The headlines on most news websites are all about the murder of the abortion doctor in Kansas today. It is such an extreme issue bringing an even more heated debate on the whole abortion issue. Is it okay for pro-lifers to take a life, even if it is one of someone they believe is a mass murderer? I have always considered myself pro-life, but I had to amend that opinion recently. One thing I have now learned is it is very easy to decide where we stand on this issue or that, but until we actually encounter it in our every day life, well....it is hard to say that we can always stick to those idealistic views.
As many of you know, families that have had a baby with SMA always face a 25% risk of having another baby who has it too. For many of them, private adoption or IVF is not a realistic option as the cost of both is out of their means. While Eli's death was somewhat peaceful, meaning we didn't go through weeks or months of having to keep him calm and not suffering through the use of drugs, many of the other moms I've talked to did not have this same experience. They were forced to watch their children struggle and fight to breathe. They had to spend days upon days watching their baby be miserable and hurt and cry, give them drugs to calm them down. Those moms decided they could not go through losing another baby to SMA. For some of them, having a child naturally and then testing for SMA at 11 weeks was their only real choice. It is not an easy decision to terminate the pregnancy if the test comes back positive, but should they be forced to deliver a baby that is going to die a painful death in a few short months? I can't say that I think that should be their only choice, so I can't be pro-life now. I don't think I could ever go through with having an abortion, so we have decided that is not going to be the path we will choose, but I can't make that decision for anyone else. I don't think it should be a method of birth control, but I can't see taking away that right to women who really need it.
As for the murdered doctor, I have read some of the stories of women who went to clinics like his and had late term abortions. Were they evil women who just waited too long to decide that they just didn't want to be moms? No. Most of them didn't know anything was wrong with their babies until detailed ultrasounds showed fatal abnormalities in the fetus. Their babies were either going to be born dead or have unimaginable problems that would cause them much pain in the short time they were alive. Those women were broken, devastated by that news. Did they need to keep carrying that baby, dealing with all the usual questions of "what are you having" or "do you have a name picked out"? Honestly, making them suffer through that seems like a form of psychological torture to me. I know the women I read about did not make the trip to Kansas just to get rid of an unwanted baby.... they made that trip reluctantly and came home with shattered dreams and a broken heart that will never heal because they WANTED that baby more than anything.
So I guess the point of my post is think before judging. We can all stand up on our pedestal and decide what is right and what is wrong and try to apply it to the world. Unfortunately, those views we hold don't really take into account real life and the issues that others who do not have our perfect ideal lives might be going through. It is easy to say a definite YES or NO to anything until you come face to face with it.
Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but it was on my mind tonight and well, it is my blog after all.