A friend posted today that abortion is a moral/ethical issue and not a political issue. She is both right and wrong.
On the one hand, it is absolutely a moral issue. The ethics in play when innocent life hangs in the balance are neither complicated nor the least bit unclear. To take a life is wrong, and no one but a sociopath would tell you differently. The gray area in which most of America seems to reside in regards to abortion, however, is completely manufactured.
The first argument is that an unborn child is not "alive." But as scientific advances begin to shed light on the mysteries of life in utero, it becomes more and more difficult to argue that a fetus is anything other than a slightly more helpless newborn. The ever-shortening age of viability proves that any argument based solely on viability is both arbitrary and disingenuous. The fact that an unborn child has fingernails, a fully functioning heart and the ability to respond to external stimulus all within the first trimester only further dismantles any argument claiming that a fetus is simply a "parasitic ball of cells" and is therefore expendable.
The second argument is that it is better for an unwanted child to be aborted than to go through life unwanted. This argument applies specifically to women who don't have the means to care for a baby or to pregnancies that result from rape. To accept this argument, you must first concede that the person making said argument is the arbiter of what is and is not moral. Then you must believe that taking a life that only "might" be sad or difficult can be accepted as a viable solution. You must believe that the proper response to a rape pregnancy is to give one victim the choice to create another. And you must believe that, when all is said and done, that a woman's bank account balance is of greater value than the life she carries.
The last ditch argument of every pro-abort is this: "what if it endangers the life of the mother?" Well? What if it does? That particular situation is exceptionally rare - and in most cases there is an option available like pre-term induced labor or cesarean section. Either way, the physician treating the woman has two patients - mother and child - and does everything in his power to save both. The only case where termination is always warranted is an ectopic or tubal pregnancy - if allowed to progress, an ectopic pregnancy WILL kill both mother and child. For that reason, it is not considered a viable pregnancy in the first place and termination is a surgical procedure to be done at a hospital rather than a clinic.
Whether or not they believe, as I do, that life is sacred because it is a gift from God, most Americans do believe that the fundamental rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) are sacrosanct. What they forget when making arguments to excuse abortion, is that liberty and the pursuit of happiness are irrelevant if we don't first protect absolutely the most fundamental of the three: life.
But as is wont to happen in America, that which should have remained solely a moral issue has become a political issue. Roe v. Wade allowed a woman who lied about being raped to change our culture to the point that women can now walk into a clinic and end a life simply because, as it turns out, she'd really rather have a boy...
There are those who adamantly oppose abortion and those who claim that abortion is the only thing that gives women the freedom to sleep around. But today, the people I'm talking to are the ones in the middle. You know, the ones who say that they personally oppose abortion but don't feel that they have the right to tell anyone else what to do.
Then you have no right to tell anyone that rape is wrong.
You have no right to tell anyone that stealing is wrong.
You have no right to tell anyone that anything is wrong.
If you believe it is wrong and fail to stand, you are not advocating "choice" for women. If you believe it is wrong and you fail to stand, you are sitting in silent support of what they choose. If you believe it is wrong and you fail to stand, you are a coward.
"Our lives begin to end when we remain silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King Jr.