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Personal tale of abortion regret puts “right to choose” in perspective

Today, LifeNews brings us a heartbreaking personal story from a woman named Kathy, who shares the loss and regret she feels from her abortion:

The truth is when I was 19 years old I got pregnant. Upon telling my parents; they decided that I would get married. We began to plan a very quick wedding. The boy I was dating at the time turned out to be abusive. He was from an abusive home and had his father had brutally beaten his first wife in front of her two sons. The first time this boy threw me to the ground while I was pregnant I knew there was NO WAY I was going to allow this cycle to repeat. I broke off the engagement and began looking into adoption. I was only 19 and I knew I wasn’t ready to be a mom. When I told him I wanted to make an adoption plan, that I knew that was the best choice for us and the baby, he became very angry. Threatening, yelling, and screaming, he told me no one would EVER take the mother of his child or his child away from him. He wouldn’t allow it – that we WOULD be together. I became scared. Fear set in like I can’t even begin to explain. I realized that I could be a victim of abuse or I could save myself and my unborn child and choose to make this all disappear. I told him I had a miscarriage (which is what I told everyone else too).

Kathy’s experience left her with a very different take on the “right to choose”:

I wish like HELL I didn’t have the right to choose that day. I wish there had been counseling. I wish there had been adoption agencies out there trying to reach the youth. I wish THOSE things were easy access; NOT Planned Parenthood. I wish more than anything, ANYTHING, I could have taken away MY right to choose and allow my baby to have their right to choose life. I wish there was support out there for girls like me. And maybe there was…but Planned Parenthood was easy to find. Abortion is easy. Walk in, walk out. Done. Pregnant. Not Pregnant. Simple. Except…it’s NOT that simple. They forget to tell you about the rest of the story.

The truth is they don’t tell you about the memory you live with for the rest of your life. For awhile I was able to forget. I had to suppress the memory in order to survive MY right to live. But slowly the memory began to resurface. Back to the room…back to the smells…back to the empty eyes of broken women. Back to the face of the man that literally sucked life out of my body.

Abortion is not about choice. It’s about selfishness. It’s about desperation. And I can say that because I have had one. I have walked a mile in those shoes…and it’s a mile that never ends.

Kathy has touched upon one of the biggest reasons why “right to choose” is so lacking as a defense of abortion. Any participant in the debate understands the idea that one’s rights do not extend to deciding other people’s rights, but we don’t always think fully about why the law takes such decisions out of people’s hands.

“If men were angels,” James Madison says, “no government would be necessary.” People aren’t angels. Our knowledge is limited, our perspective is narrow, and our judgment is susceptible to an array of fears, emotions, interests, and biases that can pervert our reason and morality. The human mind’s ability to rationalize is truly staggering. We can say what we know would be the right thing to do in a given situation, and we can hope we would be strong enough to do it, but we can’t know for certain that we wouldn’t give in.

The entire point of living under law is that we shouldn’t trust ourselves with power over the fates of others (beyond a select few extreme circumstances, like self-defense against an attacker). In those cases where we are least likely to make a just decision, we submit the choice to an independent, impartial authority. As John Locke explains:

To this strange doctrine, viz. That in the state of nature every one has the executive power of the law of nature, I doubt not but it will be objected, that it is unreasonable for men to be judges in their own cases, that selflove will make men partial to themselves and their friends: and on the other side, that ill nature, passion and revenge will carry them too far in punishing others; and hence nothing but confusion and disorder will follow, and that therefore God hath certainly appointed government to restrain the partiality and violence of men. I easily grant, that civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniencies of the state of nature, which must certainly be great, where men may be judges in their own case, since it is easy to be imagined, that he who was so unjust as to do his brother an injury, will scarce be so just as to condemn himself for it[.]

Modern liberalism justifies its infringements on individual right and private property on the belief that people cannot be trusted to voluntarily fulfill their obligations to their fellow man. Yet when it comes to abortion, they not only allow, but celebrate individuals disregarding the most basic obligation of all.