The other day, I told my friend that I’m terrified of dying due to someone else’s mistake. With nothing I could do about it. That’s why I prefer driving over flying.
She told me that she’s scared of dying due to her own mistake. That she could possibly die from something minuscule that she did wrong. It’s driving that scares her.
That’s a better summary of the abortion debate than anything I’ve ever seen on CNN.
Can you imagine if someone pro-life, instead of citing “saving innocent children” or God’s ordain, said that it honestly scared them how easily they could have been cancelled at someone else’s hand? That, just like that, they could have been denied the chance to exist and they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it? Can you imagine if someone pro-choice, instead of citing a “woman’s right to her own body,” said that she’s terrified to think that her own tiny momentary decisions could lead to an irreversible consequence? That if she steps on a loose rock, even once, she could bear the brunt of it for the rest of her life and just have to sit and take it because it was her fault? The idea that life could be so unforgiving of our mistakes is terrifying.
When you put it that way, you realize that we’re both operating out of the same exact fear: the fear of powerlessness over our own lives. It’s a universal human fear and always has been. To explore it, we’ve taken that fear and cast ourselves in a play—just, different characters. Same fear.
Opening ourselves up this much, understanding each other this deeply, may not change anything about how we feel about abortion, but it would change everything about the way we treat each other when we talk about it. Which would change…just about everything we did from there.