A Discussion Whose Time has Come
by Andy Joppa
“Any political agenda and organization which doesn’t begin with personal responsibility is just half the argument. It’s just not going to succeed.”
My wife and I had a pet Gouldian Finch for several years. They are one of the most colorful and beautiful birds in all of nature. In addition, they have many endearing “habits” that make them a pleasure to watch and enjoy. I bought the supplies and my wife did all the hands on “mothering.” Recently, that Gouldian died. We felt horrible. We don’t know why he died…it just seemed to happen…we did everything we could. We cried…yes, we mourned. It was “only” a bird, but it was life, and lived a life of value (as best we could tell) and brought additional happiness into our home. We miss him. His loss makes us less. Why, however, talk about this finch now?
If a finch, weighing only an ounce or two, could mean so much to us, how much more should a human be worth in the life process we share with all living things? Yet, as we discuss abortion, the sentiments that are expressed seem, often, to generate less emotional connotation than did our loss of a pet bird. If you’re in this category this essay is aimed at you.
How much more significant should it be when a human life is discarded, many times, for mere convenience? I understand the complexity that a child can add to a life…that is all too obvious. But a choice was made that generated corresponding responsibilities to a life that was created… should that occur.
When I hear the phrase an “unplanned pregnancy” or a birth that “damages a lifestyle,” it is offered as if the event occurred spontaneously and was somehow completely beyond the control of the mother. While my comments may not make me popular, the current abortion debate makes them appropriate if not necessary.
Once a coital act is chosen, it automatically creates a life potential…that is its purpose. The fact that it is pleasurable to most, is only nature’s way of inducing a reproductive choice. Coital contact is not a pleasurable process that incidentally creates life. It is a life creating process that is only incidentally pleasurable. (Note: I use the word “coital” to indicate s*xual contact with a reproductive potential)
With, some rare and unfortunate exceptions, the coital process is a chosen act, one that is, by its nature, designed to create life. I am not saying that pleasurable contact should be avoided if reproduction is not intended. I am saying that the act itself engenders an unspoken commitment to a life that may be created, whether that was intended or not. I do not believe a bad choice can be rescinded after the choice has resulted in its logical conclusion.
A shocked, newly identified pregnant woman, may scream, “Oh my god, I’m pregnant…now what do I do?” However, the availability of abortion on demand has given her an easy answer. An answer that 60 million women have used to undo a choice that, in some way, they knowingly made.
Questions that should be asked, but won’t be, include…what was the availability of contraceptives, was the act totally unprotected with casual partners, how many other times have you been in this circumstance? This final one will have me disowned by my hedonist, everything goes friends…did you ever think of not having coital contact and, instead, engage in non-reproductive s*xual involvements? If your life is so shattered by becoming pregnant why’d you even bother to mate…especially, while exercising so few controls, if any, over the outcome?
The circumstance we are offered (certainly not mine) is that women must have s*xual contact at all cost. That they are merely a lustful barnyard animal. That, whatever the price is that must be paid, the reward for this process is so great, and its allure so strong, that all cautions must be pushed aside to allow their indulgence in this act of purposeless passion.
We moderns have come to believe that unlimited coital actions are the sign of a progressive society, one allowing people to make their own choices. That is true, but only as is offered, “you’re right to throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose.” In a like manner, you’re right to indiscriminate s*xual activities stops with the creation of a life…whether you intended it or not, you had other choices. You decided to risk reproduction and you “lost.” The baby should not have to pay the price.
There is no doubt in my mind that the wide availability of abortion has allowed women to make very inappropriate decisions about their s*xual life. By limiting its availability, I believe it will, as a result, limit the number of circumstances where it is “needed,” as women will have to make better decisions about their s*xual life.
And no…this isn’t about men. They don’t get pregnant and are not the agent of authorizing abortion. If the male isn’t there to support the pregnancy or the child…choose better men. Once again, the child shouldn’t pay the price for unrestrained s*xuality with irresponsible louts. I am not addressing what role government should have in this process. I am addressing the factor that is almost totally ignored…personal responsibility, resulting in an action that degrades the entirety of what it is to be human.