Father Tyler grumbles on his thirtieth birthday that to NARAL and other defenders of women's personal autonomy, "I was just a choice." Father Tyler seems to think that "choice" isn't a terribly thrilling thing.
Permit me to muck about in Father Tyler's worldview for a moment to remind him that we are all the result of a choice. We all exist at the whim of a higher power who can choose to take us out at any moment.
But that's different, says the Fr. Tyler homunculus I draft for myself this morning. You can't equate the choice of the Holy Father with the choice of a mere human being.
True, I reply. The choice of the human being—ah, but let's be specific, the choice of the woman bearing the child—requires more sacrifice. I don't have any omnipotent, supernatural friends to check this with, but my guess is that we don't burden God all that much with our existence. If we do, a million more or a million less of us don't really affect His/Her/Its daily workload of worry, forgiveness, prayer response, and whatever else occupies a deity's time (assuming time is a relevant concept to the Almighty).
But for one woman, choosing whether to carry one child, that choice is monumental. She faces changes in her body, an excruciating delivery, and life-changing responsibility. She faces questions, moral criticism, and her conscience. If she chooses to have a child, she exercises and sacrifices her personal autonomy in a way that has no parallel among deities.
Yes, Father Tyler, you and I and all our parishioners (I use the term colloquially on my end) are the result of choices. That does not diminish our worth. You might even argue that it increases our worth to originate from the free and intentional decisions of women unfettered by legal restrictions on their personal autonomy.