Normally, I tend to avoid discussions on abortion. Just bad form old boy, very bad form. The reason is rather simple, and I am sure you are used to them too.
Visceral Reactions, no matter what your take is on the subject. Nobody agrees, everyone has their own point of view. The Middle Ground? Is for whoosies.
But the subject has come to the forefront lately. With two States, Georgia and Alabama, enacting new laws that for all intents and purposes, outlaw abortion. Neither of these laws will survive for long, and both will die in the courts, to be ignored by the Supreme Court.
All of this is, of course, political posturing. Reactions from Republican lawmakers in response to Democratic lawmakers in response to Conservative picks for the Supreme Court in response to the election of Donald J. Trump who we must hate, because we lost. Did you get all that? Yeah, that is politics folks.
But Social Media has exploded with opinions, options as the where to go, and general nastiness, to tell you how mean and evil you are if you don’t agree with their opinion. All the while, Sea Turtles are snickering over the matter.
See, in the State of Georgia, who basically fired the first salvo on the Conservative side of the issue, it is illegal to disturb Sea Turtle eggs. You can get in a lot of trouble over that. Sea Turtles, like the Loggerhead one pictured above, are an endangered species. So, Georgia, along with the United States Government, protect them. You know, which they should.
Then of course, someone on twitter had to ask the question. Why are sea turtles protected more than human fetuses? (paraphrasing the tweet here). Yeah, that comment went over well.
Egg comparisons have gone wild, you know, why is okay to eat a chicken egg, but not okay to abort a fetus? Aren’t they the same? Maybe to cannibals, but no, not the same. Nor is the sea turtle, endangered or not.
The Conservative side of the issue is rather straightforward. It is immoral to abort an unborn child. That thing inside a pregnant woman? yeah, that is a human being. Toss in a little Biblical scripture, add some horrible pictures on posters and voila! You are an evil monster for wanting to kill a child!
On the Liberal side it gets a little more complicated. One, that thing inside a pregnant woman? Since it inhabits her body, she has the determining right to decide what to do with it. She shouldn’t be forced to carry, deliver, and raise that thing inside her. Self-determination is the cornerstone of the argument.
Obviously the issue is that Thing, and our inability to define it.
Like it or not, both sides have merit. A human being can only come from a female human being. Despite the endless parent jokes? Kids are not found under a rocks. Storks do not deliver babies, and the burden of the human species? Rests upon the female for 9 months. Then of course there is the whole nurturing aspect, but that is another subject.
Yet, nowhere else on the planet, are you going to find another place humans can come from, than from a woman. This single fact works in the favor of both sides, with Conservatives having a slight edge, because Humans beget Humans, Sea Turtles beget Sea Turtles. These are the facts of life folks.
Yet we currently protect the Sea Turtles more than we protect the Humans. That is a fact of society. We put a moral value on the sea turtle that we don’t necessarily apply to our own species. Even though our species? Will go out of its way to protect other species. Orca’s, Killer Whales, are a fairly intelligent marine mammals. Yet they really don’t care about Loggerhead sea turtles when it comes to their meals. They will eat them.
The Liberal side has a good argument on a woman’s right to self-determination of her body. Yet they back that argument up with somewhat idiotic facts.
Who will take care of the children if you make abortion illegal? Fine, fair point. Yet liberals have been telling conservatives they are immoral, unkind, and generally mean, for not allowing illegal immigrants from entering the United States. Some on the extreme left side of Liberalism are wanted borders to cease altogether.
Yet they don’t like answering the conservatives questions about: Who will take care of all these illegal immigrants you want to come here? Who will pay for their educations, their healthcare, their housing? At those questions, liberals tend to look down at their shoes and move their toe around a bit in a slow circle. Their only answer is to tax The Rich, other than that? They don’t have answers, but still tout that keeping people out, is immoral.
Conservatives argue that abortion is against God’s Will. I haven’t personally asked God this question. Maybe some have. An email would be nice. Yes I am being facetious…
And while yes, in several Great Religious Texts, various Deities talk about the sanctity of life, but choosing one Religious view for everyone is sort of frowned upon in the United States. And that is not taking into account the pregnant woman may be an Atheist. Unfortunately, those who take the Religious High ground feel a moral obligation. Without regards to other moral obligations. No looking at their feet for that lot.
The Liberal side also likes to tout that the Government should not dictate what a woman can, and cannot, do to their own bodies. Then they back silly laws like not being able to buy a Big Gulp in NYC. Or bans on cigarettes, trans fat, sugars, etc. Telling women (and well, the rest of us) what to eat, drink, and not to drive that CO2 producing car. Because if there is one thing the government does not do? Is being skimpy on regulating on how you should live your life. Time to look at your feet on this one.
Conservatives get a little lost on the whole preventing pregnancies. They tout abstinence. Which former TV Witch Alyssa Milano agrees with…talk about irony. Yet while abstinence will prevent pregnancies. It rarely works out the way conservatives think it should. Ignoring sex, and not promoting safe sex, is just dumb. Making birth control easily available and at extremely low cost, or free, just makes sense for both sides of the abortion argument. Less unwanted pregnancies, less abortions.
Overall it comes down to this. Neither side will agree. Neither side will find a common ground. Neither side has the moral authority. While they both claim they do.
Personally? I am Pro-choice. However I feel that while abortion should never be made illegal, nor access denied, we should strive to reduce the number to as to near zero as possible. There will always be a What If? or situations that will require a medical abortion. There are too many variables in a human’s life to say ‘no you can’t’. Nor should we, in a free society, take that option off the table for personal situations we just can’t predict.
We must also keep in mind those who prey upon these situations. Those who push women to choose one way or another.
Defending the right for a woman to have an abortion, just for your organizations betterment? Not good.
Nor should those who oppose abortion go to such extreme levels as bar women from access to local healthcare and the right of self-determination, while shaming them for a difficult choice.
Technology has advanced since Roe vs Wade. More premature babies are being born and surviving. Back then? Babies born at the 24 week mark rarely survived. Now? 66%-80% survive. At 26 weeks that rate goes up to 90%. Our technology is constantly evolving when it comes to prenatal care. It is not absurd to surmise that by the time Roe vs Wade turns 100? Artificial wombs may take the pregnancy from the woman’s body and help premature fetuses survive. All this is moving to become a moot point. And both sides of the argument know this, and are using this debate over abortion to further their political interests.
This little opinion piece of mine will not solve the issue. Nor will the countless others out there. Courts will decide, and in time, probably have to decide again as technology changes. Yet as we strive to figure out the most simplest of questions, when is a person a person? Sea Turtle eggs lay safely in their sandy nest, snickering at us humans, knowing we will protect them at all cost.
[The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly from the vivid imagination of the author. While not a woman, nor does he identify as a woman, and definitely does not identify as a pregnant woman, he is still a human and part of society when society allows him to play. The opinions expressed are the authors alone.]