(This post is in response to this article I stumbled upon very recently)
Being a Catholic, I do find my pro-life point of view influenced by my religion. I hold pro-life beliefs, definitely, but I definitely do not feel like I have the right to tell anyone else what to believe or what to choose, and neither do I have the right to denigrate those who have come up with their decisions based on their personal circumstances. In that sense, I guess I’d be considered a pro-choice. It feels weird as I’ve always told people that I am ‘pro-life’, when asked.
Can one be both ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ at the same time? If my personal choice against abortion is a morally driven one, and that the right to life is a moral standard I personally defend, doesn’t that mean that I am sitting by and allowing what I feel is immoral to happen? Shouldn’t I feel the moral obligation to stop it? Furthermore, my personal pro-life point of view, however, has always been (and hopefully will forever stay) hypothetical. If I were to experience a problem pregnancy, either out of unfortunate circumstances or life-threatening complications, I wouldn’t truly know what my reaction would be. I suspect with my lack of feelings of moral obligation to defend what I think is right, when faced with difficult circumstances, it could be easily abandoned as well…That makes me feel oddly vulnerable and embarrassed at my lack in resolute.
This article really highlighted the cognitive dissonance experienced when militant pro-life believers are faced with the personal experience of an unwanted pregnancy. It’s so obviously hypocritical when one justifies their own act of abortion to be the exception, and turn right around to picket abortion clinics and accuse other people of being murderers – it astounds me that they are able to do that with a straight face!
At the same time, I feel sorry for these individuals. For the fact that they had to contemplate their situation with the psychological stress of their initial beliefs; that they had to twist their psyche so arduously to disavow their actions. Perhaps it was the fear of judgement from their peers, or the pressures they know they would face should they carry the child to term…I don’t agree with their hypocrisy, but I feel compassion for their circumstances.
So what do you think? What is your personal view on abortion and what is your thought process behind it? Do you struggle similarly, or am I the only one?
This is a repost from an actual homework submission for a USP class, but I felt like the material was personally interesting enough to warrant more contemplation outside of class.