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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How pro-choice (or pro-life) are you?

Many people hear the terms "pro-choice" or "pro-life" and their minds automatically drift to the subject of abortion. But when you think about it, the terms go so far beyond abortion. Of course, abortion is part of what it means to be pro-life or pro-choice, but what about assisted suicide? Or the death penalty? Can you be for one and not the other?

I've given all three of these issues a lot of thought and for a long time, I feel I've been pro-choice across the board. Yes, I (obviously) believe that women should have the right to safe and legal abortions. Yes, I believe that the death penalty can be an appropriate form of punishment. And finally, yes, I believe that terminally ill adults should have the right to die with dignity in the form of assisted suicide. So, I would say that I feel very confident in saying that I am honestly "pro-choice".

And when you consider these two terms, there's one other thing to consider (this was brought to my attention earlier this week). What if you stand somewhere in the middle? What if, yes, you can understand and think abortion should be legal, but you also wish it didn't have to be a reality. Would you be considered pro-solution? Interesting, right? I think most pro-choicers have a little bit of pro-solution in them. I'd even venture to say that many pro-choicers ARE pro-solution types. I, for example, fully support a woman's right to choose, but of course, I would love for abortion to never have to be an option. I'd love for their to be support systems in place for girls and women, for them to make other decisions that may be easier. I'd love for science to advance far enough to where any ailment could be cured in the womb. But until those solutions come into place, I support abortion.

So where do you stand? Not just on abortion, but on all of these choice and life decisions.


  1. I believe that being pro life encompasses more than the opposition to abortion. It should involve opposition to all forms of life-taking, including war, euthanasia, and capital punishment. This is what it means when someone refers to him or herself as "Consistently Pro-life." Just opposing abortion while, say, being ok with the death penalty ignores the fundamental nature of each individual's right to life. (Ie, the right to life is God-given, so it doesn't depend on someone's guilt or innocence. Killing an unrepentant murderer might be satisfying, but it places the state in God's position of deciding when life should end.) Now, I suppose there are cases in which violence is necessary to defend oneself or someone else from bodily harm, but this, like war, should be a last resort.

    And, of course, I'd like to see pro lifers become more vocal about supporting programs for women and children in need, the availability of contraception, etc. Many or most pro lifers support these things but we are often made out to be in opposition to such measures.

    Lastly, as a disability advocate, no, I don't support euthanasia. In countries where this has been legal for a long time, like the Netherlands, the definition of "Terminally ill" has been expanded to include depression, quadraplegia, arthritis, and many other conditions. And, if we had that here, any disabled person who needed surgery to correct a heart condition could be considered a candidate for euthanasia. Like selective abortion, euthanasia is bourne from an inherent prejudice against disability, the lack of resources directed toward pain management, and, ironically, the fear of death, manifested in fear of the dying process.

  2. For once, I have to say that I agree with you, Safepres.