The mother and son duo we were chatting with on the back patio of this quaint family bistro were extremely polite. The son kept assuring us that he was “fascinated” with our responses and eager to learn more about why we hold these beliefs. I was beginning to feel like a medieval bug under a microscope―So rare! So old-fashioned! How can this specimen still exist?!?
The next pro-choice position posited was that of the poor, unwanted, neglected, abused child. Every child should be wanted and well-cared for, the mom proclaimed (to which I wholeheartedly agreed), and if the child is not wanted or will be poor or abused or neglected, then it shouldn’t have to suffer in this world. And here is where I had to be very careful not to get upset. I told the woman that, in stating this position, she was telling all of the poor, abused, neglected, unwanted children living in the world today that they would be better off dead. She vehemently disagreed, saying that she did not think such things. But Andrew jumped in and told her that her conclusion demanded it. If a child is not wanted, it should not be allowed to live. That is exactly what she is saying. I hope it gave her pause. Andrew furthered the argument by pointing out that one should never base their argument on a situation that could, and most likely would, change. Poor people can better their situations, and those with no support can, providentially, find some. Even more, wealthy people can lose their fortune, and stable people may become ill and use all their means for hospital bills, etc. People’s lives change, and sometimes drastically. Better not to make a decision based on fleeting circumstance. And isn’t that what we tell folks who struggle with suicidal thoughts? Hang on, things will change. Ten years from now your life WILL look different. There is hope.
The son then made one last ditch effort to convert us. He asked about a woman’s right to control her own body. It took all of my willpower not to become completely unhinged. Of all the arguments, this one, for some reason, hit me the hardest. I started by saying that there is obviously more than just the woman’s body at stake here. Remember the heartbeat? Present at twenty-two days―before the mother even realizes she’s pregnant. How many hearts do I have? One. And so, this other heartbeat? Certainly not mine. Same with the extra DNA―and toes, eyes, ears, limbs, etc. Not my body. Also, this is the twenty-first century. Feminists have been saying for decades that just because someone is a mom doesn’t mean they can’t be accomplished outside the home. Hello. So then why does a pregnancy mean a virtual death sentence to the hopes and dreams of an unwed mother? Where are the feminists to cheer her on, saying that she is strong and capable, and she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to? That she can be both a mother and a high school/college grad? Where are they? The hypocrisy is unnerving.
We parted ways amicably. I made a point to reach out for a hug from the mother. She knows what it is to be selfless, to be a mom and make a choice for life. Even if she wouldn’t admit it to me, she understands that to love is to sacrifice for others, and that is truly the most rewarding form of happiness there could ever be.
Megan will offer a conclusion next week sharing wisdom on what we can glean from this exchange and how we can be ready to respond to unique situations with those we encounter in the world.