- When the soul of a child finds a parent and joins with a new body, there is much joy.
When the soul of the child finds that its joy is met with pain and anguish, there is confusion and sorrow.
When the soul departs - perhaps to find another parent, perhaps to return to the ether from whence it came, much sorrow is left behind amidst the relief.
The end result was a miscarry, not a medically induced abortion - but we had to wrangle with the questions just the same. In an ideal world, nobody would want to kill their own children. Unfortunately we don't live in that world, and sometimes you have to choose the least bad option. It's good to have as many options as possible to choose from during those times, including triage. And that's how I came to be pro-choice.
My views have shifted a lot in the decade and a half since then. More recently, someone asked me:
- How can you allow abortion if you believe it to be extinguishing an innocent human life?
a) Life is precious. However, each individual living thing is not.
b) Human life is not more precious than other life.
c) My own children are precious to me. However, my children aren't necessarily precious to others, nor are others' children necessarily precious to me.
We are all part of the cycle of life - birth, growth, reproduction, death. Some living things eat other living things to live. Some of them hijack other living things to their own ends (disease-causing microbes, parasites). Living things fight over resources all the time - plants try to outgrow each other, ants have territorial wars, etc. Humans are part of the cycle too and no different.
So while an unborn child is a fully valid living thing from the moment of conception, it isn't inherently precious just by the fact that it's alive. It's mainly precious only to its parents and close relatives (and sometimes only its mother). Many other non-human living things would see it more as a resource to exploit (to eat, to hijack, etc.). And sometimes things go wrong all on their own while it's trying to form - and no amount of preciousness (inherent or otherwise) will save it then.
Also, an unborn child is not more precious than a human at another stage of their life cycle. Every stage is important in different ways. Sometimes it's necessary to find the most optimal outcome among many lives, and sometimes this means individual sacrifices.
And finally, there's one more side to it that many people seem to ignore. People seem to want to place the emphasis on physical life as the precious part. But life isn't just the physical body. The physical body is just a vehicle to carry the soul, which joins the body at conception. If the body dies, the soul is not destroyed - it just goes elsewhere. The loss of life is not so great when the soul barely began before the parting, and can begin anew.
The discussion from which the above excerpt came is well worth reading, as it's quite possibly the only civilized abortion discussion anywhere that represents the whole range of viewpoints. Go read and think. Then, for more, I also recommend Jim Wright's opinions on how to move forward.