Conversations about abortion take place on many different levels, including medical, legal, political, and moral.
Most lawyers would agree that the constitutional basis for legalized abortion is flawed, and that Roe v. Wade is the perfect example of the ends justifying the mind-numbing means. Justice Harry Blackmun wanted to protect his friends in the medical profession from criminal prosecution. He figured that he could gain points with women in the process. So he essentially created a right to a medical procedure out of penumbras. Not exactly a stellar moment in constitutional history. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Ruth Bader Ginsberg, no shirk in the ACLU-NOW-NARAL department. Justice “G” criticized the method (if not the madness) of Roe.
As far as doctors, the ones at CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment can tell you that medical advances, including the ability to save lives still in the womb, have essentially decimated that whole first, second and third trimester framework established in Roe. If you can operate on a child at the 23rd week of pre-birth life, doesn’t that mean you should think twice before allowing Mom to eliminate it in the 24th?
And then we have the political, which of course has become a sticking point in the upcoming election. The women who are manning the barricades of the spurious war against them think the sky is falling in states where anti-abortion legislation proliferates. And they see the Catholic church’s justifiable anger at the violation of religious freedoms in the birth control area as another, creeping attack on the ‘right to choose.’
But it’s in the moral realm where the most heated debates take place. Abortion supporters learned long ago that it helps to talk about the rights of the woman and shift attention away from the child.
More importantly, they are desperate to prove that abortion is a ‘difficult’ choice that no woman really wants to make.
And they really want us to believe that it takes ‘courage’ to have an abortion, as a recent writer for the New York Times opined.
We can disagree about the law.
We can disagree about the science.
We can even disagree about the politics of reproductive autonomy.
What we can’t do, though, is delude ourselves into believing that it takes more courage to destroy a growing fetus than it does to allow that child to be born. We can’t pretend that it is more selfless to use abortion as birth control than it is to give birth and then gift that child to loving, adoptive parents.
What we really can’t do is buy into that ‘choice’ rhetoric about how no one knows what hell a woman goes through when faced with an unwanted pregnancy.
We know it’s hard to be pregnant, especially if you don’t want to be.
Living is sometimes hard.
But it’s a lot worse never to have that ‘choice’ in the first place.