Abortion Discussion

If one believes that life begins at conception then clearly the termination of a pregnancy prior to natural birth would be considered inappropriate if not infanticide.

Yet what if the mother’s health might be jeopardised if she gives birth?
What if she might be abused by a parent or boyfriend if it were known she were pregnant?
What if her pregnancy, admittedly not common, was due to incestuous relations with a father, brother or uncle?
What if she were raped?
What if she used birth control devices but for whatever reason they were not effective?
What if she could not care for the child or raise it and were a minority whereby adoption would not be likely due to racialism in this nation?
What if she does not need an excuse at all but merely does not wish to be a mother?

Any or all of these areas would justify termination of a pregnancy in my opinion. Yet I am squeamish about it if it were known the fetus would be viable outside the womb. I would think in that case, as Roe v Wade indicates, the state has an interest in that instance. I would not criminalise late-term abortions which are quite rare, expensive and complicated but if the fetus were able to live on its own, I would have moral conflicts over this particular component of abortion.

Yet abortion has become bigger than life! (No humour intended.) It is seen by many women as the symbol of freedom, liberation and equal rights that many women fought for. Alice Paul, Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, Angela Davis, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Mother Jones, Helen Keller, Jane Addams. Abortion is a cultural and legal iconic event for women and much of the pro-choice argumentation is derived from a sense that a right to choose has implications that go beyond reproductive rights.

People wonder whether there can be a compromise solution for those who see the fetus as not possessing human rights and those who do. Well, many states have attempted a variety of restrictions and regulations on the procedure. As long as they do not present an “undue burden” some have passed constitutional muster.

Most Americans in a multitude of opinion polls are pro-choice, but unlike myself who prefers the absence of restrictions, seek a variety of regulations and conditions without banning the procedure. Maybe that is the compromise: adhere to public opinion which is somewhere in the middle. My prediction is that the Supreme Court will eventually remove abortion as a right to privacy as incorporated in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and that the states will be the sole determinant. I think this development, which may or may not happen for many years, will precipitate a national crisis and lead to considerable social dislocation and instability. American women by the millions and men as well, will not accept either a Supreme Court decision or legislative statutes banning or severely proscribing reproductive freedoms. I predict massive civil disobedience that has not happened in the United States since the great protests of the 1960s.

Judge Roberts should carefully consider the endgame if he intends to overrule Roe. He wants to. On that score, there is no doubt. Whether he can suppress his wish due to societal dislocations and unrest that would ensue remains to be seen.

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