Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Abortion Debate: We’re All Wrong

26.04.2007 (9:37 pm) – Filed under: Abortion,Liberalism ::

Russell Miller has been thinking about the exchange I had with the Kos-ite earlier this week and he’s written about what I think are some very powerful insights.  Read the whole post – it’s so good I wish I’d written it myself.  Some choice quotes:

I’m also finding myself a little concerned with the “pro-choice” response in other ways. Like with many other things, they do not seem to be content with being left undisturbed to do as they think is best – they seem to dislike any dissent at all.

I believe a woman has the right to do as she chooses. I will not interfere with that right. I, however, do not have to like it, and I don’t have to have anything to do with her. I don’t like abortions. I think they are in most cases cowardly and show a callous disregard for the life that in many, many of the cases the woman voluntarily created. While I should not interfere with that choice, why should I be forced to accept it?

Having the right to do something should be sufficient. I’ll defend the right of anyone to do whatever they wish, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But requiring others to actually like it? Sorry, you can’t have it all. Just as you have the right to do as you choose, I have the individual freedom to be disgusted by it.

This is right on the money – the pro-abortion crowd is so strident that any opposition to their ideas is offensive to them that no discussion is possible.  Even trying to agree with them in a substantial but incomplete manner is not enough, as I found out the other day.
For my part, I find abortion to be one of the most immoral acts imaginable.  I wish that the procedure hadn’t been invented, let alone put into practice 1.5 million times annually in the U.S. alone.

But – and it’s a bit but (no pun intended) – I also believe in personal responsibility and freedom of choice.  Prohibition of abortion is too radical a constraint on personal liberty.  It must be legal, to a point.  As with any aspect of life there are limits on this freedom.  Consent of both parties is one, independent viability of life is another.
Others feel differently, on both sides.

Today someone left a bomb at the Austin Women’s Health Center.

“It was configured in such a way as to cause serious bodily injury or death,” Austin Police Assistant Chief David Carter told reporters

Happily the device was found before anyone was maimed or killed and safely detonated by police.  Needless to say, planting bombs in women’s clinics is not a reasonable way to win the debate with the other side.  Neither is it a tactic that will sway judges’ decisions about this highly emotional issue.

It’s obvious to me that both sides are in the wrong in some respects.  Perhaps if everyone could just turn down the rhetoric and, perhaps, mind their own business, a reasonable compromise could be reached.

Mexico City just voted to legalize abortions performed within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.   Seems like a reasonable compromise to me.  While still despicable, this new rule at least places clear limits on what’s acceptable and what is not, something the U.S. SCOTUS has failed to do.
Anti-abortion activists in Mexico vow to fight on.  Hopefully they won’t do so with the tactics of terror seen in Auston today.

Ultimately it’s this refusal of either side to back off from their all-or-nothing positions that drives the debate to such heights of folly and fury.  Would it be too much to ask everyone to just stop and think things through like rational people?

8 Responses to “Abortion Debate: We’re All Wrong”

  1. Russell Miller Says:

    Thanks for the post and the link. While I disagree with many things that you post here (for example, I don’t believe that the US is a Christian nation at all), I am glad that we could find some common ground. Maybe if we (and by “we” I mean those who lean left, like me, and those who lean right, like you) keep talking a lot of our differences will just disappear. It’s far too easy to think in terms of “us” vs “them” – the truth is much more nuanced than that.

  2. marc Says:

    Regarding the U.S., would you say it “was intended” to be a nation ruled by Christian principles and has changed? Or that it never was?

    Back to your post, it seems to me that people have this sense that they’re “entitled” to be correct about this issue or that, regardless of what a logical analysis might say is actually true.

    Everyone has blinders and I’m no exception (see recent posts about the death penalty). But have we as a people forgotten how to think critically and discern what’s right, wrong, and what we have to live with? Have we forgotten how to compromise and move forward rather than constantly whining about past slights?

    I think the answer to both of these questions is Yes.

    Treating other Americans as “issue enemies” is dangerous, particularly given that we have real enemies in the world, some of whom are on American soil.

  3. Russell Miller Says:

    I believe that it never was a Christian nation. Sure, there was a lot of talk about Providence, and God, but most of the founders of the country took great pains to state that it was not the Christian God that they were talking about. As a matter of fact, Thomas Jefferson absolutely did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, and in fact wrote his own bible that carefully took any references of that out of Jesus’ teachings in the new testament.

    Most of the founders of the country were deists, not Christians, to the best of my knowledge.

  4. Russell Miller Says:

    In fact, you might find this link useful. Feel free to respond in kind if you so like… 🙂

  5. marc Says:

    Russell, thanks for the link. It’s interesting and sounds plausible… I’ll have to consider some other sources cross-check some of Till’s statements. That may take some time! 🙂

    Stepping back to look at Deism in general, I’ve always felt that type of belief system was playing both sides of the fence and therefore worthless.

    For many years I was a professed atheist. Yet in times of trouble I would find myself praying and know that I was a liar.

    The question of all time is whether Jesus was who Christians believe him to be. Everything this side of Communism hinges on it.

    That Jefferson wasn’t a believer is interesting but of no great consequence to me (or probably to you, either), as brilliant as he was. We all have to make our own judgments and live accordingly.

  6. Russell Miller Says:

    Please, consider away. If you find anything that’s not accurate, let me know. I really doubt you will.

    I am an agnostic, and I don’t think I’ve found myself praying in years. I would consider myself an atheist, but I don’t want to throw my hat in with that particularly obnoxious brand of atheist that insists there is no God or else. I was a Christian for years, finally couldn’t stand the hypocrisy, and got out.

    The only consequence that Jefferson’s lack of belief has is to buttress the belief of civil libertarians (such as me) that the state has no place in religion (and never has), and vice versa. Otherwise, yeah, it’s just an interesting factoid.

    (I like the “militant agnostic” bumber sticker I saw a while ago.. “I don’t know, and neither do you” 🙂 )

    I posted some more stuff on pro-choice on my blog if you’re interested – had an interesting convo with someone a bit to the left of me, but he was reasonable, unlike the kossack you had the misfortune of talking with.

  7. dbroussa Says:

    For every Deist in the founding fathers there were men of profound Christian Faith. Even Thomas Jefferson is his oft quoted Letter to the Danbury Baptists felt that the Federal Gov’t had no place in passing laws to promote one denomination over another and his response was specifically a rejection of the request by a Massachusetts parish for Federal relief of the state laws that were proscriptive of Baptists.

    The US was most certainly seen by the Founders as a Christian nation, it just wasn’t seen as a Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, or other nation.

  8. Black Shards, In Your Eyes, Blinding » To Die For Says:

    […] I occasionally get asked how I can be for the death penalty, for legalized assisted suicide, and still be against abortion. […]

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