Until now, I’ve avoided blogging on the touchy topic of abortion, even though it plays a major role in my first novel, Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz. So many troublesome issues come into play in that book, not the least of which is whether it is okay for a too-young mother-to-be to give birth to a child she cannot possibly care for (and which she wants for all the wrong reasons).

My friends know that I am staunchly pro-choice—with one significant reservation. I acknowledge there is a moral issue underpinning each woman’s decision whether to have an abortion—that being the calculated taking of human life, however nascent, and do not appreciate certain people deliberately omitting this fact from the debate, as I feel it is disingenuous. Putting aside Millie Moskowitz’s tender age (she is twelve years old when faced with this harrowing dilemma), I believe if a woman places that moral precept above all else in choosing to have her baby—whether for religious reasons, hormonal ones, or simply to “err on the side of life” when faced with uncertainty, this is a valid and defensible choice that we, as a society, should support.

My husband begs to differ. He feels there is a bigger moral issue at stake—that of bringing an unwanted life into this world. He believes it wrong to do so even if the woman plans to give her baby up for adoption—especially then. He claims there is no greater moral travesty than to give life to unwanted offspring with the intention of turning that child over to strangers—or worse, the “system”—to raise. What about the many loving, stable couples who cannot have children of their own, you ask? No matter, according to my spouse. There are—and will always be—too many children orphaned or otherwise needing homes that we do not need to deliberately bring more unwanted life into this world. He believes this is selfish, short-sighted, and fallacious.

As an unwelcome (and ostracized) product of his mother’s adultery, perhaps my hubby has a unique slant on this issue. But as a man, I am not sure he gets an equal vote on the moral nuances of carrying and birthing another human being (any more than those obdurate, right-wing, male “pro-lifers” among us). Be that as it may, I was shocked to learn that my guy is even more “pro-choice” than I (if by “pro-choice” we mean choosing to terminate a pregnancy vs. continue it when the child is unwanted or cannot be cared for by its own mother)!

We raged on this issue for the better part of an hour, I insisting that it is always justifiable to err in favor of life if a woman so chooses; he adamantly arguing otherwise. In the end, we agreed to disagree.

In a future post, I will tackle another divisive topic: Parental rights. In Later With Myself, twelve-year-old Millie is pressured by her parents to have an abortion she does not want. As the mother of a daughter now Millie’s age, I am particularly conflicted by this facet of an already thorny issue.

According to Wikipedia, nearly 40 years after the events in Later With Myself took place, 35 states require some type of parental involvement in a minor's decision to have an abortion ( 22 require one or both parents’ consent; 11 require notification of one or both parents; and two require both consent and notification before an elective abortion can be performed on a minor—see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minors_and_abortion). Of the remaining 15, only four states require neither parental consent nor notification (the remainder apparently have consent or notification laws on the books that are “enjoined,” which I assume means suspended or not enforced).

What do you think? Please leave a comment. And please check out Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, available on amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Later-With-Myself-Misadventures-Moskowitz/dp/146354118X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336138105&sr=8-1