Recently on the Buddhist Channel website, I read a very interesting article dealing with abortion.
The nifty thing about the topic of abortion is that everyone has something to say about it, everyone wants to put in their 2 cents, and those who remain quiet while the debate rages on around them have an opinion, but are too busy, polite, or shy to say anything.
Normally this is something I would be posting in my personal blog, and I may copy and paste it there later on. But since this is the blog that I receive actual comments from actual people who use that vital little organ known as a brain, I figured I would post it here first, simply because I wish to state my opinion, and then hear your thoughts and opinions, no matter how similar or different.
Reproductive rights is something I have been passionate about for a long time, and right now the issue has become a big issue in our local gossip because our governor has just been chosen to be McCain's Vice President.
Sarah Palin, an evangelical who opposes abortion, even in cases of incest and rape, who has vowed to work with McCain to overtunr Roe v. Wade, who opposes pre-marital sex, who has refusd funding for comprehensive sex education and pushed for abstinece-only education.
Sarah Palin, whose 17 year old unwed daughter is pregnant.
I have tried to go on as long as I can without saying anything, but it has caused such a controversy that I can't help myself, so please forgive me as I put in my 2 cents and get a little political. (Disclaimer: If I say something here that offends you as the reader, please note that this isn't personal, just merely my opinion. I hope you will respect it, even if you don't agree with it, just as I would respect your opinion regardless of my personal beliefs)
And now, for my political opinion regarding reproductive rights, our governor Sarah Palin, her pregnant daughter Bristol, and this whole politcial election:
In regards to Bristol Palin, everybody just fucking STOP!
Put away your thoughts, your opinins, your holier-then-thou attitudes, your comments, your sympathies.
Take a deep breath and look at the big picture of the situation.
Bristol Palin is a 17 year old GIRL! A mere girl, yet our media is putting so much attention on her because she made a choice, and is facing a consequense of that choice, a consequence she knew beforehand was possible, but she made that choice anyways.
Respect that choice. Regardless of your opinion, please, I am begging you, respect a choice that she made, one that she cannot unmake because it is in the past. It is done with, move on.
Her pregnancy is not in anyway a judgement of her character, or an indication of her mother's parenting skills. The age of consent in this state is 16, so there is no under-age controversy. She is considered an adult in the eyes of the law.
Her pregnancy is not in any way an indicator of her mother's ability to govern or do her job, and therefore the political community should drop the entire matter and focus on Governor Palin's beliefs, opinions, and record.
As I mentioned above, Bristol Palin, for all that she is capable of making adult decisions, is still young. An unexpected pregnancy, especially in an evangelical home where pre-marital sex is one of the biggest sins, is hard, and all this media and political coverage is certainly not making it any easier. Her pregnancy is nobody's business but her own, and whoever she choses to include, such as her mother, or boy who got her pregnant. I cannot even begin to imagine the amount of pressure and ridicule this girl is facing, started by people who really have no place in this matter, who just want to bitch and moan and complain.
It is none of my business, and as a person who is adamently pro-choice, I know Bristol has chosen to keep the baby, and I respect that. She made a choice. It is not a matter of whether or not I agree with it, merely that I respect it. (If the family's finacial situation was less-fortunate, then I would go off on a tangent on the matter welfare, but fortunately this is not the case. The Palin family is more then able to support another child.)
Giggle if you want at the irony of a pregnancy happening in a family that condems comprehensive sex education. But as far as politics goes, this is a personal matter, and should stay that way.
So back. the fuck. OFF.
Now that I've gotten that out (and I feel much better), let us move on.
I will not be voting for Sarah Palin, for the reasons stated above, mostly in regards to her opinions of sex education and abortion. I cannot ethically vote for a woman who would take away the choice of reproduction from American women. Just as Bristol's pregnancy and choices regarding that pregnancy isn't any of my business, the choices concerning my body and choices I make for it aren't any of hers.
Finally, to the article I mentioned about a thousand words ago. If you wish to read it in it's entirety, you can find it here: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=70,7060,0,0,1,0
It's very good because it forces to reader to step back for the whole issue and look at the larger picture. The entire abortion right's debate is indeed a very good example of what happens when we set moral absolutes, something that fundamentalists of certain religions are quite fond of doing. Buddhists, as a general rule, tend to shy away from absolutes of any kind. From a Buddhist persepctive, yes, an abortion could easily be seen as the taking of a life (let's not get into the whole "Is an zygot/embryo/fetus really alive/human" questions). But Buddhists also realize the reality of life and death. All things die, and all the dies, at one time, has lived. Our thinking tends to transcend the life vs. death upon this realization, and our focus on the present moment and it's realities.
In other words, when you think about it, abortion isn't that big of a deal, especially when you compare it to the violent politics surrounding the issue. The article pretty much concludes that while Buddhists (in general) are reluctent to support an abortion, they won't out-right deny it either. This is my opinion as well. Rarely will you ever hear me actually encourage abortion as the best choice, but should a person make that choice, I will accept it, respect it, and not think any less of them. I would rather the child be wanted then unwanted.
Annnnnyways, there you go. It's a great article if you are interested in the subject, so check it out. I would love to hear any oppinions, whether they agree or oppose.
58 minutes ago