Watching The Practice is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I feel guilty for watching it because there's just too much sex and not enough substance. Tonight, the show totally proved that assertion wrong.
Tonight's episode was about choosing life over death. They showed this in three different ways-
2) choosing to save the baby instead of the mother in the coma
3) a man killed his wife who was suffering from a painful disease.
All three of these situations are about the same things. When is it right to let someone die? Is it right? In the 3rd situation--we discovered that the husband clearly wasn't trying to save his wife from pain--but he was trying to save himself from pain.
In the 2nd situation, the baby would have died if they hadn't delivered her via c-section instead of making the comatose woman deliver naturally--which might have brought her out of her coma.
I think 2 and 3 were there to help us understand abortion a little better.
Abortion has been on my mind this week. We discussed it in class on Thursday and there was an article about abortion in the Washington Post this past week.
2 helps us to see the view that sometimes allowing someone to die in order to let someone live is incredibly painful, but a valid decision.
3 gets more complicated. The show clearly came down on the side against choosing to end someone's life purely to end your own suffering.
I always expect television shows to err on a more liberal side--but as the episode ended--I really felt like the writers were painting a very subtle protest against abortions that are performed for selfish reasons through situation 3.
In my naive world, I can't believe that anyone would ever choose to get an abortion for selfish reasons. I choose to imagine a world where people would agonize over such a choice. And I choose to believe that these choices are made because the woman truly feels that her decision, as painful as it is, is a sacrifice she must make in order to help a child to avoid the pain of neglect and poverty. (I am only trying to empathize and not to judge. I simply will not presume to know the feelings of someone who has had to make this decision.)
I am pro-choice--but against abortion. It's complicated.
I believe that the biggest downfall in this national discussion on right to life and right to choice has been in underestimating the complexities of this choice.
I believe it is a horrible burden to place this task of choosing solely on women. I cry when I think of friends who have agonized over this decision--knowing that they alone would carry the burden of that choice.
Women were never meant to make such choices alone. Children should be conceived in families. And if and when choices need to be made, in a perfect world--they should be made prayerfully, by couples seeking to do what's best for their family.
Unfortunately this isn't a perfect world. And too many women make this choice alone.
Before I step off this soap box--I'm going to state my conclusions--
1) If the government chooses to legalize abortion--they need to take responsibility for the choices being made and provide state sponsored counseling and follow-up with people. Just because it's legal doesn't take away the psychological consequences of the choice. It isn't simple. We need to stop acting like it is. Perhaps then, people might take "making life" a little more seriously.