Friday, November 07, 2008
One of my reasons I gave for voting for Obama (#15) was about abortion. Since then some people have said they don’t understand how abortion can be a non-issue for me. I appreciate the chance to clarify. And remember, this blog is about CLEAR THINKING. So, what is my own personal view? Abortion IS an issue for me – on a moral and religious level. Who the president is does not affect the issue at all. I am opposed to abortion. However, I reject both “pro life” and “pro choice” labels. I am anti abortion, but pro choice. I believe that women should CHOOSE to have the child. Scripture gives this choice in Deuteronomy 30: “I set before you today life and death; blessings and curses. Now choose life.” I think abortion is morally reprehensible! However, all polls indicate that the majority of Americans think abortion ought to remain legal - therefore I am in the minority on this issue. What am I going to do? Force my religious views on the rest of the country? Laws in the United States are not made on the basis of religious teaching or conviction. They are utilitarian because we are a secular nation.
From a LEGAL standpoint I think that Roe v Wade (1973) was a terrible decision - an abominable interpretation of the Constitution. Even liberal law professors (Lawrence Tribe of Harvard) admit this. Both liberals and conservatives need to understand (and I don’t think they do) that if Roe v Wade is overturned, it will not make abortion illegal. It will simply return the issue to the states. At that point all 50 state legislatures will determine their own abortion laws. This is the way federalism works. And, since most Americans want to see abortion kept legal, I don’t believe that any state will ban it outright. Overturning Roe v Wade will have virtually zero effect on abortion in America. Roe v Wade simply incorporated the 14th Amendment so that one state's allowing abortion applies to the other 49 states. Most Americans, including politicians, seem to not understand this.
If you oppose abortion on moral and religious grounds, then you need to get it together. The virulent rhetoric lends the impression of religious fanaticism, and no law in the United States will ever be made on the basis of religious fanaticism. Calling abortion “murder” further marginalizes religious conservatives. You may think abortion is “unjustified killing,” but it is not murder. “Murder” has a meaning. It is the intentional taking of a human life in a manner that is illegal. Abortion is not illegal. In order to have a seat at the table of rational debate, we should all use the language we’ve agreed on – English! I have looked into the distressed eyes of women contemplating this decision, and what they need is love, compassion, and hope – not anger, fanaticism, and labels. And they really don’t need any more laws.