Updated: 3 days ago
I have a lot of feelings about Roe V. Wade that I want to share, but I made sure to take some time to try to say this as eloquently as possible in hopes that it will not further entrench those who are in favor of overturning Roe V. Wade. Although I am perfectly aware a blog post might not do much for most people.
On my mission, I remember hearing a story about someone else's investigator who had an abortion. In the LDS church, if you have had an abortion, you need to have a special interview with someone higher up in the church to be worthy of baptism. After this interview, she talked about how she had carried the guilt of her dead baby on her consciousness up to this point. She had been feeling weighed down, heavy, dark, and depressed, and when she was told that she was forgiven, she felt the forgiveness of her baby on the other side of the veil and was instantly relieved of all of her guilt and shame. I thought that this was the experience of any person with any morals if they get an abortion.
At some later point on my mission, I was teaching someone who had an abortion in the past. We told her that she needed to meet with someone higher up in order to get baptized, so she did. Afterward, we asked her if talking to him helped her feel better about having an abortion (I genuinely hope we worded this better, but I honestly would not be surprised if we were that blunt). We had never asked how she felt about having an abortion, which was not our place to ask, but we also just went right ahead and were positive that she had been wracking in torment and shame up to this point. And that her life would be forever changed once she had interviewed with some random man she had never met before. I was positive she would be so relieved and grateful, and I did not know how to hold space for any other experiences to be true.
Due to my deep-rooted assumptions, I was completely shook by her answer. She said that she did not feel better, because she did not really feel bad in the first place. After having multiple children with an abusive husband, she knew that if she had any more it would make her more dependent on him which would further prevent her from being able to leave him. She aborted the baby so that she could get out of the relationship and protect the lives of the children that she already had. Not only did she not feel bad about having an abortion, but she would do it again if she were ever put back in the same situation.
When does life begin? Who decides that? Outside the realms of science, how can that truly be decided without some sort of religious aspect? Even within the scientific community, there is still debate about what types of characteristics are required for something to truly be considered “living.” One’s deep-rooted belief that life begins at conception is valid. It is important and it should not be infringed upon. However, you must understand, that not everyone shares the same belief system and that you also cannot infringe on someone else’s beliefs.
When people say, “my body my choice,” this means that the person who has a fetus growing inside of them should be the one making an informed decision on when life begins. That they should be able to make this decision based on their own belief systems and do not have to adhere to the belief systems of anyone else.
If a pregnant person believes that anything which cannot live outside of a host is not living, they are the ones who get to decide that they feel comfortable aborting a fetus up until that point in the pregnancy. If someone believes that life begins at the first heartbeat, they can decide that they are comfortable aborting a baby up until that point. If someone believes that brain functioning is what symbolizes the beginning of life, then they have every right to decide that they can abort that baby up to that point.
If the life of a fetus is just as important as an infant's life, then we need to treat it that way in every aspect. If “murdering a fetus” is genuinely the exact same as murdering a child, then we need to give all the same rights to the fetus that we give to a post-birth baby. This would mean that the person carrying that child should be able to start receiving child support at conception. This would mean that you would not be able to imprison an expecting mother because babies cannot ethically go through the legal system. Expecting mothers should be able to claim the fetus as a dependent for tax credits at contraception, and countless other rights that post-birth babies have that are not currently awarded to fetuses. If you truly see abortion to be the same as murdering a human, then the fetus should also be seen as a human in every other aspect as well. The fetus should have every right that your newborn baby has, otherwise, that means you do not truly see a fetus's life to be as important as a child's life.
The first amendment, the whole reason the pilgrims supposedly came over to America, is about the separation of church and state. Creating laws that tell women that they cannot decide to abort a fetus based on their own beliefs and that they have to adhere to rules from a religion that they are not a part of, is infringing upon this first amendment. You can confidently stand before your maker knowing that you did not have an abortion, but it is not your responsibility to force everyone else to do the same. Everyone has their own agency and will be accountable for their own actions.
You cannot force anyone to have the same beliefs about where we were before we came to earth, what our purpose is here on earth, and where we go after we die; regardless of how firm you are in your beliefs. At the end of the day, it is up to everyone’s own free will and agency to either accept or deny certain systems of belief. You can be positive that people who have sex before marriage are going to hell, and it is up to them to decide whether or not they are fine risking going to hell. But you cannot create a law preventing people from having pre-marital sex. You can also be positive that women who get abortions are ending the life of a fetus, but once again, that is on them to decide whether having an abortion is worth whatever godly punishment is given for getting an abortion. You can judge them, and think that they are evil and led astray, but at the end of the day, it is their decision.
Like the mother I talked about earlier, she took a step back and assessed the worth of the life of her and her children and decided it to be worth aborting the unborn fetus in order to ensure that her three current children did not have to grow up in an abusive household. I am not saying that the only instance that women should be allowed to have an abortion is if they are in an abusive relationship, but I am just trying to point out that you never know the reasoning. The only person who can fully weigh out all the pros and cons is the person carrying the child. No woman looks forward to the day she gets to abort a child, this decision is something that is rarely made lightly and is done when it seems necessary given their current circumstances. And that is not anyone else’s call to make.
PRO-CHOICE means you believe that everyone can make their own decision about abortion based on their own opinions. I love when people say, "I am anti-abortion but believe people can make their own decision" because the phrase "pro-choice" has been so demonized by the religious right. No one will ever force you to get an abortion if you do not want one.
It is also important to note that not everyone lives in the same reality as you. BIPOC and lower-income people will be the ones hit by this the most. If you never had sex outside of marriage, good for you. But you must understand that a lot of young girls are coerced/forced into sex starting at young ages. You must understand that people have sex outside of marriage, even if you personally chose not to. Not everyone has the safety net of a family to fall back on if they get pregnant.
Overturning Roe V. Wade also opens up a huge can of worms. What about birth control? IUDs? Condoms? Some religions believe that any form of birth control is interfering with life, so should we all conform to those beliefs? What about IVF? What about those who abruptly miscarry and are charged with murder? What about rape or incest victims who are forced to go through the legal system in order to get an abortion, or even worse, forced to carry their father's child full term? Rape and Incest victims are not the only ones who should qualify, but even if that is your belief, it is a lot more complicated than you think it is.