For the past month or so my FB news feed has been full of conflicting views as the Tasmanian Parliament debates the laws around termination of pregnancy. It is certainly one of those topics in which people have strong views and has lead me to be thinking about my own thoughts on the issue. From it has come a few questions and many many shades of gray.
The first of these questions relates to me personally. Would I have an abortion? The answer is no. I did consider it with one of my children. I wasn't in a place where I wanted a child, I even went as far as booking an appointment with an OB in the hospital I was working at. But I just couldn't do it. Fundamentally I belief that life is life and therefore to end it would have been wrong thing for me to do, but that is my personal world view.
This lead me to the second question am I pro life or pro choice and actually I think I am both. At work I recently had client who was considering having an abortion. As I restled with the emotions that personally came up around this I also realised that the young woman standing in front of me didn't need my judgement, moralising or speel about the rights of the unborn she just needed me to love and support her. Enter shades of gray and more qusetions...
Even in writing this post I am struggling with the language because the words such as termination hold such emotional power.
Am I sad that this world is and always will be a place where pregnancies are terminated? Yes if I look deep into my soul I am. I wish that this world was a place where pregnancy was always welcomed, always happy and always resulted in a bouncy healthy child but this is not and never has been the world we live in.
Given the above therefore I must be prolife yes? Actually maybe not cos I also believe that each woman deserves the right to access medically safe options if her world view is different to mine. More shades of gray.
It comes down to the fact that I believe I can not nor should I enforce my beliefs on someone else. And that I see this not as a massive political issue but about the rights of individual woman with individual stories
In my job I have had the unfortunate experience of watching the pain of mothers and children as they are torn apart by the cycle of addiction and poverty. But is it my right to say these mothers should have their ability to bear children removed? absolutely not but I do wonder at times as I watch these children grow up with trauma that effects the rest of their lives is it the quality of life not the quality of life that truly matters? And there it is the last gray area and one I neither have the brain power or the moral fortitude to think about.. what does "quality of life" even mean.
I think that the issue must be broader than the rights of the "unborn" Because the unborn become babies and those babies become children and those children become adults.
Here is something my friend posted on FB that began the idea which has turned into this post. I like sister Joan I think she is a woman after my own heart.