Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I oppose legalized abortion

In conversations with people in real life and online (including very recently with a co-worker), almost always they assume I'm a left-winger until they hear that I'm opposed to legalized abortion. Then they think I'm a right-winger. Funny how that almost always happens. Why do they assume that? I oppose the war; I oppose the death penalty; I think the rich get too many tax breaks - but that's not enough to validate my left wing credentials.

"Real liberals support a woman's right to choose", is the usual response. And also almost always (including that same co-worker), they bring up why I let ONE issue determine how I'll vote for a candidate. My usual response is, "Well, if that ONE issue isn't that important to the Democrats, then they should drop it from their party platform, as there's a lot of left-wingers like me who'd go back to the party in a heartbeat if they ever did."

Well, it turns out that this ONE issue is important to them as well - so I don't know why that argument keeps being brought up. It's supposed to shame me for limiting myself to one issue, and yet it's damned easy to show how the shamers are just as bad. But I'm not the only prolife left-winger - in fact, there's a bunch of us. In another blog entry, I'll provide a whole list of sites of such folks, including atheists, anarchists, gays, feminists, vegetarians, and even pagans (this list does not pretend to be comprehensive. Folks, in other words, that aren't likely to wander the convention floor of the GOP.

For this blog entry, though, let me relate why I'm prolife. Part of it is because of my Catholic faith. I believe all of us are created by God, and that we all have a reason for having been created. Because God created us, that makes us all unique and special. Granted, not all of us reach the potential that we have - in fact, the greater majority of us will not - but we all have the right to find out for ourselves. But we must exist before we can achieve that potential.

What would those of you who are prochoice say about a single parent teenage high school dropout living in poverty giving birth to her son? Dooming him to a life of despondency and crime? No hope for him because she didn't even finish high school, much less go on to college? Some of you are probably thinking that this is a set-up; that I'm that son, but I'm not. He's my older brother. I'm the SECOND son born to that same teenager. NOW what do you think of that teenager? Greatly irresponsible and thoughtless?

My mother fully admitted that she made mistakes, but she made every effort to provide for me and my brother. She sent us to a Catholic school because she wanted us to have a religious education, even though it taxed her meager budget. She'll also be the first to tell you that she had LOTS of help. And during my childhood, I never felt poor, even though technically I was. I never felt unloved. I never felt like I didn't deserve to be here. So what happened to those two boys?

My brother graduated from a Catholic high school with a 4.4 GPA in his final semester, which got him a 4 year scholarship to college. He went on to college to graduate with a marketing degree, and he's now happily married to a wonderful woman, and they have 3 beautiful children. He's also an executive in an auto parts company, and doing very well. I also went on to college, and even went on to get my Master's. Not bad for two boys born to a teenage single parent mother living in poverty. And when she holds her grandchildren in her arms, she forgets all the pain and suffering she went through to raise my brother and me. You won't find a prouder grandmother.

I oppose legalized abortion, because it denies stories like mine. Legalized abortion means giving in to fear and hopelessness. It means denying life to someone whose story deserves to be played out. Legalized abortion would have also denied a woman two sons and three grandchildren. What would have her life been like, I wonder, if she gave into her fear all those years ago? The abortion issue may indeed be "one issue", but it's a damned important one, because I'm fighting for the right of the existence of people like me and my brother. We deserve to be here, and I dare anyone to try to tell me otherwise.

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