Friday, November 2, 2007

Is pro-choice, pro-abortion?

C.S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, used to talk about verbicide (the killing of words). The basic concept is that we use words that typically have another meaning to “sugarcoat” new concepts (eg. “gay” used to mean happy but now means actively homosexual). So, we now say pro-choice to sugarcoat being pro-abortion.

The only choice we are talking about in this instance is the choice to have an abortion. I think everyone should be pro-choice in the sense that we all want choices – what am I going to eat, what should I wear, which movie do I want to watch – but when we say pro-choice we are only advocating the ability to make one particular choice, regarding abortion.

What does freedom really mean? Surprisingly, freedom isn’t doing whatever I want, whenever I want, with whoever I want. Freedom, instead, is the ability to choose the good. For example, if I have a car that runs only on unleaded gas, but I feel suppressed by such a condition that I decide to use diesel instead, how “free” will I feel when my car is unable to move? True freedom would be the ability to freely choose to buy the unleaded gas, which in the end will allow me to accomplish much more than the diesel would. Over the summer, a local teenager drove a car that crashed. He had the freedom to obey the speed limit or not. By not choosing what was good, his “freedom” (in the let-me-do-whatever-I-want-sense) resulted in the death of two other teens.

So, is choosing abortion freedom? To answer that, we would have to look at whether or not abortion is good. I would argue that it is not good on four counts:

1) It ends the life of the child, whose life has begun at the moment of fertilization.

2) It destroys the emotional (and sometimes physical) health of the mother. (See and; also – this was written by a friend of mine)

3) It is emotionally damaging to the father. (See above links)

4) It is destructive of society, which has a lower respect for life in general and does not have the blessing of those 47 million people who God created for a reason.

What good could supporting the choice of abortion do? It seems like a quick fix, but after sidewalk counseling in front of abortion clinics and talking to many women who have had an abortion, I know that it doesn’t fix anything. In fact, it just creates more problems, physically and emotionally. In my time outside of abortion clinics, I have seen women cry, scream, become physically violent and even be carried out of the abortion clinic in a stretcher. After experiences like this, I have encountered face-to-face that abortion does not make someone’s life easy. Of course, adoption and parenting are not easy decisions either, but they are decisions that a woman can live with.

This plays a huge role in why we do the In Control program – we don’t want anyone to be put in this situation to begin with. If someone is facing an unexpected pregnancy, then we can reach out to them in love by helping them to find options that are truly loving and life-giving. True freedom would give these women the ability to freely choose the good – life.

Think back to the legalization of slavery or during the Holocaust. Would anyone today say that it would have been OK to be “pro-choice” in supporting slavery or the Holocaust? Doubtfully. We recognize that those things were horribly wrong and we can’t even imagine someone saying that it would be OK if it was someone else’s choice.

I was able to go to Poland last year. Standing in the Auschwitz concentration camp I could not believe what a horrible place it was. Another girl from my school told me that maybe a reason God had me there was to share with others the similarity of the acceptance of evil during the Holocaust and the acceptance of the evil of abortion. I read a book about the Holocaust in which one man was quoted as saying that the reason he got involved in standing against the work of Hitler was because he couldn’t imagine his future grandchildren asking him what he did to stop the evil, if his answer would be, “Nothing.” I think the same is true today.

Saying, I’m against abortion but I’m pro-choice is like saying, I’m against parents shooting their teenagers, but I’m for the choice of other parents to shoot their teenagers if they get frustrated with them." If killing babies through abortion is wrong, then it can never be right. Therefore, being "pro-choice" is being "pro-abortion."

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