Last week we looked at a Ben Franklin quote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Once I began exploring how that jewel of wisdom might apply to current issues, it was hard to find an off ramp. Here’s another example.
Roe vs. Wade has been in the news lately with people on both sides expressing their opinions, some with more civility than others. Shouting is a poor way to solve a problem. Maybe a respectful conversation about prevention would be more productive.
Although the original Supreme Court ruling was overturned on June 24th, that won’t end abortion and may not significantly decrease it. Instead it will shift such procedures to states with pro-choice politics. Major corporations are adding out-of-state abortion coverage and mail-order pharmaceutical options already provide “Here today – Gone tomorrow” convenience.
The Macon Telegraph ran a feature in May about seven women who had opted for abortions. I may not be remembering the facts precisely, but a couple of stories especially got my attention.
One lady terminated two pregnancies because of severe health complications. The first child was missing vital organs and doctors said there was no way the baby could survive. The second time was due to toxemia, a condition described as deadly for the mother.
She and her husband already had children and wanted more. Abortion for her was a heartrending choice made in the belief it was the right thing to do. Some will disagree, but I can’t say she was wrong.
On the other end of the spectrum was a single woman who had opted for three abortions due to timing and economics. That could be a dilemma, but I’d suggest she consider Ben Franklin’s advice. Prevention for her may necessitate a lifestyle change, like taking up a new hobby. Abortion as a backup plan for failed birth control seems callous at best. At worst it seems akin to child sacrifice. Some will disagree, but I can’t see how it’s right.
Regarding prevention, sex education needs to emphasize responsible behavior. It would be of tremendous value if the entertainment industry would help solve a problem it has been a leader in creating and fostering.
During my childhood, television shows were almost always family friendly. That gradually shifted over time, however, with storylines glamorizing multiple partners in pursuit of recreational sex. The more the merrier has become a running theme while those on the sidelines are generally portrayed as clueless losers.
Popular comedies like Cheers, Seinfeld, and Friends often equate trysts with success and celibacy as a personal shortcoming. I’m guilty of laughing along with millions of others, but morality has taken a big hit through such humor. Today’s prevalent message in television, movies, music, and the real-life examples of many celebrities is that happiness comes by sleeping around.
I saw a TV ad in May featuring a handsome man and voluptuous woman somewhere in the wild. The announcer asked, “Will they find love in the jungle?” Most grownups understand it’s not love they are likely to find, but kids and young people are being indoctrinated with false definitions as words are increasingly misappropriated. And adults are not immune.
Years ago a fellow bank employee loaned me a movie titled “A Walk to Remember.” It was a touching story of a high-school girl who was ostracized because of her faith-based values. Eventually she gained respect from unlikely sources. Perhaps that type movie should be included in sex-education programs. It’s a small step toward prevention, but sometimes it only takes an ounce.
But what about a young woman who’s pregnant and doesn’t know where to turn? In our area there’s a free resource, Daybreak, that compassionately offers a number of services to expectant mothers. Such providers need to be accessible everywhere. It’s still prevention but with a different purpose.
And every expectant mother who is contemplating abortion neeeds to be aware there are loving people waiting to adopt children. When prevention of an unwanted pregnancy fails, the next opportunity is to prevent the intentional conclusion of a life just beginning.
I don’t know what happens in the hereafter to the unborn. Maybe abortion is the end and there’s nothing beyond. If, however, the God who knows us before we’re formed in the womb chooses to nurture and mature those souls, we’ll have a lot of apologizing to do.
Shouting is a poor way to solve a problem, whereas Ben Franklin’s wisdom might be a means toward a “Here today – Here tomorrow” respectful conversation. Some will disagree, but prevention in this matter could offer a higher than usual return. An ounce of prevention might be worth six to eight pounds of cure.