On Abortion

In support of passing responsible abortion legislation that values the rights of both a mother and her unborn child.

As someone who fosters two political ideologies that sometimes conflict, my take on abortion may seem slightly unusual. Add to that the fact that I am a professing Christian, and one who understands unique health situations and believes in an empathic God — and my views may be seen as even more irregular. However, I aim to show readers that the topic of abortion need not be an epic fight pinning individual choice against life — that there are indeed grey areas and exceptions to hard and fast political “rules.”

First let me start by illustrating the viewpoint shared by many libertarians — though I will state that the abortion issue remains one of the only subjects of dispute amongst members of the party, and that the only thing universally agreed upon is the belief that matters should be handled at the state, rather than federal, level. The main libertarian thought follows a pillar of  their ideology: the belief that we all have the right to our individual choices and behaviors, as long as they are not directly harming another. Although the question of whether or not life begins at the moment of conception has not garnered a consensus, most libertarians will contend that a fetus (a baby from 8 weeks to 10 months old, residing in the mother) is regarded as “another.”

Thus, all libertarians should be standing on the pro-life side picketing abortion clinics, right? Not exactly, as the party consists largely of people who also value the rights of each individual to present their circumstance for fair judgement. While vehemently opposed to late-term and partial-birth abortions, and in favor of passing legislation outlawing such inhumane practices, many libertarians do, in fact, proclaim that such laws should not necessarily render all abortions illegal. In my mind and those of many others (please note that I am definitely not trying to speak for all involved in the liberty movement), anyone trying to enact truly responsible, unbiased legislation will concede that there are certain instances in which a woman’s life would be greatly threatened or lost should she carry a baby to term. When a contention can be made that a pregnancy is greatly damaging or killing a mother, should she not be allowed to value and protect her own life?

Regarding my own situation, I guard against unwanted pregnancy by engaging in very reliable birth control measures, although no methods are 100 percent effective, especially since I have a blood clotting disorder which prevents me from being a viable candidate for any regimen involving hormones (pills, shots, or IUD devices). Many women are unable to use such approaches also, as a result of many different mental and physical conditions. Should I (or countless others, for a variety of reasons) accidentally conceive — according to my doctors, both the baby and I would most definitely die, were it not removed. The state would knowingly be killing both of us were abortions decreed illegal across the board.

However, if a healthy, mentally sound mother is able to safely give birth to a newborn and put it up for adoption, I do not agree that she should be unilaterally allowed to kill a fetus, technically a baby as it is out of the embryo stage, for mere reasons of inconvenience or not wanting to accept the consequences of her own actions.

Now come my own slightly Democratic, entirely empathetic reasonings, which veer from those of libertarians. Informed by my own mitigating factors, I am perhaps more prone to considering others‘ pleas on a case-by-case basis, and to sometimes seeing justification for a pro-choice over pro-life stance for certain women who do not suffer from serious health problems. While I do not completely align myself with Democrats on the side of pro-choice in all instances, I do stand pro-choice when rape, incest, or other abuses are involved, and believe provisions should be included in any law to account for such factors. As one of my best friends illustrates regarding abortion rights for women who have suffered these injustices, “My God is an empathetic one, and I feel that he understands circumstances.” By the way, this friend has been a devout nun for the past 25 years, illustrating that even Christianity and personal views on abortion need not be mutually exclusive.

  • Ingrid Martinique
  • Ingrid Martinique is a published poet, author, and journalist, and served as a head editor of the newspaper The Voice in Bloomsburg for several years before returning to Scranton.

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