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photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Explaining the Concept of "Opposite" To a World That Loves a Catchy Slogan

Let me start out by warning my readers that the subject matter of this piece is abortion.

Let me further add that my own views on this subject have changed over the years, since I seem to have been one of those people who was very rigid and conservative in what outwardly appeared to be my wild youth and young adulthood, and am now an old frumpy wrinkled hippiechick who sees the world as varying shades of gray even though (I don't think) it has anything to do with developing cataracts.

Finally, this is not going to touch graphically on the actual subject matter, but on how it's presented for public consumption- the wording of the polarized opinions and the semantics of attacking the opposition.

Now that I have effectively lost my entire audience to either distaste or boredom...

Here's what I don't understand.

Pro-Life is not the opposite of Pro-Choice.

By the very definition of "opposite", the opposite of Pro-Life is Anti-Life, which would be Pro-Death.

Everyone is Pro-Life. We're every one of us Pro-Life and Anti-Death. It comes from being human and presently locked into mortal bodies. The Pro-Lifers explain that what they mean is that they are Anti-Abortion.

That's great. EVERYONE is Anti-Abortion, the opposite of THAT being Pro-Abortion, and even the Pro-Choice crowd is not Pro-Abortion. I don't know of a single woman who would choose abortion as their birth-control of choice, or a doctor who lightly performs the procedure. I have been told (by a man- not to discount the tale) that "I know a woman who doesn't use birth control and just aborts- she's had like seven of them". If that's true, she's a real exception to the rule of being human and not really "mother material" in my mind anyway.

Now, the opposite of Pro-Choice would be Anti-Choice.

(Inserting here that typing the words "Anti-Choice" and having them stare back at me in black and white gave me both the heebie jeebies and a panic attack).

Anti-Choice.

The opposite of Anti-Choice would be Pro-Despair, Pro-Entrapment, Pro-Domination.

The opposite of Anti-Choice would be Pro-Death on many levels both spiritual and physical.

Because Choice = Free Will.

The free will to choose which path you take, what to have for breakfast, which god to worship, and whether or not to call in sick just because it's a beauty day outside.

I cannot fathom being so backed against the wall financially and emotionally that the only choice I feel I can make is one that a large portion of Moral Society will condemn me for.

That the Pro-Life/Anti-Choice crowd largely consists of a group of people who believe in the God of Free Will has always seemed incredibly incredible to me.

I understand being committed to protecting life, but realistically, the choice offered- have your baby and put him/her up for adoption- is unrealistic.

Here's why.

My husband and I spent several years looking into adoption after surgery rendered me incapable of having more children. It was very discouraging.

We didn't want to do an international adoption- our premise being that there are plenty of children right here who need a home.

A lot of agencies dismissed us outright because we couldn't give them the name of our Church Home and references from a pastor.

A lot of agencies dismissed us outright because of our ages (we were both over 40) and the fact that we already have biological children.

One agency said they'd be happy to work with us- and even encouraged us to apply- our ages were no problem, our family size was no problem, and they added the happy fact that the one program we were eligible for (Program C) was very budget-friendly as well- around $5,000- most of that tax-deductible- instead of the $20,000-$30,000 cost of adopting a Program A or B baby.

I asked about waiting time- Programs A and B had waiting times of one to four YEARS. I was told "Honey- get your home inspection done and as soon as it's signed, paint your nursery because your baby will be on his way home".

What was the difference?

Programs A and B are newborn Caucasian babies.

Program C babies are "hard to place"- mixed heritage, non-Caucasian, mothers with dubious drug records, un-known fathers. The fact that we would prefer a boy was an added extra- across the board in all races and programs, adoptive families prefer to adopt girls over boys. I don't know why. To me, boys are ALOT easier to raise.

Ward's health issues have precluded, overshadowed and put on hold our plans to adopt, but that doesn't change the fact that all those Pro-Lifers are NOT lining up to adopt babies who are born into bad situations and of questionable heritage.

The fact is that many of those Program C babies will be headed into an already over-flowing foster care system- and as a MOTHER, I would not want that for my CHILD- to be blown off into the wind like a dandelion seed- with no secure future, no assurance of safety or love or stability.

Once Ward's better, and we're able, we'll be adopting as many of those Program C baby boys as we can- because everyone deserves a family and a home, and they are welcome in OUR family and in OUR home.

My wish, nay, my non-church-homed prayer is for there one day to be no difference between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice- that those who are truly Pro-Life will step up and afford REAL choice to those who so badly need it, instead of pushing them farther back against the wall with vague intimations of "well- you have a choice- put your child up for adoption"- to be there with open arms for both baby and mother for real and concretely.

To look an actual suffering mother in the eyes and say "I will love and care for your child. I will personally make sure he's OK".

1 comment:

  1. Sheri, I love you, but I do see a few holes in your arguments. At the beginning you state, "Pro-Life is not the opposite of Pro-Choice" but then you proceed through the rest of your essay as if it is. Pro-Life does not equal Pro-Despair as you put it. I am totally pro-life. I am totally pro-choice. I am against abortion. Abortion is murder and murder is sin, thus saith the Lord. I didn't write the Bible. The *choice* comes between options other than killing the baby. Just like the options for Ward were anything and everything to help him, *except* killing him to put him out of his misery. (Or maybe you are are for euthanasia as well...? Don't mean that ugly, just curious.)

    You cannot state opinions as fact. There are PLENTY of pro-life parents out there willing to adopt. It's like the health care system; the adoption system is broken. MANY are turned away. But MANY also succeed. There is a home in Tyler run by loving folks who not only help the pregnant young lady from pregnancy to way post-birth, but they will help whether she decides to abort, use adoption, or keep the baby to raise. They will help find adoptive families. They will provide foster care for the newborn until the adoption can go through. They will support the young woman if she shows up pregnant again (or again...). So I don't think it's fair to make blanket statements about what pro-lifers will or won't do based on what one (or more) adoption agencies told you.

    As a side note, if SOMEONE would have talked to me about being pro-life 30 something years ago, instead of being so quick to take my money and "get it over with", maybe I wouldn't have had to live with all these years of regret. I can't speak for anyone else, but I can speak for myself. There's a lot more pain in knowing you killed your own child than in suffering to bring him into the world and allowing him to have a chance at life.

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