If your main argument against abortion is religious conviction - I'm not going to debate that. Bible says killing is a sin, and even though some 'Christians' do not apply that same argument when approving of wars, abortion as such still remains a sin for believers. But I am not one, and I have my own arguments for being what they call 'pro-choice'.
To put it briefly, I consider abortion a lesser evil. And I will explain why. First - just some bullet points:
- a quick death is better than the life full of sorrow and pain
- unwanted children are set out to experience more pain and suffering in life
- non-existence most likely does not hurt (if you don't exist you can't feel anything), but miserable life sure does
Not any life is wonderful, thus - not any life is 'a gift', and oftentimes it's the opposite of one.
Life is difficult enough for a person growing up in a loving family. It is very likely to be much tougher for a kid whose own mother does not want him. Children can feel that they are not loved and unwanted while still inside mother's belly. And if pro-lifers are against abortion because it causes pain to the fetus, why do we overlook the emotional pain? Would you say that emotional pain does not matter?
And it's nothing supernatural. You know how hormones can cause certain emotions in us. And when the fetus is inside the woman its totally helpless and doomed to feel what the mother is feeling.
"Certainly, mother's emotions don't cross the placenta, but her hormones do. Researchers believe that a stressed mother produces an abundance of stress hormones called catecholamines, which have been shown to, in turn, affect emotions. When catecholamines are taken from frightened animals and injected into other animals, the recipients act frightened as well. Scientists theorize that these chemical stressors cross the placenta and "frighten" the developing nervous system. If it happens often enough, the fetus actually gets used to feeling chronically stressed." (source)
So, the suffering starts for the baby while it is still growing inside. But the problems do not end there. After baby is born, the first months of life are crucial as the infant develops either the basic trust or basic distrust in this world. Persons who developed trust go through life easier as they perceive this world as a generally safe place. They are more confident in themselves and later in life they are able to build healthy relationships with others. People who developed mistrust carry that inner feeling that world is generally hostile. Thus - the depressions, pathological jealousy, the need to control everything around rooted in the deep feeling of insecurity.
Babies need something more than the water, food and changed diapers. From the very beginning human beings need love, we need a loving touch.
You can make someone bring a baby into this world. You can not make that someone love her child. I've seen some mothers treating their babies with aggression, with cruelty. They weren't moved if the child was crying, they never wanted to touch their kids, much less hold them and caress them.
Seeing how the poor thing is suffering with such a parent makes you think "why the hell haven't you terminated your pregnancy? who told you you could be a mother?"
It's tough being an unwanted child. And this is not just my personal opinion. Studies were done and the findings indicated unwanted children generally having more problems in life:
"Longitudinal research has found that when abortion is denied, the resulting children are more likely to have a variety of social and psychological problems, even when they are born to adult women who are healthy with intact marriages and adequate economic resources. A long term study of children born in 1961-63 to women twice denied abortion for the same pregnancy and pair matched control children born to women who did not request abortion showed significant differences, always in disfavor of the unwanted children. All the children were born into complete families with similar socioeconomic circumstances. Being 'born unwanted' carried a risk of negative psychosocial development, especially for only children who had no siblings. At age nine they did poorer in school (despite no differences on intelligence tests), were less popular with classmates, and were more frequently described by mothers and teachers as being difficult. By age 21 -23 they reported less job satisfaction, more conflict with coworkers and supervisors, and more disappointments in love. By age 35 they had experienced more mental health problems.
In summary, there is a substantial literature that documents the serious health, social, psychological, and economic consequences of unintended and unwanted childbearing. These consequences can include increased maternal and infant death and illness, unstable marriages, and the restriction of educational and occupational opportunities leading to poverty and limited roles for women." (source link)
If things were different, and unwanted kids had equal chances of having a fulfilling, happy life, I'd probably be pro-life in most cases. I'd say 'you don't want a kid - fine, just give it up for adoption', and use contraception next time. But this is not the case.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't advise every pregnant woman thinking of abortion to have one. This is a complicated matter, and if a woman has doubts, there is a chance psychotherapy may help her 'find' that maternity instinct, find inner resources and keep the baby.
But if the woman is sure she does-not-want-to-have-this-baby, if her biggest wish is to get rid of the fetus, I find abortion to be a more merciful thing to do than deliver the baby only to give it up for adoption. Visiting one orphan care center in Ukraine left me with a grim feeling. Kids as young as 2 and as old as 15. Lots of kids who need parents and lots of adults out there somewhere who don't want these kids. They want their own, not those abandoned by someone. Older kids already know their chances of having a normal family are small. Little ones do not yet realize it. The woman who worked there told us (then - a group of students) that they call every woman 'mama', every female worker.
It is tough working in such centers. Seeing those kids every day. Probably, that's where committed pro-lifers should work. Trying to make the lives of kids they saved less miserable.
I wonder how many people who protest abortion rights actually adopted a kid? At least one? How many of them actually visited a foster care to spend time with those abandoned children? What's the point of calling for bringing more unwanted kids into this world, when we already have plenty? And whose responsibility are they? Maybe those guys', who insisted on them being born?..
Thank you for commenting, Pete. The link you posted is worth visiting.
Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, this problem is hard to handle, even with psychologist's help. This sorts of beliefs like 'noone would want to be with me' are irrational and so deeply ingrained that countering them with evidence to the contrary usually isn't working. But that's not to say that overcoming or at least minimizing the effects of the early experiences is impossible, some people make great progress in countering the problem.
Not everyone is even being told that they were unwanted, but some people just instinctively feel thats the case. And I am not sure which is harder - feeling unwanted and having that fact admitted by the parent(s), ot feeling noone really cares but being told they do. Sure, both cases suck anyway. the child will keep thinking it's their fault their not loved, which is of course not true.
I find it repulsive when people say that a woman should still have the baby even though she was raped
That is beyond comprehension. Is there a conspiracy theory that claims CIA has invented time machine? Because I wouldn't immediately discard it. Why else would we be seeing quite a bit of individuals with medieval mindset??
Children are not objects, you cannot just place them around front, right, and center.
Thats absolutely right, Liz. Why do we decide on behalf of a future human being it wants to be born as a result of rape, and possibly grow up at a foster home. Is that such a wonderful gift?
Besides, how many people really do adopt? Not many.
I expect every single person who makes 'give it up for adoption' argument to have at least 1 adopted kid. That would be the best testimony to how popular adoption is.
And I think religious people should never go to fertility clinics. If abortion is against the will of God, because God sent the kid to that woman, so is trying to become fertile by means of science when God clearly doesn't want you to be. Pray, maybe he'll change his mind! Hypocrits.
In fact, they should argue for banning fertility clinics together with banning abortion. Because allowing fertility treatment is depriving an orphan of its potential foster parents. Right? It's just logical.
This is my post from almost 2 years ago. Lots of things have been re-evaluated since then.
I called it 'a lesser evil' than throwing an unwanted child into this world. At that point I was thinking fetuses feel pain (all the propaganda back from school). Today I know they don't until around the 3rd trimester and thats when most abortions take place. So that's really not an evil by any standard. And in any case, there is much more pain to be experienced in this life, and we should really ask ourselves the question what reasons do we have for perpetuating it in the first place.