No doubt, the draconian pro-life laws passed in nine states have brought many emotions to the surface, but to call such emotions an avalanche of pro-abortion media pressure is overstating the reality. Mr. Skelton’s article uses inflammatory terms to advance his view that “pro-choice is wrong.” He also routinely uses the word “abortionist” outside its normal definition as a person who performs abortions, and the word “pro-abortionist” where correctly it should be “pro-abortion.”
Regardless, it is clear what his position is and how he views women, LGBT and pro-choice advocates.
Mr. Skelton is right, it is hard to be rational when our emotional levers are being pulled, and this article was certainly written to pull emotional levers as well as prejudicial and inflammatory levers.
He boiled his evangelical, conservative rhetoric down to seven assumptions and then “attempted” to use a biblical worldview to explain that pro-choice is wrong even though 58% of Americans (and 52% of Republicans) believe that Roe v. Wade should stand a settled law, and that it is the woman’s right to choose.
I am not writing this to debate Mr. Skelton, but to share an opinion that there is another side to this issue. Those who believe in pro-choice are no more wrong than he is right.
If we, as thinking human beings, believe in the rights granted to us by the United States Constitution and all the equalities granted to us under law, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then I find Mr. Skelton’s statements inflammatory, demeaning to women and published to promote one view; that he is right and those who believe in pro-choice are wrong.
The debate in this article and on the state and national stage is about a woman’s right to choose, not the act of ending a pregnancy itself.
I perhaps would have viewed the writing as less concerning if there wasn’t the constant beat of prejudice against pro-choice people by making disparaging statements about them, including calling them abortionists, blatantly immoral, killers and not caring about life.
For that reason, I felt compelled to share my views, which are also the views of the majority, and I use his seven assumptions as my guide.
First assumption: Each individual person is the measure of the things in their own life, man in general is not. It is I who will answer for my decisions, not man in general. Life is sacred, and no pro-choice person will ever say it isn’t. However, life is a series of choices. The pro-choice position was codified in law by men in the Roe v. Wade court ruling. That ruling gave a woman the absolute right to choose whether to end an unwanted pregnancy, with few exceptions. No man nor law should ever be allowed to remove that choice.
Second assumption: Mr. Skelton stated in his second assumption that because we cannot achieve moral perfection in one area, pro-choice, or more correctly a woman’s right to choose, is blatantly immoral.
While Mr. Skelton has a right to his views, attempting to coerce others into the same view using a bully pulpit should be outside the scope of a Christian. Pro-choice people like me are not looking to be rescued, for I am strong in my faith and in my belief in my God. To use an analogy that ending an unwanted pregnancy is somehow equated to killing homeless people is a clear statement to the writer’s belief that there cannot be but one view on this issue…his and the religious right.
Third assumption: Being pro-choice has nothing to do with climate change. No one believes that the natural environment is the most significant factor in the well-being of children. The three responses the writer provides to this assumption are extreme, inflammatory and belittling to women and men who believe in choice.
First, while data may show that a home environment with heterosexual parents is a great place to raise children, what has that to do with pro-choice? Surely it must be clear that some traditional home environments are hell for children. Just look at the recent death of a 5-year-old here in our county.
The second response relating to war I agree with, for as long as there are men on earth, there will be war. I say men in the literal sense, since I can’t remember a war that was started by women.
The writer’s third response to this assumption is reaching for straws and again uses inflammatory language like “pro-abortion” and “kill the kid.”
Really! Saying that “Got a problem with the world as it is? Just kill the kid,” is a pro-choice stance is preposterous? That’s Mr. Skelton’s stance.
Fourth assumption: This is a barely concealed ultra-right view that if we oppress the poor, limit voter rights, give the wealthy all the tax breaks, they will create all the jobs and provide everything we need as a society. I can only read into this that Mr. Skelton believes that society (otherwise known as the government) is not able to provide for the people, only entrepreneurial risk-takers. Society is responsible for providing health care, a decent standard of living and economic opportunity. It doesn’t, but that’s not the fault of anyone being pro-choice.
Again, in this assumption, the writer used highly offensive and inflammatory language to make a point about “kill the kid.” Not one pro-choice person says, “kill the kid, they don’t have rights anyway.” Such statements come from the fringes of both the left and the right, but most of us are not in those radical extremes. Most of us belong to a more moderate and tolerant world.
Fifth assumption: Mr. Skelton overtly lays out his disdain and bias against the LGBTQ community here and attempts to connect them to the question of choice. Where these right-wing statements come from is hard to understand but denying same-sex couples having children, whatever the method, is denying a person of their rights and has nothing to do with being pro-choice. These are convenient facts to justify this irrational argument. Add to this the argument that surrogacy robs a child of ancestors must also surely apply to a man and a woman who use surrogacy to have a child because one is unable to reproduce. One could argue that children adopted by a same-sex couple are providing a stable home to a child otherwise alone in the foster system.
Sixth assumption: This assumption is pro-war, if the war is for the right reason. So, it’s alright to end the lives of aggressors in the name of protecting civilization, but not right for a woman, and in most cases her male partner, to end an unwanted pregnancy.
In fact, most pro-choice decisions are made by a couple, not just the woman. There is a thread of hypocrisy running through the writer’s response to this assumption. Again, the use of inflammatory words to imply that being pro-choice means that a woman who chooses to end a pregnancy does not care about life is a gross misstatement.
Seventh assumption: This assumption is again putting “kill” in the context of making pro-choice wrong. What if the life created was, for whatever reason, not what the woman wants? National and international statistics show many reasons for ending an unwanted pregnancy. In the pro-life scheme, taking away a woman’s right is fine as long as the unborn child is protected but disregards the woman’s rights. The writer has four responses to this assumption.
First, the pro-choice community does not make the case that rape, incest, failed contraception or religion are the reasons most women want to end a pregnancy.
Rather we make the case that it is a fundamental right of a woman to say what happens to her body, including ending a pregnancy. In fact, the entire debate is about choice, not “killing” as the author states.
Second, the view that pro-choice people like me have a naïve view of human sexual passion is laughable. No one in today’s world can be naïve about passion, nor the effectiveness of contraception. The writer is naïve if he believes that either contraception or self-control will end all unwanted pregnancies and the need for a woman’s right to choose.
The third response and the most egregious is that pro-choice advocates recommend death for Down Syndrome children or others with birth defects. Such ridiculous statements cast doubt on the writer’s entire premise in this article and the source of his facts. The arguments in this response again talks about “killing” and, as with much of the article, is designed to incense the readers to believe that being pro-choice is supporting genocide and depicts a woman who chooses to end a pregnancy as being a part of a slippery slope to Nazism.
Then the fourth response and the one that sent me in orbit is the notion that every woman has a choice in getting pregnant or not. The writer suggests that all women have a choice except in sexual assault. The naïve suggestion that women have the ultimate power to stop an unwanted pregnancy shows very flawed thinking.
The writer says, “Women have the power to demand mental, emotional, financial and physical support – in short faithfulness – from men in the covenant of marriage.” Women may have the right to demand, but do they have the power to enforce those demands?
The statement that the new sexual orthodoxy teaches “women” that sex is fun, marriage optional and babies disposable clearly overlooks the fact this writer makes clear in his article that it takes a man and a woman to create a pregnancy. Does the new sexual orthodoxy only teach women these things? Are men not subject to the same teachings? The writer’s implication here is that he does not value women’s ability to make a good choice.
Like it or not, humanity has evolved as the world has changed over the centuries. Until “society” passes and enforces laws that say a man cannot create an unwanted pregnancy, then man cannot pass or enforce laws that say a woman cannot end one.
It was readily agreed that it takes a sperm and an egg to create life, regardless of how they come together. Until man is held accountable for his portion of the procreation process, then a woman cannot be told that she has no choice. This view and that of the entire article by Mr. Skelton says, “women,” it’s your fault you got pregnant. Man had nothing to do with it, therefore you are immoral and subservient to man’s wishes that you must now carry this child to term, regardless of the reason.
It can be difficult to address our 21st century world with the biblical worldview based on the teaching of biblical writers from centuries ago. While this writing and that of Mr. Skelton is about pro-life and pro-choice, it is also a fact that the Bible doesn’t talk about abortion, but it does say when a human being’s life begins, despite conservative politicians and evangelicals who want to redefine Genesis 2:7.
I do not believe a woman or a man is immoral for choosing to end a pregnancy. Every person must live by their own beliefs.
Shakespeare said, “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
If I am content with my God for my choices, who are you to then condemn me for the choices I make or take my choices away.