Ralph Northam’s abortion comment got a lot of play in the media this week, and I believe it was unfairly presented in the wrong light by people with a political agenda. I’m going to give my 2 cents on the issue, but I’m not going to try to change anybody’s mind or tell you what you should think. I simply want to shed what I believe to be a more fair light on them and let the reader draw a conclusion for themselves.
The problem is how controversial abortion is. Since it’s an abortion bill, it’s hard to remove that. I’m going to try. I’m going to rephrase Ralph Northam’s abortion comment in a different light that might show you why they weren’t offensive or even controversial to some people. I will use quotes to mark where my tweaking ends and his quote begins.
Northam’s Abortion Comment Rephrased:
If a mother brought in an unresponsive two month old with a fatal heart condition that can’t be treated “the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Better? Now we have a loving mother who cares for her child, as opposed to one trying to ditch a pregnancy last minute. This mother is forced to consider the suffering of her beloved child, the trauma she will endure, and the financial burdens placed on the family by prolonging a life that cannot be saved.
The discussion with the doctors is a painful one. How much more time will this give us? Is there any chance of beating this? How much will the baby suffer? Ultimately, they will make a decision together that no mother should have to make. One that will determine if the time that can be bought is worth the pain and suffering, or if it’s time to say their final goodbye and request no further resuscitation.
Do you have that picture? It’s ok if your eyes watered up, mine did too. However, to be fair, that’s not the exact quote of Ralph Northam’s abortion comment. Instead, he described an abortion before the quoted part. I understand how that changes things, but allow me one more chapter to this story. Same loving mother, same beloved baby.
An alternative scenario:
I want to take you back in time 4 months. The mother is 7 months pregnant, and one week ago her doctor informed her that her baby had the condition that created the above story. After crying, praying, and careful consideration with her family, she has reached a decision.
Her heart and her family can’t handle the torture of watching this baby suffer for two months and die helpless and alone in a hospital. If she can spare the her family the pain of going to bed every night wondering if there will be a tomorrow, and waking up wondering if the nightmare is over, she will do so. She tells the doctor they have chosen to abort the pregnancy.
If you’re pro life:
I’m not asking you to agree with her decision. I simply want you to understand why some folks think she should have the right to make one. She’s not a bloodthirsty barbarian taking pleasure in waiting 7 months to dispose of her fetus as if it were a tumor. You disagree with her, but she’s a loving parent, just like you. She’s every bit as concerned with what’s best for the child as you are. In fact, more so.
If you’re pro choice:
Similarly, those wishing to prevent her from getting the abortion aren’t hateful people either. They too are loving folks whose heart breaks for the babies that are lost to abortion. They care as much about those babies as you do the mothers. They’re not trying to inflict the pain that the mother suffers in the first scenario. They’re just hoping to save a life.
Look past our preconceived notions of each other. We all want what’s best here. The only question is who should decide what is best. Should each mother have the right to make this tough decision for her own family? Alternatively, should the government decide which choice every mother should have to live with?
Whatever your position, if you read my words and reached a determination in good faith, I respect that. Let’s stop letting people paint the worst possible picture of the other side to manipulate us into fulfilling their political agenda. You don’t have to agree with my conclusions. I won’t even share them here. I simply thank you for considering my thoughts on this matter.