Wednesday, July 09, 2008
An alternative to abortion?
I saw this notice on a wall of New England Medical Center, somewhere around orange line New England Medical Center T-station. What caught my attention is the offer to take in any unwanted baby without any question asked. I think this is a viable alternative that will discourage abortion. In the past, I always thought that giving up a child for adoption is a realistic way out of unwanted pregnancy, is an ideal practice. Now, I have finally witnessed a live example of an organization that puts it into practice. I believe Tufts-NEMC offers a convenient alternative to protects the anonymity of the parents. Due to the established reputation of the medical center, the anonymous parents' guilt could also be mitigated.
However, this does not solve the problem of premarital sex or unwanted pregnancy (I am assuming that most unwanted pregnancies are results of premarital sex). This alternative could only decrease the likelihood of abortion. To reduce the tendency of premarital sex or unwanted pregnancy, I think we have to fall back on sex education, and to provide convenient ways for couples to obtain various forms of artificial contraception.
I anticipate many would object to that suggestion and insist that we should put all hands on deck to discourage the idea of sex in the first place. Unless we can monopolize our media, and our culture to such an extent that all citizens would agree to draft "premarital sex or unwanted pregnancy to be an act punishable by death or equitable to a prison term" as part of our civil law, I would say that we can only influence people's choice and not coerce them. To this end, I would suggest that when incorporating materials in sex education, we should strive to help the participants to:
1) be conscious of the fact that all of us are sensuous creatures;
2) be aware that there are temptations around us. Given the influence of mass media, it is easy to interpret pre-marital sex as something essential to one's ego or image. We have a choice in deconstructing that image;
3) know that we can prevent unwanted pregnancy from taking place in the first place, if we take the necessary precaution;
4) raise their consciousness to a level where they could identify their temptations so that they can learn to avoid putting themselves in situation that fosters their temptations;
5) know that there are many fine examples of young men and women who believe and practice safe sex within the context of a marriage life;
6) believe that we have the choice to choose sex after marriage, and to choose safe sex.
Having said that, I must acknowledge that premarital sex or unwanted pregnancy is a phenomenon that is gradually being accepted in the society. As a citizen who believes in the value of human life, my moral duty is to help myself and others recognize that abortion is not the only alternative.