One thing that makes me crazy is reading criticisms of other people’s choices when the critics are forming their opinions as if they live in a world of their own creation, and not the one we’re all stuck with.
For example, in our latest Childfree Girls episode, our guest Jamin Mays–a devout Christian, a perfectly lovely person with a warm smile, a lot of patience, and a willingness to discuss abortion with three atheist and/or agnostic women–said he believes abortion is an immoral act and compared abortion to murder.
When asked how committed he is to stopping this atrocity of “murder” on embryos and fetuses, Mays seemed – as many are – unable to cross into the world of “how things are” from the world he and many others live in, which is the world of “how we think things should be.”
Because he is so horrified by abortions, because he feels deeply and powerfully that an abortion is the murder and dismemberment of a human child, we asked whether–in order to help reduce the number of abortions–he would promote and encourage the use of birth control among young women (women in their 20s account for 60% of legally provided abortions).
The truncated version of his answer is that he’s fine with birth control education in schools, but what we really need to do as a society is teach children first about the importance of their relationship with “the one true God.”
Yeah, okay, sure. But in the meantime…?
In the meantime, a reluctance to accept and address behavior as it is in real life means that, aside from voting for pro-life politicians, many pro-life advocates are doing nothing on a personal level to save the “babies” they insist are being murdered. A tweet here, a comment on a meme there…
To stop murder?
But, again, this is because there’s an insistence on dealing with people as they should be, the world as it should be. But there’s a big difference between the world as it should, in their view, be, and the world as it is.
The world as they think it should be: People should only have sex if they’re married, because married people want babies.
The world as it is: +/- 14% of abortion recipients in 2019 were married.
The world as they think it should be: People should only have sex if they want children.
The world as it is: “In 2011, nearly half [45%, or 2.8 million] of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Specifically, 27% of all pregnancies were “wanted later” and 18% of pregnancies were “unwanted.” – Guttmacher Institute
The world as they think it should be: Anyone who doesn’t want a child but ends up having one should automatically embrace and love parenthood.
The world as it is: “A federal study has found that at least 22,000 babies are left in hospitals each year by parents unwilling or unable to care for them.” – LA Times “The United Nations estimates 60 million children and infants have been abandoned by their families and live on their own or in orphanages in the world. In the United States, more than 7,000 children are abandoned each year.” – Encyclopedia of Children’s Health
No parent will admit they don’t love their child. But it happens more often than it should. […] There are many reasons a parent may not give love to their child. One of the biggest is if the decision to have children wasn’t a conscious or well-reasoned desire. There was no space in their heart for that child, and it was impossible to make any.–Exploring Your Mind
“What is the fate of an unwanted child whose mother is unable to obtain an abortion she so desperately desires? A long-term study provides a grim answer: The child faces psychological suffering that continues well into adulthood and may set the stage for problems in future generations.” – Washington Post
Anyone who vapidly screams that abortions are murderous acts but does nothing beyond tweeting shaming messages or harassing visitors to Planned Parenthood (and trying to eliminate Planned Parenthood altogether) while utterly ignoring the very real way they as individuals, by actively promoting birth control and supporting Planned Parenthood, could help prevent unwanted pregnancies is someone who is far more interested in being loud than they are in saving “babies.”
If you want to reduce abortion, SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE and EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT birth control. Demand that students in all schools are taught the value of safe sex. Support Planned Parenthood.
“Publicly funded family planning services help women avoid pregnancies they do not want and plan pregnancies they do want. In 2014, these services helped women avoid two million unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in … nearly 700,000 abortions.” – Guttmacher Institute
Kristen Tsetsi is the author of the novel The Age of the Child, “a conjecture of what could happen if the government gets too controlling of reproduction. The reasons people do want to and do not want to have children and what it means to be a child of both types of parents are explored keenly.” (Amazon review)