Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Abortion Is an Unalienable Right

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

Yes, this is a self-help and spirituality blog, and, no, there are no typos in the title.

What's more, I'm not Pro-Choice.

As I’ve thoroughly explained/alluded to before (“To Abort or Not To Abort? That Is the Question.”), I’m neither Pro-Life nor Pro-Choice. That is to say, I choose a stance outside of the black-or-white, yes-or-no nature of duality.

This may sound ridiculous since, well, if one doesn’t opt for Life, mustn't they opt for Death, or, Choice? How could one opt for choice but not be Pro-Choice?

I can do this because I acknowledge that Life isn’t about absolutes and extremes; it’s not about adamantly identifying with one particular viewpoint as “The One Right Way” and then trying to force everyone else to follow suit. Life is not black and white nor even gray—it’s rainbow-colored. To place such a huge topic into two little boxes is foolish.

There are a lot of things I don’t agree with regarding abortion, but I can also think of reasons why abortion isn’t always, in 100% of cases the worst possible thing.

Make Her Shoes Your Shoes

For example:

Suppose a low-income woman got pregnant, her boyfriend promptly left her, and then the she found out that her child would likely have severe deformities, would need attention 24/7, would cost 4x more than the average child, and would probably live for only about 3 years in chronic pain and suffering before dying.

Would choosing abortion truly be that hellish of a thing?

To be clear, in using this example, I’m not trying to suggest exactly what I would do or what anyone else should do. This kind of choice is a now-moment decision that factors in personal feelings, intuitive guidance, medical testing results, financial capacity, care availability, and so much more—any given situation of which is unique to any other.

I mean only to offer a scenario that prompts you, the reader, to look beyond any always-never boxes that may be installed in your mind; to see that the topic of abortion isn’t some cut-and-dried thing.

And while the scenario may seem extreme, one, for some people it may not be, and, two, I need to go to an extreme in an attempt to point out to those who are adamantly Pro-Life and who try to forcefully take away people’s rights that there are potentials you may not think about (or may even try to avoid thinking about).

Put yourself in the shoes of the woman just mentioned. Put yourself into her whole life scenario.

Would you like to be her? Are you willing to be her? If she decided to give birth to this baby and then put it up for adoption, would you be the one to adopt this severely mutated child?

Please think deeply about your beliefs. Are they really as healthy, as righteous, as error-proof, as you’d like to believe they are? By what power do you know the exact choice that every pregnant woman should make?

Pro-Life ?=? Compassion

I’m sure a great many people who’re Pro-Life believe that their Pro-Life-ness automatically means they’re compassionate.

However, a truly compassionate person will end a life if ending a life is what is called for in any given now-moment. A truly compassionate person will acknowledge the full picture; they will see, the best they can, how current and/or potential pain and suffering may vastly outweigh the mere egoic satisfaction of a “win” of another cancelled abortion.

When I was in high school, a Catholic one, for a few of those years our principle was an emotionally and sexually repressive, over-reactive, tight-ass, I’m-never-wrong priest.

One day we had an assembly in which he told us that if any female student became pregnant he would stop at nothing to protect that baby’s life if the girl couldn’t do it herself. He then said he would send the school into bankruptcy if that’s what it took for the child to live.

I doubt the principle’s power extended this far, and I’m sure people would’ve been in a mighty big uproar if he’d attempted it. Nevertheless, the fact that he’d said this so openly and vehemently did say something about this particular brand of Pro-Life mindset: It’s not compassion—it’s insanity.

Let’s save a single child uncertain of how its life will turn out, but the definite cost is bankrupting an entire school and leaving thousands of current and future students without an education.

A true visionary!

Taking a different approach…

For the sake of consistency since abortion is interpreted synonymously with “murder,” let’s consider self-defense.

If someone broke into your house and tried to beat and rape you but you knew self-defense or had a weapon nearby, would you just sit there and accept being utterly violated, mutilated, and traumatized even if the opportunity arose to protect yourself, even if protection necessitated killing the intruder?

Or consider pet ownership. People may dearly love their animal friends/family, but how many people eventually put their pets down because they become unwell and can’t be healed, because they perceive that their pet’s death outweighs the pain and suffering of it remaining alive?

And what of war and other lesser-yet-serious military operations? How many Pro-Lifers, I wonder, adamantly reject abortion but accept war. No, before a child lives its life, no one knows how that life will unfold. All the while, how is it wrong to kill a fetus in the womb—under all circumstances—but it’s okay to let millions of people live their lives freely for 18 years only to proudly send them off to foreign lands to kill or be killed?

Whatever the life may be, if everything is hunky-dory, then great—the thought of taking a life needn’t even cross our minds. But when we’re given clear indication that something is seriously wrong (if under no other circumstance), regardless of what stage of life a being may be in, sometimes choosing death is the appropriate way to go.

Make no mistake. Whether abortion, life-or-death self-defense, or putting down a pet, there’s no question that these are uncomfortable things. I don’t mean to deny this.

Yet this is the way Life is: it can be really, really beautiful, and it can be really, really horrible. Sometimes Life places burdens on us that are more or less unbearable.

The Victim’s Path

Some people (e.g.: Catholics, who often carry an unbelievable glut of guilt) might even go so far as to say that abortion is an absolute no-go and having an endlessly suffering child that’s a massive hardship to raise is “what God wants.”

Folks, God does not drive suffering. Even if God leads us to hardship, this hardship is for the sake of inner growth. We find ourselves in a crisis, and what God gives us is choice.

What are we going to do with the circumstances we’re in? Create more pain and suffering, or find a way out?

If it were any other thing, if we became homeless, if we totaled our car, if we came down with a serious disease, we would likewise have the choice to pick ourselves off the street, to buy a new car, to seek healing—or to mope about in depression while doing nothing to help ourselves and telling everyone that “it’s just my lot in life,” or, “I deserve this punishment. It’s my penance.”

God gives us choices. It’s up to us whether or not we will create more pain and suffering while layering it with all kinds of ridiculous stories/rationalizations about why we shouldn’t or don’t deserve to choose otherwise.

One Soul, One Body, Death Forever

Let’s now take a more spiritual perspective and consider potential implications regarding bodies and souls.

To do this, we’ll continue with the example scenario of a child that would be deformed and is estimated to live, in constant pain and suffering, for only about 3 years.

From a religious perspective—and I’m going to take a Roman Catholic perspective since it’s the one I’d spent so many years of my life looking through (and still hear about)—there is one soul per one body, and at the time of death a soul goes to heaven or hell permanently (ignoring purgatory); there is no such thing as reincarnation; and there is no such thing as soul choice, meaning, you get the life that God gives you—period.

If you hold a view anything like the one just described, I want to offer you a different way of looking at things.

The view above is limited in its scope because it’s based in dogma, something you’re to take at face value and not question the authority of.

While this is problematic in and of itself, it’s also problematic because there are many other views that the Church completely ignores and/or rejects (for instance, the many people from all walks of life who have had near-death experiences and the like and have claimed the complete opposite).

Consider for a few moments that these teachings about life and death are wrong.

What if life isn’t of one soul to one body and then eternal death, but instead of reincarnation? And what if souls choose where they want to go, who they want to be with, and what they wish to come here for?

Do you know if or what your soul, much less anyone else’s soul, chooses, if said choices are made, prior to incarnation or even during?

One Soul, Many Lives

Imagine this:

Imagine that life is not one body, one soul, and then death forever.

Imagine that reincarnation is real and that one soul can live in many bodies in many different times and places.

Imagine that there is a pregnant woman who finds out that, should she have her child, it will have severe defects and will be a tremendous burden until it dies a few years later.

Now imagine that this woman has an abortion, becomes pregnant a few years later, and gives birth to a happy, healthy child with the exact same soul that had only briefly occupied the fetus she had aborted.

What if this were so?

By all means, to any even half-reasonable person, an abortion has to be an awful thing to go through, especially the nearer to a full term one is.

Nevertheless, what if a person listened very closely to their heart and looked at the facts and best medical estimates, but paid little if any mind to all the dogma, stigma, shame, fear, and guilt of society, family, and religion?

When we really analyze all that latter stuff, well, how negative is it? How fake is it? How uncertain is it? How heavy is it?

Especially something such as dogma wherein the religion basically says, “This is the way it is. Period. And you’d better not doubt the authoritative validity of it. If you have any other questions, ask us because we’re the only ones with The Right Answers.”

This is the kind of dogmatic mindset, when accepted by countless millions of people, that results in stigma, shame, fear, and guilt that’s utterly overwhelming yet completely unfounded.

Now, is my suggestion of the way things could work really the way things work? Is any of this true?

Find out for yourself. What do you actually know?

People put such a huge amount of energy into their beliefs and the actions that result of them, but how reasonable are they, really?

Even if my suggestion is completely wrong, there’s nothing at all to say that the religious dogma isn’t completely wrong as well—except for an “authoritative” claim and its acceptance as such by so many people.

Abortion may always be a heavy topic to deal with, but with an open mind, things become significantly lighter.

Abortion and Racism: Two Peas in a Pod

The last point I want to make pertains to the segment of abortions that occur toward the negative end of the spectrum.

Even if every Pro-Lifer in the world read this blog post and decided to take my perspective on as their own, what wouldn’t change in the slightest is the Pro-Lifer's desire to stop the women who have abortions for very selfish reasons.

An example of such a reason could be that there's no real problem with fetal formation, finances, or whatever, but a woman is just careless when having sex and has abortions as mindlessly as she eats lunch.

That these kinds of things would still happen is something that people would remain up in arms about and still want laws changed because of.

What has to be understood is that changing laws, seeking to control other people, is amazingly ineffective.

Think about it...

  • Did the prohibition work?
  • Do the 10 Commandments work (even for Christians)?
  • Have laws ever stopped whole societies from smoking weed?
  • Has eye-for-an-eye crime and punishment ever ended evil actions?

Look at what’s been happening lately.

People all over the place are freaking out about racism this and racism that. They go wild and start demanding, most notably, that police forces be defunded.

I’ve got a lot of reasons to not like the way police forces operate, but I’ve also got a lot of reasons why they’re just fine and we need them dearly. To get rid of all police forces everywhere is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard.

Racism is not the police force; the police force is not racism. A police force is an occupation, whereas racism is an ideology. While racism may be concentrated in certain areas for whatever reasons, racism is a belief structure.

Racism is a lot more obvious when it’s acted out by police officers caught on bystander cameras, but guess what? Racism, because it’s an ideology, is everywhere.

  • That smiley preacher who lives across the street could be a racist.
  • Your Uncle Dan could be a racist.
  • The cashier who checked you out the last time you went to the store could be a racist.
  • The homeless woman who stands at the light at the freeway off-ramp that you gave $20 to a few days ago could be a racist.

The point is, racism is a way of viewing life. This whole world could cut out every last security-type job and laws could be enacted to make racism illegal (and… uhhh… who’s going to enforce them…?), but it would do absolutely nothing to curb racism.

Because racism is held internally.

So, too, is it with abortion.

Even if abortion were made illegal, all that would do is change visible, outward circumstances. There would still be a black market for it, and the beliefs and desires would continue to linger. Plus, gross as it may be, if desperation called for it, some people would resort to woefully crude means to get the job done.

Sure, the numbers might decrease, but by how much, really? How many would go unaccounted for?

Again, think of the prohibition—people were still drinking all the time—and the government and police were totally in on it!

Think about the 10 Commandments—everybody’s going to hell!

And illegal marijuana—ha!—how about the story that came out just the other day saying that Ronald Reagan’s son smoked weed on the rooftop of the White House with Willie Nelson!

Whether abortion or anything else external, to make true, lasting changes, what is inside must be changed, first.

Perhaps the most fundamental problem, with all destructive behaviors, is that people lack connection and meaning. They can neither feel nor do they see themselves as having any value or purpose; their life experience is basically a void.

To change this,

  • the poverty and victim mentalities must be removed,
  • empowerment and a strong self-worth must be instilled,
  • people must be reeducated based on teaching methods that actually work by people who have experience and success in what they teach, and
  • people must be given the space and access to the resources to do whatever it is that makes them feel truly alive.

Even if abortion were never to disappear completely, the fact is that the abortion rate can still drop significantly.

To do this, the true problem must be faced, and that problem is an internal one.