Monday, August 23, 2010

Which side is correct on the issue of abortion?

It has occurred to me that I, like most people, have a lot I would like to say.

However, trying to say it all at one time in one place is a bit daunting to say the least. So, I have decided that, on those occaisons when I am feeling like sharing my opinions or views, I will do so in a more limited fashion, perhaps by a specific topic such as today's.

Obviously, abortion is a very volatile topic in today's society. Most people are either for it or against it and are most un-persuadable on changing their views. However, lately I have realized that there is one area of this discussion that is open to discussion and that can be influenced by calm and rational argumentation. "Arguing" use to be a way of presenting and discussing opposing viewpoints in a non-violent and non-hysterical manner devoid of yelling and screaming...

My own thinking on this topic has evolved over time and the reasons for this have gyrated from religious viewpoints to political to rational to medical to philosophical.  However, something I saw on The Telly just the other day made me realize how important it is to present ones views on various topics, not so much in order to convince someone or suade them over to your side, but to start an open and frank discussion that could help in solving society's many problems.

The thing I saw on TV was this: a elderly white woman and a middle-aged white man from the same town were being interviewed because they were both Catholics. This was part of a wider discussion about how, according to polls, the "Catholic Vote" is going to Obama this time whereas in the recent past it had gone more to the Republicans. The reason presented for the latter was that Catholics were mainly voting for the person who publicly stated he was "pro-life as opposed to "pro-choice". These two Catholic voters were asked who they were voting for and if their stand on abortion (or their Church's) influenced their vote. The middle-aged man said that, although he was very Catholic and very pro-life, he was voting for Obama because there were many more important things going on in today's world that just abortion. He would have preferred that Obama was pro-life, but he felt his Church's (Catholocism) views on other matters such as war, poverty, social-inequalities, health care, charity, etc. were much, much more likely to be addressed by Obama and the Democratic party.

However, the white elderly lady stated unequivocably that she was voting for McCain and that this was based solely on his stance on abortion! In other words, she was a "one-issue" voter! All of the problems we find ourselves in today such as war, the bad economy, job losses, people without healthcare, racism, poverty, foreclosures, homelessness, the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians through wars,
famine, genocide, etc. mattered not a fig to this probably nice and well-intentioned woman! I am sure she felt she was voting the way her Church would want her to.

But, in my view, the evils of the problems I listed above greatly outweigh those of abortion alone. The numbers of human lives destroyed by these greatly exceeds the numbers of lives destroyed by abortion. I wanted to ask her, "How would Jesus vote?". (Please insert the prophet, or spiritual guide of your choice for "Jesus" if that helps). It is clear to me that not only would Jesus vote for Obama but that he would chastise severely those that did not and ask them "Why"? Why "to the least of these"?

Anyway, I am not trying to make a religious argument here but just pointing out that many voters do vote in this "one-issue" way. Hypocritcally, in my view.

Since I have been voting (I was amongst those who first were able to vote at age 18), my political views and who I have voted for have gyrated wildly! I have voted Republican on several occaisons, Democratic on others. Recently, I voted (the first run) for George W. Bush mainly because of this abortion issue and his stated goal of a being a more considerate conservative. I liked Al Gore, but there you go, that one-issue voting. But, by half-way thru his time in office, I had changed my views about conservatives and voting and probably will never go back to the narrow, conservative outlook and will probably never again vote Republican. There are many much more important things to consider when voting, regardless of whether or not you are Catholic or "pro-life".

Now, am I "pro-life" or "pro-choice" (that is, "anti-life")?

After many years being raised as a Baptist, I converted to and remain a Catholic. I am actually a much more "conservative", traditional and old-fashioned, Latin-preferring, Catholic than many others are today. And, I am very, very "pro-life" whether in or out of the womb (I am also against suicide and euthanasia). But, I proudly voted for Barrack Obama! This, as discussed above, is not a problem for me.  However, at the State level, because of my beliefs, I DID vote for the Amendment stating that "life begins at the moment of conception". That is because I not only "believe" but can logically and rationally demonstrate thru personal illustration that this is true.

1) My daughter was born 8 weeks premature. That means, that she should have remained in the womb for another two months! But, she had to be induced to come out early due to medical issues with her mother. Most "pro-choice" advocates would say that, until the moment of natural birth at 9 months, my daughter was not "a person" and, therefore, not due any rights or considerations. However, since we had to induce labor and she was born at 7 months, not 9, did she "magically" become a person just because she was now
outside the womb? Was she not just as much a person while she was in the womb? If she could have been put back inside the womb for another 2 months would she suddenly have lost her "personhood" and all associated rights just because she was no longer outside the womb?

2) My son became Epileptic a few years ago. Modern technology allows for us to predict if a child may develop various diseases and give parents the option of aborting such a child to, they say, avoid all the issues that the child and parents may face after the birth. If my son had been aborted, would the world or we be somehow better off due to him not being born? NO!!!! He is a very accomplished and talented classical pianist and works teaching children piano. His life is of great value to us and to his friends and relatives, not to mention all those he touches through his music. How many Einsteins, Beethovens, Lincolns, etc. have been aborted?

So...many would argue that current abortion laws allow for not aborting during the last trimester or whatever. However, where do you draw this "line"? How did we pick "the last trimester"? Are they saying that is when life begins - during the last trimester?

Then, what is "it" during the middle trimester? During the first trimester? Or...1 minute after conception?

I say it was life. Beautiful, mysterious, inexplicable, joyful LIFE!

If the entire Universe was not "The Universe" one minute after The Big Bang, then what are we doing here? Lets abort ourselves!

And the discussions continue...