Friday, November 07, 2008

Abortion


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.

8 comments:

jenn said...

Ok, I hate abortion. I don't hate the females that have abortions but I do hate the act. I wish abortion was illegal and that there would be serious consequences for those who have abortions. I understand a female not wanting to have a child. I understand that sometimes it may not be in her power to prevent the pregnancy. However, I do believe that we should not be killing the unborn child. Give the child a chance! I wish women weren't so selfish when it comes to pregnancy and having babies. If a girl is raped and becomes pregnant I believe that it is her responsibility to care for the unborn child and then to care for the child after it is born. If she doesn't want the child it should be given up for adoption. If the girl (or woman) had consenting sex then it is not just up to the girl to do as she wishes with the unborn baby. The man involved should have a say also. I am "pro life". I am anti abortion. I am not "pro choice". The only choice that should be involved is whether to raise the child as your own or to give it to another family to raise. And,in a way, I do believe that abortion is murder. I think a person taking someone's life who has no ability to fight back is murder. It's pure selfishness!

casey said...

ok first of all i can't stand people who judge other for the actions they choose to do in their lives. you can never truly know what you would do in any given situation. you can say you disagree with something and say you believe it wrong for you to do. but to look down at some one for doing something you think or even know is wrong, is so hypocritical. because as i understand it sin is sin. and i believe in your point charles, what these women need is love, not more condemnation. in my opinion only God can,and should, judge.

jenn said...

Casey,
I am just wondering if your comment is directed toward me or if it's just a general comment.

Mark said...

Just a few random musings on this discussion:

Charles, point well taken, you are right that the word "murder" is not the appropriate word choice. Maybe "homicide" is the better choice?

Jenn, there is a lot of selfishness in all of our sins.

Casey, all you have to do is look at the examples of how Christ confronted sinners. He was brutally confrontational with those that pretended to be perfect (like the priests.) and showed compassion to those who were hurting (like the woman at the well). That compassion and willingness to forgive has to be part of the equation.

J.R., I too think you are on to something with the accountability versus judgement. If I can see you are about to walk off a cliff, I would fail as a human if I didn't warn you and try to stop you. Am I judging you at this point?

Charles, I see your point, but I am fearful of just wringing my hands and saying, "the battle is lost." I have struggled with the concept of being politically active as a Christian. Both parties represent so much corruption and wrong thinking that I find it hard to stomach voting for either.

Still Hurting said...

Mark,

Excellent comments! Thank you for those well put thoughts.

Still Hurting said...

Okay Charles, this line bothers me: If you oppose abortion on moral and religious grounds, then you need to get it together.
If we are US Citizens, we are under US law. But if we are Christians, we are under God's law. So therefore, Christians in the US live by 2 laws, essentially. Those who oppose abortion for moral and/or religious reasons have every right to do so becuase they are supporting God's law. However, I do agree that the US government will not and should not make laws based on religious fanaticism. But telling a good, moral, CHRISTIAN person to "get it together" because they are standing up for a higher law is absurd on your part. We have the right to disagree with and question US law but are obligated to follow them. We do not have the right to question God's law.

Charles North said...

That's true. By "get it together" I meant use smart legal tactics to ensure less abortion.

Charles North said...

Okay, I have taken Mark's advice. Commenting will be allowed, but I will moderate those comments first. Only comments actually dealing with the post will be allowed. Comments dealing with my personal life will not be allowed. I hope that is fair.