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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thoughts on Abortion

Being male, and therefore somewhat distanced from the mental duress that accompanies the decision of whether to follow through with an unplanned pregnancy, I have invested infrequent thought to the current hot-button issue of abortion. Men currently have no legal input into the decision as to what happens with regards to their genetic contribution - one way or another. And as one who considers a long term commitment between two partners a prerequisite to the consideration of children, I have avoided procreation due to my inability to luck upon an appropriate marriage partner.

But for all the pseudo-moral rhetoric concerning abortion that I hear from the Neo-Cons of this decade, I find it odd that one never hears anything about the resultant lifestyle the child is forced to endure. Parents with no partner, emotional problems, poverty, alcoholism, and drug abuse issues are generally not the best of caretakers. These factors and many more affect a child far beyond the act of simply being born. And take it from someone who had to live through not only his own parent's alcohol problems during his teens, but was subsequently trampled underfoot by the bizarre behaviors of others with the same affliction, it's not a pretty sight. An unwanted or neglected child who has little self-esteem stands little chance of surviving in this world, and even less chance of contributing anything positive to society. When you factor in the possibilities of birth defects caused by drugs and alcohol, it boggles the mind that anyone would actually want to bring such an at-risk child into the world. But there they are - killing doctors and blowing up abortion clinics in a warped fervor meant to impress their own ideals upon others who may not share their particular belief system. I'd bet, however, that if you were to deliver these unexpected children to the aforementioned zealots to rear, their enthusiasm would rapidly become but a faded memory.

I do not believe that late-term or partial birth abortions are acceptable to society as a whole - if a woman hasn't managed to make a decision in the first few months, put the child up for adoption as she probably isn't mature enough to raise it either. Additionally, the adoption process should be streamlined in order to allow willing couples to adopt. This would reduce the financial burden on society as well as promoting childless couples to adopt an American child, rather than one from another country - which is a common occurrence. I cannot know exactly where to place the blame for the thousands of unadopted American children, but the system as it stands places unrealistic expectations and delays upon those who are willing to adopt and who would provide a nurturing home to an otherwise neglected child. As anyone who has ever worked in a foster home or even a pet shelter can affirm, the chances of adoption and subsequent psychological bonding decrease markedly with each passing day. A sad situation, at best.

Shouldn't the goal of our mortal existance be to leave things better than we found them? How is bringing an unwanted child into a world devoid of love, emotional stability, opportunity for improvement, and any hope of more than minimal survival making the world a better place? As the world becomes a smaller place these children are ill prepared to compete and lead happy, productive lives, thereby encumbering society.

As with so many other topics, society has already reached a consensus concerning abortion that has been found most acceptable to the majority, but the wing-nuts are intent on disrupting the status quo at all costs. Massive deaths from disease and starvation due to overpopulation and famine, coupled with acts of war which result in the killing of civilian children in a foreign land thereby become acceptable, but terminating the development of an unplanned mass of incognizant cells is not?

Hmmm.... Where is the morality in this?


Blogger down_not_out said...

It can't be found and AMEN to the rest. Great, timely post. Thanks.

Fri Jun 16, 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

I'm just a couple years late in commenting (grin) but have to say I wonder the same things when I drive past the protestors at the local planned parenthood... somehow they're always gray-haired old men and women - what do they know of the realities of raising children today? Wouldn't they be the same ones voting for welfare reform? Where is their interest in the children once they're born?


Interestingly, I've found through my work with social services that the poorest and most ill-fit parents-to-be are those with the strongest ethical or religious opposition to abortion. Those babies will be born, no matter what some social worker may tell them about how inappropriate it is and no matter what common sense may better suggest.

Thu May 22, 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

Hi, Laura,
Thanks for dropping by - even if it is two years after the fact. ;-)
(And people wonder why I bother less and less to pontificate here.)

Seriously though, in reguards to your quandry, AFAIC there is little interest in the child's actual welfare - it's all a dog and pony show to elicit political gain from zealots who don't bother to think beyond what they are told to believe. It's a sorry state of affairs, reguardless.

Sat May 24, 06:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great post. The only thing I would quibble with is late term abortion. Trust me, no woman is making that choice lightly. If it's chosen, it's for a damn good reason and the timing is because of something just learned. No doctor would perform the procedure unless it was medically necessary. The stakes would be too high for their insurance, I think.

Fri Jul 25, 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Know said...

Hey, DCup!
Although it wasn't clear, I was referring to healthy fetuses, not problematic pregnancies, carried by those who wait until the last trimester -- it happens. Perhaps not in white bread suburbia, but in dysfunctional situations.

Partial birth abortions are nasty procedures, and my objection is due to issues of humanity. A fetus in the third trimester can feel pain, and the procedure used to be done without anesthesia -- whether they still do this I'm not sure, but some quirk in the law had something to do with it. I wouldn't subject any living being to this kind of pain -- even momentarily.

Fri Jul 25, 12:14:00 PM  

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