Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smile, Even Though Your Heart Is Breaking

I want you to imagine the following scenario (WARNING: this may disturb you, so tread lightly): you are a young girl, past puberty, and you were raped by your father, brutalized in a way you never thought possible, left feeling unclean, like your soul is now black. You are confused, dazed, and swept up in a maelstrom of recrimination, law, scandal, gossip, and depression. Then, as if it can't get any worse... you are pregnant, carrying the seed of incest within you, an occurrence that is anathema socially and problematic genetically. Now, the horror can never truly go away, for in a few months time, you will have a living, breathing reminder of it.

It would take a powerful constitution, intestinal fortitude, and a great deal of forgiveness, to keep the child. No one likes the thought of a potential life lost, but you would be forgiven for seeing this as a burden that you cannot bear, and no one should ask it of you. This is a decision that is best made by you.

Except that some would say that it isn't your decision, that no decision is required. A life is a life.

To be more specific, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle believes that "two wrongs don't make a right," and so, a young girl subjected to the brutality of incest has an obligation to carry the baby to term, even at risk to her own life and sanity. In Ms. Angle's own words:

I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade.
The carrying of an unplanned -- and potentially unwanted -- child to term is off-handedly compared to a clich├ęd bit of advice that has little to do with reality. It's akin to telling a death row inmate to "make the best" of their time in jail.

I commend any young girl who can, actually, carry such an unwanted pregnancy to term, and learn to love a child that is the result of such a brutal and vicious assault, either by a stranger or a family member. However, that decision cannot be mandated by the State, either directly, or through the removal of the option of abortion; to do so, is to condemn no-longer-innocent girls to lives of constant psychological torture, and to subject their babies to the machinations of a mother who may see them a font of their unhappiness and self-loathing. Such a lack of compassion is sign of blind faith and ignorance.

It is despicable to replace another person's right to self-determination with your own morality, especially where that morality is based upon a faith that not everyone else shares. The right to freedom and liberty as written in The Bill of Rights makes it clear that the State has no right to tell an individual how to worship, and by extension, cannot promote any particular social view based on one religion. If your faith tells you that abortion is amoral, so be it -- no one is asking you to have one. To then substitute your judgment for that of a young girl, who must suffer all the consequences of the theft of her dignity and pains of pregnancy, due to your misguided belief that you must save her from herself, is criminal.

No comments:

Post a Comment