When my mother was pregnant with me between the months of November of 1989 and July of 1990, she was so glad to be on the path to being a mother that I could feel her love reaching me through my umbilical cord. I was going to be born someday soon, and my life would then take shape afterwards.
However, there would be some complications later on in the pregnancy. My presence in my mother’s womb began to cause problems. Eventually, these complications would become significant enough to where my mother’s life would be threatened.
During this time, my mother was faced with a difficult decision. After consulting with her doctors, she had a choice to make: continue with the pregnancy and risk death for the both of us, or terminate her pregnancy and try again.
This choice would only come about because her life was being threatened. Thankfully, the America she lived in at the time is still the same America in which she would be free to those important medical decisions.
Out of the love for the being within her that would become her first and only son, she decided to go through with the remainder of the pregnancy. I am grateful to God that she decided to take the risk, and with all thanks to Him, the both of us survived and I was born a healthy baby boy. It was a miracle.
But in this world we live in, not everyone survives these ordeals. Not everyone has an identical situation to the one my mother had, and she was truly lucky. Many women die during these events, but at the same time, I’m glad that we live in a country where a woman has the choice to make a healthcare decision such as this that could affect her life almost permanently.
Doesn’t the woman have a right to life as well? Such choices and decisions aren’t made as simply as the flick of a switch. Ordeals such as this one take serious reflection and decision-making before acting. This is the country we live in.
Who knew what would happen at the end of the ninth month once my mother decided to go through with the remainder of her pregnancy. I honestly couldn’t have blamed her for choosing another route, had she done so.
She could have died, leaving my would-be father without a wife, a son, and the sister I now have (Heather, born eight years after me). I am thankful for the right to choose, and that we don’t live in a country where women are forced to place themselves at serious health risks related to pregnancy.
This goes without mentioning the victims of rape. As a man, I could never pretend to understand what a woman goes through in a situation like that, or what they would have to deal with if forced to carry the child of their rapist.
There is much to be said about this subject. However, I know from my personal experience that choice (and not mandate) was what allowed me to be brought into this world. I would be a fool not to mention God’s role in all of this, but it all started with the choice of an American citizen trusted to make an important healthcare decision after consulting medicine, family, and God.
That’s how it should be. If there are those that are against such a choice, I would rather they use a setting more in line with the source of their opinions (i.e. their church), and not a forum originally intended from the very beginning to be devoid of religious favoritism or theocracy.
While I have no problem living in a world where a woman has the right to choose, we need to make this world a place where abortions are as rare as humanly possible.
We must understand the environments in which abortions unrelated to health risks to women take place, and uproot the problem from the soil of society. This is where we can come together as a society and legislate solutions.
By addressing the roots of high abortion rates in certain communities, we can make them as rare as many pro-choice believers would want them to be. Waiting until it has arrived before banning it does not solve the problem, but instead provides an unnecessary burden on those that may need it to survive.
This is the reality of life in this country. We all have personal experiences fueling who we are as individuals, but when we take a step back and look at life from the perspective of someone that realizes that while our faith may teach us that there is only one way to an afterlife in Heaven with The Almighty, the society we live in is not exclusively composed of those that share this belief, and thus deserve a seat at the table along with everyone else. This may not necessarily apply within the church, mosque, or other centers of worship, but it must in the public forum.
After all, we are not debating matters of civic policy within our churches, but on the state and national stage. Thus, we cannot pretend that the society we live in is equal to the church we attend. While that may be the wish of many of us, reality sings a different song. I know in my heart while the tune may differ from our own, the words to our banner hymnal implore us to love our neighbor without preconditions.
Therefore, no matter what our path in life, while we may not be united under a Christian Cross, Davidian, or Crescent Star, as long as we remain neighbors in this 50 State Solution to Tyranny and Oppression, we will be united under a Flag of Democracy that favors no one citizen above the other, and views all those pledging allegiance to it as equals.
We exist as a Union because of the strength of an idea, and centuries later, this Idea allows us to remain a beacon of light for freedom, prosperity, and the chance at a better life through hard work and shared sacrifice for the sake of progress and brotherhood.
We understand that the idea of individualism is something that fuels our ambition, but we cannot reach the heights we aspire to without the help and hand of our brothers and sisters in society.
We know this, because as the saying says, “out of many, we are one.” United we stand, divided we fall. We are in this together.
God bless the United States of America.