We often get stuck in a never-ending discussion about abortion, with little hope of seeing eye-to-eye. Shifting the focus for a moment away from the pro-life/pro-choice approach, I would like to talk about a few P’s that make up pro-prevention.
A big problem surrounding abortion is the problem of feeling powerless. You feel it, I feel it. We need to empower people in a variety of ways so that together we can be part of the solution.
Women: Women should know the full range of their power. That power includes preventing and problem solving.
Remind her of the power she has over her own body. She can say YES, NO, Don’t touch, or Stop. That power is not diminished by what she wears or where she goes. That power doesn’t change when she’s with her partner, acquaintance, or a total stranger.
Women also need to feel the power that comes from adequate support to face life’s challenges. If a woman becomes pregnant for whatever reason, she needs to feel that she has a wide range of choices, not just one or the other. And once she makes her choice, we should support her in her decision. If any of what I’ve said so far bothers you … keep reading.
Men: Men are not powerless in the abortion debate. They have the power to prevent abortion too. It starts with men recognizing the power they have. Perpetuating the idea that men can’t stop, that biological urges are too strong, makes men victims of their own bodies. Peer pressure and societal norms have done a lot to take away a man’s power, pushing him to do things he might not otherwise do. Remind men of their personal power.
Men have the power to advocate for positive change. Respecting women and encouraging others to do the same is simple but incredibly powerful.
Men must also recognize where their power ends. They do not have the power to decide what a woman wants. If a man uses his power to push a woman to do something she doesn’t want to do, or together they decide to do something that results in pregnancy, he should be accountable for his choices as well.
Society: Society has the power to adjust behaviors by making them acceptable or unacceptable. That includes shedding light on unacceptable behavior, as well as promoting and demonstrating what’s acceptable. A lot of that leads into the next P….
Education: Education provides some of the best protection and is a tool of empowerment. Sex education (for the young and old) can teach us to be more responsible, prevent misunderstanding surrounding ideas of contraception, and better define rape. Get involved in sex education – at home, in your community, and even globally. Empower youth by giving them the full range of choices they really have. Help all of us understand the responsibility that comes with each choice.
Poverty: Families in poorer situations are particularly vulnerable and more often turn to abortion because they believe they won’t be able to provide for the needs of their children. While poverty is a big issue that won’t be solved overnight, we can help provide positive prevention to even the poorest members of our society by providing education and support. Access to important resources is key.
Contraception: Make the full range of protection available. We can also continue to research and provide more. Insurance companies, government policy, and personal beliefs can help or hinder this valuable line of defense for preventing unwanted pregnancies. Which leads to the next P…
Do you feel you have no patience for other people’s behavior? That lack of patience does a lot to perpetuate the problem and push us away from proper prevention. While we have a variety of beliefs and agendas, if we had more patience and tolerance for one another, we would see a lot of these problems go away. Have patience for mistakes, patience for different beliefs, patience for people who make different choices. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, demonstrating more patience and understanding will bring us together and drive the number of abortions way down. While it can be argued that abortion is a safe medical procedure, it’s not a statistic anyone wants to see grow. And so our next P….
Abortion affects so many people. All life, all people can be affected positively or negatively depending on what we choose to do. If we vilify or criminalize people, we are destroying lives and the lives of those around them. If we devalue and trivialize a human potential, a fetus, we are also destroying life and the lives around them. These aren’t mutually exclusive, but it doesn’t have to be all negative. The value of life extends to everyone and we cannot forget that. Which leads to another P —
As corny as it word sounds, it’s important to recognize that life is precious. Valuing life, however, is not limited to the unborn. It extends to women, men, families, and so much more. We can destroy it by misusing the next P’s…
Properly applied pressure can help move us forward, but too much pressure can destroy. When we apply too much internal pressure, we create explosions. When we apply too much external pressure, things collapse. It’s important to maintain balanced pressure to keep moving us forward, but we need to stop putting so much pressure on each other. Like…
It’s great to have an ideal to move towards, but perfection is an illusion. We live in an imperfect world with beautifully flawed people. There is no perfect solution to our problems. No solution will work perfectly. The only path to a solution that works for everyone is to let go of the notion that we can even come close to perfection. And speaking of solutions…
Don’t let the politics of the abortion debate continue to divide us. Solutions seem to be getting further and further away. There are many who vote solely on this issue, and politicians know it. They constantly pit us against each other, creating bad feelings and perpetuating fear. Stop giving politicians so much power over us. And the more we come together, the sooner we will move towards real solutions. And so…
We all have our part to play in the pro-prevention plan. No one can sit on the sidelines and hope it all works out. We need to participate at all levels and be part of the solution. Right now, you can…
Shamelessly promote the idea of pro-prevention. The more people we can get promoting this idea and doing their part, the faster we’ll see abortion rates go down and see more empowered, responsible citizens. And….
I don’t know how many times this subject has brought me to tears, sometimes in gasps and sobs. There are so many heart-wrenching stories on both sides. It’s time we all found peace with this issue. I believe peace is achievable when we focus on pro-prevention and avoid divisive rhetoric that hurts and diminishes values of others. We can see each other as equals in this debate and value the contributions we all make as we do our part.
(Who knew there were so many words that start with P!)
Nice! So much thought with so many factors and ramifications — you succinctly captured with all those P words. 🙂
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Unfortunately Emily, you have left out the most important P’s that bring your discussion on abortion to meaninglessness. They are; Proper Prior Planing Prevents Piss Poor Performance! How? With particularity prior Spiritual planning, training, education, and doing all the things that your Heavenly Father would have you to do, would bring great spiritual and temporal blessings upon you, that early on you would recognize that NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK AT IT, ABORTION IS MURDER!!! Supporters of “Pro Choice” alternatives will leave the unsuspecting into great misery, sorrow, unceasing guilt, as a consequence to her and/or his sin. It comes from a skewed perspective that so many do and that is rationalize sin, and making it acceptable to violate commandments without fear of consequences.
The real problem Emily is that men and women from your generation increasingly and unsuspectingly are rebelling against their parents choices to basically destroy the family.(about 50% of marriages end in divorce) and remarry someone else, This rebellion is mainly precipitated as learned through their parents misfortune, children not desiring to participate in marriage. The state Stovall results are staggering particularly for your generation. Emily this is the result of the adversary’ (devil) infiltrating the family to destroy it period! The reason for all the divorces? Well Emily, it’s called SIN! In my case my fiancée and I were not chaste prior to our marriage. Basically Emily, because of our premarital formication with each other without repentance allowed the adversary into our relationship. Over a not so long time, he absolutely reeked havoc in our relationship and marriage resulting in the most insidiously evil ever devised by the adversary. Utilizing a tool that forced us apart. After almost 25 years of unceasing, fully repentant, and unfeigned, learning, praying, and very shortly, reuniting the family mainly because neither of us have sinned since, leaving the adversary powerless to defeat us!
Emily, I humbly ask you to check out this link to a website that (if you view and investigate positively), will change your perspective to the good. If you feel the need to reach out, please do with a genuine inquisitive desire to uncover the truth as to your relationship that you can have with your Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ.
Gary. My sincere thanks for your comment.
You have given me the opportunity to look more deeply into this topic with the freedom to do so with God’s eyes. Because my blog is for everyone, I often leave out my own personal Christian beliefs because I wish to be respectful of diversity — that not all might believe as I do. Because of your comment, I have been given courage to write a separate post to show my journey as a Christian through this difficult topic.
While I work on that separate blog post, let me go ahead and address some of your very valid points.
Sin. We do not root out the sin from a sinner by pointing a finger or casting a stone. Those who found the woman in adultery were eager to point out her sin and lead her straight to her legal punishment, death by stoning. Christ was being put to the test when they brought her to Him. Would He condemn her as the law required? Would He break the law?
He first imposed a moment of silence, by not responding right away. We need to allow the din and noise of the world to quiet so we can listen to God. After a moment of quiet, He challenged her accusers. Those who are without sin? No one is blameless before God. We all sin, though our sins may be different, they still make us unclean. After the crowd had dispersed He then addressed the woman, individually. Through Him, she had escaped justice required by law, (He allowed her to break the law without punishment) but in love He showed her a better way. “Go and sin no more” was not His opening statement. It was His closing invitation. It was an invitation for something better.
You mention your sin of fornication. Imagine if all sins were illegal. Justice would demand you pay for your sins, not in God’s way (as you described your journey included) but by spending years in prison. Would you have been able to rebuild your family relationships as effectively from behind bars? A very wise man, Christian, and former judge said:
“The contrast I have experienced between the laws of man and the laws of God has increased my appreciation for the reality and power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Under the laws of man, a person guilty of the most serious crimes can be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But it is different under the merciful plan of a loving Heavenly Father. I have witnessed that these same serious sins can be forgiven in mortality because of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice for [those] sins…”
This topic requires both justice and mercy. How can we effectively show mercy and allow for repentance if we are so focused on the law? It was the law that lead to Christ’s crucifixion. It was the law that the leaders of His time were following, and they followed it to the letter.
I am not perfect. I humbly approach my Savior daily to seek forgiveness and better myself. I rely more fully, more deeply on His atonement to cover all pain, all sorrow, all injustice.
My hope is for healing and to help those who are suffering over the pain of this endless debate. My hope is to unite people rather than create more division.
I am not against you… I am right there with you, fighting as hard as I can to save the lives of the unborn, by first saving the lives of their mothers…
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Hallelujah, Emily. You are a great example of the Savior. Thanks so much!
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I’m sorry Emily, I will not exchange political nothingness with you to satisfy nothingness except your skill to promote nothingness in a political way!!!
I read your response to me from my comments to you last evening. Basically Emily, after reading your first sentence, that your looking “with the freedom of God’s.eyes,” has blinded your eyes into your thinking that your eyes are open, but in actuality they are closed.
You state that your blog is for everyone. Taking a stand and be valiant in your testimony of Jesus Christ will lead you further in others support of your cause, then being wishy/washy and not being valiant in your testimony of Him. Found in the Authorized King James Version of the Bible in the book of Revelations, Chapter 3 verses 15-16 reads: 15 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” I’m sorry again for you Emily. Your attempt at “political correctness” really serves no one. The verses stated above implies that you be either cold or hot; or, in support of, or in opposition to something. Your position as evident in verse 16 is your being “neither cold nor hot.” These words provided by the Savior as to your being lukewarm or sitting on the fence rather than being on one side or the other, leaves you in the most vulnerable position with Him.
As to your vulnerability, continuing in wishy/washyiness, will have your blog be viewed and supported by no one because even your most vulnerable constituent bloggers, will fall by the wayside.
If you desire to respond to me with a real intent to accomplish something here, I will help you how ever I can. If you choose not to respond or respond with more political wishy/washyiness, I wish you well! But, I don’t have time for wishy/washyiness. I wish you the best in all your endeavors!
I apologize if there is anything that I have said to offend you or make you feel like we couldn’t work together in a fight against abortion. I appreciate your well-wishes.
Honestly, I’m okay if my blog doesn’t become popular. Even if just a handful of people read what I write, I am grateful for their precious time. I try to be respectful of it.
If you feel that you’re wasting your time talking to me, I am not at all offended.
What I like about your treatment of this topic, Emily, is the change of focus for abortion. ‘Prevention’ can definitely give us weary citizens a better place to start working together to decrease the number of abortions. I thought you did a really good job on this, Emily.
How refreshing to include so clearly that men are also responsible for their part in sexual encounters that could create a baby. I think it’s tremendously important to remind both men and women that they are not mating animals who have no control over their emotions and actions. This information is extremely valuable to get out into the public mentality so that everyone accepts and recognizes this accountability. No more excuses for ‘going too far’.
I believe our society is ready for this kind of grown-up accountability. I appreciate your willingness, Emily, to tackle this very serious topic. It’s difficult but so necessary to talk about.
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