I first wrote the following article seven years ago and while I do not remember whether there was a specific reason for me to write it – I think it is as relevant today as it was then.
There is much controversy concerning three acts of destruction, religious controversy mostly, and then of course political. There are people who think there need to be laws concerning these three acts – because, they argue, humankind will kill thoughtlessly, on the spur of the moment, without “good cause” unless supervised and – mostly – prohibited by law.
The three acts of destruction are: abortion, divorce, and suicide. Abortion kills the unborn, divorce kills a relationship, and suicide kills the self. In an ideal world, none of the three would ever happen. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t find out, sometimes not immediately at the beginning of the pregnancy, that there is something terribly wrong which threatens the unborn and/or the mother’s life. In an ideal world, only women who want to become pregnant – or are willing to be pregnant – would become pregnant. ~ In an ideal world, relationships would always be mutually respectful and loving, and strong enough to weather the storms. ~ In an ideal world, no one would ever be in so much pain that the only way out is to kill the self.
This world is not ideal. I doubt that a lot of people enjoy having an abortion, or going through a divorce, or the prospect of suicide – or do so lightly, on the spur of the moment. All three acts of destruction should be the very, very last resort, after everything else has failed. But they should remain an option. Legal, safe, without losing one’s dignity or the respect of others.
Let’s be proactive and find ways to prevent what causes so many cases of abortion, divorce, and suicide at this time. Don’t say “Abolish Abortion!” unless you are willing to work on both ends: make sure that women (and men) have the means and education to prevent a pregnancy unless they want to or are willing to become pregnant; and let’s make adoption a reasonable and accepted alternative to aborting an “unwanted” child. Teach men to treat women with respect; teach women to treat men with respect. Make sure that every man who even thinks about raping a woman knows beyond a doubt that should he go through with it, he will be found, prosecuted and convicted. ~ Let us educate young people, our own children and our students in school, what it means and takes to be in a committed relationship, what it means to treat each other with respect and dignity. Let’s show them with our own example. Teach them that hate and disrespect, sarcasm and belittling have no place in a relationship. ~ Let us make sure that we help people who are in pain, physical as well as emotional. Let us make sure they know that there are alternatives and that there is help.
And then, if all else fails, instead of judging or attempting to regulate people who face abortion, divorce, or suicide, let’s do our very best, and then some, to offer our support. Don’t try to walk in their shoes; you can’t.