Pro-Choice Or Pro-Life: A False Dichotomy

Pro-Choice Or Pro-Life: A False Dichotomy

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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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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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How The Democratic Party basically Handed Donald Trump The Presidency

The rise of Donald Trump was propelled in part by the far left's efforts to undermine him.

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Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 Presidential Election was a shock to many across the country, myself included. It seemed impossible that someone so unapologetically crass, rude, and idiotic could even hope to achieve the position of the most powerful person in the world (have I mentioned that he literally admitted to sexually assaulting women?). I mean sure, it certainly didn't help that Hillary Clinton was probably the worst candidate that the Democratic Party could have run against him... actually she was definitely the worst, but she still should have won. As she tries to explain in her new book, what happened?

In order for a bigoted, fear-mongering, and an arguably uneducated man like Donald Trump to become president, there needs to be a perfect storm. We've already established that Hillary was a bad candidate on the Democratic side, but none of the other Republican candidates were very good either. Their best guy other than Trump was Ted Cruz, a man who can be described as unsettling on his best days. There was also a large number of people that resonated with Trump. Granted, they were mostly uneducated, blue-collar, religious, second amendment nuts, but Trump's "forgotten man" schtick stuck with them, as these were people who felt like they were being left behind. I would argue that they were and should have been, but that's beside the point.

However, the one thing that I think influenced Donald Trump's meteoric rise to the presidency the most were the ridiculous ways that some of his opponents would try to undermine his legitimacy as a candidate. As someone who identifies as a Democrat myself (not as my gender, but as my political affiliation), I certainly was not a fan of Donald Trump. I think that his election has brought us one step closer to the dystopian future laid out in the cinematic masterpiece that is Idiocracy, but it's not like my party didn't have opportunities to bring him down a peg. It's also not like we didn't completely fail in doing so.

Every time Donald Trump would say something that could be construed as racist, xenophobic, or sexist, Democrats would pounce on it and use it as proof that he was all of these things. This is a good method, but many Democrats got too overzealous in using it, calling him these things even when what he said was probably not racist, or even not racist at all. The baseless attacks vastly outnumbered the legitimate ones, and Trump supporters used it as a way to rally around their guy and to validate the ideas of "fake news" and their "us against the world" mentality.

The day the Donald Trump won the election, in my opinion at least, was the day that Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables." Are you kidding me?! You're going to take tens of millions of American voters, essentially call them racist, sexist idiots, and flat-out dismiss them? All she did was verify to the Trump supporter all the things that he already believed: that he was being disrespected, left behind, and forgotten about by the democratic party. Regardless, how do you think people are going to vote if you just insult their intelligence and character for months on end? That's not the way to build bridges; it only creates the divisiveness that Trump thrives in.

This is why people think of Democrats as elitist: because Democrats act really elitist. If you always act like you know better than everyone else and sit in your ivory tower expecting everyone to realize how stupid they are, you're not going to win elections. In fact, you'll do so bad in elections that you'll lose to an unqualified, idiotic, racist Cheeto that wears a toupee that looks like it was made from hairs scooped out of the bathroom sink. Anyway, that's why Trump won the election: because Hillary and the Democrats had their heads so far up their asses that they couldn't smell his spray tan coming.

Cover Image Credit:

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