Being Pro-Woman

Saying this kind of thing online is always dangerous; what with trolls, passionate protesters, and sometimes just people who want to yell for no good reason, I do realise I could be letting myself in for a world of trouble, but I feel this needs to be said: I’m Pro-Woman.

What do I mean? I mean that I don’t like abortion, but I do like, love and care for women, and women do not deserve to be treated like scum, like they are below me, or in any other negative way, because they want/believe in/support abortion and a woman’s right to choose.

I have heard many people talk about babies/foetus’ as human whilst simultaneously treating pro-choicers as subhuman (and vice versa). That doesn’t make sense to me at all. It’s either all or none, and he without sin throw the first rock, etc. Even if you believe that abortion is murder, or sin, or a number of other things, there is no excuse for making someone feel as if they want to die themselves for even thinking it. Tolerance of everyone doesn’t mean until they disagree with your view.

I believe that if you don’t like the idea of abortion, then you need to start liking the idea of adoption, and I mean practically.

Hypothetical situation: you see a teenage girl in a coffee shop and she’s upset. You ask her if she’s OK, and she says she pregnant. She doesn’t know who the father is because she was drunk at a party. Her parents are not remotely supportive. She’s still in school, she hasn’t got a job, she sees no way out except for abortion. She doesn’t feel like she could look after a baby anyway.

OK, so it’s a common thread of arguments worldwide, but I listened to a talk from someone who had been a woman talking to this girl. She then asked IF there was a way she could have the baby and know things were going to be OK, would she have an abortion? The girl said no. At this point, this amazing woman offered her space in her home, open adoption of her baby, but space and support for the teenager too if she wanted to continue with school but still be around her child.

This is not just one situation, she has had this talk with a number of could-be-mothers often who she met completely by chance, some turned her down outright and she sat with them holding their hand through the abortion procedure, some asked her to adopt their child but couldn’t deal with being around as well. Whatever the answer, whatever the discussion brought up, this woman loved them, cared for them, and treated them as best she could.

This form of support is what I think many women and girls lack when going through this decision. Those who have an abortion are not evil, whether or not they do what I would do. I cannot completely align myself with Pro-choice because abortion upsets me deeply, I do not think it is ever a good thing. On the other hand, however I feel about abortion I cannot force anyone to follow my wishes and freedom is something I find extremely important (particularly when it comes to saving the life of the mother), so Pro-life isn’t quite me either.

I choose pro-woman because I understand the pressures we face, the decisions we make honestly hoping for the best, and completely accepting that one day someone may need my help, either in adoption or taking them into my home or holding their hand.

And I will love them just the same.

UPDATE: This is an incredibly moving video about adoption that really shows the difference it can make to children who are in need of more than just a family, but health help too. Click here to watch a presentation from Shift.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Mrs Cronin,

    You say you like, love and care for women, and women do not deserve to be treated like scum, as if they were below you, for the reason that they wanted, believed in or supported abortion and a woman’s right to choose. Your sentiments are rightly called pro-woman, and you have practical action to recommend, namely adoption and decency between humans created in the image of God. It is not clear, however, what you believe about abortion as a public matter of law, which as such is in the public discourse.

    At the end, considering the two labels pro-life and pro-choice, you find them both unsatisfying. Not finding abortion ever to be a good thing, on the one hand, you are reluctant to call yourself pro-choice, since many of those who so call themselves champion unlimited sexual autonomy even when it means unlimited abortions; not wishing to impose your own feelings upon others, on the other hand, you are reluctant to call yourself pro-life. I suggest that the choice, even as framed by these labels, is not so bleakly binary, nor are people on either side as monolithic as they may appear: plenty of pro-lifers support legally permitting abortion to save the life of the mother, and plenty of pro-choicers, though they would never themselves have an abortion, think it right to allow others to have an abortion.

    The very point above evinces that pro-life and pro-choice do not wholly exclude one another. Supporting the life of every child, one might yet think it up to the mother to preserve herself for her husband or sacrifice her own life for her child; supporting freedom of conscience in the most difficult moral dilemmata, one might consider only life-threatening cases to be morally difficult as such. What I have just described would be one defined and (I think) coherent position. Your suggestions are helpful, and I have long agreed in principle, but they do not remove the legal difficulties of laying out a just freedom for both mother and child.

    Having clarity on the legal matter does not, I believe, properly involve the imposition of sentiments from anyone, though what we know in our hearts does often drive us to articulate the truth more accurately and precisely in order to do justice to the complexities of the matter at hand. To project one’s own feelings upon the body politic, or to wish banned everything that one disapproves of, is only an abuse of the law. In a world of insult and offence, this is a matter of course (the post linked to is long, but I heartily recommend engaging with it); nevertheless, it is not inherent to public justice. Though treating of some highly personal things – marriage comes to mind – the law is impersonal because, even when there is a monarch who embodies the people, justice is higher still, tied not to any one person on earth but rather to Christ in heaven. Though the public judgements of the law cannot infallibly or perfectly administer Christ’s entire and spotless righteousness, it does represent, until his coming again, how he wishes to restrain sinners and teach those who are regenerate.

    Until the law be extricated from personal feelings, either mine or someone else’s, it will be hard for anyone to discuss policy and jurisprudence without being at war, and we will be unable fully to appreciate what others truly think. Wishing to understand and respond to what truths God has kept in others, I find this clarity of the utmost importance, indispensable to the public discussion of right and wrong.

    1. EKMCronin says:

      The reason I avoided stating a view on abortion legally is because I am still battling with it. A number of studies have shown that less pregnancies, particularly teenage pregnancies, occur in countries where abortion is not legal, on the other hand the fear and danger of back street abortion clinics are just a ridiculously silly alternative. I do agree that we need to tread very carefully in regards to protecting the mother’s life – but alongside this needs to be a strong choice from the woman. If a mother does want to try and hold out as long as possible to give her child the best chance, she should not be forced into abortion. In the same way, the recent case in Ireland was appallingly handled, and a woman dying terrified and in agony is an awful image.

      The difficulty with making something like this legal is that it can be seen as automatically being good/acceptable and I know and have had experience of people who have viewed abortions as birth control. This attitude is horrible and turns my stomach, but I’m not sure how you change those opinions.

      I also completely agree with your point about the labels of pro-choice and pro-life are limited in my post. There is of course a range of opinion, but it is difficult to portray all of them well, so instead tried to use the general terms in the hope that I could encourage a kinder attitude than both the extremes.

      Thank you for your points and comments, I do find this issue an interesting one and I’m glad that there are those I can have a reasoned discussion with.
      God bless and Merry Christmas.

  2. Interesting post! My knowledge on this is pretty sketchy but I remember having a conversation with my youth worker, whose Mum used to professionally council young girls in this situation, and she said that the demand for adoptions is through the roof. I don’t know if this is true (or how you would even check that) but it’s always influenced the way I thought about this issue. If there are families who can’t have children (for example) going through a long queuing process to adopt, doesn’t it seem odd to have such a thriving abortion culture going on at the same time? Do you think asking a woman to go through the pregnancy process and birth is justified if there’s a loving family waiting for the baby? (Genuinely curious). It’s interesting to consider if that’s still being ‘pro-woman’ whilst simultaneously looking after the interests of the child (and taking away the personal responsibility to adopt toboot).

    1. EKMCronin says:

      I had similar conversations with women doing the same work as your mum. They would always let girls know that adoption was an option, but ultimately they would always hope that the girl’s motherly instincts would kick in and they could help through the struggles. I do find it sad that so many couples desperately want kids and there are less being adopted (rather than aborted), but I think one of the hardest truths of it all are that often couples who want to adopt, want a baby, untainted, with no health issues, etc. They are a number of children who are desperate for parents but come with the baggage of abuse, neglect, health disabilities, learning difficulties, etc. I get that it’s incredibly hard to take on the responsibility for these children, but they are still exactly that: children, who need love just as much if not more.

      The other thing about abortion and adoption, is that it’s not just an issue in our country. With issues like the one-child policy in China, it means babies are abandoned or sent into care frequently, and do need families. I know people say: “but there are children here, why go abroad?” but a child is a child wherever they are.

      As for asking a woman to go through pregnancy in order to give a child to someone who can’t, I think under certain circumstances that would be possible. But they would need to be such a careful line to make sure that the vulnerable weren’t pressured firstly to go through with something they truly did not want, and secondly that if they changed their mind, the baby was not forcibly taken from them, or coerced from them. It’s difficult line but perhaps one that needs consideration.

      Thanks for your post! I’m really enjoying decent conversation and questions, rather than trolls! 🙂

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