Pro-Choice Or Pro-Life: A False Dichotomy

Pro-Choice Or Pro-Life: A False Dichotomy

Let's Have The Talk...
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In America, one of the most hot-button issues is abortion....On January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court heard Roe V. Wade. The court granted that abortion was a constitutional right protected by the right to privacy under the fourteenth amendment. They concluded that regulations on abortion had to be determined by a compelling state interest. Along with this ruling came a "trimester framework" test. Simply put, it meant that States could only start regulating abortion in the third trimester. So, ever since then the question of abortion has been settled right? Not really. The landmark Court case spawned grassroots activism on both sides of the spectrum. Along with that, many have tried to bring their cases to the Supreme court to chip away at the legal status of abortion in any way that they can. While States cannot ban abortion, they have found ways to put up barriers to make it harder for women to get abortion such as waiting periods. In this article, I hope to show that there is truly a false dichotomy between the pro-life and pro-choice movement and there are places they can actually work together for the greater good. Indeed, I hope to point out that through this fight, both sides are missing a point that needs to be said. And one quick disclaimer: I am not an advocate for abortions left and right. But I am also Pro-Choice. I hope to explain why later on. Anyways, I pray and hope that this article is received by people from all sides of the debate.

A study done by Gallup polls in May 2015 found that for the first time since 2009, a majority of Americans consider themselves pro-choice compared to pro-life. Though, the divide is still pretty even. (50 percent pro-choice v. 44 percent pro-life.)

So what is the big deal about abortion? Why are so many Christians so staunchly against it? (It should be noted that for this article, I will only address one religion, for it is what I know. Although a majority of those who identify as religious tend to be pro-life also.) According to many Christians, the Bible forbids it. They often go back to the following bible verse to draw their conclusions: "“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) So to many Christians, they are literally fighting to save lives. They truly believe that life begins at conception. Although more can be said about this, the point of this article is not a theological debate, so I will move on.

The pro-choice side does not believe this. They believe that the woman's right over her body is essential. In terms of when they believe life begins, it varies from person to person. For some, this issue matters while for others it does not. Like the other side, most of the people you will find in this movement will have good intentions.


To be fair to the pro-life side again, I am sure there are certain,instances where abortions are done out of simply selfish and conventional reasons. Yet, this is not the majority of abortions. It is sadly not always a clear delineating line separating both sides as clearly good and evil. That is actually just a version of media sensationalism.

In terms of when life actually begins scientifically, for awhile it was held to be 24 weeks, but new developments show that it might actually be 22 weeks. To determine this, scientists observe and calculate when a baby can be born prematurely. Yet, this article is not meant to talk about exactly when the personhood of a baby begins, for that in itself is an arduous task that many scientists are still not clear on themselves. (If you disagree with me on this point, please point it out, I am by no means, a scientist!)

Hopefully now that I have been fair to hatching out both sides, let's get to what I am trying to get at. It would be a fallacious lie to say that all pro-choice individuals want more abortions or think that it should always be the first option. On the same token, it would also be a fallacious lie to say that everyone in the pro-life movement is trying to deny the rights of women. Indeed, many do support abortions in cases of rape or other traumas.

Again, at the heart of this complex issue is rather or not life begins at conception or birth or somewhere in between. Given that this is a sensitive issue for many, the wages are high and the issue is highly polarized on both sides. Many Christian churches openly say that they are pro-life and some even protest at abortion clinics. My question to everyone involved: does it really need to be a war?

Let's put aside the politics for a second and think about this rationally: Each year, nearly 1.2 million Americans have an abortion. The most common reasons are pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, cases in which the woman is endangered, to prevent the birth of a child with serious birth defects, and birth control failure. 9 out of 10 abortions every year are performed within the first 9 weeks. The pro-life side, says (for some,even in cases of rape or incest) that the woman should just have the child and give it to an adoption agency. Yet, the pro-choice side says that this impedes on the right of a woman and for many young women it can be a traumatizing event. (especially in cases of rape or incest.)

What do I think? Well, I believe abortion should be legal in America, so in that sense, I guess I should give my Christian badge away.... Just kidding guys... Yet, I also believe that wherever life begins, the actual potential of human life is a seriously weighted decision to make for anyone. Given I am not a woman, I will never experience this. Yet, since we are on the topic, I will push further. Again, I believe abortion should be legal, but I also believe that other alternatives should be encouraged. First, adoption should be encouraged. Not only encouraged, but I believe that Christians need to do a better job of pushing for reform in the foster and adoption agencies in America, which are a wreck. In fact, this is a common goal EVERYONE should work on both sides of the spectrum. It's a practical solution. Secondly, more partnerships need to happen between abortion clinics and adoption agencies. Not to intimidate the women to choose adoption, but to lay all of the options in front of her. Thirdly, many do not consider that for many women that seek an abortion, they cannot afford to undergo the costs of being pregnant due to poverty. In those cases, should the government offer assistance? Perhaps churches, communities, etc. should be a part of this. In whatever sense, it is a factor that needs to be considered.

Additionally, think about this: many times the people that speak out against abortion, do not consider the child's future when it is actually born. For instance, a poor parent who had to have a child is now in poverty. This happens a lot. Also, did you know that many women die internationally from trying to induce their own abortion? If abortion is outlawed, more people will probably try to do so in ways that could harm themselves. While I do not agree with it, I think it is a factor to consider.

To be fair to my fellow Christians let me level with you: I am a deeply convinced follower of Christ myself. It is not only with my own reasoning I came to this stance but also through praying about the matter at hand. I am not saying I have a monopoly on the matter at hand, but needless to say, whatever your stances are on abortion, can we agree that many of the things such as ignored poverty, ignored single moms, and rape are grave moral sins that we must address? Perhaps if all of us (not just Christians) tackled this more, abortions might occur less? One fights an illness by attacking the symptoms. (Not to say that those that seek an abortion have an illness.) Can we not say that issues like rape and poverty are at times symptoms of abortion? Likewise, let us do the same. On the same token, I acknowledge that abortions should always be a woman's choice and it is something I can never understand.

So in conclusion, I hope this starts a conversation and gets people to think. I am open to dialogue. We all need to do better everyone.It is not just a black and white issue. Yes, abortion should be legal. (while limits should still be set.) But, on the other hand, other alternatives should still be encouraged. And that is something I am passionate about. Truth be told, speaking from a simply human point of view, the potentiality of life is a serious thing to me. Regardless of when life begins, I think everyone should realize the weight of the matter at hand. That fetus could one day be a talking and living human being. This is not something I take lightly. I just believe that both sides are wasting time on the issue of abortion and what everyone should really focus on is strengthening counseling , improving adoption agencies, and of course helping those in poverty who cannot afford to feed another mouth. That is the Christian thing to do. I just do not believe that legislating morality in areas of clear dichotomous areas in society is the only route for the Christian to go. You can be against it, but at the end of the day, we have a separation of church and State and women legally have ownership over their bodies. Let's use that energy to support these women in their times of needs while also acknowledging that abortion is a personal choice and right.


Cover Image Credit: simoncamilleri.com

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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I've Had PTSD, And I'll Be The First To Say I Did Not Need A Gun While I Was Sick

My opinion on gun control not from my political opinions, but from my experiences as a mentally ill person.

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On November 7th, 2018, a gunman armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun walked into Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and killed 12 people.

In addition to the 11 slain and 18 injured in the bar, the gunman killed a sheriff's sergeant responding to the 911 call before committing suicide.

The gunman was Ian David Long, a former U.S. Marine apparently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

While all of the 307 mass shootings that make it onto the news make my soul ache, this one particularly hit home for me for two reasons.

One: I lived in California for about five years and had indeed spent time in the area.

Two: these atrocities were committed by someone of whom PTSD had gotten the better of.

Having had PTSD for 15 years myself, it baffles me that he had a legally-owned gun at all.

I know first-hand how much anger can develop when this disorder is left unchecked, and violence is the most delicious release from it all.

From self-harm to physical fighting in school, I looked for any way to curb my appetite for destruction. As soon as my body sensed an opportunity to expel some of my pent-up aggression on someone who'd even mildly taunted the beast, my brain would enter into a hazy fog of emotion and a nothing-to-lose attitude. My fight-or-flight was constantly engaged, and I really had never been much of a runner.

I felt like my temper was a bottle rocket that could be set off at any moment and I had next to no control over whether or not I reacted. I remember loving the power of people being afraid of me and relishing in my ability to win at all costs, especially if it were in defense of myself or someone who needed help.

Since the opportunities to let my feelings out physically were few and far between, my brain provided a platform for the rest of them without an outlet. The majority of my life, I was plagued with violent fantasies as much––if not more––than the sexual ones, which should've been my sole focus as a horny teenager.

In these fantasies, I would be defending myself and others from unknown assailants, escaping from situations where I was being detained as a sex slave, or else exacting revenge on someone who'd wronged me. Every movement of the altercation I would replay over and over again in my head until it was almost a memory.

These fantasies bordered on an obsession while I suffered from paranoia. Every waking and even unconscious moment was filled with the absolute certainty that someone was waiting behind the corner to physically assault or rape me, and I would not entertain the idea of letting that happen.

I used to boast that the next time someone attacked me, only one of us would come out of it alive.

I imagined these him-or-me altercations constantly—before I went to sleep, day-dreaming in class or else in places where I felt especially uneasy—and sometimes the story lines would continue on all week until they finished off with me emerging victorious.

Every fantasy would not be considered complete until I had won and gone insane. For some reason, my brain rationalized that as soon as the inevitable attack came and everyone became aware of it, my mind could finally be at rest.

These fantasies were so intense that I would have physical reactions to them. I was basically powerless to shut them down once my imagination got going, so I would sweat excessively, tremble with anticipation and sometimes even laugh out loud with the adrenaline they inspired. It got to the point where I could actually taste the iron in my mouth, as if my body was already preparing for the taste of blood.

This mindset didn't come without an intense fascination in weapons. My fantasies would include actual weapons, random items I employed in resourcefulness to defend myself or merely fighting to the death with my bare hands.

I collected the few I could afford at the time and ached for the days when I could own my own gun. I had never fired one, but I was entranced by the idea of owning the ultimate fighting utensil; an end-all to any threats that may come my way, with the power to take a life at the tip of my finger.

My gravitation towards violence ended after two years of recovering from PTSD. One day I realized I hadn't thought about it in a while, and just like that, the freakish obsession I'd harbored since childhood was gone.

I experienced all of this, yet the trauma that provided me with the disorder didn't have one single thing to do with guns.

So why on the Goddess' green earth did an ex-machine gunner, who developed his PTSD from shooting people, have legal access to one?

Though California does have a law asserting that families concerned with their loved ones' safety can request their guns be taken away for a period of time, this was not enough to spare the lives of those 12 innocent people that Wednesday night.

I shiver at the thought of what would've happened if I had gotten my hands on a gun when I had wanted one. So based on my expertise, neither Long nor anyone else with PTSD has any business owning a gun.

Who better to weigh in on these issues than the ones posing an obvious threat?

Yet, even after this testimony of how much I wanted to pull the trigger at one point, there will still be people who insist on loading the bullets and cocking it for me.

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