I came across an amusing video at The Onion this morning. “New Law Requires Women To Name Baby, Paint Nursery Before Getting Abortion.” A headline such as this requires little explanation or political education to understand, but it did provoke a thought: how many parents are pro-choice?
My girlfriend’s pregnancy is, by modern medical definitions, considered “high-risk,” which meant there were any number of elaborate tests in her first trimester to verify the health of our child. Sobering stuff, to be sure, and as a result, we had a conversation about what we would do if the baby had major developmental issues. We agreed that we would terminate the pregnancy.
I think, however, if that scenario had arisen, I would have had a very hard time going through with it, and this is something I very definitely would not have felt prior to having JP. I’m not saying I would have attempted to prevent my girlfriend from having an abortion–I’ve been trained in the dialectic of whose body is whose, as befits a NYC liberal. But it would have been very hard, even factoring in the massive emotional, physical, and financial difficulties of raising a child with health problems.
Pregnancy, even for a man, makes one aware of a very simple fact: there’s a human baby floating around inside that belly. Now, again, don’t get me wrong: I’m not arguing against abortion in any legal, ethical, or even moral sense, only a personal one. Neither am I interested in entering into a pointlessly boring political argument about reproductive rights. I just want to acknowledge that having a child can alter the way you feel about abortion, or at least it did in my case.
I’m curious to hear what other parents have to say on the topic. It doesn’t come up all that often in pleasant conversation, if you know what I mean.