31 October 2008

Politics of Pregnancy

In an attempt to avoid working on my paper tonight (the doorbell won't stop ringing) I watched some TV; specifically a channel from California. It seems like every second commercial is either Vote Yes or Vote No on one of the many propositions Californians get to vote on Tuesday. The commercials between the proposition ones are for or against specific politicians. Political junkie that I am, I'm actually enjoying these commercials far more than the regular ones, but I digress.

The one that hit me tonight was the one for "Vote No on Prop 4." Prop 4 is known as "Sarah's Law" and if passed would amend the California constitution to require parents be notified if their daughter wants to have an abortion. See the commercial here. What struck me about it was the language used about pregnancy. The mother in the commercial says if her daughter got pregnant "I would be there for her to help her through that difficult time." While some may consider it subtle, that commercial seems to give pregnancy a very negative context. That has happened a lot lately. For example, Obama stated that if either of his daughters ended up pregnant, he wouldn't want to "punish them with a baby."

Since when is pregnancy a punishment? Or a difficult time? Shouldn't we view pregnancy as the beautiful process that brings a new life into the world? I know that a pregnancy can be an uncomfortable time for the mother (at least that's what my friends who are/have been pregnant have said), but it's certainly not a punishment. Generally people refer to pregnancy as a punishment when it was unplanned (usually in an outside of marriage context) but doesn't that just go to show how our culture has devalued sex? Let's face it; the natural result of sex is pregnancy. If we start calling pregnancy a punishment, then what are we saying about human sexuality? I think the true problem is that we have divorced conception from sex, and until our society reintegrates the two, abortion will be commonplace.

Personally, I much prefer Sarah Palin's response, calling an unplanned pregnancy a blessing. While the couple (or woman) may not have been ready to have the child, I believe that pregnancy will have a positive impact in their lives, if they give it a chance. The only punishment in a pregnancy is if the baby is aborted; and then, the punishment is visited on the innocent child.

All in all, I'm happy that this discussion is at least happening in the United States. There is a clear choice between the culture of life and the culture of death in their election, and several states have propositions on life and death issues on the ballot. I hope and pray that the people of the United States endorse life, but I am so proud of our neighbor to the south for at least having this discussion. In Canada, we seem to be far more apathetic. Not only were life issues non-existent in Canada's recent election, PM Stephan Harper said the issue wasn't even to be discussed. As long as abortion is permitted, pregnancy will be seen as a punishment, and another 2000 babies a week (in Canada alone- Stats Can 2004) will die from abortion.

I hope and pray that the culture of life triumphs over death on Tuesday, but most of all, I wish politicians would remember that they are elected by the people and should serve the people. Some of those people are the unborn. Since 1973, when the Roe decision was made, over 50 million Americans have been aborted. 25 million of those Americans would be eligible to vote on Tuesday. I wonder what difference their votes would make.


Armin Arend said...

Dear Sandy,

you have not had the experience of giving birth to a child and I trust you will not have the one of an unwanted pregnancy. So many people will say "It is easy for her to talk!" I do not think it is easy for you to talk because anybody who writes as much and as supposedly unpopular stuff as you do, has her heart in it, and the way you write, it is obvious that you also have your mind in it. But this will not suffice for those who argue against you.

One of my daughters had a time in her life, in which she knew everything better than her parents, one of the results being that she was unwanted pregnant and not married. She decided not to abort and she is now the happy (and yes very blessed) mother of two wonderful children (not twins) and the children even have a father

"Well, that is not enough hardship!" some will say. Let me try on another example. The daughter of a friend of mine got pregnant while working on one of the tourist islands, not married and left alone with her pregnancy. She too decided pro-life and she and her family just love that little boy that gives so much to all of them.

Yes, babies do not just have a right to live, say pay their own way by giving so much for just being allowed to be. This is God meant it to be, when he gave us the gift of babies.

Armin Arend said...

Sorry Sarah,

about calling you Sandy. Please forgive me.

The last paragraph in my last comment should read:

"Yes, babies do not just have a right to live, they pay their own way by giving so much for just being allowed to be, if you open your heart to them. This is how God meant it to be, when he gave us the gift of babies and of having the possibility partnership with the other gender."

I do want to add that all I said above relates to the result of voluntary sexual intercourse and therefore excludes pregnancies caused by an act of rape. God in no way wanted murder (abortion) or rape, sexual intercourse was meant to be something good instead of a constant reminder of the harm and humiliation done to a woman. I am honestly at a loss about what to say to a woman who can not feel good about the new life in her because it has its root in a horrible act of violence against her. I would be interested in your and other readers' opinions.