It’s taken me a while to write about this because of the highly sensitive, career-destroying nature of the topic. Just the word brings about stimulus-response reactions on both sides of the issue. The word alone engenders divisiveness. But, before any of you hyperventilate, feel your blood pressure rise, or your stomach sink, relax. This is not going to be what you think.
It is my hope to examine something from a different perspective, and in so doing, I hope to ease your spirit and mind, and open up a possibility not addressed. This piece is not judgmental; it is not political; it is not incendiary. It is to help you navigate past the “Third Rail.”
In an earlier Blog (Guidelines for Living) I spoke of a friend who expressed to me what he had taught his children regarding how to live: Do as much good as you can. Do as little harm as you can. Those simple sentences hold, I believe, an answer for women and men who may be in anguish on this subject–torn, and suffering emotionally.
Let’s begin by using those rules as guidelines. Abortion is legal in the US, and will remain so. Though one has that choice, It may not be the best option. So, let’s calmly, and rationally, look at another option.
Do as little harm as you can. If a woman is pregnant and does not want the child whether because of money, being unmarried, fear, career, circumstances of conception, or health, she is often encouraged to abort the child. So, she “harms” the child in order to “help” herself and her future. There are, however, three things in play: The mother, the child, and a couple who is childless somewhere in America who pray nightly for a child, and who would love to adopt.
Therefore, a decision to abort no doubt allows the woman to go on with her life without the child and all that comes with that baby. But, harm is done to the baby. It is not really debatable that the fetus is a separate entity, with separate DNA. It is not a tumor. It is a human being, with a DNA blueprint, growing in what is supposed to be the nurturing and protecting womb of the mother until birth. To destroy the fetus is to harm the child and whatever potential exists with that being. It also harms a couple in their quest for a child they would love and care for the remainder of their lives. The decision to abort then helps one, and harms two.
The decision to deliver the baby and give it up for adoption is an alternative. Let’s take the other rule. Do as much good as you can. Giving it up allows the mother to be free and to move on. That’s good for her. It allows the child to live and have a chance to laugh, to squeal, to learn to walk, run, read and BE. it allows a desiring and deserving couple to have and cherish a dream. It helps all three, and harms none.
Put it all together now. Do as much good as you can; do as little harm as you can. It is not a sin, and you are not a bad person to want to protect yourself from perceived harm or disaster. But, isn’t it worth looking at this: to free yourself in such a way as to do good for the baby, and for others? Why can’t everyone win? I’d like to suggest that peace of mind, and emotional calm are more likely here. My experience in life has taught me that any time we can do more good than harm, we prosper as an individual. We feel strong, empowered, and confident in ourselves–not in our perfection (which is unattainable), but in our meeting a potentially devastating challenge and surmounting it for the good of many. In that we attain a degree of wisdom.
Sadly, my experience in life has also taught me that when we act in our own self-interest–no matter how justified–but harm others in doing it, we are less empowered, less confident. We know, somehow, that we are better than that.
I encourage everyone to slow down, ruminate on this a bit. Because in the coming days you are going to be confronted by your elected lawmakers with laws that will require more than the Wisdom of Solomon. They will require a sanity that no psychiatrist or psychologist has even a glimmer of understanding, let alone accomplishing for themselves. Those two simple rules are sane. They open a window to the light. They lead to physical and psychological freedom.
I leave you with this. Today, I heard the Governor of Virginia defend a lawmaker who is proposing abortion of the child during childbirth, including after birth potentially. This is America. How did we come to this? Where is it going to end?
We are better than this.