Karen Swallow Prior
August 2, 2015
American society holds contradictory ideas about unborn children: they're considered babies when wanted and something else when not.
A hauntingly beautiful reflection, and a helpful distinction.
Powerful, Karen. And important. Thank you.
This is not news. Of course those of us who want to see women continue to have access to safe and legal abortion know the reality of miscarriage. We may have experienced one or both things. We also know the reality that women have died seeking abortions when they haven't been available and safe. And we don't want that to happen ever again.
Tracy, Do you ever think what if your mom decided she didn't want you and had aborted you? She could have easily done it, I imagine. Quite different when you think about it in that regard. When people want a baby and miscarry, everyone thinks it is so sad. But, when they decide it is just a group of cells and abort it, "what's the big deal?". It makes me sick!
In Reply to Tracy (comment #27347)
We know the reality that millions of babies have been brutally slaughtered as a result of women seeking abortions. Infinitely more than the number of women who made the unwise decision to seek a "back alley" abortion. Why are these babies unimportant to you? Unlike the vast majority of women, they have absolutely no way of advocating for themselves. In the correct order of things, mothers go to any length to protect their offspring. We now have mothers, by the millions and sanctioned by the state, having their young brutally ripped from their wombs. Most often for the sake of convenience. It's barbaric. Abortion hurts babies AND women. Defunding PP is only a start, but we have to start somewhere.
In Reply to Pat (comment #27348)
Pat, I love my mother enough to want her to have made the best decision she could for herself in whatever circumstance she faced. Her aunt (my great aunt) died in a failed back alley abortion, as women sometimes did in the past. Every woman in my family knows that story and cares deeply about other women having a safe and legal option. By all means, don't have an abortion if you don't want one, and do everything you can to support women who would rather make other choices. But I intend to continue to advocate for a woman's choice -- to judge her own circumstances and do what she feels she must do.
I can understand what you're saying, but I also have two thoughts reading the article and your responses.
First, you don't really address why some society view miscarriage as a death and those children are mourned, but the aborted "fetuses" aren't mourned in the same way by the same people. To me that just shows that people compartmentalize and justify things they know to be contrary.
And secondly, you talk about choice, but the one choice almost every "pro-choice" person ignores is the most important one. No one HAS to have sexual relations to live. And other than rape/incest/abuse, women choose to engage in behavior that can result in pregnancy. If the millions of women who have abortions each year would make a different choice (not to have sex if they can't afford, or don't want a child and/or to do everything possible to prevent pregnancy from occurring in the first place), there would be a LOT fewer abortions. Yes, women have a choice, the choice to have or not have sex.
Do you know what the actual medical term for a "miscarriage" is? Spontaneous abortion. Moreover, not everyone who has an abortion uses the "something else" term. Abortion is legal. There is no scientific consensus on when life begins. It is a moral, ethical, philosophical and increasingly religious question. Since we don't live in a theocracy, or under sharia law, the government should stay out of it.
In Reply to Pat (comment #27348)
I'm not sure who you know who has had an abortion, but very rarely have the women I've spoken with ever said it was "no big deal."
Kimberly Davis, you said that 'there is no scientific consensus on when life begins', yet this is both somewhat irrelevant and also incorrect in terms of human development.
The biological beginning of a unique and distinct human life occurs at conception. There is no scientific question on this matter whatsoever.
Any scientific 'question' that remains would overlap with the question 'when does life have meaning and purpose'? That question you might have the ability to argue about consensus or claim it is a philosophical and not scientific question, but as for 'when does that life begin', conception is the factual answer.
First let me state that I'm pro-life.
But that being said, perhaps we should view abortion (whether spontaneous or induced) from an eternal kingdom perspective. Those babies whose lives are taken from us before they're born are welcomed into Jesus' loving arms without ever having to experience the pain and suffering of this broken world. Praise God for that!
Does our eternal God mourn the death of one of His own? If He does, it's not because it's the end of something (in reality it's the beginning of a perfect eternity!), but because our bodily death comes as a result of our sin here on earth. From the moment of our conception we're guilty and condemned to a bodily death. Period. No one, not even an unborn child, is "innocent" or excluded from this fate.
So I don't necessarily mourn for them-- at least not exclusively. They're with their Father, as we all long to be. Instead, I mourn for our broken world, for the world where women view induced abortion as sometimes their only option-- because of crippling economic conditions, rape, lack of information or birth control, broken homes where young girls seek a strong male presence through sex, etc. I feel for the couples suffering from miscarriages who mourn for what could have been.
I pray more Christians can mourn for the injustice that leads to the induced loss of life, and fight for better economic conditions for the poor, fight for better access to birth control, fight to keep families together, fight for better healthcare options for EVERYONE, etc.
Instead of fighting to make abortion illegal in order to save the "innocent" lives of the unborn, shouldn't we be fighting for a more just world where those already born aren't led into the sin of induced abortion?
"I can’t help but think that the contradictory ideas society holds about unborn children (who are considered babies when wanted and something else when not) owes in part to our tendency to conceive of child bearing as product- rather than process-oriented. The very term reproduction reflects such thinking. Our tendency, even within the church, to think with the product - rather than the means - in mind has dulled our understanding of a crucial distinction between potential life and actual life."
Yes, yes, yes.
(also, I really can not believe the comments here. I feel like I'm reading a comment feed from 20 years ago.)
Good day too all
I never had a miscarriage but as a older women that I'm now I can say that deep down inside that some of us being a women and having a miscarriages that somewhere we feel ashamed a sense of loss mental as well as the physical aspect of losing a potential addiction to our family.
As a society we should discuss this this is big and we ten not to talk about it, because what I believe it is so painful to talk about it we need a support system so when it does happen we can feel opening to vent our feelings one to another.
I take my hat off to Mark Zuckerberg and his wife to put it out there to the media as I know that many couples go through a lot when this event's takes place in their lives. God bless them both I just hope that this pregnancy be everything they hope and prayed for and I will continue to pray for their strength in the lord.
I am so tired of hearing that if women don't want to get pregnant to abstain from sex. Rarely do I hear that if men don't want to be fathers to do the same. Many women believe they are in a long term relationship, until they get pregnant, then the man walks away. Some of these pregnancies are from failed birth control, or poor judgement by BOTH parties. Some of these couples are married and the husband decides to leave the relationship because a child doesn't fit into his lifestyle, or may interfere with his career. While the man can walk away from the pregnancy until a paternity test is done after birth, the woman cannot do the same. She must endure the pregnancy, the cost of prenatal care, and the cost of labor and delivery on her own. What responsibilities are given to the man that participated in the creation of this pregnancy? Why does this topic never seem to come up in discussions, all is blamed on the female for something she could have never accomplished on her own.
Good point Mary well said true you never hear this subject come about your words are well taking something to think about. The things that a women have to endure by her self this has been going on for decades tank you for the up grade.
Miscarriage is tramatic and isolating. And often, it is preventable. Doctors do not routinely test for why a miscarriage happened until 3 or more losses. Patients need to ask for testing after loss. Learn more at www.darciklein.com
In Reply to Tracy (comment #27347) Tracy, I agree with you and support your opinion 100%. The good news is that Mr. Zuckerberg, even though experiencing loss through miscarriage, supports Planned Parenthood to the tune of $992 million dollars. The two cannot and should not be equated.
In Reply to MKR (comment #27354)
Here is my experience Call it "compartmentalization" if you like, I call it "how I feel." I waited through years of disappointing months to become pregnant, had 2 sad miscarriages, and was thrilled when I became pregnant and gave birth. And I would take a friend to Planned Parenthood in a heartbeat if being pregnant at that moment was agonizing for her. I suspect women have felt this way for millennia -- viewing a pregnancy at some moments in some circumstances a total tragedy, and searching for some root, some potion, some way to end it -- while rejoicing at the birth of a child in other circumstances. It feels tremendously condescending to be told how you ought to feel about something. I suspect this is the kinder, gentler pro-life approach though -- you don't want me to have an abortion, so you appeal to some romantic notion of how it is I ought to feel, and try to nudge me towards it. But not every pregnancy fills a woman with "tremendous hope." I'm glad for myself and for Mark Z. that we had that experience. But I know it isn't true for all women in all circumstances. And I feel for them.
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