“Alabama became the first state in the nation to enact what opponents call a “personhood clause” in its constitution, recognizing ‘the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.’” (Ollstein and Roubein. “Here Come the Roe v. Wade Challenges”: “Politico”)
The effects of the last two conservative appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court are coming home to roost. Alabama, among several other conservative states, has passed laws limiting abortion. Conservatives are now the majority on the Court and many Republicans are smelling blood. They are gearing up to create challenges to the long-held precedent allowing the constitutionality of abortions dating back to the 1973 landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade.
As a moderate conservative, I cringe at the thought of abortions. It brings back memories from my historical reading of the Hebrew Bible where pagans and idolatrous Israelites sacrificed their newborn infants to satisfy the god Moloch.
All human life has value and should not be ended without careful thought and consideration. Mercy and justice must be carefully weighed in matters of life and death.
That said, I’m also deeply troubled by conservatives who are no less guilty of turning children into objects as liberals do in their pursuit of individual rights for the mother while ignoring the individual rights for the child. There is a great deal of callous conservative disregard for the circumstances behind a woman wanting to get an abortion in the first place. It’s irrational for “right to life” advocates to demand an end to abortion while expressing little or no concern for a child’s care once it is born.
Which is more heartless, to carry out an abortion, or to neglect and possibly abuse a child once it is born? The answer to this difficult question is, “It depends.”
I would like to see progressives and conservatives work together to find ways to avoid the need for abortions in the first place. This is rarely done, since both sides have definite dogmatic views that are not subject to reason or logic. Ben Goldacre’s observation hits the mark: “You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.”
It’s a fact that both sides on this issue have come to their positions for emotional reasons. Most reasonable people would like to find common ground that shows care for both the needs of the mother as well as that of the fetus, realizing that there are no perfect decisions. Human existence is messy and complex.
Both parties are guilty of using topical arguments, that is “right to life” and “pro-choice”, to gather and exploit the faithful who will vote in the next election. Roe vs. Wade has been effectively used as a “wedge” issue for decades. The only way to end this manipulation is for moderates to take charge. I don’t see this happening any time soon.
Looking ahead to the 2020 elections, both sides know that their bases only come out to vote when emotions are high. There is no greater emotional issue than abortion in politics.
Now that the abortion issue will be coming before the U.S. Supreme Court within the next year or two, it is certain that this hot button issue will become part of the chaos and division during the 2020 national elections.
The issue for both sides is really about power: Who keeps it and who loses it. Just like the ancient idolatrous Israelites and pagans, we are still sacrificing our children, not to the god Moloch, but to the gods of politics by ignoring a way to compromise this messy and painful issue.
Self-awareness is the key to maturity. If you find your blood pressure rising after reading this article, then your emotions have overcome your ability to think and reason. This nation will not be able to end our increasing polarization without mature people on both sides of this issue taking charge and coming to some kind of compromise. Don’t let either the Democrats or the Republicans manipulate you to do their will in the 2020 elections.