When Life Begins

I feel like in today’s black and white political climate, there really isn’t room for my views on abortion, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. I’m probably not going to make any friends doing it, but here it goes.
I guess I am technically pro-choice, but in reality you could categorize me as pro-life in most circumstances. I don’t believe anyone has the right to tell a woman whether or not she can have an abortion.
I used to be pro-choice all the way. After all, the woman has to physically, emotionally bear the burden of a child for 9 months – she should get to choose whether to carry that child to term. I still believe that it is ultimately the woman’s decision, but ….
But.
From the moment I heard the heartbeat of my little one, I knew that it was a separate person from me.  I saw my son (before I knew he was a “he”) move his tiny little arm on that ultrasound screen, and I knew I was seeing life. There is no other way to describe it. At that moment, I knew. A fetus is a living being. A living human being.
Later, when we did the tests to determine his risk for autism, Down’s syndrome, etc, I knew that whatever problems arose, whatever health or mental issues, I would keep my child (with the exception of Tay-Sachs disease, because I would never allow another human being to experience that much pain if I could prevent it – but that’s a separate topic). At the end of the day, to terminate that pregnancy would have meant extinguishing a life.
I don’t know how others define “life” for a human being, but as far as I am concerned, the heartbeat is it. It’s solid, scientific proof of life. A fetus’ heartbeat is in no way linked to its mother’s. It is separate. It is other. It is an individual unto itself.
However, despite the fact that I am utterly convinced of proof of life before birth, when it comes to the law, I am pro-choice, for several reasons. First, there is the obvious question of pregnancies that occur and a result of rape. I believe a woman should have a choice of whether or not to carry that child to term, as she had no will in creating it. So, you might say, why not outlaw all abortion except in cases of rape? For this reason, and this reason alone. Can you imagine the NIGHTMARE of having to go to court to try and prove to a jury whether or not you were raped? Can you imagine the indignity of having your conduct called into question when someone who physically forced themselves on you tells the who world in a court of law that you were just begging for it? Can you imagine the judge siding with your rapist, then forcing you to give birth, the emotional and physical pain such that you may as well be raped all over again? Can you imagine that? Because I can. And it sounds like hell on earth. Pregnant women should not be put on trial for being pregnant. End of discussion. If a woman chooses terminate a pregnancy that came as a result of rape, they should not have to justify it. She should not have to announce to the whole world that she was raped. She should not be forced to relive the trauma, or to open herself up to public ridicule (because, as CNN’s handling to the Steubenville,Ohio rape case proves, no matter how heinous the actions of the rapist, the victim will always be ridiculed).
Second reason , obviously the health of the mother. It shouldn’t even be an issue.
Third – cases of incest? Unless it is a case of rape (as in child molestation) as disgusting as incest is, I don’t think it calls for immediate abortion. Again, it should be the woman’s choice.
Finally, what about all the other thousands of situations to consider? What about cases where the sex was consensual, but the husband physically abuses the wife? Should that child be born into that situation? What about cases where the mother is a drug addict and unable to care for the child? Should she be forced to give birth to that child and, if so, can the people who force her to give birth guarantee the safety and well-being of that child until adulthood? What about cases where the husband purposefully tampers with the condom in order to get the woman pregnant (believe or not this does happen)? Does that qualify as rape? There are too many scenarios, too many possible situations. The law can’t cover them all. Therefore, abortion should be legal. Will people abuse this freedom? Unfortunately, yes. But until the human race becomes universally kind, caring, compassionate, and moral, we have to keep abortion legal.
We should keep abortion legal. We do not necessarily have to keep every type of abortion legal. Personally, I think partial birth abortions should be outlawed everywhere in the world. Read up on the procedure. It is truly horrifying.
On the other side of the coin, I am also against the latest measure passed by North Dakota, forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. First, in many cases, when a woman does not realize she is pregnant before 6 weeks, it robs her of her choice. Second, in order to detect a fetal heartbeat that early, you have to do a vaginal ultrasound. Shoving a metal rod up a woman’s vagina in order to dictate to her whether or not she has a choice about what the rest of her life will look like is, as far as I’m concerned, just another form of rape.
I am a HUGE proponent of birth control. I wholeheartedly approve of the morning after pill. But once that bundle of cells divides and develops enough to form a heartbeat, that’s it. It is alive. But that doesn’t give the government the right to force a woman to give birth, whatever her situation.
Currently, several state have passed laws banning abortions past 20 weeks. I am 100% for it. A woman can decide in 2 months whether she wants to bring a child into the world. If not, nature will decide for her.