You Personally Against Abortion, But Feel a Woman Should Still Have
the Legal Right to Choose?
by Mark Ritter and Dan Mannion
SCENE: Chris and Kelly are employees at a supermarket. They are on a break. Chris is staring off into space holding a newspaper. Kelly is just sitting, drinking Diet Coke out of a 32 oz. cup.
Kelly: What a busy day, huh? [looks to Chris] Chris Chris! Snap out of it! What are you thinking about?
Chris: [coming out of a trance] Sorry I was just reading an abortion poll in the paper here. It says that about half of Americans think abortion is wrong.
Kelly: You were thinking less than that?
Chris: No, no, no. What confuses me is that more than half of those people who say abortion is wrong also say that it should still be a legal right.
Kelly: What's wrong with that?
Chris: You really don't see? Alright Maybe I should first ask you where you stand on abortion?
Kelly: [smiling] Promise you will still talk to me during breaks? O.K. Well, personally I'm against abortion. But! I'm not one to force my morals on someone else and tell them they can't have one.
Kelly: Thanks. Wait! What do you mean great? You agree?
Chris: No, but you seem to be representative of this group which has me so confused. Maybe you can help me to understand your position by letting me ask you some questions.
Chris: I will, as accurately as I can: First, why are you against abortion?
Kelly: I haven't always been. I used to believe the embryo and fetus were just a bunch of cells, a part of the woman's body. So abortion to me was nothing more than removing unwanted tissue. Then I took a biology class at the University and studied reproduction. I found out that from the first moment of conception this little creature already has all of the personal unique genetic information that will put it together. And that by the second month, when most abortions take place, the fetus already has all of its organs and body parts, if not complete then developing. It was not just a mass of tissue and blood. But what really affected me was actually hearing the heartbeat of a five-week-old preborn. That amazed me. All of this left no doubt, in my mind at least, that this little one was an individual human being, a brand new runner in the Human Race. Aborting it, I believe, would be murder.
Chris: I think that's commendable.
Kelly: What is? Murder?
Chris: No! Your surrender to Reason is commendable. You had some misconceptions about the true nature of the unborn. You realized this and aborted those misconceptions, giving birth instead to the Truth. Not many people want to do that. Now tell me, if you believe abortion is murder, why do you think it should remain legal?
Kelly: It's like I said, I am not going to force my idea of morality on someone else, especially a confused pregnant woman who doesn't want to be pregnant in the first place.
Chris: But Kelly, isn't every law really someone's idea of morality being forced onto the citizens of that society? And aren't those laws being enforced for the good of those citizens; laws such as traffic laws and health laws and laws against drugs and violence? Therefore, one cannot conclude, as you are implying, that forcing someone's ideas of right and wrong onto someone else is necessarily evil. It might be good, right?
Kelly: Alright, that's true, but in the case of abortion there are many law-abiding, good people who just don't believe abortion is murder.
Chris: But they're not here. You are and you do believe abortion is murder, the intentional killing of an innocent, defenseless human.
Kelly: Yeah, so?
Chris: Then what you're saying is murder should be a legal option.
Kelly: Right. Wait! No, no, no. You're twisting my words!
Chris: Let's see if I am: 1) You said you believe abortion is murder, and 2) you said you could not impose that belief on others by making abortion illegal. Thus, you leave abortion open as a legal option to pregnant women. Therefore, though you may not like it, you would see murder as an option. It appears you have twisted your own words into a noose.
Kelly: O.K. I see what you mean, but I don't mean all murders are acceptable. I would just limit this option to abortions. Great! Now what? Why do you have that I'm confused look on your face?
Chris: I'll try and show you why with an example: Suppose you were walking through the store here and you saw a man about to dismember an infant while the mother looked on approvingly. Would you attempt to save that child or would you watch, thinking, "Personally I'm against this sort of child abuse, but I'm not about to force my idea of right or wrong on someone else!"?
Kelly: That's ridiculous! Of course I would try to save the child.
Chris: Ah! But in the first place, do you see that in trying to save the child you're imposing your idea of right and wrong on this man and the child's mother? You are not leaving murder open as an option to these two people. That's not very pro-choice.
Kelly: But I've already said I would leave the option of murder open only in cases of abortion.
Chris: That's the second point of this illustration, Kelly. Except for where the murder is taking place, what's the difference between my example and abortion?
Kelly: [thinks for a moment, then reluctantly] I don't know.
Chris: And besides that, aren't the abortionist and the mother imposing their beliefs on the unborn child? Shouldn't the child have some say, some choice, in his or her own future? Do you see the inconsistencies in your argument now and understand my confusion?
Kelly: And I suppose, Chris, that you think its just fine for another unloved, unwanted child to be born into a world of poverty and child abuse?! I think death is probably what that child would desire.
Chris: I think you may be suffering from the old polarization syndrome; that if I think one thing is bad, like abortion, that everything else must be good, like poverty and suffering and being unloved. I think they're bad, too. Just not as bad. They can all be fixed or mended or endured. Abortion is permanent. And as for the child's future, I just don't know.
Kelly: Got you.
Chris: No, I mean I really don't know. I don't know what I am going to do in 5 minutes, let alone what will happen to some imaginary child during its whole life, or whether he or she would desire life or death. As a Christian ...
Kelly: [warily] Uh oh.
Chris: [smiles] As a Christian, I believe human life, born and preborn, is worth saving. I mean, my Lord offered Himself up as a sacrifice because of that belief. And, Kelly, do you think there would be unloved children and poverty and child abuse if we all lived as Jesus told us to?
Kelly: [hesitating] Probably not.
Chris: Or abortion? I don't think so, either. So over 4,000 unborn children are being slaughtered every day in our country for our disobedience. There is something grossly unfair about all of this, don't you think? What's the matter, Kelly?
Kelly: Over 4,000 a day? I didn't know that. [pauses then looks intently at Chris] So what does your faith teach you about dealing with all of these women?
Chris: Well, my Lord commands us to love them, to be there for them, help them out financially, weep when they weep, be their friend, listen when they have to unload their worries and doubts, pray for them. Jesus was -- and is -- into self-sacrifice.
Kelly: Alright Chris, then why does it seem your Anti-Abortion friends are concerned only with the fetus and not the mother?
Chris: It just seems that way because that's all that's ever covered
in the newspapers and on TV. It's the Pro-Life people that are telling the woman
about what goes on in an abortion. The Pro-Life people are the ones
unconditionally providing shelter and finances and care for the poor
women in unplanned pregnancies -- not the Pro-Abortion people. The woman does
matter, Kelly. Look, the slaughter of an unborn child is tragic to me,
but decisions, big decisions, such as abortion, which lead a person away
from God rather than towards Him, are possibly more tragic because they
could lead to another type of death
Kelly: That sounds real cheery.
Chris: Sometimes a surgeon has to cut in order to heal. But I believe that if Jesus could forgive those people who tortured Him and nailed Him to the cross, then He can forgive a truly repentant woman; one who is sorry for her actions and wants to change, one who fell victim to the pressures put upon her by a loveless, self-centered, dispose-all society.
Kelly: That sounds hopeful [then, as an afterthought] Jesus was tortured? Why?
Chris: We can talk about that on our next break. Right now, our boss is imposing his beliefs on us.
Kelly: What do you mean?
Chris: Our break is up.
Kelly: Very funny I'll think about what you said, though. No promises, but I'll think.
Chris: That's all I ask for now.