This is probably the singularly most contentious issue of our times. I find it interesting that it should be in the threads of a Personal Development forum.
When I was a devout Roman Catholic, I used to be passionately pro-life, and vehemently anti-abortion. Yet, after coming to many realizations about myself and the world in which I live, I have come to understand things more clearly, within a broader context.
First of all, I still believe that a human life begins at conception. Whether you call it an "embryo", a "fetus", or a "baby," it is still where we all start out in our physical existence. I also think that anyone countering this claim does not see the simple fact of the matter, and is likely making excuses in a lame attempt to justify the termination of human life.
However, in the broader scheme of things, there is what can be termed a "quality of life" issue that faces every mother, in her responsibility whether or not to bear that human life. There are also particular circumstances surrounding the conception of a child that weigh upon a mother's decision whether or not to abort it. In light of this, and in light of the fact that it is a decision to be made, (ultimately by the mother, of course, but hopefully with consideration for the father's and/or the parent's input), I am, then, at my core, pro-choice.
There are, of course, extremes at both ends of the spectrum of this issue, which belie the label they've given themselves. Some have gone to the trouble of planting bombs and killing doctors willing to perform abortions and call themselves "pro-life"; I have also known mothers so vehemently "pro-choice", that they insist that if their teenage daughters got pregnant, they would handcuff them and take them to the abortion clinic themselves.
All of which shows the contention, of course, but also shows that this is not a black/white issue. That said, I do not think that either end of that spectrum can or should be dictated by law. The only solace that I have found in regards to this issue is simple compassion--compassion for the child who is terminated, or otherwise born and raised under adverse conditions; compassion for the mother, who has to make such a decision, which will, in any event, affect her for the rest of her life; compassion for the parents of pregnant teenagers; compassion for the father, whose input is, at times, completely ill-regarded; even compassion for the doctor who performs the procedure. It's just not a cut-and-dried issue, and I really don't think anyone has the right to dictate what a woman must do in the case of making such a decision, except the woman herself. It is she who has to live with the consequences. Yes, it is a human life, but until it is a fully developed human life, the responsibility for its development ultimately lies with the mother.
Last edited by Solipsist; 01-11-2011 at 04:56 PM.