Few issues are more emotionally charged in our society today than the subject of abortion. Each highly opinionated side has used social media, protests, and the ballot box to support their position. A few have even gone so far as to assassinate some medical staff at clinics. The goal of most advocates is to legislate their beliefs into law. While preferable to violence, laws don’t solve the root of the issue.
Pro-life adherents, for the most part, believe that the life that should be protected begins at conception. Most of them base their actions on a religious/moral point of view. When researching secular arguments, I found that many of the additional points given for abolishing abortions were debatable and seemed to dilute the real basis of their position – that aborting a fetus is killing a child in the womb. That is, a fetus, like a baby, is in the process of development, and it is the start of a person on its way to adulthood. From that frame of reference, it is understandable why pro-life adherents consider abortion equal to murder.
Pro-choice advocates argue that a fetus has not yet attained status as a person and retains none of the rights afforded to others. As far as I can tell, their primary contention in the matter distills down to each woman’s right to choose whether to carry her pregnancy forward. Other lesser reasons seem to be weak and do not address whether or not a fetus has a natural right to live. They view the pro-life argument as an attempt to force someone else’s idea of morality on an individual’s right to choose.
The root of the entire issue is unwanted pregnancies. One cannot ignore the fact that in spite of it being made illegal, some women will still find abortionists who will serve them – an unavoidable fact of life. To believe otherwise would be the equivalent of putting your head in the sand or plugging your ears as you sing, “La-la-la-la-la.”
Unlike many problems in our society, for which the possibility of compromise can at least be imagined by some on each side, there is no apparent middle ground here. Both sides have taken an absolute stance, yea or nay. By all appearances, this seems to be a battle with only one winner possible.
You know me. I will always propose an alternative to raging, protesting, and generally acting like my ass (pet donkey) and refusing to budge in any direction. But I believe no matter how daunting a problem, solutions can be formulated.
First, we need to establish a goal of no unwanted pregnancies. Both sides should work out ways to implement actions that will, over time, bring unwanted pregnancies as close to zero as possible. Heavy scare tactics and advocating total abstinence have been proven not to work. Solutions must be realistic and be shown to be successful in practice.
Pro-choice should support stopping unwanted pregnancies before they happen, simply because abortions were only promoted by them to solve the underlying problem. When that problem ceases to exist, it’s time to relax, to have some coffee and sticky buns to celebrate.
Pro-life should support the idea since the deaths of unborn children would be virtually eliminated. They would then have worked with the pro-choice folks long enough to develop friendly relations – time for them to join those former enemies for that same coffee and sticky buns.
You can always depend on me to come up with a reasonable, practical, and workable solution to a contentious problem. I believe I will go out now for coffee and a sticky bun – or two.