By: Chris Buerke, Students for Life of America's 2012 Missionary for Life
Now before all the pro-abortion, Planned Parenthood enthusiasts, who are reading this blog for their daily dose of anger, start uncapping their markers to write signs like “My body, my choice” or (my absolute favorite and legitimately punny) “Republicans cannot defetus”…let me explain what I mean.
Rather…let this guy explain what I mean because he’s old and more knowledgeable/bitter than I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYMqDabaSMk
So, abortion = pants. For those of you who just skipped the video, your inner-English-major is probably attempting to make sense of that comparison to no avail. Trying on pants at the store is the worst…abortion is the worst. That must be it. But no, it goes much deeper than mutual suckage.
That old guy, Barry Schwartz, talks about how when he was younger, the world didn’t really offer him a whole lot of choices when it came to pants. You had what was available and that was it. But at some point, all these choices entered the store and you had…straight-fit, relaxed-fit, skinny, boot cut, bell-bottoms, etc. And I don’t know about you, but none of them ever seem to fit. The store is either out of your size, or they have what should be your size…but the company that makes the jeans uses a different numbering scale than the rest of the world, and should you go back to get a bigger size, then the store is out of those. It’s a nightmare. It’s not as simple as knowing what you want, going into the store, and leaving with a pair of pants that eventually you will grow to love.
Because you have all these options, you have a completely new expectation of what jeans should be like. It becomes complex, and a 5-minute trip to the store turns into an hour. And even after that hour, you are not completely satisfied because you figured that with so many choices, you should have been able to find the perfect pair of pants. Where we thought the choice would help us, it made life more difficult.
One can argue that the debate over life has become the same way. It used to go like this:
Woman: I’m pregnant.
Doctor: Congrats. It’ll be a boy or a girl.
Woman: Great! Life is swell.
But now, unfortunately, it’s more like this:
Woman: I’m pregnant.
Doctor: Congrats. Do you plan on keeping it? Do you want to put it up for adoption? Do you want to terminate the pregnancy? Suction aspiration? Dilation and curettage? Saline injection? Partial-birth abortion?
Where choosing life used to be the norm, women are now presented with a bunch of choices. Where the decision used to be simple, women are thrown into a complex scenario that involves the weighing of many different aspects of their lives. And because women have to choose, they are held personally responsible for whatever their decision might be.
We fall into this trap of thinking that more and more choices will set us free because with so many options, the world is limitless. It becomes exactly what we want. Or rather, it becomes exactly what we expect. And this is what leads us to unhappiness. When we have the “choice” to control our lives, our bodies, and our families, we end up with what is ideal. But we eliminate the ability to be surprised; to be taken off guard by the things that we cannot expect. Simply, choices limit us.
However, if we are able to accept that life is not a choice, but a blessing, then we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed with unexpected moments.
((For more Barry Schwartz: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html ))