This is a completely secular observation. I don’t present a biblical case at all.
Thou shall not murder? Except in war, self defense, home invasion, crimes of passion, when not guilty by reason of insanity… People have attached so much red tape onto those four little words that they hardly have any integrity anymore. You could make a sound argument that abortion should fall under the self defense clause and you wouldn’t exactly be wrong. If it’s okay for a man to take a human life because his TV is being threatened, it stands to reason that a woman can take a life when she feels her body is being threatened.
This is a harsh reality for some Christians to confront, but I believe that due to the historical behavior of many Christians and the church, we forfeited the moral upper hand long ago. Somewhere in the midst of hypocrisy, compromise of scriptures, and the outright abuse of women and children in some quarters, our moral authority on the issue of abortion has been revoked.
So, I make no religious argument at all, not even a moral one. I simply cannot sit in
judgment of some woman in Africa who has watched four of her children die of AIDS and
seeks an abortion so two others won’t starve. Even an animal will eat their young when conditions on the ground are deemed unsuitable for raising offspring.
I can’t condemn a genuine rape survivor and self righteously proclaim that she should
just make that heroic leap into forgiveness and trust herself to embrace the sacrificial nature of motherhood. Right, like that’s a piece of cake.
I can’t even be horrified by the 16 yr old girl not far from where I live who gave birth and put her baby in the garbage can. That girl lived in a house with five older men, not one who cared enough to notice she was pregnant, to help her seek medical care, to assist her during childbirth at home. She was charged with murder, they weren’t, because our system doesn’t recognize that there are whole lot of different ways to kill somebody.
I can’t even judge some of the girls in the western world who casually approach abortion as if it were just like preventative dental care. I can however, condemn those who promote this ideology and profit off of it. It’s exploitive towards women and leads girls to perceive themselves as having little value.
Religion and morality aside however, there are multiple secular reasons why our culture is going to suffer the consequences of abortion, not individual women, but us as a society. We’re promoting a culture of death, one that does not respect and value the nature of conception, does not value what women, and only women, can bring to the biological equation. Not only is human life being perceived as nothing more significant then a clump of cells, the full significance and value of women is slowly being disregarded. Women are losing value in the biological equation. We were once perceived as the gatekeepers of sex, the path to reproduction, and a kind of economic exchange would occur between men and women. A bit of a cold and clinical perspective perhaps, but that was the social structure at one time.
Children are also now being presented as a burden, a failure. We don’t want women
punished with a baby. Pregnancy is perceived as an accident, motherhood is something
you’re now encouraged to avoid, almost as if it were evidence of some kind of failure.
It’s a bit ironic, women think they’ve made such gains in feminism, such progress.
We’ve actually lost a great deal of ground. In some ways, feminism has been more
beneficial for men than for women. Men now have access to consequence and commitment
free sex, with few strings attached. What have women gained? Access to birth control?
As lovely as sex is, casual sex for women is just not quite the same thing as it is
for men. We talk about empowerment and choices and being sexually liberated and yet
many women are instinctually aware something is just wrong here. Taken to it’s (il)logical conclusion, the rad/fems now like to talk about how all PIV must than be rape, since so many women are feeling as if something is being stolen from them. We’re losing our minds.
I say in all sincerity, I don’t see women of today becoming more open, more liberated
and educated sexually, I see them as becoming more and more sexually confused. Wrecking Ball and Teddy Bear kind of confused. Miley Cyrus kind of confused. Not to be impolite, but sometimes I start to suspect that our mothers and grandmothers may have had healthier attitudes and more self awareness. Scary thought, but your grandmother may have known more about sex than you do.
Women are learning not to respect their bodies and we’re teaching men not to respect our bodies either. We’re deluding ourselves into believing it’s somehow about empowerment and choices and bodily autonomy. A little secret about they myth of bodily autonomy, an unwanted pregnancy is evidence of you not having any. You surrendered your autonomy, that was kind of the whole point. An unwanted pregnancy is proof that a violation, a betrayal of your body has occurred. Abortion is not choice or the exercising of our bodily autonomy, it’s damage control.
Abortion is really bad for women from a cultural and social perspective, and especially offensive because it’s presented to us as a right, a benefit. Many men fall for this, too, thinking they’re promoting equal rights and fairness for women. That’s also insidious because it exploits the protective nature of men and makes it difficult for them to see the whole nature of the issue.
Some people like to say abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, and hold onto this idea that abortion is a difficult and heartbreaking decision that weighs heavy on women’s hearts. That may have been true at the start of the struggle for abortion rights, but it’s fading fast. I’m sure individual women struggle with it morally, but those who are now tweeting and blogging and bragging about their abortions, are no longer connected to the emotional weight of the matter. Those are hearts that have been hardened to the significance of the choice they are making.
The world has changed in the last 40 years, attitudes have changed, what girls think, feel, and believe about things has been heavily influenced by propaganda. That’s no longer a potential human life, it’s now a meaningless clump of cells.
Girls these days are less likely to perceive themselves as the givers of life and more likely to perceive themselves as sexual receptacles, defending themselves from biological inconvenience. There’s something really damaging happening to women’s psyches because of the shift in our sexual mores. When men enter our bodes they enter our souls, but girls tend to not believe that anymore. They have been sold this idea that there are no psychological consequences to having sex, only physical ones.
A wise man once told me, if the world truly loved women, no woman would ever need an abortion. That is so profoundly true. Sometimes I think we offer women abortion rights as a kind of consolation prize for living in a broken world. It’s a bit cruel, really, because we than feel as if we can just ignore the issues on the ground that have led to abortion in the first place.
Believe it or not, I actually think men have a huge seat at the table when it comes to the abortion issue, one that perhaps many would prefer to avoid because it requires them to not only empathize with women, but to confront the reality of their own behavior, not so much as individuals, but as players in this kind of symbiotic relationship between men and women. Unfortunately, I suspect our never ending fondness for shaming each other will prevent that meeting of minds from ever happening. But you never know, sometimes people can surprise me.