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Life, Conception, and Choice: what I believe

15 April 2013 One Comment

Patricia Smith Melton

Patricia Smith Melton
Peace X Peace Founder 

“The end of legal abortion does not end abortions, it brings a return of prejudice, physical danger, hardship, and psychological scarring from being treated as unworthy and being denied legal safe medical care.”


Of course there’s life at conception. There’s life before conception. The body is alive, a woman’s body is alive. Plants are alive. Toes are alive. Microbes are alive. We live in a world that is alive. I could even, and often have over the past decades, made the case that rocks are alive. It used to drive my scientist daughter and then-husband a little bananas; but it was and is my truth.

Now, is there an Infinite Orchestrator – in a cosmos that has more than 1024 stars in it in more than 200 billion galaxies – that tends to the cells in the body of each woman on earth so carefully that it instantaneously grants something called “personhood” to a particular new set of emerging cells? I can’t get there. I know that is a baseline belief of many people. Good people. People I respect, though I do trust the women in this group more than the men who want to control women on the theory that if God’s not keeping watch as they wish He would, then they’ll do the job for Him.

I believe in both a larger concept, i.e. that everything is alive and part of dynamic interacting variables, and I believe in daily pragmatic reality. Larger: Everything is made of atoms without a great deal of difference. It’s all star stuff. It just looks different in different packages: rocks, fruit, insects, whales, humans.

Daily reality: Women who are pregnant in circumstances where being a mother at that time will significantly threaten their health, lower the quality of their lives, and/or undermine their ability to tend their now or future children will strive to end that pregnancy, legally or illegally, before those cells become children. That is the reality in most cultures and I know it because I was a young woman before and after abortion became legal in the U.S. At one point in my life, all except one of my six roommates over two years had had an abortion. We are talking illegal, we are talking backroom, we are talking payoff money, we are talking dangerous, we are talking resulting infections, we are talking humiliation, we are talking no time off from work, we are talking secrets and shaming. All we had was each other for contacts, transportation, and nursing afterwards. And we were not sluts, we were not even not careful. We were nurses, schoolteachers, executive secretaries, and writers. We were, each of us, single and alone except for each other. The end of legal abortion does not end abortions, it brings a return of prejudice, physical danger, hardship, and psychological scarring from being treated as unworthy and being denied legal safe medical care. This cannot happen again. It is misinformed, misguided, and wrong.

My god does not judge someone because their plans went awry. My god has more to do than to micro-manage each human sperm and ovum.  I don’t think (s)he is checking out each bee and pollen transport.

Yes, there will be good people who will read this, who will disagree, maybe even be upset. Nonetheless, meeting the needs of your sisters requires acknowledgement of their realities and providing all women with respectful support.

By definition, humanity requires empathy. And empathy occurs naturally in the expanded awareness that we are inside – together inside – unending patterns of energy and change and chance, and fractals, and destruction, and rebuilding, and growth against odds, and a strange kind of joy that pulls us to its light. It has a composition that, to me, includes love with no by-laws attached.

All children ferociously deserve tender care, the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and to be protected from war, violence, poverty, shaming, and deprivation. Children deserve parents with the resources to care for them and they need adults to create rational beneficent societies, and who look at the stars a lot.


Another woman’s perspective - Blurring the Lines on War and Abortion

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One Comments to “Life, Conception, and Choice: what I believe”
  1. Daniel S. Moskowitz says:

    I do not believe that ending the Right of Women to get Abortions is a Wise Policy. However, I think that sexuality needs to be discussed more OPENLY, Worldwide and that less Aggressive forms of Contraception should be Widely Available. Abortion should always be a Last Resort, because it can be Traumatic.

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