CHOICE? YES? NO?


WHY WE CANNOT AGREE

If I were asked to participate in deliberations prior to a decision to have an abortion or not, I would counsel in the negative nearly all the time. The exceptions would be the safety of the mother. I am glad my position has never been put to the test – very glad! This is my personal belief and I do not think it should govern any person other than myself. I firmly believe decisions concerning abortions should be a private matter for families and doctors to decide. Let me be clear: I am personally opposed to abortions and in favor of choice for all others. I believe abortion should be regulated by government in the same way all other medical procedures are regulated.

My position on abortion is the result of the following conclusions: (1) Only two events occur in the gestational period which offer the precision required to unambiguously signal the beginning of a Human life. They are the moment of conception and the drawing of the first breath. I have no idea which moment signals the beginning of life – no one else knows either. My preference is the first of the two presented. (2) It is not within the realm of the politically possible in the United States to reach a consensus about anything concerning abortion. This fact results directly from the rigid ideological positions adopted by zealots of both sides of the abortion issue and the coarse dialog that ensues. The slight possibility of an informed and civil dialog concerning the issue of abortion is rendered nil through the use the abortion issue as a wedge issue to gain political advantage. This will not change until the voters of the USA demand that it change – snowballs in Hades somehow comes to mind. (3) In the absence of political consensus concerning abortion issues, the “state” should adopt the regulatory position which is least restrictive of the autonomy of the “family” unit and leave medical decisions to the “family”, made in private.

I have thought about the issue of abortion for many years and the discourse above is the product. I am personally at peace with the issue of abortion. However, I am not sanguine about the prospects for an informed and civil discourse during the 2012 elections and beyond. Where are all the STATESMEN? They seem to be missing in action.

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