Life

This is an annual event and I have done a lot of thinking about it.  I am in favor of access to abortion being safe and legal.  I believe it is always an unfortunate choice but I continue to believe the choice should be there.  As a spiritual person, I do not believe we can make a mistake.  I believe that the Divine knows what we will do before we do it and uses that.  I also believe that every life is precious, should be valued and cared for.  I believe this makes me pro-Life but does not make me anti-abortion.  Many pro-lifers are simply pro-birth but not concerned about the quality of the life they insist needs to be born after it emerges from the womb.  They also seem to be totally unconcerned with the impacts of an explosive population growth on our environmental quality.  This is just how I see it and I do not need for anyone else to see it the same way I do.

In 1956, economists Christopher Cundell and Carlos McCartney designed the quality-adjusted life year, also know as QALY.  Health-care systems have used it extensively ever since to evaluate the costs and benefits of various medical interventions. It takes the number of remaining years someone would be expected to live, and, if that person is expected to live in perfect health, multiplies it by one—and by a smaller number if the person will be, for example, paralyzed.

Quality of life is certainly an important issue with me.  If I were to be diagnosed with a cancer that would likely end in death, no matter how it is treated, I would prefer to make the most of my remaining time and forego treatment.  I would prefer not to torture myself with medical interventions if the result will be the same and my quality of life will be worse before I die.  That is just the way I see it.  I probably won’t have to face a cancer diagnosis but will probably be fortunate enough to meet an irrevocable end (ie a heart attack as my parents and grandparents did).

Both of my parents were adopted and until recently when I learned about my original grandparents we had no idea what our family health history included.  It appears that all of my grandparents most likely did die of heart attacks, though my paternal grandmother was just being released from the hospital after successful breast cancer surgery when she had her fatal event.

And I am grateful I wasn’t aborted or given up for adoption.  I am grateful I have had a decently good life.  I did have an abortion in the late 70s (I believe that was the time frame).  It was safe and I didn’t have to face a bunch of protesters going in.  It was emotionally traumatic and I struggled with my own personal ethical misgivings.

One day, in my heart’s mind, I heard “I am coming.”  I did believe that was the soul of the child I gave up in the physical sense.  Eventually, my son did arrive and he does not carry my genes but he did grow in my womb and nurse at my breast.  I will ever think of him as my atonement child.  He has also allowed me to prove to myself that I can raise children (as I gave up my daughter to her father when he wouldn’t pay child support and I could not financially provide for us).

I do NOT believe any person should put their values upon other people whose shoes they have not walked in.  Bottom line.

Open Records And Abortion

Thankfully, I finally know mine.  No thanks to Virginia, Arizona and California.  If Tennessee had not been rocked by a baby stealing and selling scandal (Georgia Tann, the baby thief, of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society at Memphis), I would not have been able to get my mom’s adoption file and see a photo of my maternal grandmother.

I have DNA and the matching sites at Ancestry and 23 and Me to thank for my success.  It really shouldn’t be so hard to know one’s hereditary origins.

I personally think the main impediment is bureaucratic laziness.  However, there is also the strange argument that giving adoptees the same right to know where they come from that most everyone else on the planet has would somehow increase the number of abortions.  Therefore, the closed and sealed records advocates (mostly adoptive parents who fear competition from the original parents) have enlisted the pro-Life contingent to help their cause.

The facts don’t support them.  Case in point is the state of Oregon who was one of the first closed record states to open them back up (Alaska and Kansas always had open records).  The rate of abortions actually decreased 25% after the state of Oregon passed its historic adoption law that restored to adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.

Know this – just because you have taken a stand on abortion, does not automatically give you an understanding of everything you need to know about the issues related to adoption.

It’s About Pregnancy

In the fight against abortion, it is often very easily overlooked the kinds of demands any pregnancy places upon a woman.  They are not minor.  It takes almost a full year out of any woman’s life to gestate another human being.  It changes a woman’s body, a woman’s daily life and if the pregnancy goes to term and she delivers the baby – her entire life will no longer be the same.  It is not an equal situation regarding the man who made being pregnant possible in the first place.

So, one fact overlooked in the choice to have an abortion is a woman who is unwilling to commit such an extended period of time to gestating yet one more human being – and if being honest, thoughtful people realize that this planet is already overpopulated.  There is no longer any need for human beings to be fruitful and multiply.

I know that not wanting to commit myself to 9 months of pregnancy was part (but not the only reason) that I once chose to have an abortion.  However, I would be quick to add, every time I have had the circumstances to support me and the willingness to go through the extended period of time to gestate a child, I have loved every minute of it.

Adoption advocates seem only to care about the production of children that can be taken from mothers who are unable to make the longer commitment to raising a child.  Adoption carries with it definite wounds to the original mother and to the child she surrenders to adoption.  While there is a time and place (orphaned or abused children) for adoption, banning abortions is not for the support of infertile couples wanting to have a larger volume of babies to chose from.  It is about controlling the lives of uppity women – plain and simple – by jerking around the emotions of people who love their own children.