Monday, June 14, 2010

Support for Abortion rights falls under Democratic rule

Last year, Pew reported a drop in support for abortion rights.

It's alluded to in the article, but I think it needs to be highlighted that some of the drop may be due to the election of Democrats and President Obama in particular.

Take for example, a "pro choice" Republican. Under President Bush, and especially when he had a Republican Congress, theoretically many abortion rights may have been under attack.

Not so under the current environment. With Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, and Obama as President, and even Reid as Senate leader, it is "safe" to be "Pro life".

The issue is not a real life one for most people today.
Each year hundred of thousands if not millions of women have abortions.
The debate continues, and the abortions continue.

So no matter what people say to pollsters or who they vote for, any changes are on the edges.
Things like whether the Healthcare bill will cover abortions. Banning late-term abortions. Forcing women to look at sonograms and receive information before an abortion.

But the essence of the question is whether we should force a woman to continue a pregnancy and give birth. If at 5 weeks she finds she's pregnant, and doesn't want to be. Doesn't want to go through eight months of what it takes: eating differently, exercising, vitamins, doctor visits, etc. Then 18 years of parenting or after all of that giving up the baby for adoption.

It's hard to believe that a country that is accepting gay rights increasingly and unfortunately, is going to take a right away from women that has now been enshrined for close to 40 years.

So it is an interesting note to have the pro-life side gain in the opinion polls when the issue is not really ripe. It is my contention that if it ever really came to punishing people for abortions, as a society we wouldn't do it.

It is intellectually dishonest for the pro-life side to avoid that discussion. If abortion is evil, then the woman committed an evil act. She is not a victim, she is the criminal. The doctor is accomplice not the main actor.

I wish we could be serious on this issue. Accept that women have the right to control their bodies, and work to find ways to both prevent unwanted pregnancies, and encourage life as much as possible.

This would include stronger marriages, better tax policy, more community support, and a change in civil society.

This is one case where Hollywood is actually leading America. Most shows that deal with the issue try to do so in a realistic way and avoid a cartoonish portrayal. However, they usually establish they are pro-choice and then the character choices life. While this is my personal view, we need to go beyond this to actually make a difference. We need to honestly listen and come up with ways to make abortions safe, legal, and rare.

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