Abortion is one of the touchiest subjects of our time primarily due to widely varying beliefs concerning the exact moment at which “life” actually begins. The pro-choice community agrees with the point of view that abortion helps prevent young children from being born into unhappy homes. The pro-life supporters, however, would strongly disagree with this statement, instead taking the stand that abortion can be compared to ripping someone’s life away without giving them a choice or a chance. In reality there is a vast grey area in between these two extremes. My best friend once told me, “There are two sides to every story.”
I disagree with the labels of pro-choice and pro-life. Their strict affiliation with the subject of abortion is nonsensical. I’ve never met someone who is not in favor of life. Likewise, most levelheaded people realize the importance of liberty and free choice. With the exception of certain stubborn radicals, most people have a fundamental value system that trickles over the lines which divide the pro-choice and pro-life ideologies.
It all depends on circumstance. There are situations where abortion makes sense, just as there are situations where it does not. Most rational minds are able to analyze a specific circumstance and easily make the distinction, thus supporting the decision that matches the circumstance at hand. I believe that the people who argue against the concept of “individual circumstance” lack a comprehensive understanding of the inherent complexities and situational variation from one case to the next.
I used to fully support abortion in my teenage years and early twenties. Now I stand firmly by the philosophy of “individual circumstance”, and tend to support abortion far less than your average pro-choice supporter. I’m not an extremist when it comes to the topic of abortion because I have a fairly concrete understanding of both sides of the argument. Pro-choice opinion by itself makes a great deal of sense to me, but when you stack the philosophy up against specific circumstances, even the most diehard pro-choicer would need a moment to reflect.
So why did I have a change of heart? What circumstance interfered with my old way of thinking? Well, I met someone who shattered my isolated perspective and directly connected me into a different reality. This person I refer to is now my best friend. Many moons before we met, she was conceived by a woman who was unfit and unprepared to be a mom. Instead of abortion, her biological mother chose the route of adoption.
She was adopted into a happy home as an infant and grew up to be an intelligent, successful human being. It’s now impossible for me to fully support abortion, because doing so would be accepting the fact that my best friend should have had her entire life flushed away for no reason at all. I have a copious appreciation for every reason why her biological mother would have wanted an abortion. Yet when my best friend stands before me today, I whole heartedly appreciate the fact that she didn’t.
It’s easy to have compassion for a pregnant teen who desperately wants an abortion. At a glance you see a young girl who is just a child herself. This girl is obviously incapable of being a mother. Abortion in that split instant seems to make complete sense; at least it does to me. But when you look into the eyes of someone you respect and realize their biological conception met the stereotypical conditions for a routine case of abortion, your attitude on the subject changes. All of the sudden a different reality hits home. You realize abortion can change someone’s life, your life, and can alter history, your history.
I believe that people should have the choice. But I also believe that too many irresponsible people abuse their rights of having this choice. There will always be circumstances, such as rape and illness, where abortion makes 100% sense. Regrettably, there will also always be heartless fools who use abortion like the rest of us use a condom. Thus, this controversial topic will always rest in a grey area lacking an absolute right or wrong judgment call.
Abortion should never be muddled by the influences of religion or law. It should be an unadulterated decision pertaining to the responsibility and capacity of an individual in their own unique circumstance. Even then, I’m sure someone will have a difference in opinion. Just like my best friend once told me, “There are two sides to every story.”