Abortion Rights

Abortion Rights is one of the most divisive issues facing America today. At the time of Roe vs. Wade I didn’t care for the fact that a body as small as the Supreme Court made the decision. Little did I realize at the time how the issue would continue to fester for so long. On balance, I support abortion rights, but it is a pretty close call. I would have liked to have had the issue put before the voters – what a donnybrook that would be!

First off, let there be no doubt that I do not support abortions themselves. I have yet to meet anyone who does. Everyone agrees that unwanted children should not be conceived in the first place: that abstinence is best, followed by birth control. While I suppose there are women who are pretty casual about getting an abortion, the few women I have met in the circumstance have really agonized over it.

Second, I have no problem with the governments not funding abortions, should they choose not to do so. Nobody has a right to have someone else pay for the procedure. I’ll be quick to add that paying for an abortion may be the best action to take, not only for the individual, but for society in general.

Third, I am not sure what I think about late-term abortions. They sound like ghastly affairs, but more problematical is the taking of a possibly viable life. I am wary of yielding any ground to the anti-abortion rights advocates, as I’m certain their real goal is to eliminate the right altogether.

The main reason for my support is that I support the ability of those most affected, the would-be mothers, to make their own decisions. I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone, at the point of a gun, how to live their lives, especially something as important as to give birth. While there are troubling moral issues to abortion, a majority of Americans, including many religious leaders, have overcome these issues and support the right. As they have, so have I.

To expand upon this, I believe it is everyone’s right to have control over what happens to their own body, with exceptions (like diseases and punishing crimes) where that right would endanger others.

If abortions are banned, I can predict some fairly ugly results. Does anyone remember all the stories of desperate women and coat-hanger abortions? And what about rape and incest victims? And what if the baby has significant medical problems? The abortion right opponents may talk about “God’s will” and the sanctity of human life, but there’s limits to everything.

December 28, 2002

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