It's easy to forget how easily most people escape the problem of contemplating the miraculous nature of their own existence.
I meant to write on this last night, but I was sidetracked, and distracted and sleeping.
On the ride back from Seattle, at the very beginnning of our trip, my friend Ayva made a comment about the giant billboard with a picture of Uncle Sam on it in the southern part of Washington along I-5. She said that on one side, it made mention of thanking the environmentalists for higher oil prices, and on the other, thanking your mother for not having had an abortion. She thought this was bizarre.
Being an adoptee from birth, the child of a pair of college students, it has always been on the front lobe of my mind how startling the distinction is between existence and non-existence. Each part, to the smallest distinction, is miraculous in its very possession of the quality of being.
I am not sure if it is actually possible to communicate the extreme luck I feel I have been graced with just to be alive, to be a person any one of you can talk to. I think it governs at a base level my willingness to share of my existence and what I have to offer with everyone around me, whether I know them well or not, although on that note I do not wish to sound clingy or annoying, and do not mean that I go around offering my services to those who do not request them or present issues with which I could be of service.
Some may think my fervor when I discuss the topic of abortion to be fanatical, religious, or inconsiderate or uninformed. However, I think I have very much a right to show the fervor I do, and also an important set of reason, experience, and personal understanding of a situation which others seem to take for granted. That is, existence.
See, most people know they are either the children of their parents, or at least even the child of their parents, not wanted at precisely that moment. They do not have to face the thought that they were totally unwanetd by the people whom they were begotten of. In a sense, I AM the aborted children none of you have to face the possibility of having been, because most of you came out alright without a decision of abandonment or relinquishment.
Having had over 20 years now [well, considering from birth, not first cognition] to realize the amazing truth that I DO exist, and that there are many people whose lives would most likely be different had I not been kept alive by the beneficent woman who is my mother, it seems arrogant for anyone to say that they understand the fear that is not existing enough to say that their one well calculated decision which went to bad chance can be resolved as easily as revoking the possibility of life to someone they have no knowledge of, much less anyone. Anyone who believes that murder is wrong, must admit that no matter what you believe an inseminated egg to be before any time period to be, it can only become a human being, a life, what I was allowed to become.
Now most people would say this is a fruitless argument, because the concerns of the unborn child should not come before the concerns and welfare of the parents since the established life should not be compromised because of something which has not earned itself a place in society yet. However, this would be as fair as saying to me that I am worthless, simply because the 9 months of pregnancy I caused my mother to go through changed her life for a while. I'd say it was her fault, and she deserved it, and was enough of an honorable person not to compromise the value of my life because of the unplanned manner of its becoming. She most likely knew the risks, and she paid the consequences. She did the rational, responsible thing and knew that despite haing made the mistake and needing to go through with having me despite her not necessarily wanting to, knowing the disturbance it would cause for her, that she was not ready to take care of me adequately, which brings in the option most people discard, as unthinkable. I think their willingness to kill before dealing with things as an honorable human being within the scope of their responsibility based on their actions, well thought out or not, is unthinkable.
I do, however, not believe in the suffering of those who have not made a rational decision to take the risk which sex before wanting children presents. This includes those who are raped. I'm sure there are other circumstances which cause people similar sorts of stress and disturbance which are not at this point worth extrapolating on. In short, I believe in situational abortion, for the sake of those who are not attempting to shirk the responsibility they are due to follow through on. I should clarify this however. While I do not think they should have to suffer through this sort of torture, nor keep the child, I do think that they would be performing an extremely noble deed to let the child live, no matter what its circumstances of becoming. While an abortion at this point would be blameless, it would nonetheless be performing the same deed of disallowing this person life. I do think certain measures would need to be taken to prevent the child from ever knowing of the manner of their conception in situations such as rape, however, since such knowledge would be psychologically damaging beyond anyone's capacity for dealing with torture.
Ultimately I believe in the honor of owning up to the consequences of your actions.
At some digression between my commencement of this classical style essay, and this point, I would like to comment on the nature of feeling behind knowing that I came extremely close to not having he ability to tell you of what it is to know you might never have existed. While we all have become by the slim chance of a certain sperm inseminating a certain egg, by two certain people, most do not have to consider the unlikelihood that after they had been conceived, their parents were completely unwilling to consider keeping them. In this age where most of the people in this society believe in the life of the living, at certain ethical caviats, "we" decide that the living are the sole inheritors of the decision to allow life. "We" believe in the Frankenstein's monster of every human being. I can only imagine what it would be to have never been, or to have only been for a short period of time. It is hard to make a distinction for those who do not believe in the immutability of the soul, that we are not just a collection of chemical reactions, and yet even I find myself worried that that could be true, and yet, I do not think it changes how I believe this issue affects my thoughts. While I accept my animal self, I also believe in the self which inhabits our bodies, or is created at the time of our bodily creation. It truly does not matter which is true. I, as I have mentioned before, am not sure whether it is possible to communicate the fear behind considering the possibility of one's never having existed. I think of the thought that I might never have told anyone any of this, and that it might have never otherwise been said. That is what frightens me.
Now imagine never having read this.