The Pro-Life movement is alive and well in the town we now call home. There are signs for mass prayer events to end abortion and clinics to counsel women on making the "right" choice. I tend to roll my eyes when I see such things, but I realize this is a topic that involves a lot of emotion for many people. I do not expect to change anyone's well-established opinion in this area, but I'd like to tell why I believe in a person's right to choose.
Raising a child is hard! When I became a mother I realized how ill-prepared for the task I was and I was in a committed relationship, somewhat financially stable, employed, and I had access to top-notch health care. I remember looking at my daughter as a baby and the knowledge that this was a lifetime responsibility overwhelmed me. I could not resign from this position, I could not try it out and change my mind...I couldn't even leave this person for a quick trip to the coffee shop to refuel whenever I felt like it. Aspects of my life were the same and yet, this new presence seemed to change everything.
Fast forward 10 years and although I feel more comfortable in my role as a mom, it is still hard. Life's changes occur (moving, new jobs, new people in our lives) and every time I make a decision I have to think of how that decision affects another person. The realization that I am responsible for raising a human being is still so daunting. I am extremely thankful that other positive influences have been part of my daughter's life, because I am a flawed person and my hope is that my daughter will learn from a multitude of people and make good choices for her (my good choices are not always going to be her good choices).
If a person, for whatever reason, does not feel up to the task of this job, the job of being a parent, then I hope they can make a choice that is best for them before it is too late. Having an abortion or putting a child up for adoption is painful and yet, it allows a person to walk away from the daily responsibilities of being a parent. Having a child and keeping a child does not allow one to just walk away (I realize people do walk away from their children and I assume the pain the child feels is something I cannot even put into words and I do not think an adult who walks away from their child ever forgives themselves).
I do not know when a life begins. I do know miscarriages occur and they are horribly sad and many times they are not even known by a woman. I do not know what lies ahead for us after death, though I do not believe in punishment by a higher power for choosing not to bring a pregnancy to term. I do realize many people's opinions on this matter are formed by their spiritual and religious beliefs.
I hope that all people will practice sexual intimacy using protection when a pregnancy is not desired, but I realize that it is not realistic and I realize that some people do use protection and still become pregnant. I believe education is important and yet, as a parent, I realize that no amount of education prepares a person for becoming a parent and that most 16-year olds can barely look past the events of the weekend, much less fifteen years down the road when their baby is a teenager.
Many people will have children, thinking of how fun having a baby will be or because they feel pressured by society, their friends, their families. Those people may later regret their choice. A person who is uncertain of their abilities to become a parent (and I think every soon-to-be-parent falls into this category) may later be grateful they chose to become a parent, even when society, their friends, their family, said they shouldn't do it. What I want is for a person who is aware that becoming a parent is not right for them to be able to make a choice when a choice is still to be made.