making a choice you abhor, be in such danger as they absolutely will be if abortion is made illegal.

        And how many rights, inherent rights, have been legal issues? Once upon a time in America the only people to have legal rights were white landowning males. The right of a human to not be a slave? The right of a woman to own property and be her own legal entity? The rights of workers to not be exposed to deadly working conditions? The rights of children to not be put to work in a dangerous factory at the age of 7? Plenty of things that are inherent rights have had to be fought for and fought for long and hard before the right was won. Also, abortion has been around since ancient times, it is not something produced from the sexual revolution by a long shot. It’s convenient to try to blame the sexual revolution for abortion but the reality is abortion is something humans have practiced since before the start of recorded human history.

        I think being treated like they are not autonomous beings capable of making their own choices based on their own beliefs objectifies and infantializes women and frankly I think you don’t understand what objectification is if you believe that removing consequences is what causes the objectification. Also, for you there is only one “consequence” that you consider appropriate when the reality is having to deal with an unintended pregnancy however it is dealt with is indeed a consequence. Babies are not punishment for “slutty” women having sex.

        See again you want to make the deaths of women with abortion legal and illegal equal somehow (either way people are dying) and they are not. You keep talking about truth but the truth is many many more women die and many more women suffer horrible things when abortion is illegal and many children are left motherless because of that. When I gave numbers you turned it back around to the “babies” that die either way.

        Broken down simply with abortion legal x number of people die while with it illegal x number of people die plus y number of people die. The x number dies either way and while you “hope” those women would seek out other options hope isn’t enough for me. History and countries where it is currently illegal show that plainly, women feel desperate and will go to horribly desperate measures to abort. If you love them you will show them your truth, while wanting them safe in the end even if their desperation drives them to abortion.

        I think arguing logistics is incredibly important because I don’t think people who are pro-life think about, if they do think of it they don’t care about, the suffering caused by those “logistics”. Besides, if you are supporting those “logistics” in a legal sense, in that you are supporting politicians who are pushing them on people who DO absolutely undeniably feel their rights are being infringed then you should care about them and what exactly those are. For example in Ohio now a woman having a miscarriage has to wait 24 hours and be given pro-life literature. A woman undergoing a medical event legally cannot get medical help immediately. I find that abhorrent and frankly, terrifying. That is why logistics matter.

      8. I understand that you think I’m cruel for not wanting abortion to be legal. But I believe it is wrong and I can’t support it and it is as simple as that. Also your argument about how legal rights were once only for rich white men supports exactly what I was saying about why I’m more concerned with doing what is right than just focusing on policy. Obviously if I don’t think something is right I won’t support the law but you may not realize this but I work at a womens pregnancy center helping women…I do not work to overturn the law. The bottom line for me is that abortion is hurtful for all parties: men, women, children, siblings, family, society, and I can’t support it.

        I really dislike your saying “babies are not punishment for slutty women having sex” because that shows you really haven’t heard anything I’ve said. I don’t think these women are slutty, I think they are perfectly beautiful and worthy of something better than abortion has to offer.

        It’s interesting that you think I want women to die. I do not. Just because I don’t support abortion doesn’t lead to the conclusion that I want women to die. The fact that women will seek abortion and be hurt regardless of legality is true, but it doesn’t conclude that that is what I want…that is a basic logical fallacy. The premise that I think abortion is wrong does not lead to “I want women to die who do seek abortion” so please stop accusing me of that.

        I will love these women regardless of their choice, but I won’t support something morally wrong, and just because I don’t support that ACTION doesn’t mean I won’t love or support the PERSON. They are very different things.

      9. I do not think you are cruel. I am sorry that what I said made you feel that because that was not my intention. I think you have a big heart and you do care very much. I think in YOUR ideal situation most women would stop having abortions and the babies AND the women would all be saved because of the law. I think you’re misguided and haven’t studied about the history of the subject enough to think that abortion laws will do anything remotely close to that.

        But there you said it in your post. You think it’s wrong and you want it illegal for that reason. Being pro-life which I’ve already covered is a term that covers what one feels should happen legally to abortion. Being politically pro-life doesn’t have to do with saving babies (which can be done more effectively with abortion legal believe it or not) and it has everything to do with “punishing” a wrongdoing.

        You are the one who keeps bringing up “consequences”. How pregnancy is a consequence of sex. How we all know what sex leads to and all that. I put it more bluntly but that is the feeling I get from the whole “consequence” thing. I’m sorry you don’t like it but that is very much the feeling I get from the whole “carrying a pregnancy to term is a consequence of sex” idea. I feel you look at it as very black and white. Abortion = killing babies = wrong. Carrying to term = not killing = right. I think you look at your own life and the circumstances you faced and think “if I can make it work anyone facing a crisis pregnancy can make it work”.

        Your post about how people who are pro-life should understand why women have abortions was inspired because people who are pro-life have a bad reputation, for not empathizing, for not sympathizing, for not caring about what the women go through and what drives them to abortion. I had a pro-life relative tell me that women who were harmed in back alley abortions deserved to die. What I’m asking you to do is take it a step further, to truly understand that there will always be some who are determined to abort no matter what and to empathize with them, not just with the ones who SEEK abortion, but with the ones who WILL CHOOSE abortion even if it means their own death.

        Saying you think the law is best this one way does not mean one condones that activity. A person can condone a law allowing drinking and think drinking is immoral. A person can condone a law allowing gambling without thinking gambling is wrong. A person supporting a law because the alternative, a seedy black market that operates without laws, is worse for people in the end.

        Being pro-choice is not saying you think abortion is morally acceptable. It’s not saying ANYTHING AT ALL about how one personally feels about abortion. Lots and lots of people feel abortion is morally wrong yet are pro-choice. I even know Catholics (shock of shock), who are pro-choice. What being pro-choice is is believing it’s better for abortion to be a procedure that women don’t have to endanger themselves to have. Nothing more nothing less and it’s no comment on whether you think it’s ever justified or morally correct for the woman to choose that abortion. It only says you want her to be as safe as possible in the case she does make that choice.

      10. This still doesn’t give me any reason to support something that I think is wrong. I’m sorry that women will seek out abortion regardless of the law, but supporting abortion politically is in a way saying I think it is permissable, when I don’t.
        I can’t really compromise that just because of the notion that “people will do it anyways”. That’s essentially your argument. Because people will do it anyways, we need to have abortion.
        For me, that is just not enough for me to support something that I completely disagree with.

      11. The choice is not to have abortion or not have abortion. Abortion has always been there and will always been there. The choice is “have dangerous abortion or safer abortion”. Supporting abortion politically is not saying anything about if you feel it’s permissible. It’s not just “people will do it anyways” it’s “people will do it anyways and will die and be grievously harmed in ways that they wouldn’t be if it were legal”.

        It’s about keeping women safe.

        Protecting women from dying needlessly.

        I’m sorry you don’t believe they are worthy of that protection.

        And with that I shall depart for real this time. Everything that could be said has been said.

        Thank you for allowing me to “crash” the comment section of your blog, I have enjoyed our discourse. I know you’ve given me some food for thought and I hope I’ve done the same for you.

  16. Could you elaborate on your last sentence? You say “The ultimate decider is seeking truth and morality”. I don’t know that I understand what you mean by that.

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