Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion: A Manifesto

It is difficult to get a simple issue to fit into a soundbite. Even Jesus’ two greatest commandments required some commentary when another asked “Who’s my neighbor?” So we shouldn’t be surprised that an issue like abortion utterly fails to fit into a brief blurb.

But yet, we’re expected to adhere to these simplified black and white paradigms. People keep getting reduced to being either for or against abortion, in all situations or not. And that is a load of crap.

Extremists on BOTH sides of this issue have demanded that politicians, churchgoers, and regular folks adhere to their oversimplistic views of the world. The slogans and jargon of both camps of extremists leaves out large groups of real people wrestling with the real effects of this issue. For all their posturing, “life chains” and protests, neither group has really done much except piss the other off. And both forget real people and complicated situations along the way – or that the other side has real (and even good) arguments for holding their position.

So, enough with them. I say we find a way to actually do something. The first step is to find some axioms about reality. So I suggest these:

  1. Making something illegal is not the same as stopping it from happening. I don’t believe I need to explain that difference to you all. I don’t like it, but it’s so.
  2. We are not all going to agree when life starts during pregnancy. I think my definition is wonderful, logical, and consistent; I have very smart people tell me I’m full of crap and their definition is better, at which point I return the favor.
  3. Some children are not wanted by their biological parent(s). I am sure that afterschool special moments occur where a parent realizes that they did really want to child after all. But it doesn’t seem to happen often enough to make it a tenent of our proposal here. Some children aren’t wanted by the people who bear them. I don’t like this either, by the by.
  4. Nobody – outside of these kooks likes abortion. ‘Nuff said.
  5. I do not have the right to dictate choices for your body. Because barring a solid agreement for #2, this one is completely up for grabs.

Obviously, the biggest sticking point – the one we always get to when actually discussing this – is the second. When does life start? I say, screw it. Let’s make that little philosophical pea under the mattress irrelevant. What we can agree on, then, is to reduce the number of abortions while still preserving the rights and liberties of women. It’s a big task, but here’s some ways we can start – while stil acknowledging the axioms above.

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One Comment

  1. November 8, 2008

    I agree for the most part. The wrong way to solve these things is to argue with each other and debate over things, and not get anything done.

    However, the only thing that I would have a problem with here is that these kind of ideas can be used to advocate being weak-spined.

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