One of the things I didn’t cover in my Foundational Beliefs post was abortion.
In my post on the new spate of heartbeat laws, I also didn’t take a position on the issue. I did take issue with the misrepresentations and outright lies about how these laws deal with women seeking abortion. Also, I want to add a comment on the Georgia law. It does not say that women will be prosecuted. It does redefine when life, and thus full legal personhood, begins. This is unique to Georgia.
Georgia is granting ‘person’ status to an 8 week old fetus. That opens the door to prosecution. Prosecution is not explicitly stated, but may be inferred. If that is the unspoked intent, then yes, leaving the state for an abortion will be a chargeable offense. Georgia would view that as no different than travelling out of state to kill your sibling.
And that opens one to federal charges of crossing state lines in the commission of a felony. That would be an interesting case to read. But that’s not the point of the post.
And one last aside, the Wikipedia article on heartbeat laws does not link to the Georgia law. Others, yes, but not Georgia. They only use secondary sources.
Abortion And The New Conservatism
Abortion is a tough issue to address. It is easily one of the most personal decisions that a woman can make, and regardless of one’s opinion on it, should never be made lightly.
The simple reality is that every abortion forever ends the contributions that person could have made to the world. For good or ill. That needs to be taken seriously.
It’s also important to understand that the GOP and others opposition to abortion is founded in the marriage of the Republican Party and the religious right. That connection is at the root of a lot of the issues with modern conservatism, and has caused our cause immeasurable harm. Christian opposition to abortion is consistent with the teachings about the value of life in the Bible. I believe it is hard to reconcile a Christian faith and a support of abortion. It is not, however, hard to reconcile faith and a belief that abortion shouldn’t be banned. Christianity is, in part, foundationally in favor of keeping church and state apart. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Just because it is legal does not mean we, as Christians, need to partake. We should remember that better.
Strictly speaking, abortion should be approached in the exact same way as homosexual marriage – your opinion is your opinion, and that doesn’t mean it should be banned. In fact, abortion should be safe, legal, and exceedingly rare. It is personal, and the state has no business limiting it. That does not mean that I don’t have an opinion on the issue, of course. I do – safe, legal, extremely rare. Let’s unpack that.
Safe abortion is kind of the cornerstone of the whole thing, isn’t it? Keeping it safe is one of the cornerstone pro-abortion arguments. Of course, the left undermines itself endlessly by opposing laws that require actual doctors to perform this invasive procedure. The left likes nothing better that harming the very people they pretend to champion.
Safe abortions should be performed by competent medical professionals. In sterile environments, with attending nurses (or whomever is needed), and done in as humane a manner as possible. It isn’t, for the record, humane. It is all too often the medical equivalent of shoving a Shop-Vac into the uterus and flipping it on to dismember the fetus. That is horrific, and never something to celebrate.
To advocate for anything other than licensed, competent, medical professionals to perform and oversee abortion is to advocate against safety.
Well, that’s easy. Like any strictly personal choice, the state should refuse to ban this practice. Enact protections, yes. The role of the state is to, at the minimum level possible, protect the citizens from harm by others. Not to infringe their rights. If you need to have an abortion, that must be legal. It needn’t be encouraged, but mustn’t be outlawed either. That’s it.
Except for one last thing – legal does not mean the state must provide it. The state must allow it, but it also must be up to the market to provide. No state funding should be provided for abortion. That also isn’t the job of the state.
Rare & Exceedingly Rare
This is harder to unpack. In an ideal world, no one would need an abortion, save in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. No one would be raped, no birth control would fail, and no one would experience unexpected pregnancy.
We don’t live in that world.
But, we can make abortion rare. Someone I know, mostly on social media, had an abortion when their at-the-time partner “intentionally ejacualted inside me when he knew I was ovulating”. Which is pretty solidly unacceptable behavior. The question here is, was she on birth control? If not, why? Birth control is easily available, frequently inexpensive, and both party’s responsibility. For guys, it’s always available, and cheap – about $1 each depending on brand. For women, there are always-available options, and prescription birth control is not expensive. Therefore there is no reason to not use it.
Prices vary depending on whether you have health insurance, or if you qualify for Medicaid or other government programs that cover the cost of birth control pills. For most brands, 1 pill pack lasts for 1 month, and each pack can cost anywhere from $0-$50. But they’re totally free with most health insurance plans, or if you qualify for some government programs.https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill/how-do-i-get-birth-control-pills
In fact, in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Washington state you can get prescriptions online.
Birth control isn’t some Sysphian hardship. No matter what the protestors seem to want to believe. If you plan to have sex, and don’t want kids, there is literally no reason to not have birth control in place.
What also works, 100% of the time, is abstinence. No, that isn’t a popular position. Popularity has no impact on truth. If you do not have sex, you do not get pregnant. It is that simple. The rejection of that simple truth shows what our culture values, and what it does not. Truth has little value, immediate personal gratification and the belief that if you want it, you deserve it has great value. That’s sick and twisted, but there it is.
Ideally, we would see a change in the social dynamic of the culture. A culture where abstinence wasn’t mocked or considered aberrant would be nice. A culture where responsibility was held as a high virtue (this means everyone uses birth control) would be nice. Changing the way people interact, and encouraging people to think a little would be nice too. That won’t happen so long as everything in the media and cultural landscape champions instant gratification and continues to equate desire with deservedness. So don’t hold your breath.
Abortion – My Belief
I hate it. I hate that it is even a thing we consider. I’m constantly stunned at the venom spewed in defense of killing the most defenseless of us. That’s going to define us to the future, and not in a good light. But I don’t want it banned. See, banning something because I disagree with is isn’t how we do things. Or it shouldn’t be.
I hate that the arguments against abortion use foster care, children born of rape, and poverty. It is as if those people don’t count. In other words, they aren’t as valid as others. Maybe they don’t think of the poor or foster kids as real people. It would make sense – poverty shaming is really becoming a thing these days. I don’t know.
Most of the country is in a similar position – they are not fans, but don’t want it banned.
I also think that we are failing as a society when we celebrate abortion. This isn’t a time for cake and punch. Like so many other things, this should be private and personal. But again, that isn’t the world we live in.
So for now, I oppose the practice, want to make sure it isn’t outlawed, and want people to stop lying about it. That seems to be a huge ask these days. It just shouldn’t be.