BY DON NELSON
I have been mulling this over for several days: Are we really discussing pro-abortion/anti-abortion, right to life over a women’s right to make her own decisions regarding her body and her health?
The more I think about it, the more I am moving toward using only the terms Right to Choice/No Right to Choice.
It boils down to a difference of opinion regarding whether or not a female human being has individual rights regarding her own personal health and well being, as well as when or if to begin raising a family. There are those that want to contend that a marital union between a male and a female is for but one singular purpose and that is to procreate. It is a ridiculous and unsubstantiated position but, nevertheless, they cling to it.
As a male I have yet to be confronted with any restriction or hindrances to my personal choices regarding my health or body. No one told me I could not have a vasectomy, no one questioned my morality or intention. It was a decision made in consultation with my wife – we did not want more children – but were not interested in celibacy.
The inconsistencies in the use of Pro-Life as a descriptor are manifold. I know of no person that is so calloused as to not be supportive of life. In fact, many who advocate for a Right to Choice are, in my opinion, more supportive and pro-life than those that stand, placards in hand along the road, attempting to “witness” to something that they oft times do not fully understand.
As one who believes a woman must have a right to decide about when and where to raise a family, about her own readiness to begin the process of motherhood, about whether her conscience is at ease with creating a new life and bringing it into her world, I am convinced that those are “pro-life” issues that are ignored and even shunned by the placard wavers.
Right to Choice, seems to me, to be most accurate and most honest. For it allows all individuals the option to decide for ourselves – male and female – how to live our lives, and with whom we chose to live out our lives.
There is not now, nor has there ever been, any one single person, male or female, that has held the wisdom and power to decide what life should, must or can look like for another. There have been some that thought they were in such a position – but that issue has been settled for the most part. We now face the final settling – the final chapter in becoming a civilized world.
Prior to the U.S. Constitution another document was executed that set forth the intent of a small group of patriots to create an independent and different nation established upon certain truths: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness … ”
I find it interesting that there are those that seem to think it is their privileged position to define those three terms and instruct the rest of us as to their meaning.
The Right to Choice is the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. A woman is not bound to have her life defined by a religion or political ideology that is male dominated. She is woman and as such is the one to decide.
There you have it – my daily rumination. Perhaps it is not my place to even assume to speak on behalf of women – I know there are many powerful voices from the female half of the human community. But with so many No Right to Choice voices coming from the male gender, I feel compelled to oppose.
– Don Nelson lives in Lawton, OK and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer