Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To Be Born or Not To Be Born: That is the Question - Rev. Sam Trumbore - - Albany NY

To Be Born or Not To Be Born: That is the Question - Rev. Sam Trumbore - - Albany NY

I am really interested in Rev. Trumbore's question. I have always been an ardent pro-choice person, but in hearing some personal stories of people who are very against late-term abortion because of their own experience with parenting disabled children, and incorrect diagnoses during their pregnancies (which if the advice to abort had been followed, would have been catastrophic in terms of having a wonderful child in their life), I have had a shift in my thinking.

My congregation has started working intensely with reproductive rights this year, and I have mixed feelings about it, quite honestly. I guess I am ambivalent because I wonder if the groups that we recommend are really objective and provide good counseling and education about a woman's options and in offering support, or if they have an agenda that is slanted toward abortion without adequate preparation and support.

Time for me to find out more!


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Bill Baar said...

I think his question needs to be reworked: To be born or Not to Be Born: that is the question.

Who decides is the question. And then with what criteria should they decide.

For as long as I can remember, Liberals have said a Women decides what's done and not done to her body. The Law could not make a women bear the risks of child birth v the risks of abortion.

Pro-Lifers say the unborn has just as much a right to life as the born. They do have a right to govern what happens to their bodies and since they are incapable, the Law steps in a protects them, even against the mother who may wish to abort.

That's really the core of it. There is the wrinkle of gentic testing and if that's acceptable criteria for a mother to use to abort a pregancy. It's her decision (unless someone wants to argue the unborn has a right to representation and protection here) but otherwise it's just a wrinkle to what I see as a clash of rights.

If the rights of the mother and her child clash, whether or not the child is going to have some diminishted function is tangental. It doesn't get to the core moral issue.

Identifying just who decides is a first step in clearing that up.

Tina said...

I think maybe the teaching should be really giving information about adoption and abortion with honest open answers about what emotionally may mean to have an abortion showing both sides from people who had regrets as well as people who didn't. The same with adoption.

Ultimately though a woman's choice should remain her choice. If a woman wants an abortion she will find a way even if it's illegal. Let's not go back to coat hangers or other stuff that they may have used.

Let's face it too when alcohol was illegal they still made it.

But the biggest thing is illegal or not they will still occur.

Heidi said...

I grew up in a very pro-life home. For as long as I can remember though I have felt more pro-choice. Having never been put a position were I felt I had to choose, I am sure some of my views are slanted. I can't imagine choosing to abort for myself, but walk a mile in someone else's shoes and I might feel differently.

Tina's first paragraph hit home with me. So many of us feel differently about things after witnessing and hearing about other people's experiences. Someone else's pain, or joy felt and seen first hand can be a moving experience.

Kelly KH said...

Bill, and of course, when does an embryo/fetus become a child? Because all children are marginalized in terms of their rights until the "come of age." And with mental health parity on the forefront of the healthcare debate, does this increase the likelihood of support for pro-choice law culturally?

Kelly KH said...

Tina, I agree. My concern is the stories I hear from women who cannot find education that is without agenda. (ie. Planned Parenthood vs. Catholic Social Services).

Kelly KH said...

Heidi, and of course - the only way we really change is not through reading - but through real-life experience. Either our own, or hearing someone's story first-hand.

Steve Caldwell said...

Kelly -- I did read Rev. Sam Trumbore's column.

It sounds like the so-called "Planned Parenthood Agenda" in the training workshop was to provide all of the available facts on the various options available to expectant parents with an unplanned pregnancy.

As a seminary student who is pursuing a Unitarian Universalist ministerial career, you may want to check out the unplanned pregnancy materials in Our Whole Lives Grades 7-9.

What our denomination provides in our religious education classrooms is very similar -- we offer information on the options available to parents experiencing an unplanned pregnancy -- parenthood, adoption, or abortion.

This information discusses both the relevant medical facts and the ethical concerns that people may have for all three options.

Personally, as a Unitarian Universalist layperson, I would prefer the so-called "Planned Parenthood agenda" that gives me factual knowledge and the safe space to make decisions. This is certainly preferable to the agenda pushed by the ordained leadership in the Roman Catholic Church where one isn't provided complete information and a safe space to make a decision.