I see that there has been an appropriate ventue opened. I'm glad.
Threadbear, guy, thanks for talking about your own experience and for the difficulty of that experience and for the difficulty in coping with it. Thank you for talking about the learning you had from it. I would hope that everybody who is part of that particular experience processes it as deeply and thoroughly as you have and as you do. I wouldn't demand that you come out of the experience with a different conclusion, but, buddy, I wouldn't demand that you come out with the same one either. I would only hope that you come out of it with a sense of having looked your actions and the actions of your partner as deeply in the face as you have.
The conclusions that you come to are not conclusions that I would draw for you, nor are they conclusions that I would demand that you hold. The process by which you came to them, though, are everything that I could have asked for in terms of honesty and depth.
The tough part about this sort of thing is that there are people who seem to go through this sort of process and seem utterly untouched by it. I find this a bit of a shock personally, that people could go through this sort of thing and not have some sort of serious reaction to it, but it is true, I've seen it myself. If you've spent much time around people who've been through the process, then you've seen it too, I suspect. I don't know what you make of it, but there it is.
There are also people who come out of the process, after having been through the same sort of confrontantion you have and they are in a different place than you aned your partner have reached. The experience has touched them in different places and in different ways. My observation is that the effect is just as genuine, it's simply. . .different than your experience. The experience itself is just as powerful, but it catches them along different personal dimensions, and it changes them differently.
I don't ask that you agree with their conclusions and more than I would feel comfortable asking them to agree with yours. I would and do feel comfortable asking that each of you respect that eachj of you has been and continues to be profoundly affected by and even shaken by the experience, and that the experience has had and continues to have a life-long transformative effect. Even a close brush with the experience has that effect.
I find it sad that folks mis this essential fact about each other, when there is more in common about coming in contact with the experience than there is polarizing in it. Nobody comes away unchanged.
It is the expectation that each of us has a monopoly on rightness that does the damage here.
My own feeling is that you cannot take the choice away from people. I don't mean that you can't make it illegal; you certainly can. But the choice is one that will always be there and must always be made. Every child deserves the right to the understanding that it was decided that it should be born, not that it was a mistake or a piece of laziness that allowed a birth to happen. That should be part of every child's birthright. There should be no question about that. Ever.
No child should think that it came into the world because it was easier than getting rid of it. I've met more than my share of those.