Monday, July 01, 2013

Can I advocate for adoption and abortion?

(photo by B. Cleary; used with permission)
Sometimes I take a moment to let people know how I feel about certain topics or share bits of my journey along the way.  I do this when it feels right for me, or when I realize people make assumptions that may not be accurate.  I do it because others have done the same throughout my life.

Online content is a wonderful place to hear new or challenging information.  You can react in the privacy of your own home and wrestle through your feelings without the pressure of responding or keeping a poker face.  Some of my greatest times of growth have been after something in print has triggered a giant rush of not-so-pretty feelings in me.

Things like ... the day your online friend, Christine, clearly stated:  I believe abortion should be safe, legal and unplanned pregnancies should be on the decline (thus fewer abortions).

Yeah, maybe that.  Ya' know, the gal who has the blog on adoption.  The one who was a Southern Baptist pastor's wife just four years ago.  That person.  She just ... she said ... wha?  **RECORD SCRATCH**

Over the course of the last week, and a lot of current political happenings in Texas, it has come to my attention that some people desperately want to know my "what" and "why" on this topic.  Several people make assumptions that are incorrect, or have never realized I have felt this way for more than a decade.  Some people are simply confused as to why on earth I could possibly be supportive of abortion in any way, shape or form.

So, here we go.

I believe you can advocate for adoption and abortion, without being hypocritical.

In the same way, I believe that people can advocate against abortion and yet also for the death penalty, without being hypocritical   That does not reflect my views, but I absolutely see and understand the reasoning behind both.

I am not going to twist words and try to make my stance on abortion sound more positive.  Abortion is not initially positive.  It is gut-wrenching and only comes at a time when a woman finds herself in the most difficult of circumstance.

I can say the same about adoption.  I am not going to twist words and try to make my stance on adoption sound more positive.  Adoption is not initially positive.  It is gut-wrenching and only comes at a time when a woman finds herself in the most difficult of circumstances.

Abortion has been around as long as people.  Adoption has been around as long as people.  Both are very difficult and very personal decisions.  Both are bundled with pain and loss.  Both are bundled with trauma.  Both have lasting impact at varying levels for the people involved.  Both will continue.

I understand, completely, that some of you simply cannot and will not ever be able to support legalized abortion.  I understand.  I support you in that.  I understand.  I am not angered by you, I do not feel you are being unreasonable, and I respect your heart in this.

I hope that you can understand why I am now able to say that I fully support legal and safe abortion. I have continually educated myself on policies that actually decrease unplanned pregnancies (therefore decreasing abortions), as well as why I do believe this procedure does need to remain accessible.

Personally, I would love to live in a world where there are no unplanned pregnancies.  And while I make jokes about unicorns blowing rainbows up my butt, I do still fully live in and embrace reality.

"... being positive does not mean being unrealistic." - Cherie Ve Ard

I have found several places where much of my own reading and education has already been written. My process has been long and tedious.  If it's important to you to fully understand my thinking on this, it will also be a long and tedious process for you.  If you are grappling with where you land, I hope the information I share helps you come to terms with your own heart and conclusions, whether or not they align with mine.

I believe we all care about life - the unborn and the born.  I believe we are all passionate about humans - the born and the unborn.  I believe this, fully, about each of us, even when some disagree on viability or legality.  We all have this in common.  I respect every passion and pain within every nook and cranny of this issue.  We all have the right to speak and be heard.  We all have the right to feel what we feel and believe what we believe.

So, for those of you who are interested in my path, pull up a chair and a cup of coffee.  And maybe a seat cushion.  You'll be here awhile.

Logical Fallacies - when reading or hearing information that runs in contradiction to my current conclusions, I try to bring myself back to this site to keep myself in check (it's my favorite because it adds humor, and humor helps me when I'm feeling defensive).

How I Lost Faith in the "Pro-Life" Movement - this post by Libby Anne covers almost all of the reports and information I have read over the last several years to truly change my thinking on legalized abortion and what actually decreases abortion rates.

You Can Be Pro-Choice Politically and Be A Pro-Life Advocate In Your Community - a minister who is pro-life explains why he advocates for choice in the political arena.  This is simply an example of many of the varied reasons why some people choose to vote for the legalization of abortion, even when they might fall under the umbrella of people who typically do not.

Why I Stood With Wendy - Senator Leticia Van de Putte talks about why she stood against Senate Bill 5 in Texas last week.

Update on the Anti-Abortion Bills Coming Up in Texas' Second Special Session - this post explains the reasons that prompted me to contact my representatives and my Governor and express my opposition to these current bills.

Study Finds Free Contraceptives Cut Abortion Rate - a two-year project tracking 9,000+ women in St. Louis.  Just an example of the many study results out there, and many more on-going.

A Paradigm Shift:  My "Aha" Moment on Abortion - it was at this point I started to wonder, "Am I writing under the name Libby Anne and just not remembering it?  How can this woman so closely reflect my own journey in so many ways?"  I really need to have coffee with this woman at some point.

Why Abortion Should Not Be Politically Decisive for Christians - a pastor who is vehemently opposed to abortion while voting to keep it legalized.  He believes the pro-life legislation does more harm than good, and encourages people to choose the path of least harm.

Teen Pregnancy is Down 40% in Colorado - we are seeing again and again how we can lower the rates of abortion and unwanted pregnancies. Accessible birth control.


Laura said...

Wow. One of those moments where the Internet helps me feel a little less alone. Thank you too for helping me put words on the whys and wherefores of my beliefs on all this.

HoopinB said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It's a difficult subject and I've been trying to find the words to voice my thoughts. I wish there was no need for abortion. Years ago I used to attend the pro-life rally in DC because I do believe that life is precious, however I also recognize the need for abortion and that it needs to be safe and accessible for those that need to make this difficult choice. Unless/until the government can find a way to adequately education and care for women and children who find themselves without the resources to care for themselves/their families options need to be made accessible and available for all. I fear that often those who try to make policies to 'protect others' fail to truly understand them and their circumstances fully. They fail to trust that everyone has the right and responsibility to make choices for themselves, to have access to choices... and that sometimes those choices will be painful, that others will disagree and fail to understand. But true freedom is having both access and the ability to chose.

Unknown said...

Long time lurker first time commenter, Christine.
In as much as we like to believe that we are so altruistic and equipped as a species to be able to provide a loving home for every child this is not the case. Though the prenatal testing that sometimes leads to special and wonderful children,like children with Down Syndrome, being denied a place in our society, even a chance at life, I've also seen households where the psychological and physical abuse and neglect committed by the inhabitants is so rampant that I wouldn't allow my dog to reside there.
A hard choice is what it is, a hard choice. Sadly, many of those who maybe should be considering the heard choice of abortion as a form of plan B or a method by which to save a child undue suffering haven't the life experience and tools to even examine that hard choice.
In my world no child went to bed hungry or scared last night. The real world is something else entirely. Until we're looking at the kind of funds and resources that it takes to educate parents properly about the methods by which they can leave their kids a little better prepared for this big, bad world than they themselves were heavy decisions, like abortion, will be a part of the checks and balances,

Paula said...

Such a terrifying topic to discuss. I think abortion is sad. I don't like it.

But I keep coming back to the truth of God. You can't tell me God isn't pro-choice. It is the very thread within the fabric of our existence, the fact that God made us with free will and lets us choose how we shall live. From infancy I was raised to understand that God did not want robots to serve him, but rather thinking, free-minded people to choose to love him. Pro-choice.

I would far rather see the energy spent in fighting abortion spent in nurturing women, educating women, providing care for women who are faced with the difficult choice, or who have made the sad choice and now need counsel and support as they deal with the consequences in their heart/mind/body.

Yes, I think abortion is wrong. I will say so if somebody asks me for help making their decision. "I think what you are doing is wrong. But I love you, and whatever decision you make, I will walk with you down that path." God says the same thing to me every day. He always keeps walking with me down the path.

Kassie Heisserer said...

Thank you!