Let’s Talk About Choice…
March 28th 2016
The most strident discussion topic regarding pregnancy is choice. People shout, “It’s a women’s right to choose” continually on the news, in newsprint and during demonstrations. The questions we need answered are: Exactly what is choice? Who is making the choice? What is it exactly one is choosing in regards to a pregnancy?Who is impacted by choice? It is a good and healthy choice?
We all want to have a choice. In fact I would say most of us believe the choice to have or to do as we please is a fundamental right. Vanilla or Chocolate? Butter or sour cream? Both? Coffee or tea? Cat or dog? Smoking or non-smoking? Right or left? Republican or Democrat? Right or wrong? The choices we have each day are endless so we take them for granted, and we make most without even thinking. In fact I honestly think we’re programmed to not “over think” decisions. Often we’re mocked when we consider and reconsider our choice and the possible outcome. “Just do it!” “Get off the dime!” “Fish or cut bait!” There’s more, but we’ll leave it at these examples. Most of us have, on occasion experienced pressure to make a significant choice before we’re ready. Sometimes, that’s okay. We can’t make people wait forever in line at Starbuck’s, but there are times when we need to make sure we have all the information to make the best choice. As a friend of mine wisely says, “You are free to choose, but you are not free to choose the consequences.”
Consequences! Now, there’s a rude awakening. Yes, I am free to choose an extra slice of pie (Vanilla ice cream please!); however, if I don’t want the weight gain or other problems from over-indulging, too bad. Regardless of how clever I think I am, I can’t fully control the consequences. Experience as taught me to think through my choices to the logical conclusion.
Choice regarding an unplanned pregnancy is much more than a decision about convenience or finances or personal preference. Unless you get factual information about what happens when one chooses to end a pregnancy, the natural consequences will prove to be devastating and destructive. This may happen sooner or later, but it will happen. And unless you know there is nothing to be done to neutralize the consequences, the realization “what’s done cannot be undone” will rock your world. If I order a menu item it turns out I don’t like, I can send it back and order something else. There is much more at risk than BLT vs. Tuna on white. There is no do-over when someone has made a choice to abort---to end the life of her/his own child. A parent must learn all there is to learn and take sufficient time when making any decision involving a child. One huge question to consider when weighing unplanned pregnancy options is when is my baby a living human? Let me explore: If a person is considered dead when his heart stops doesn’t that also mean a person is alive when his heart begins to beat? The heart of an unborn child begins to beat at 42 days following conception. It’s a no-brainer to realize the child is a living human regardless of location and degree of dependency.
What most people don’t realize is there is more than one choice offered in regards to an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion has become the default choice. Women forget there are other options which don’t come with such devastating consequences. One can choose to parent in a variety of ways. One or both parents can assume the responsibility of primary care for the child. Sometimes arrangements can be made for someone responsible to have primary care until the parent(s) is in a more stable position. Adoption is often thought about in a negative sense, which is largely due to a biased mind set and inaccurate language. People assume that adopted children never feel “at home” and parents who adopt must try hard to accept an adopted child as their own. The truth is anyone who has had the privilege to adopt or to be adopted, know these assumptions are only thoughts people have and then present as facts. People who have participated in an adoption know they have received a beautiful gift. Whether the birth parents who choose to place for adoption, the parents who choose to adopt or the child who wins through responsible, thoughtful, loving choices, everyone wins.