I should probably start off by giving a brief background of my pro-life history. I've always been pro-life. However, I've never exactly known all the facts behind it. I grew up as a Christian and that probably weighed heavily on just why I believed that abortion was wrong. Yet it wasn't until about the year 2000 or 2001 that I really started to get into it.
I graduated high school in 1999 and went right into college. In 2000 or 2001, I was taking a public speaking class. One of the speaches I had to prepare was on a controversial topic and I had to present both views evenly. I couldn't let my classmates know that I believed one way or the other by presenting too much of one side of the argument. It was in doing research for this speech that I actually realized that not just the logical evidence, but the scientific evidence rested in the pro-life position. Now I don't even bring religion into it. I'll debate purely from logic and science as to why abortion is wrong. The only time I'll bring the Bible into it is if I'm discussing the issue with a pro-choice Christian.
An unborn child is not just a clump of cells (though we begin life as a cell and develop into an embryo/fetus). You could say that fundamentally, all of us born people, child and adult, are just a clump of cells. But an embryo/fetus is human. They have human DNA and are conceived by human parents. Creatures reproduce after their own kind. Two humans will conceive a human. Humans are alive or dead. They are not simply "there." An embryo/fetus grows, which living entities do, and all the signs of life that I learned in elementary school biology (e.g. cell division, response to stimuli, respiration) are all there. Doctors and scientists know when life begins; at conception. Doctors who perform abortions know when life begins. There's no denying that a unique human being comes into existence at conception. And humans, simply by virtue of being human, are valuable and should have the fundamental rights afforded to all people: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm pretty sure there's a reason life was listed first in that famous declaration.
But what of the terms used to describe those of us on the opposing sides of the issue? Pro-life and pro-choice are the terms commonly used to describe them but they are really misnomers. First of all, if one identifies oneself as pro-life, that's not really a blanket statement. For instance, some pro-lifers are against capital punishment (they believe we don't have the right to put anyone to death, even criminals), and there are pro-lifers in favor of capital punishment (those who murder another forfeit their own right to live; being pro-life is really about protecting innocent life, of which unborn children most certainly are). But then what of those who don't believe in protecting the rights of unborn children? What's the opposite of pro-life? Anti-life. Some pro-lifers will refer to pro-choicers as "anti-lifers" as a derogatory term designed to insult the other side. But this unfair. Those who are in favor of abortion do not oppose life in all situations; just in the case of abortion. So I've heard the term "pro-life rights" used to describe "pro-lifers." This is probably a more appropriate term.
And what of the pro-choice position? Again, pro-choice is a misnomer. For instance, while pro-choicers are in favor of abortion, they are not in favor of murder in other instances. Except for some very rare instances, pro-choicers would not advocate killing a newborn or a toddler. They don't believe anyone should have that choice. So they're not pro-choice in everything. Conversely, "pro-choicers" will call pro-lifers "anti-choice" as an insult, because they see us as male chauvenists who want to strip women of all their rights and lord ourselves over them. This couldn't be further from the truth. We are not "anti-choice." We believe that women should be able to make any number of decisions for themselves. They should be able to choose their spouse, to choose their religion, to choose what outfits they're going to wear, etc. But when it comes to stripping another individual (read: unborn child) of their right to live, that is where we draw the line. Besides, it may interest you to know that the earliest feminists were anti-abortion. They saw abortion as the ultimate exploitation of women, and allowed men to take advantage of them sexually because the option of abortion would be there. They knew that women didn't need "corrective surgery" to make themselves equal with men. So when it comes to what moniker best describes those on this side of the equation, I've heard the term "pro-abortion choice" being used, which is probably a better term.
On another note, despite their rhetoric, Planned Parenthood has consistently proven themselves to be an "anti-choice" organization. Not anti-choice in the sense of a pro-choice insult, but in the sense that they want no obstacles to abortion, even if it means someone doesn't get a choice or a woman can't make an informed choice. First of all, performing an abortion ensures that approximately 650,000 women each year don't get a choice -- and that's just in the U.S. (there are approximately 1.3 abortions each year in the U.S., and I'm assuming about half are female). Secondly, and I'm not sure at the moment how common this is, but women are not given all the facts by Planned Parenthood. They'll be denied the chance to see their ultrasound because it may sway their decision and cause them to choose life. First and foremost, Planned Parenthood is a business. They sell abortions. They can be craftier than used car salesmen.
Thirdly, Planned Parenthood has consistently opposed parental notification laws (where the parent would just have to be notified -- not consent to the abortion), conscience clauses (pro-life pharmacists must give abortifacient birth control to those who request it), and mental stability laws (to ensure that a woman is not only in her right mind, but that she is not being coerced in any way to get the abortion). This means that number one, they don't want parents to have any choice in the matter. They don't even want the parents to know about it -- because again, they're a business and they don't want pro-life parents to try and sway their children away from it. They also don't give pharmacists any choice. Even though there may be other qualified pharmacists who can help, pro-life pharmacists must comply with her wishes to use abortifacient birth control. Also, they don't care if a girl is being coerced into it. They could want to keep the child but may be pressured by her boyfriend/parent/abuser to get an abortion, and Planned Parenthood has enacted their own "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Planned Parenthood is not an ethical organization.
That's about it for now. This is my first entry here, the first of many. I welcome anyone who wishes to read and comment in this blog. I certainly welcome dialog, as well as it can be kept civil and clean. No swearing, no name calling, just intelligent conversation. I reserve the right to delete any notes that violate common decency.