I don’t have a dog in the abortion fight. And I’m fairly certain there are more than a few folk out there who will emphatically exclaim that I have no right to speak on the subject at all, since I lack the requisite uterus that would give me the right to an opinion.
But I’m confused. And when I’m confused, I seek clarity. And nothing can stop that.
A Perplexing Debate
Since I was a kid, this debate has perplexed me. And as the world gets more and more polarized, my confusion is getting worse as well.
You see, the debate has always been between Pro-Choice and Pro-Life. And what a world it is when no matter what side you take, you’ve chosen to oppose something sacred. But no one walks around saying they’re Anti-Choice. And no one proudly shouts they are Anti-Life.
So what we’re left with is just propaganda. Two sides place the foundation down that makes their “opponent” look wicked, and shut off any chance of intellectual or honest discussion.
And that’s exactly what has become of the situation.
Abortion Debate Presentation
One side presents all those who get an abortion as those mutilating eight-month-old fully-formed fetuses, simply because they decided having a child is not for them and they’d prefer partying on the beach.
And the other side presents all abortions as the result of incestual rape, occurring to protect the emotional and physical health of an innocent minor, just a matter of weeks into a pregnancy with an amorphous batch of cells just sitting inside of her.
And there’s no middle ground. There’s no room for discussion. There’s no room for any type of compromise whatsoever.
And how could there be?
Both sides are 100% correct, fighting for ideals like life and choice, without any regard to the fact that within any fanatical approach to any topic lies inconsistencies and hypocrisies.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. It really doesn’t.
It likely will stay this way for a long time to come. But that doesn’t mean it’s reasonable.
My Abortion Questions
So I ask these questions. I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers. I legitimately want to know the answers.
For the camp of those adamantly pro-abortion:
Does anyone in the world ever want to get an abortion?
Seriously, it is not presented by the other world as some type of birth control for the careless, but as a first choice for some. Are there folk roaming around this world ignoring all other forms of birth control in favor of just taking care of business by whatever means is convenient at the time?
I suspect the answer is no. Or at least if it exists, it does so at such minuscule numbers as to be statistically irrelevant.
But let’s say they do exist. Are you 100% OK with that? If so, that’s absolutely your prerogative. But if you, the ardent supporter of abortions, are not so OK with this, please ask yourself: Why not?
Is There a Border?
If it’s just lifeless cells, and a woman has full control over her body in every way, why would an abortion ever bother you? Maybe you don’t want your tax dollars going toward it, but that’s a whole other part of the conversation.
If this, or any type of abortion in the world, bothers you, you have to ask yourself: Do I have a border at which this procedure makes me uncomfortable? If so, why is that? Is it possible that even though I firmly believe in a woman’s autonomy over her person, there’s still a border I don’t think should be crossed lightly?
And if so, where might that border extend? Am I comfortable with an abortion at any stage along the way of a pregnancy? If the answer is anything less than yes, then you have, believe it or not, found some level of common ground with your perceived enemy.
And speaking of that perceived enemy, the other side is not off the hook when it comes to difficult questions.
And What About the Other Side?
Do you really believe the life of the unborn is equal to that of the living? Are you willing to risk or even sacrifice the mother for the sake of saving the unborn? And if not, would this also apply to the mental and emotional damage that could result from having a child you don’t want or cannot manage?
Are you OK with those who take violent measures to prevent abortions? Do you not see the blatant and obvious hypocrisy in such a stance?
Can you not concede that even though you might vehemently oppose abortions in most or even all circumstances, you tend to oppose the better alternatives as well? These include readily available birth control or comprehensive sex education curricula.
So much can be done to prevent someone from even ending up in this position in the first place. Yet you cry out for either abstinence or having the unwanted child. Do you not see that screaming for abstinence is naive at best, utterly stupid at worst? You’re just adamantly telling the world to go against its nature, and then getting angry with those who succumb, as if it were not inevitable.
And without the right education, you’re just dooming the young or the less-educated to a life of having unwanted children. And you’re populating the world with children who don’t stand a chance.
Can you not see better alternatives? Is there no compromise in your world, or do you just ignore human nature, biology, and the inevitable outcome of a system as poorly thought through as what you advocate?
The Yearn for Civilized Dialogue
Maybe the answers to my questions will come easy. To both sides. Perhaps the world has already succumbed to polarization and fanaticism. And those with different opinions will never get along, nor attempt a reasonable dialogue.
But I’m still holding out for a better alternative. My faith in humanity, albeit shaken, is strong.
I believe we can sit down and discuss the matter like reasonable adults. We can find where similar viewpoints overlap, where similarities in thoughts coincide. We can intelligently devise plans that help get everyone what they want, or at least close enough to it that they don’t have to step on others.
And if we can find common ground here and have a civilized dialogue here, then who knows what we could accomplish next. Gun control? Immigration? Censorship?
I want to live in a world in which we get to speak to one another, attempt to understand one another, and sit down to come up with viable solutions for the greater good.
Or is the world already too far gone?