This poster featuring Mr. Kouki’s statement is extremely misleading: it assumes that the fetus is a being for whom all choices can be made independently of the mother, and ignores the fact that it is actually totally dependent upon its mother while still in the womb. It is another round in the effort to create a law that prohibits certain activities (abortion, in this case) as a way of settling a moral debate, even though history proves that such prohibitions are almost always ineffective, and often cause far more harm than good.
While I agree that abortion is not a step to be taken lightly (and hopefully, only extremely rarely); viewpoints such as that expressed in this poster are also a form of abortion, since they separate the child from its mother in another way – by declaring that the mother must be responsible for their child, but only as long as their decisions with regard to the child conform to the dictates of others. Think about it: this poster declares that it is absolutely acceptable to abort the mother’s life in favor of the child’s. Or, to put it another way, instead of the mother being allowed to decide whether to remove a fetus from within her body; the state feels it is justifiable to remove that same fetus from the control of the mother – while it is still in her body. (I’d also note that this notion, which is part of the the Tea Party’s stance on abortion is completely at odds with one of its most basic principles, which is that the government already intrudes too deeply into the lives of American citizens.)
My opinion is this: abortion is never a good thing, but if we are going to trust a woman to raise the child, or even carry it to term; then we must be willing to trust that she knows what is best for the child and for herself, and we must respect the choices she makes with regards to whether to give birth to that child, or not.
On the other hand, Pro-Choice advocates who oppose education of the mother prior to having an abortion may be going too far. I do not believe such “education” should be mandatory. But, it cannot be one-sided, and should be readily available. At the very least, a woman considering an abortion should have a clear and factual understanding of the medical risks of the procedure – presented in a way that does not hype or denigrate the views of those on either side of this issue.
One more question: should the father have a say in whether his child is aborted? On the one hand, “Yes” – and I think why this should be is obvious.
On the other hand, and overriding that right, is “No”: “No” because at present a man can easily walk away from his responsibilities for a child he has fathered, with little risk or cost to himself. Because of this, and until no man can escape responsibility for his actions when he has sex with anyone, we have no right to enforce a man’s “right to choose” over the wishes of the mother. And even then, if we did give men this right, I do not see how we can allow such a right to override the woman’s choice, since it is her body, her life, and her wellbeing that is at risk from a pregnancy, not his. Ideally, a father should have a (respectful and kind, if not supportive) voice in the choice, but not the power to veto the mother’s decision without a very substantial burden of proof as to why.
In the end, when any woman chooses to have an abortion, she should be able to have it safely, privately, and with great respect and consideration of her for the difficulty and magnitude of the choice she has made. Her life, and that of her child, should not be a pawn, or a casualty, in society’s struggle to come to grips with the moral dilemma of abortion.
Copyright (c) 2014, Allen Vander Meulen III, all rights reserved. I’m happy to share my writings with you, as long as proper credit for my authorship is given. (e.g., via a credit that gives my full name and/or provides a link back to this site – or just email me and ask!)