Recently, a famous charity that had long supported Planned Parenthood revoked much of its financial support because conservatives didn’t like the fact that 7 percent of the money went to funding abortions.
I have a problem with this, probably because I generally have a problem with ignorant people trying to meddle with things they don’t know that much about, and because I dislike people trying to decide matters for the whole, discounting the feelings and situations of the minority. Of the many polarizing and heated issues out there today, the concept of abortion is probably one of the oldest and bitterest.
Dating back to the mid-19th century, when Margaret Sanger first publicized the idea of contraception, abortion has always been a controversial issue.
It received a lot of backlash from people who argued that it’s “God’s will” if a child is conceived, and that any meddling with that order is an abomination. Since then, people have gotten even pickier about the science of it, claiming that the moment an egg is fertilized, it is a living person.
Some radical groups go so far as to oppose aborting the embryo even in dire circumstances, like if the egg is frozen and has no hope of reaching full term alive, or if a mother finds out early in the pregnancy that the child will be stillborn or born with an irrevocably fatal condition. In instances such as these, I personally feel for the mother, who has to carry the child full-term, constantly being asked questions about the pregnancy by strangers, and being reminded every time she looks in the mirror that the baby inside her will die come delivery. What many conservatives fail to recognize is that there are countless instances where bringing another child into the world would be hard on the parents and ultimately unfair to the child.
Think about the middle-aged woman who by a twist of fate got pregnant, after having raised a couple of children already. She faces the dilemma of having a child late in life and with an extremely large age gap between her children. She may not be up to the idea of spending the next 18 years raising another child after having seemingly finished with her previous children. Or think about the girl who was raped one horrific night and subsequently got knocked up with her attacker’s child. If she goes through with the pregnancy, when the child is born, it will forever be a living reminder of that traumatic night. And it wouldn’t be fair to raise a child without a father in the picture, not to mention that she can’t exactly ask the man for child support.
How about the broke teen mom whose condom didn’t work one night, and is consequently faced with the prospect of raising a child in high school and college? If she keeps the child, it would make life much harder on the mother and father of the teen, and the child because the family may not be able to support it. There are cases of extraordinary people who overcome such a setback, but in more cases than not, if the girl had had the abortion and then had a child when both she and the father were ready, life would be much easier for both them and the child.
Of course, adoption is another option, but then you’re just setting your child up for a life of uncertainty and hardship that doesn’t always end happily.
I would like to make very clear that I am in no way advocating abortion as a convenient method of birth control. Abortion is an extremely hard decision, one that the mother will have to live with her entire life. But in some cases, it may be the best option for all involved.
Our society has grown to view doctors who provide abortions as villains, and death threats are sadly more common than you may think. But would you rather these desperate girls be faced with the alternative of seeking out unqualified “doctors” who may harm if not kill the mother as well?
Why is our society so intent on leaving no option but the latter?
The 7 percent that Planned Parenthood provides for ensuring safe abortions may be the difference of life or death for the mother, and saving a child from a needlessly difficult life.