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Why I’m Pretty Sure I’m Pro-Life… I’m Getting There

with 5 comments

This is an older blog entry from when I was on Blogspot – I decided to transfer it to this new blog. It was written on April 20, 2009.

When I was in high school, I was a Leftist. So far Left, it makes me sick thinking about it now. I would attend protests calling for the destruction of the Jewish state, and for former President Bush to be tried and hanged for war crimes. I went to a high school that didn’t exactly discourage this sort of thing. I think of it as Indoctrination High (David Horowitz’s new book, Indoctrination U:  http://www.amazon.com/Indoctrination-U-Against-Academic-Freedom/dp/1594032378/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240232313&sr=8-1 ).

I was a Leftist before I started there, however my level of political interest was limited until my senior year of high school. The only thing my mother voted on was the issue of abortion, even on the state and local level. If you didn’t support a woman’s right to choose, she didn’t support you. Slowly, starting in college, uncharacteristically, I moved to the right. It started with two books: A History of Israel by Howard Sachar, a dry historical accounting of Israeli history from WWI to the present. I saw the Middle East, for the first time, in an un-biased light, and it made me wonder why the Left was hellbent on defending a people that tried to commit genocide against another (“throw the Jews into the sea!” was exclaimed during the War of Independence in 1947). The Jews were always eager to give land and peace whenever possible, but were often thwarted by the Arabs who were insistent on the destruction of the Jewish State, and nothing less. A second book, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand showed me the future of a socialist state, and made me totally reevaluate my economic leanings. Something that I’ve held onto, however, was my social Leftism. Until now.

Like many other bits of my Leftism, I never quite understood how people believed in G-d and religion. I thought it was a crock. There’s a famous quote by the wrestler-turned-Governor Jesse Ventura, “Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded.” That was my truth. I always self-identified as Jewish, and culturally and historically sided with the Jewish people. The G-d part of it, however, I didn’t quite buy. It wasn’t until a biology class my first year of college that something clicked. The perfect way that everything worked, how every cell and every system of the body perfectly complimented another, the thought struck me. “This is no accident.” Thus started my venture into the world of religion, only this time I wasn’t an outsider looking in.

So what does this have to do with abortion? During this same class, I started to see how much we are impacted by our DNA. How little nurture has so little to do with who we are, and how much it as to do with nature. Why did some siblings in the Holocaust survive when others did not? Why, in the face of adversity do some flourish and some fail? Partially it is to do with how we are raised, but mostly, it’s how the genome falls. There is much less personal choice than most people feel comfortable with admitting. To me the argument that “it’s just a bunch of cells” fell short of the reality. That bunch of cells was a potential person, with complexities and potential, just like a full-term fetus. It is no less a person at day 9 than it is at month 9. It astounds me to look at my baby cousin, to see how quickly her personality formed, long before she was aware of her own hands. Why are some babies “happy babies” and some miniature Scrooges? It’s in our DNA, it’s inherent.

In the summer of 2007, I spent three months in Cambodia. While I was there, teaching at an English school for adults, one of our students offered to let the female teachers come to her clinic, where she was performing abortions, to watch one. I was the only one to decline. The others I think saw it as a woman’s right to choose in action. Each came back pale, and couldn’t really speak about what they saw. It was, I think, much more violent and graphic than they expected. By the time the fetus was big enough to be vacuumed out, it already looked like a baby. Probably because it was.

After that point, I decided, personally, I would never do that to myself or my body, and more importantly, to my child. I decided, however, it was a personal choice that every woman had the right to make over her own body. Who are we to regulate that? But the thought occurred to me, once that embryo is formed, is that really her body anymore, or is it that it becomes outside of her control? Should it be one person’s choice to end another’s life? I don’t think so anymore.

And what of the argument: they’re going to do it anyway, let’s give women a safe alternative? Do we give guns to convicted murderers, because, hey, they’re going to do it anyway? No, we do not facilitate crimes just because of their likelihood of occurring. You can do it, in end we can’t stop you but we shouldn’t be offering a helping hand. Nor should we be providing tax-dollars to do it, Mr. Obama (read: Mexico City Policy).

We, as women, do have a choice. The choice is to not become pregnant in the first place. With the ready availability of birth control pills, condoms, IUDs, no woman in the United States of America has any business getting pregnant when we don’t want to. (And yes, I know that I am ignoring the issue of rape and incest, however that is quite honestly an entirely new ball of wax, and the amount of abortions those cases actually account for is really quite small.) The issue becomes what happens when we do get pregnant accidentally.

My biggest issue with the Left is a complete lack of accountability, a complete lack of personal responsibility. We expect other people (read: the government) to provide our health care, to help us on defaulted mortgages on homes we could never afford in the first place, to pay for the retirements we never prepared for. However, taking ownership of these mistakes is the first step in making them right. We should not run from them, or pretend as though others should solve them. This should not doom children to death before life, nor to homes that never wished for them in the first place (pull a Juno, open the PennySaver, there are plenty of couples that would do anything for a child to love).

So, to echo the title of this entry. I’m pretty sure I’m pro-Life. I’m getting there. It’s raining outside today, and I just hope that my mother doesn’t pull a Zeus and strike me with lightening. That’s probably the only thing stopping me from saying, yes, I am pro-Life. My first memory with my mother is driving down the highway on Long Island and giving protesters at an abortion clinic the finger. It’s a happy memory. I’m almost able to settle myself with who I am now, to what I was then.

To all the Leftists reading this (I doubt any have made it this far), watch this:
http://www.catholicvote.com/

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Written by bethanyshondark

March 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Leftist and I did make it to the end. Just wanted to let you know that I might not agree but I can read the whole argument. 🙂

    Leigh

    April 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

  2. Here is an argument for the other side. All children deserve to be wanted. Until you are willing to foster or adopt them all, you have no right to force a child to be born into a family who doesn’t want him or can’t care for him. If you haven’t met these kids/adults yet, you ought to. I am raising one of them right now. In this country if you are not a White, healthy baby, you are not likely going to have an easy time finding you way into a loving family.

    tikunolam

    August 25, 2010 at 10:08 pm

  3. All children deserve to be wanted, but no child deserves to be killed for being unwanted.

    And actually, there’s a shortage of babies to adopt. Of all types.

    SUZANNE

    November 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

  4. Very well said.

    Layla

    January 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

  5. Bethany,

    I want to first say great piece of writing.

    I feel the previous posters missed the most important statement, “We, as women, do have a choice. The choice is to not become pregnant in the first place.”

    I have always voted Republican in the past, but I was always pretty liberal socially, I wanted to stay safe militarily more than I cared about abortions, gun control and welfare reform. The more I educated myself on the Constitution and history, I found the left wasn’t as appealing as I thought.

    The problem with a leftist feminist is that they don’t address the true problem. The reasons why a woman would get pregnant with an “unwanted” (see comment above) child. This is the talking point they use, time and time again. The right then always comes back with so many people want to adopt. Knee jerk reactions instead of preventive measures. I believe it goes deeper than birth control measures, but to the core of the mentality of today’s women, which I believe stems from the lack of respect we receive from the opposite sex, and the way we look at ourselves.

    If we really cared about human rights and women rights we could teach our sons, that walking through Wal-mart, talking about the oral sex you got (in the most crude, nasty language I have heard, and I’m pretty street aware) and totally disrespecting the woman by your side is not acceptable, period. I was with my 16 year old son, and had to stop and explain how doing this to someone you are suppose to care about, is so wrong. I viewed a video that was so upsetting that it even had feminists in an uproar. Dead woman hanging from their neck, laying on beds, etc, while the rapper was kissing on them. It was terrible, maybe the left is coming around.

    We would also teach our daughters that they deserve better than the girl in the above story.

    Not long ago, I felt the same about unwanted kids, and believed that abortions were better, for these kids. I’m not sure how we fix the unwanted child issue, but that’s where the conversation should begin.

    Sorry my comment was so long, but I wanted you to know, I believe you have the right idea with the choice begins before getting pregnant.

    Marnie

    January 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm


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