I've always been a supporter of the pro-life front: I always felt absurd not to acknowledge that a human life is worthy of respect upon conception. Certainly this view is also based on my faith, but I do not think it takes a Catholic to see that a child in the womb has, from the beginning, their own new genetic worth, their own principles of life (independent of that of the mother) and a little heart beating like that of anyone else.
It only takes a pinch of reason, common sense and a basic scientific knowledge. And yet, the world seems to go in another direction.
In fact, the idea that abortion is in every respect a woman's right, a guarantee no matter the reason, has been a common notion for a long time in many countries. It does matter that there even more important problems – health, economic or otherwise ... A woman finds herself expecting an unwanted child, must have the choice to reject it.
The ever-increasing liberalization of abortion
Evidencing this liberalization of abortion are efforts to implement legislation in various countries.
Take for example the case of France, where there are attempts to eliminate conscientious objection and to limit all those actions that will reflect on the act to be taken out by the woman.
The purpose? To ensure abortion classified as a right, among others, a right for all purposes and not as a "last resort", because this would not do justice to the free choice of women.
Thus, there are numerous countries in which pro-life campaigners are challenging efforts to guarantee women the opportunity to have an abortion even in the latest stages of pregnancy. This is the case, for example, of Britain , where many want to increase the number of weeks of pregnancy during which abortion may still occur.
The so-called right to abortion is articulated in law
These are just a few examples. I could give you more, but these are enough to illustrate that the notion is spreading in many countries that call themselves “first world”: the tendency to enhance the freedom of some (women and doctors) and the neglecting rights of others (the unborn).
As we know, this process is also taking place among policymakers and legislative bodies. And what the law says, in the collective imagination, it is "sacred," that is, becomes “legitimate”, especially in a climate of rampant relativism, where it is hard to find other indicators to determine what is right and what is wrong.
So what is the consequence? Pro-lifers are considered fanatics or culturally backward
The conscientious objector or anyone claiming an anti-abortion position is considered a fanatic, even subversive, just because they are opposed an alleged right guaranteed by law.
Expressing opposition to abortion means to be victims of a cultural heritage or a religious belief that clashes with the setting of a secular state.
Countries like Sweden and Finland, where conscientious objection does not exist, are therefore regarded as models of civilization and progress; whereas countries such as Italy and Portugal, where there are a large number of objectors, are considered "backward."
Real freedom is not achieved by trampling the rights of others
What is ignored, however, is that true freedom cannot be achieved by treading on the rights of others. In a democracy founded on the assumption that all members of the population have equal dignity, the notion of expanding the freedoms of some to the detriment of the rights of others (in this case the unborn child) should actually be unthinkable. The real problem, though, is that the child who is in the belly is not considered a human being, and thus not entitled to rights.
A personal experience
If I had always considered abortion a grave offense against small defenceless lives, when I discovered I was pregnant I fully understood the absurdity of thinking of that violation as a right...
I remember that, at the first visit (made during the gestational period in which abortion in Italy is still permitted) I heard my son's heartbeat.
I was moved and I thought: "How can you be so blind and deaf not to recognize that this child is a living human being?"
He was inside me, yes, but it was not an appendage of my body: it was another living being ... that was not there before, and now was, asking me to be loved, protected.
Without me he would die (as indeed die a baby if left to himself) ... but I did not see why the fact that tiny little being depended on me would allow me to decide whether it would live.
Love of life and freedom of women: when doctors also experience a contradiction
What left me down, however, was the behaviour of the doctor who examined me.
In front of the monitor, she excitedly indicated my son, showing me the different parts of his body. I remember that her gruffness, with which she had welcomed me at first (“my son was another medical occurrence”, I thought), literally disappeared in front of my child: during the scans, this ‘puppy’ (as she call my baby) she softened and became another person.
Yet, after the visit, we were seated at the desk, she began to talk about prenatal testing and told me there was "still time" to make a diagnosis on the health of the foetus and therefore whether to keep it or not.
It seemed surreal: two minutes before we were both in front of the monitor, smiling at the movements of my son.
Together we heard the heartbeat.
And then I found myself to tell me that it was up to me to decide on the fate of the little being.
"I keep it anyway, healthy or sick," I said firmly.
The doctor then continued: "If you think you’ll keep the child in any case, I do not recommend this type of visits, as they are very invasive for the woman".
I say this without embarrassment: those words provoked in me a deep sense of outrage, because I heard that my son was being wronged.
The law and the health system cared only for me: the invasiveness of visits that I had to undergo, and did not take into account the right of my child to live.
In my case, the problem did not exist ... I'd decided to keep it, of course. I felt it was unfair that it was left to me to decide.
Since that day, more than ever I have wanted to live in a state in which children have the same rights as their parents, before and after birth ... Yes, from that day more than ever, I dream of circumstances where the doctors, after showing me my son on that monitor, saying: "This life is within you, but it is another human being, and don’t you dare touch him!”