Tuesday, March 10, 2009
An Almost-Argument with a Pro-Life Man
I almost got into an argument over abortion last night. The other party to said discussion is militantly Catholic and therefore pro-life to the point of believing that not even rape victims should be allowed to terminate a pregnancy caused by the rape (not that this situation occurs that often in the real world anyway, and more and more rapists are using condoms these days to avoid leaving their DNA with their victims). The only reason it didn't turn into a loud and vociferous debate (at the very least) was that I cut it short with the excuse that it was late at night and people were trying to sleep and would not appreciate said debate/argument. I really wanted to tear him a new one, though. Pro-life men drive me even crazier than pro-lifers in general; men are not the ones who have to carry a pregnancy. They have no clue what it's like, especially not someone his age (early 20s). And yes, I know men can be raped and I have every sympathy in the world for any victim of any sort of assault, but the plain fact is, women are hurt in that way much more often than men. His argument (re: pregnancy as a result of rape) was that the unborn is not responsible for the crime of its father. Mine is that rape is not just a physical and sexual crime; it is deeply emotional. Pregnancy is also a deeply emotional experience, and I don't think that a woman who is trying to recover from a rape should have to carry the child of her rapist. She can if she wants to, but she shouldn't be forced to. It comes down to this. The needs of a living woman are more important, to my way of thinking, than the needs of a cluster of cells, albeit a cluster of cells that will one day become a human being. We count life from the date of birth, not the date of conception, which can't usually be nailed down anyway. There are just too many situations in which abortion is a viable--and in some cases, the best--option. What about a pregnancy that endangers the mother's life? Why should a 12-year-old incest victim have to bear her stepfather's child? I used to know someone who had been in that situation. It is not healthy to carry a pregnancy so young, and her body paid for it in later years. And when you really get down to it, why should any woman have to bear a child she does not want or cannot afford?