Are You Without Sin?
After a heated debate on Twitter yesterday, I think I have processed enough that I can write about it rationally. The debate started as a discussion between myself and a few other progressives about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial which included a thread about the fact that if the previous behavior of Trayvon Martin was relevant to the case then so should have been the previous behavior of George Zimmerman. According to a Washington Post article written on May 28, 2013 by Jonathan Capehart, George Zimmerman’s past included resisting arrest violently with a police officer, a restraining order from a former fiancé resulting in a dual restraining order, and logged approximately 46 calls to the Sanford, Fla. Police department concerning suspicious behavior by African American males.
Although, eventually, Trayvon’s past behavior of marijuana possession and use, fights at school, and suspension from school did enter into consideration by the defense to justify Zimmerman’s acts, Zimmerman’s behaviors and altercations were deemed irrelevant in the case. So went the discussion. Enter into the mix a few people who called themselves conservatives to debate the act of self-defense on the part of Zimmerman. Somehow, this lead to pro-life and anti-abortion rants.
I will admit that I should have stepped away, but after being called a slut and whore because I claimed that in order to be pro-life, one must honor all life. That means that killing in self-defense as in Zimmerman is wrong as is killing in war, and even, gasp, the death penalty. Well, that really got the Conservatives going and before I knew it, not only was I a slut and whore, I became a baby killer, a murderer, and a racist. (Oh, by the way, I have been married to the same man for 39 years and have enjoyed a healthy sexual relationship with him only and no one else before and during our marriage). Today, I was accused of being a “dumb ass.” Me?
So, I will address these accusations not for my own sake but, well, because I just need to.
First of all, I do not believe in abortion as a means of birth control; however, I do believe in choice. My point is that it takes the male sperm and the female egg to create life. If a man and woman wish to have consensual sex, then the responsibility of birth control falls to BOTH partners. It is the woman who gets pregnant and lives with the consequences far longer than the male. So, perhaps, the responsibility falls more on the male partner. He does not worry about pregnancy and can walk away anytime. She cannot. My viewpoint is that it is up to the male partner possibly more than the female. And, no, I do not see a baby as a bad consequence – quite the opposite.
In the case of rape and incest, the decision is up to the woman and her physician – not a governing entity. The trauma of rape is far beyond what most men can imagine and a pregnancy of rape or incest can be a far reaching trauma. To force a woman to carry until full term so that the baby can be adopted seems to be cruel and unusual punishment. I acknowledge that the baby is an innocent victim as well, and this is a devastating decision to make; therefore, counseling and discussions with health and mental care professionals is best for all.
In the event that a carried pregnancy could affect a woman’s health or possibly cause her death, again, this is a decision of all parties – woman, partner, and physician – and not the government. No one knows the mental and emotional health of the woman and her partner; therefore, no one has the right to tell her what she should and should not do. Of course, that follows with all abortion decisions.
I, myself, had fertility problems and miscarried until finally I was blessed with two very beautiful daughters. It took me and my husband six long agonizing years to finally conceive. We attempted adoption in the process – even asking for hard to place children – and were turned down three separate times because we had no children, and we were too young. So, I fully understand the agony of infertility, and it is hard for me to even imagine aborting a baby. But, that being said, I also fully understand the ramifications of having a baby that is not wanted.
I am a product of an unwanted pregnancy. My mother attempted several times to abort her pregnancy which resulted in physical and health issues in me. And, believe me, growing up knowing that one’s mother wished her not to have been born is traumatic in itself. I could have ended in foster care where many unwanted babies are found, but I had caring and loving grandparents that took over.
So, besides personal experiences and intelligent research and understanding, I feel fairly qualified to take my stand. The next time a debate ensues, I will bow out. Name calling does not bother me, but judging and casting blame and shame on women who are forced to make devastating decisions does. My question to those that would cast stones is this – are you without sin? I think someone asked that already, right?