Not all Abortions are the Same

I had a tough dialogue with a former friend concerning the Supreme Court’s Dodd decision.  We disagree on the fundamental aspects of the issue and the discussion has been eye-opening.  As teenagers we were both raised in very conservative milieus.  I had a loving home with loving parents.  When my mother passed away, my father found a wonderful woman who has been a great stepmother.  

Unfortunately, I have no idea of my friend’s home life.  Having a good home to grow up in, with a dedicated mother who chose to stay at home, resulted in my friend spending time at my house.  They didn’t always invite us over to their house.  As we became adults, I strove to live up to the ideals our shared religion taught us.  I waited till marriage for physical intimacy.  I did struggle with pornography for a while, but sought counseling, repented, and while the temptation is still there, I have been sober for years.  I know it is possible to live a life following traditional Christian morality because I live it. 

About five years ago, my wife had an ectopic pregnancy.  It was the first pregnancy she had not miscarried in eight years.  We didn’t know it was ectopic until she woke up in the middle of the night experiencing the worst pain she had ever felt.  I talked her into going to the ER.  The doctor did ultrasounds and tests.  She was two months pregnant.  (She hadn’t told me because I always got so excited about it, and she didn’t want to have to tell me when there was a miscarriage.)  The baby was healthy.  We got to hear the healthy hoof-beats of our child’s heartbeat.  Then the doctor told us, “It’s implanted in the wrong place.  As this baby continues to grow, it will rupture your ovary and you will bleed to death.  The rupture could happen at any moment now.  That’s why you’re in so much pain.”   

My wife was emotionally numb, wanted to hide in a cave and wait till it all went away.  I made her go to her follow-up appointments, and in under three days, she had surgery.  The organ had already ruptured, and we were lucky that my wife’s blood had clotted and that the clot stayed in place for a few days.  The doctor removed the damaged organ, which also contained our last chance at another child.  It was heartbreaking.  

While the medical term for what happened is an oophorectomy, my wife continues to refer to it as an abortion. I wouldn’t call it that, but I know that she is not the only person who would label such surgery an abortion.  An overzealous pro-choice DA could try to prosecute us so the pro-choice crowd can point to our prosecution as to why all abortions must be legal.  Unfortunately, the choice we had was losing her and the baby, or losing the baby.  She refused to decide (she has struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past), and after much prayer and supplication to the Lord, I chose to save the life that could be saved.  Had I not acted, I would be a widower right now, and my teenage daughter would not have had a mother to teach her about Aunt Flo.  My wife and I do not support abortion, but we do believe it should be legal to save the life of the mother.  I haven’t met any pro-lifers that have condemned our decision or our stance on the issue.  With the Dobbs decision, our stance hasn’t changed.  I am glad to see that the states are now allowed to regulate abortion as their people see fit.

My friend has described his adult life very differently.  He has chosen not to have children or to get married.  He’s convinced that no one lives the standards we were taught as children and has come to his own understanding of the universe that is heavily influenced by the religion he was raised in, along with many esoteric pagan and secularist beliefs.  He believes that since the male body has evolved to require sex for optimal mental and physical health, that sex is a man’s right.  When I stated that sex was not a right and that no one can separate sex from reproduction, he went on a rant.  He eventually told me that a long time ago, he got a girl pregnant.  They did not want to be married, and he knows that had they stayed together, their lives would have been miserable.  He told me, “All pro-lifers can’t imagine the fear and panic of an unwanted and unplanned child.  They all wanted their children.”  He is correct.  I can’t imagine the fear and panic of creating life when I didn’t want to.  I have no idea if he forced her to abort or if she chose to abort, but that child’s life was deemed so valueless by him that he’d rather it be destroyed than adopted by parents who would nurture that life into something beautiful.  

This is the natural consequence of refusing traditional morality.  His story was hidden by several layers of anger, hate, and intellectualism parading as virtue.  He started the conversation talking about bodily autonomy.  He then equated refusing the vaccine to terminating a pregnancy for any reason.  He even claimed the violence against conservatives was justified.  By refusing to condemn, but acknowledging that we were friends, and agreeing where we did agree, he eventually opened up about his experience with abortion.  Learning of his experience and drawing conclusions from it, I could sum up his support for abortion thusly:  Abortion should be legal, because men have a right to sex but should be allowed to refuse fatherhood.  He can’t bear to think that anything he has done or will do is morally wrong

If I were to restate this it to his face, he would immediately go back to “bodily autonomy,” condemn me for wanting to control others, and would state that I deserve violence.  This saddens me, because my friend has rejected the only way to have a truly happy and fulfilling sex/family life.  Now he lashes out at everyone who told him so or reminds him of it.  That’s got to be a lousy way to live.

Monroe Wesson is a nom de plume of an American that believes that if we could get past all the emotional bluster, that we'd realize there are a lot of things we Americans still agree on.

Image: drsuparana

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