THIS IS A POLITICAL POST.

No way around it, if you choose to click for more of this post, you will read a frank and detailed consideration of a very sensitive topic.  In fact, this topic is volatile enough that you may hate me before you get through the first paragraph of the attached letter, even though I’ve poured my heart out in the remaining portion.

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Lenette of the Urngarden responded to my post, It’s Florida Election Time Again, with surprise that I’m a Republican.

So I started a long post explaining my views, but then I realized that simple is so much better.

And while this blog isn’t necessarily a place for my politics, I’d like to share something I wrote to a friend when she asked me how I could possibly support a Republican (in a previous election) over a Democrat.

Dear Friend:

I’m disturbed by the Democratic Party’s rigid stance that abortion doesn’t destroy a human life.  Good, intelligent people can argue about the moment when life begins, but I have difficulty talking with people who insist that a woman’s right not to be inconvenienced by an unplanned pregnancy automatically trumps the rights of another individual, namely the fetus.

I approach this issue with the belief that the right to be alive is the most basic human right in this country.  The question is not “Does a human have the right to be alive?” but rather “When is a potential human life no longer potential?” or, more specifically “When is a life viable?”

But too often the debate gets cut short by people who claim ultimate say over their body, regardless of the mystical aspects of birth (it’s about creating life, already!) and the implied responsibilities that creating a life bring.

I willingly admit that I do not possess a uterus and, therefore, do not understand the full complexities that accompany the realization that your body is supporting another life.  But I gladly (and sometimes too loudly) argue that all humans have the same rights, regardless of their gender, age, religion, sexual orientation and, yes, ability to breathe air on their own.

And although I am not female, I have accompanied a good friend to the clinic for a pregnancy test.  I held her hand as they read the results (pregnant) and listened to her heart-wrenching sobs as she contemplated the life-changing consequences of her condition.

When she began to consider abortion, I offered her friendly support.  When she chose to abort her unborn child, I expressed that I knew how hard it was for her to make that decision.

But it hurt me terribly to know that she destroyed a life that she (through her careless actions) had created.  It pained me to know that she had put herself in the situation to get pregnant (she did not use appropriate protection, even though it was available to her) and then opted to have her mistake “erased” by a medical procedure.  I spent several nights imagining the poor child that had already begun developing inside her womb and all the possibilities that would never be for the tyke.

We soon parted ways (due to other events and choices we each made) and I learned that a year later she was faced with the same situation; her reckless lifestyle led to another pregnancy.  But she couldn’t bear to make that difficult decision again, and now she has a young son that she loves dearly.

Did it screw up her life?  It depends upon your definition of “screw up.”  He definitely changed her life.  And while I’m sure that her finances and future plans may have been strained by his birth, I think her life is richer for the experience of bringing a life into the world, regardless of the difficulties along the way.

There has to be some responsibility that we accept as humans capable of creating life.  We acknowledge a debt to our parents for their role, but what debt do we owe our children?  I’ve often heard that childbirth changes the new parent and that they love their child more than they love themselves.  How does that apply to unborn children?  Instead of asking “When does life begin?”, maybe we should ask “When does love begin?”

I’m also hurt by the reaction that women give to men who speak out against abortion.  As a person who cannot give birth to a child or experience the joys of creating a life and shepherding a baby through childhood with my partner, I am especially aware of the preciousness of that ability.  I am angered by people who treat life so flippantly. 

I wonder how strongly they’d argue for my right to live.  Especially if I was an inconvenience to them.

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