I read an article in a paper recently which disgusted me so much it has taken me a week deciding whether or not to give it any more column inches here.
And clearly, as this post shows, I have decided to mention it.
Although, even as I type this I have to question both my sanity in relaying the story, and that of the people concerned in the story.
So what is the story?
There is a couple in America, in Minneapolis to be more precise, who cannot decide whether to have an abortion. They have experienced three miscarriages over the years; the first was an unplanned pregnancy and the other two were both planned pregnancies earlier this year!
I feel for them, as this cannot have been easy to deal with.
Now, let me make it clear, my disgust is not over this couple considering an abortion, but rather their chosen method of making the decision. I have never been in the situation of having to decide whether an abortion is the right thing to do, so I cannot begin to comprehend the anguish any would-be parent must be going through.
There are many pro and anti abortion lobbyists out there and I do not fall into either category. There may be very valid reasons for having an abortion, and each case should be judged on its own merit.
But this couple have turned their decision making into something akin to a reality television programme. They have set up a web site where visitors get to vote on the decision. OK, it’s not quite ‘dial 09070 5551 and add 01 to vote for the abortion or add 02 for the birth’, but it is pretty close!
Back in September, this couple announced on their web site that they were expecting a child. They added that this was a planned pregnancy. They seemed delighted yet anxious having lost the previous three. Understandable.
However, the whole point of the web site was to ask visitors to help them decide whether to keep the baby. So you have to ask yourself what was the point in trying for this baby? If they are nervous about losing this one as well, and are considering, as the web site suggests, terminating the pregnancy, why try in the first place?
It doesn’t seem to make sense.
For weeks after the announcement, they posted scans of their unborn child and continued to monitor and publish the votes so far. They even took tests to determine the gender of the baby and posted this comment:
Why would we care about the baby’s gender if we’re considering abortion? Why not? It’s one of those questions that will drive people crazy the entire pregnancy. If you can find out early on, it’s just one less thing to obsess about.
Why would you want to know the gender of your unborn child if you are considering termination? Would it make a difference to your decision?
I still don’t understand why you would ask complete strangers to vote on that decision. Is it, as one visitor to their site asked, a cowardly way of laying blame for any misgivings on others? Do they not realise that this is their choice and they alone should make it? Unless they are advised by a medical expert that proceeding with the pregnancy would, for example, endanger the life of the mother, then what does it matter what anyone else decides?
The husband even answered this very question on their site:
Voting is not a game, and believe me when I say, neither is this. The public decides the fate of others every election cycle. [We] encourage you to make your opinion on abortion actually matter and Vote. Here you have an opportunity to do more than voice their concern to an elected representative. Here you can do something.
I have never thought of an election process as a ‘cowardly way of laying blame for any misgivings I may have had in the future on others’ before. I would like to respectfully disagree here though. If a choice is important for one person, then I would argue that it is important for others.
What does that even mean? Do they really think that their decision is that important to other people? Of course it has become of interest to other people, but I doubt it will change the lives of anyone other than this couple and their unborn son.
Anyone taking part in this hideous poll has to cast their vote by December 7th. That then gives this couple two days to decide what to do before the abortion becomes illegal in the US state in which they live. And a month ago the voting was 78% in favour of giving birth.
One week ago, the voting stood at 81% in favour of birth, however, their story hit the national and international press (which is how I heard about it) and the voting changed in a matter of hours to 58% in favour of abortion.
If this were one of our General Elections, we would have all sorts of graphics showing the swing from one direction to the other. Today, however, the pro-abortion voters have moved to 77% and the mother-to-be is wavering over her thoughts now and is considering keeping the baby.
So what does she do, go with her current feelings and keep the baby, or go with her and her husband’s initial thoughts along with those of the majority of voters and terminate?
Now, what do I do? I have vented my disgust; I have given this topic more space than I probably should have; I have made others aware. Do I now cast a vote? I can’t decide.
I know, perhaps you could help me with that decision! 😉
I can only pray that the right decision is made and made for the right reasons and not because an internet poll suggested one decision was the correct course of action.