Politics and Abortion
This post is a guest post written by Mathias Schwender. Mathias and his wife Carrie (who I wrote about here) are good friends of ours and incredible people. The other night we were having dinner with them and the topic of abortion and politics came up and Mathias shared some interesting insight. I knew at the time that there were others in the blogosphere writing about this topic lately so I invited Mathias to be my first guest blogger as part of this impromptu synchroblog.
I am not a woman. I cannot pretend I have felt, lived through, experienced, suffered or wrestled with the decision of giving or not giving birth to an unwanted baby. Yet I have compassion for women in this situation and the last thing I wish for them is to be persecuted, punished or being outcast. In a way I think it is not fair that women are way more affected by giving birth or not giving birth than men – regardless how involved men are.
We as a society and fellow humans must respect and acknowledge that women that do not want to give birth to their child are already put on a burden that seems too much to carry. We have the obligation to come and support and help and endure with them.
Nevertheless I want to speak out for those humans that share life with me on this earth. I want to speak out for those that do not have a voice. They are my brothers and sisters and therefore I am qualified to speak out for them.
I strongly feel it is not right to give in to what seems so fair: ‘let her not have the child’. I strongly disagree that one (or more) human beings have the right to end someone else’s life. Why does the most vulnerable, innocent person not have a right to live? Why can it be sent to death because the father or mother or the society as a whole decides so? Since when is a human life only valued as such if it is desired? Where else in our society does someone have the ‘right to choose’ over someone else’s life?
Let’s say my grandmother is sick and I have to take care of her and I cannot afford to look after her or I just simply think this is inconvenient for me. Why can’t I just push her down the staircase? If it is about me and my social or economical situation then this should also be ok to do that, no?
No. I cannot just end someone else’s life because it is not my life and I cannot end it. That’s why.
And this is not because I am a Christian or anything else. This is because I want to live in a society that honors life.
We should really stop making this a religious question anything more than caring for the elders, paying our taxes or coming up with a good health care plan.
I like Obama. I think he would be the better president. And I actually would probably vote for him if I carried the right passport. Yet it bothers me that he is inconsistent. With his health care plan he says: we need to protect every American. We need to protect children. We cannot just let the parents make the choice if they want to ensure the children or not. Health insurance must extend to everybody.
I agree with him. I think it is a good plan. But then when it comes to abortion he suddenly says: the mother is able to take the best decision for her baby. She is most qualified to decide.
Why can’t the parents decide if their children get health insurance but apparently can decide if the child will live or die? I don’t get it.
What personally woke me up and made me aware of this was statistics I have lately seen. Only in the US more than 1,2 million babies get aborted every single year. Source: http://www.abort73.com/HTML/II-A-abortion_statistics. ( I think this is one out of three conceived babies)This is just so incredible. As a comparison: on 9/11 we had about 3000 people dying on a single day and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq happened as a consequence. With abortions this amount of people die every single (!) day and nothing really seems to happen as a consequence.
What I would propose to do about it on a governmental level:
1. Start with having a restricted abortion policy. In Germany (where I am from) for example, abortions can only legally be done to the 12th week and a medical or social reason must be given and approved by a doctor.
I think it is totally inacceptable and horrifying that in many western European countries and also the USA you can abort a child an hour before it gets born without giving even a reason. I can see how people argue about early abortions but to kill a fully grown baby just because it didn’t yet come out of the mother’s womb is just incredible.
2. Women that go through unwanted pregnancies must get government and financial help to get through and deliver the baby. Economical reasons should get entirely ruled out.
3. To give the child up for adoption must become much easier. Also bureaucratic hurdles in adopting a child must get a lot more straightforward.
4. Change the laws so abortions with some restricted, defined and very limited exceptions (which have to be monitored in a transparent way by an independent institution) should become illegal. When slavery was legal there were only a few people that thought it was a bad thing. Now it’s illegal and people also think it is a bad thing. But it took a while. We shape the conscious of a society if we ok with our laws certain things. Changing the laws will slowly then also change how people feel about abortions. I know for this we need majorities. Every little step helps. The little I can do I want to do for it.
Check out these links to hear what others are saying:
Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman