We were leaving a neighborhood pool the other day when we walked past a mini-van with a bumper sticker that read Abortion Stops a Beating Heart. I did not pay it any mind. In fact I would not have noticed it if my 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte, had not pointed it out with the question “Mom, what is abortion?”
Gulp. No matter what your feelings are on abortion, it is a tough question to answer. It was truly one of those moments when I had to say “I will tell you later.” What later meant - after I talk with your dad about how to answer this question.
The reason I wanted to give a good answer was because when I about Charlotte’s age the legal abortion controversy was being fought in the Supreme Court. One morning before mass at our Catholic Church they were handing out bumper stickers against it like music books. When I asked my mother what abortion was, she quickly told me as we took our seat in the pew. I sat in mass dumbfounded.
So I wanted to give her the right answer in a thoughtful way. One reason it is tough for me to answer this question is that my feelings on the subject conflict. I would never have one. I know several women who have had one and regret it. However, I also know a couple of women who have had one because they had no other option. They do not regret it. This is where my Catholic faith and my views of people being able to make their own decisions collide.
Another reason I wanted to have a prepared answer is because Charlotte rarely asks just one question about a subject. There are frequently follow-up questions. I anticipated she would ask how the procedure is done, have I had one or know anyone who has. Again, since I have never been put in the position to make that choice, I only know what I have read, which is little.
I approached my husband about it to which he responded "uh oh." We agreed on answer on what it is in a clinical sense. We do not agree on our position. His views are more liberal than mine. In our nearly 20 years together, we have agreed to disagree. We decided if Charlotte asked our feelings on it, we would give her both our opinions. I think it shows that spouses can love each other deeply, get along, but not always have the same views.
So finally, when it came time to answer, my husband started what abortion is, she interrupted him. “Is it when a baby that is just been planted (conceived) is taken from the mom’s womb?” she asked. “Yes,” we answered together. “Okay, I don’t want to know any more,” she said.
I guess the rest of the questions will come later or maybe not.