Posted by Lolly (around 2000)
Did you know that the first recorded recipe for abortion was recorded in 2600 B.C.? This should give everyone an idea of how long abortion has been around. Did you know that in the 4th century St. Augustine set into effect the Catholic Dogma allowing abortions for up to 80 days for a female fetus and 40 days for a male fetus? Oh yes, you heard that right the Catholic Church supported Abortion. My how things have changed. In 1588 Pope Sixtus forbids all abortions, yet in 1591, Pope Gregory XIV rescinds the law passed by Sixtus and once again abortions are legal within the Catholic Church. Confused bunch aren't they? This is my personal favorite; in 1869 Pope Pius IX forbids all abortions in exchange for France's Napoleon III acknowledgment of papal infallibility. And guess what it was not until 1930, yes 1930, that Pope Pius XI affirmed the Catholic Dogma that ever sex act would be forbidden unless performed by a married couple. In 1963 Pope Paul IV finally got around to condemning birth control. Did you know that in 1956 Dr. John Rock with the help of others developed the birth control pill? Did you know that he was a Catholic? How about that his research was funded by women?
Both St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine asked was what were the factors involved in the choice of having an abortion. Is it one based on sin or perhaps one based on economics? This seems to be lost in many of the arguments today about abortion. Now it is about is that fetus a life or not. However, then it was about living with your decision as a woman. What reasons made you come to that decision? What overlying factors made you make that choice? Yes, you got it, the Catholic Church was once pro-choice. Just because one is pro-choice does not mean they are pro-abortion. Both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas recognized this. They realized that it was about choice and about the woman living with her decision and what factors made her come to that decision. This is still the pro-choice argument of today, but most do not realize that it was also once the Catholic Churches dogma as well.
From now on I will refer to it as Pro-Choice vs. Anti-Choice. That is after all what this debate comes down to, when you get to the heart of the matter. When we think about it realistically several Anti-choice activists commit acts of violence to get their point across that murder is wrong. I believe murder is wrong so I am going to shoot a doctor or a woman to prove this to everyone else. Where is the logic in that and how exactly does that prove your point? I will not say abortion is right, yet it is a decision that must be made by the woman, and it is her who must live with the choice and its consequences. Whether it is a good or morally correct choice is completely different than whether it is and should be a legal choice. That is what it boils down to, should it be a legal choice?
The whole pro-choice stance is one in which a personal choice about behavior should never ever be legislated unless it infringes on the personal rights and choices of someone else. You might hate the shirt I am wearing, but do you have the right to force me to change it? For the Anti-Choice arguers believe that they are protecting the zygote/embryo/fetus form being murdered. Now the question is zygote/embryo/fetus a person? If so they are living inside of the woman and invading on her space, infringing her rights. It is her choice on what to do, because to put it quite simply her rights are no less important than the zygote/embryo/fetus.
The one thing that concerns me is that the more laws we have infringing on a persons right to choose the more deaths we might cause. Making abortion illegal does little to prevent women from seeking other far more dangerous methods. In the 1930's roughly 2,500 women died each year from having illegal abortions, because they did not want to raise children in a time of depression. Logically this makes sense, because who would of cared for 25,000 babies when so few had money to feed themselves? Economics is the reason most women choose to have an abortion. To put it simply, they cannot afford to have a child at that time.
The fact is that whether abortion is morally right or wrong is not the issue, because to put it simply morality and ethics is an individual decision. What might be morally right and wrong in my eyes does not necessarily mean it is right and wrong in yours. As both St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine have both said, let them live with their consequences. So few abortions over the long history have been about sex, but have been more so about financial and emotional ability to not only have a child but to carry a child as well. Are we all emotionally ready to carry the child? Must every mistake we make in our lives be hanging over our head for the rest of our lives? Not many men will stop in the heat of passion and think about the consequences, yet many think women should? Why? Until you have walked in my shoes or anyone else's no one has the right to decide for them.