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by Violet

I don’t know if it’s our ego getting in the way of us admitting that we don’t really know as much as we pretend to, or if we are just programmed to ignore the fact that there are no real answers in life. There is no rule book, because we’re all living for the first time.

Which makes it so bizarre that we rely on tradition to guide us when we know that everyone before us simply followed the people before them, and the same people who decided to make marriage a legal institution also thought slavery was a great idea. There are still places in this world where child brides and female genital mutilation is the norm. That’s the power of tradition. It’s so hard to put an end to what is ‘normal’.

But if we wiped the slate clean, if we didn’t look to our parents or our grandparents or their predecessors for guidance. If we didn’t view marriage and monogamy as the norm, but merely as options, and there was no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to be with someone, what would you want? What would make you happy?

My views on so many things in life have changed so drastically over the past few years. I used to think being pro choice was a no-brainer. Of course women should have a right to decide what to do with their own bodies! No uterus, no opinion!

But what happens when there is a body inside your body? What happens when your decision means someone else doesn’t even get to exist? We love to boast of our intelligence, and looking around at the world we’ve created, you cannot deny the genius of humanity. But what does it mean to be human? Given how little we know about consciousness, and how much we know about human development, it is very hard to argue that life doesn’t begin at conception.

Once you begin to understand that those ‘clumps of cells’ the size of a kidney bean is the perfect possibility of a human being, it is very hard to argue that abortion is not the destruction of life. I understand there are children born into poverty, born into war zones, born into families that never wanted them, and we start to believe that abortion is the better option. But when did death become better than suffering, and who are we to decide that only a comfortable life is worth living? Life is not meant to be perfect, life is meant to be lived. What a pity that humanity loves to kill, but will not plead guilty to murder. Yes, they are only cells. But wait, what are you made of again?

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