Most people who call themselves pro-life are actually in fact, pro-birth. They believe that a fetus is a child, is a baby, is a living human being that deserves to be born. They consider it as a separate entity that should have rights and liberties as a citizen of their country. They don’t look at the mother, the carrier as the individual with the absolute choice in what they do with their own bodies. They don’t recognize the mother as a human body. They only see the mother as a carrier. They see the mother and the baby inside as two separate human beings. What drives their emotions crazy is that they see the human inside the mother as a helpless child that is innocent.

That is, innocent until it’s born. Once it’s born, these pro-lifers/pro-birthers don’t give a damn about the children. If they did, they would gladly put less investment into police funding and the military, and invest in absolute science-based research, mental health, public education, women’s health, and universal health care. However, 95% of all conservatives and right-wingers I’ve corresponded with, have told me that they care much more about their own pockets and their own happiness, than the welfare of those in need. So it mind boggles me that they express so much hate and anger towards abortion, but have absolutely no problems with society that has a broken foundation for mental health, physical health and educational welfare. It’s an obvious contradiction, yet they simply don’t see it. If you don’t want to invest in the welfare of society by nurturing their mental health, their physical health, and their education, then you have no right to say that you’re a pro-lifer, because you’re not. You’re a pro-birther, because you don’t genuinely care what happens to children after they’re born.

Now, most people who call themselves pro-life get one major thing wrong about people whom are pro-choice. Most people whom are pro-choice aren’t promoting abortion. They are in fact preaching the same things right-wingers often scream about in regards to freedom of choice. That is, to have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies. The fetus, the baby, the cluster of cells inside a woman’s body is still living within the mother’s body. It is not a separate entity. It has no will of its own. It has no dreams, no ambitions, no plans to fulfill. It only has one function. To develop and then to be born. Whatever happens after it’s born, is a different stage in life. Prior to that, it has no life, in the sense that a vegetable on life support has no ‘life’.

Women and men who want children develop a fantasy of what they want in their future children. Regardless of whether you’re a pro-birther and pro-choicer, we can all celebrate the dreams and desires of the parents whom are having that baby one day. However, if the parent/parents decide to abort, then they should have that right to do so and none of you, nor us should ever condemn them for it. The only time you might have that right, is if they do it so often, that it shows an obvious sign of irresponsibility. Even then, simply put, their body, their rules.

Now in case pro-choice people condemn me for saying what I said in the last two sentences, the logic is simple. I am all for choosing how you want to live your life, I rarely if ever judge people for what they do, unless it’s blatantly cruel. However, if you’re a wine connoisseur who gets drunk, then drives drunk and kills people, then blame it on being drunk, then surely, you’re an idiot. You’ve been irresponsible. I don’t care if you get drunk. Just don’t drive afterwards. You have a choice. Get drunk, call a cab. Just as if you want to own guns. Go right ahead and buy yourself a tank and a cannon. You better have the right training and the mentality to use them. If you drive the tank around and run over people because you can’t handle one, then blame the tank for being too large, then you’re an idiot. The onus is on you to learn to drive a tank.

Of course, it’s somewhat different with getting pregnant. If it’s accidental, fine, whatever. If it’s health-related, of course, abort if you must. If it’s rape, then that’s pretty obvious isn’t it? However, if it’s deliberate, then it depends when you get that abortion. You have the responsibility to check as often as you need to, if you’re pregnant within the first month of you having sexual intercourse protected and otherwise. Do it. You should. If you find out you’re pregnant early on, get an abortion. I don’t have issues with that. However, if you deliberately wait it out, then abort it at late stage, I would have issues with it. I may not openly voice my disapproval, but you can be sure I disapprove of your decision to abort late term. Why does it matter to me whether it’s early or late term? Because it does. I don’t need to explain myself to other people. If you have problems with that, then so be it. Regardless though, I won’t control how you live your life, despite my disapproval. You don’t owe me anything, but in regards to this, my beliefs tell me that you’ve carried the baby for so long. So why don’t you carry it to birth? You’ve taken care of yourself for the last 5-8 months, so why not just finish it? These are my thoughts of course. It doesn’t mean I will corner you into a corner to force you into having a baby, but still this also means I may find it disagreeable in how and when you decide on getting that abortion.

As a pro-choicer, I personally will not choose to abort if I have the means to support the baby. If not, then I might look for a joint method in taking care of one. Abortion for me, is a worst case scenario decision. So of course, this might come as a surprise for pro-lifers/pro-birthers. To make this clear. Pro-choice literally means to have the rights to choose how one lives. I should have no control over how other people choose to live their own life, just as they should have no control on how I live mine. The only time any of this matters to society, is how it burdens society financially. If it’s a part of universal health care, then I have no problems. If it’s a part of our taxes, that’s no problem either. However, if I have to personally pay for the abortion of others, specifically for that abortion, then I will have a problem.

Even then, unlike pro-lifers/pro-birthers, I don’t see the baby inside the mother’s womb as a separate human entity deserving of rights. It only matters to me on how the mother defines it. If it’s a health risk, financial risk, an emotional risk, and they need to abort it, then so be it. If they have hopes and dreams for the newborn-to-be, then I will gladly support your decision and celebrate it with you. That’s all there is to it.

Now, in case pro-lifers/pro-birthers argue with me about how I would feel if my parents told me they thought about aborting me, actually, I would feel 100% fine with it. In fact, my mom and I had this conversation a few years ago, but before I talk about that, basically there is one simple absolute truth you may not realize about the point you’re trying to make. The truth is that the reason I would be 100% fine with it, is because I would literally never have existed. Thus whatever life I’ve had for the last 41 years would have ceased to happen. If nothing happened, what is there to be sad about? What you pro-lifers/pro-birthers fail to understand is that you’re basing your point of argument on the fact *I*, as in Leeman has already lived and being aborted would mean all of the things that I’ve experienced would be wiped away, but that’s the incorrect way of thinking about it. The correct way is literally, if I was never born, then I would never have experienced anything in the first place. It’s only sad, if I was already born and I went back in time to force my own abortion. 😉

So, the conversation with my mom and I went like the following. It’s translated from Cantonese.

[sitting down at the dinner table to have a snack while my mom was in the kitchen doing her chores]

Mom: [watching Chinese television drama about family life] “If I had known before I became a mother, I would have chosen not to fall in love, get married and have children. Actually, it’s children that has been the most difficult to deal with. It’s stressful, it’s worrisome, it’s a major financial burden.”

[note that my mom was saying this with an undertone of pain and sadness, thinking back on all of the good times, as well as the many bad ones]

Me: “That’s okay. You’ve been the best mom I could ever ask for, even if you were not perfect.”

Mom: [has a slight break in her voice] “I made a lot of mistakes.” [proceeds to tell me how she failed my little brother when he was a toddler]

Me: “No one teaches us how to be parents. It’s a hit and miss most of the time. You did what you thought was best. You grew up with us as we all aged. I don’t hold you against any of that.”

Mom: “Would you be hurt if I told you I would have chosen abortion instead of going through 30 years of stress?”

Me: [without pausing, without thinking further] “Not at all. I totally understand and accept it. Fortunately, I am self aware and I can reflect on my own actions growing up. I was not an easy child to care for. I have a temper. I am shy, sensitive and I bottled up my emotions. Again, you did your best, for a situation that was not easy.”

Mom: [turns away to clean stuff, pauses for a long time] “I just wish I was a better mother.”

Me: “In our next life, I hope if I am your child in that life, I would be a better son or daughter.”

Mom: [stays silent for awhile, then blurts out an awkward laugh] “Perhaps.” [quietly switches to another topic]

Me: [gets up, walk over to fridge to get myself a drink, bumps into her lightly as a sort of ‘I love you mom’ gesture, then leaves]

In this life, the life I have, I have a lot to thank my parents for, especially with my mom. However, my personal experiences will never detract from your right in choosing how to live yours. So long as you don’t live cruelly, and so long as your decisions don’t burden others explicitly, then I’m all for it. Taxes, universal health care, administration and all that, benefit all of us. Unless I have to pay for your choices specifically, then it’s really no burden at all. If we can afford to put millions and billions into the military, then we can afford to put millions and billions into everyone’s health. Anything less is un-Canadian.

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