David has been doing a Bible study up at the church. It’s a four-year study and it’s involved a lot of reading. This year, his first, covered the Old Testament. Mostly he’s been disturbed by and has commented on the way women were treated and viewed over four thousand years ago.
“They were treated like livestock,” he says.
“They had no say in anything,” he says.
“They were no more than slaves,” he says.
It speaks highly of David that he’s appalled that a man with a perfectly intelligent wife wouldn’t make use of her advice or opinions. I am his sounding board, as he is mine.
“Isn’t it wonderful how we’ve evolved?” This is my merry chorus to his bemoaning, the refrain in major after the verse in minor.
And we have evolved, haven’t we? Look at all the progress that we, as a civilization, have made. There was a time when equal rights and democracy were unheard of. There was a time when those of an alternate sexual orientation were forced by law to live lives contrary to their truth. There was a time when bullies were respected instead of loathed.
There was a time that, when a young single woman became pregnant, she dishonored her family and might even be kicked out of her home, in addition to losing her dreams; and in her desperation she sought dangerous methods to make the problem go away. Abortion is as inevitable as pregnancy and as a society shouldn’t we make certain that it’s safe? Legislating against it shows a lack of sense that’s embarrassing.
I can honestly say that among the women of my generation that I know well, more have had abortions than not. Each woman I’ve discussed it with says that, all these years later, she still believes that the abortion was the right decision; and she also believes it was a tragedy.
If that’s not screwed up I don’t know what is.
Is it possible for a person to hold two opposing opinions at the same time? Obviously, it is. I’ve always viewed abortion as an abhorrent necessity. Also, I don’t believe that returning to unenlightened times is a smart plan.
There’s practicality to consider as well. Take Kuwait, for example. David interrupts.
“What does Kuwait have to do with it?” he asks.
“I’m telling about how the Kuwaitis imported workers from the Philippines and Bangladesh, then refused to pay them so they were forced to take to the streets and beg.”
“I don’t get how that’s relevant.”
“They imported people and then didn’t take care of them. If abortion is made illegal we as a society will get stuck taking care of all the unplanned babies.”
“It’s a stretch.”
That it is.
“You’re right. I’ll delete that bit.” (But I don’t.)
Much has been made of the fact that the lawmakers who are pushing the anti-abortion agenda are white men. The pictures and names of these men have been released and I believe some of my friends have printed those pictures and pinned them on their dartboards. Truth: unless you’re a woman who’s lived through it, you have no idea how frightening and devastating an unwanted pregnancy can be, or how heartrending the decision to have an abortion is. Having said that, these men were elected. I assume it’s because their policies are supported by the majority of the voters.
Because the topic has recently been brought front and center, a debate has commenced in my head; which is too bad because I’ve determinedly avoided thinking about it for years. It’s a touchy issue that brings about extreme emotions and I prefer to keep things light.
So. What are my beliefs on the subject?
I believe that life starts as soon as sperm penetrates egg. I believe that abortion is a reasonable option, though a sad one. I believe that it’s not my place to judge another’s path. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe every individual has a right to choose.
And I believe that Roe v. Wade should stand.