Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Rights OF the Innocents V. The Rights TO Innocence

Nearly a week later, I'm finally verbalizing the feelings I had about a group of people exercising their 1st amendment rights. I've had a lot of thought about it, from my initial, very visceral reaction, to arguing the other side...just like I tend to do.

Disclaimer: Thoughts following this may not be completely felt out and logic may only partially make sense. Here goes, nuthin'. Hold on tight, Heather's 'bout to go controversial....

Last Wednesday night, I was driving my kidlets to church and happened upon a pro-life demonstration related to the Citizen’s Initiative attempting to narrow the definition of a “person” for the Colorado Constitution as “any human being from the moment of fertilization as “person” is used in those provisions of the Colorado constitution relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of law”

What disturbed me most about this demonstration was a picture of a bloody, aborted fetus below the words “God Bless America.”

It pissed me off that I was now having to attend to one nearly hysterical LMNOB’s, “Mama, what’s that? That looks scary” while I, newly pregnant, could hardly contain my own primal response of gut-wrenching, "That's bigger than MY baby is now - How could someone do that?" sorrow.

Abortion IS ugly.

People who are anti-abortion want to show their opponents the shocking realities of this occurrence because many would just as soon not think about it – I get it.

But, and here’s my beef, me thinks it is totally inappropriate and highly ironic to have a demonstration about the rights of the innocents trump the right to innocence [ignorance of the world] of my own children, who are living consciously and independently of my body right now.

I mean – there is a time and a place! These bloody photos can be plastered on any college campus, exercising their first amendment right to offend as many disillusioned adults as they want – I don’t care.

But consider the innocence of those driving by College Avenue in the backseats of their parents vehicles, for crying out loud.

I couldn’t answer LMNOB.

I, ever open to all the hard questions from my children, the parent who is arguing with her husband about the appropriate level of sexual education our daughter should have right now (I’m erring on the side of more information at earlier ages, just to be clear), just said, “Look away. We’ll talk about it later.”

But we haven’t.

Because honestly, I don’t think it is fair that my child who does not yet know about sperm and eggs should find out what an abortion is first – is that not putting the cart before the horse?

Also of irony; often this pro-life crowd is the same crowd that reserves the right to educate their children on sex rather than letting the schools do it for them, again, this is fine. I'm not so different in that I will educate my children before the schools do and with the context of a close personal relationship... Yet they provide a partial, and very graphic, education of sexual consequences to children accompanying their parents without even notifying the parents before hand, as the schools do.

As we drove on, the signs were much more palatable:
  • fetal snapshots in utero with the weeks displayed and the header “I am a person ”
  • Horton Hears a Who illustrations with the motto, “A person is a person no matter how small!”
  • and other sayings that were just as true without the gore.
Guess what protestors? I’m not gonna argue you that.

And, my children can grasp those messages with their innocence still intact.

So why? Why must you be so self-righteous that you preclude yourself from the consequences of your displays, consequences that are hurtful to people who are mostly like-minded?

I abhor abortion. (Get that? The act, not the people who engage in it, vocationally or otherwise. Hate the sin, love thy neighbor?) Especially thinking about it while pregnant. Life is so precious.

But, I believe that such moral laws are not for man to determine.

I believe that God is the author (and therefore DEFINER) of life. Likewise, sin is the author of death.
For man to intervene and try and define something as incomprehensible as eternity, in this case the uttermost beginning of life, is just silliness to me. His ways are higher, right?

Moreover, the God that I know, love and worship has given humankind free will. He does not force Himself upon anyone of us, despite desiring that we would choose Him.

I believe that writing laws that infringe on moral issues such as this restrict free will, and as a result, implicitly place our man-made laws as higher than the Almighty's. Isn't that called blasphemy? If a person isn't going to obey God, why would they obey the law of man? It makes no sense to me and seems that such laws will only increase the rates of investigation, prosecution and incarceration in a world where our criminal justice system is already short on resources.

I also know that while I could never personally terminate a pregnancy, I could never be a woman's judge, jury and jailer should she decide to go that route. Circumstances vary and options are not always apparent as choices so much as they are as musts.

More importantly, I'm not without sin, and I feel very seriously about not casting stones. I feel that to vote such that we legislate morality on some issues but not all, (does anyone do jail time for having an affair these days?) is casting stones.

So I won't do it. Not only that, but if this measure were passed, it could outlaw IUD's as birth control since it is not provenly clear as to the mechanism of contraception it employs. Many MD's are confident that the copper is a spermicide and therefore does not allow conception* to occur. Still others say that the IUD irritates the lining of the uterus, thus can allow for conception but not implantation. I've seen sufficient research for the former option that I was able to use one with a clear conscience.

*doesn't allow for conception = 99.2% of the time, comparable to the Pill - which brings up a question, would hormonal contraceptives also be at risk of being "illegal" since, if you read your pamphlets, conception can still occur but not implant? Hmmmm....

So...all of this said....anyone have a gentle way of discussing abortion with children when they're still somewhat ignorant to the whole mechanics of sex? Not that I'm necessarily going to go there, I just want to hear what y'all would do.

© 2008 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. I can't even imagine how I'd explain such awful pictures to a child that young. I think it's irresponsible of the protesters, to say the least.

  2. Nicely done!

    I rarely talk about this issue because it's so hot button. I do like your main thesis very much.