In the early 90s, abortion was a hot topic and led to stories like a Christian fanatic killing an abortion doctor; you know, the thing you expect of a “spiritual” person who is against murder (some people really are special). For some reason abortion has once again become a hot topic (there must not be a relevant war or an election going on). This time, however, it’s without the media flare I had as a kid. When I was young it was like “Did you hear about the guy who killed the guy who killed babies? Crazy right?” Now, it’s more like “Did you hear about the abortion stuff? People are mad on both sides… it’s not very interesting.” I know part of the problem with abortion is how far along a mother should be allowed to be before abortion should no longer be an option. For instance, someone who is okay with abortion at four months may not be okay with the baby being aborted at eight months. Personally, I’m glad I’m not a politician who has to vote on that because life is literally in your hands. Unfortunately, the main current abortion debate seems to be the old standard fight of: Are you for or against abortion? As someone who heard this debate twenty years ago, it seems like old news, but what really bugs me is this debate misses the bigger problem: Why aren’t we more worried about the root cause? To me the bigger issue is why are people getting pregnant who don’t want kids? If people stopped getting accidentally pregnant, the abortion debate becomes null and void because a woman who isn’t pregnant isn’t getting an abortion (obviously). Maybe if all the money and energy spent lobbying against abortions was put into promoting pregnancy prevention, there’d be less need for abortions. Maybe instead of rehashing the same debate for twenty years, we should take a different angle.
This idea of not getting pregnant would also prevent a lot of unnecessary suffering and not just the damage questioning whether to have an abortion or not can cause. My wife and I dated for nine years before we were married and during that time we never had a single pregnancy scare. Even if she was late, there was never a second thought about it being more than her just being late, which meant we were spared a lot of unnecessary suffering. Why were we never scared? Because we never had sex (and somehow our relationship survived – strange). Please know I’m not promoting abstinence (I’d like to, especially if my daughter reads this one day) because the word abstinence makes people cringe. It’s as if abstinence means only holding hands if you’re wearing oven mitts. Instead, I’m promoting respecting sex (and each other). Sex is a wonderful gift from God, but it shouldn’t be something we casually do. Putting a sensitive part of your body into another person or letting someone put his body part (potentially dirty if he hadn’t just showered) into your body should not be done lightly (I was going for gross), especially when this can lead to emotional trauma/attachments, viruses being passed, and babies being made. Maybe if movies and media stopped promoting one night stands and “f” buddies and started promoting the idea of respect there wouldn’t be so many sex related problems in our society.
What I don’t get is why TV and media promote “sex” when there are so many other physically intimate things we can do without it. This is basically the stuff women complain their husbands don’t want to do because he just wants to skip ahead to sex (aka foreplay). By just promoting sex, women ultimately miss out on having better sex one day because the guy won’t realize there are other things to offer than just his “sensitive part.”
More to the point, physical intimacy shouldn’t be what you use to make emotional intimacy; they should be working together in balance to grow a healthy relationship because physical intimacy should match the emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy isn’t just being horny or saying “But I love him,” it’s a connection that means you’re devoted to each other and the relationship; it’s a connection that helps you through the bad times and makes a relationship worth fighting for.
Having a baby should be an exciting and wonderful time, but when you’re not ready, it can be terrifying. Fortunately, NOT getting pregnant is easy. People have sex and not get pregnant all the time. Part of this is because there are like two days a cycle a woman can get pregnant. Plus, here’s a tip: Both people should use protection in case the one doesn’t work. This is particularly wise if a woman is really in the mood and it’s not because she just watched a movie with James McAvoy (my wife’s crush) because she’s likely at her fertile time. Women naturally want sex when their body is “ready.” (If you’re not sure how to protect yourself, talk to your doctor.)
So often in conflict, we get stuck on the surface of the fight. For instance, whether you are for or against abortions, we are missing the source of the problem: People are getting unnecessarily pregnant because they and their partners are not protecting themselves or their partners. Whether you are for or against abortions, I hope we can all agree that there should be fewer unwanted pregnancies in the world because life is hard enough without the unnecessary suffering and trauma an oops can bring.
This week may you consider how we can help prevent so much unnecessary hurt.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people