It was triggered by a conversation I had with one of my daughters and to be honest I can't even think now why it came up then but it has been rumbling around in my head for a few days.
During the conversation somehow I said I was both pro-life and pro-choice at the same time and my daughter and others had trouble understanding what I meant. So can you be both pro-life and pro-choice at the same time. I believe you can.
So when I say that I am pro-life that does not mean that I am a radical Christian who believes in bombing abortion clinics and harassing women going to them and that I believe you will go to Hell if you have an abortion. It just means that my personal decision when being offered an abortion on two different occasions was to continue with the pregnancies because I personally don't see abortion as a form of birth control. I do know that when given the choice I did think long and hard about my answer and when I said no it was not because I was worried that God would not love me anymore or that I would be committing a sin but because I knew that in my heart I could not forgive myself if I said yes. It has never been a decision I have regretted and I believe if I had to make the decision again that I would make the same decision.
I think that the pro-life versus pro-choice debate is far larger than just the abortion issue and that even if we are pro-choice we need to be understanding of those that are pro-life because that is their choice. And can we really call ourselves pro-choice unless we are accepting that everyone has a choice to follow what they believe. And aren't we as bad as the pro-life campaigners if we are judgemental about someone else's belief system? Life is not black and white, it is many shades of grey as well.
I do believe that any person of any sex has the right to choose what happens to their bodies whether it be to continue or terminate a pregnancy or whether to choose to accept medical intervention to keep them alive or whether to choose to end their life through euthanasia. I truly believe that we should all have these choices and that it should not be illegal if we as consenting adults make that choice. I hope that if I ever get to the point that living is no longer an option for me that I would be supported by those I love to make that decision. I also hope that eventually euthanasia will become legal.
But having said this, suicide on the other hand upsets me more than I can express and this is where my thinking becomes muddy ... is not euthanasia a form of suicide ... well yes it is but the intent I believe behind euthanasia is that a person who is ill and has no way ahead except full of pain and suffering and losing their dignity through medical intervention is able to keep their dignity and choose to die peacefully under their terms. Whereas to me suicide because of depression seems such a waste of life. Having never suffered severe depression it is hard for me to fathom that a person can been in such a black place that they see death as the only alternative. But having people very close to me who have been in this black place I know that they do see it as a option - it is just that I can't understand why. Whereas having been in pain for an extended period of time I can see the euthanasia debate more clearly. And maybe that is the crux of the matter - we need to be walking in someone else's shoes for us to truly understand their choices. And whether we see ourselves as pro-life or pro-choice do we really know what we are until we are in the situation where we have to make a decision?