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Without the Hateful Rhetoric

Redirecting the Circular Firing Squad

Can America Survive the Great Abortion Divide?


Abortion is one of the most challenging and divisive issues that we face in America. The reason it is so challenging is that most people who take a side on the issue do so because their position is deeply rooted in their value system.

In 1973, in the Roe vs Wade case, the Supreme Court determined that a woman’s right to privacy is what mandated their right to have an abortion. Many people believe that the decision was poorly arrived at, including the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. One significant flaw was that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a right to privacy. However, in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, citizens are protected from search and seizure by government officials or members of law enforcement unless they have probable cause to do so. Some believe that the right to privacy is established there.

The Roe vs. Wade decision established that no state could refuse a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy for any reason at all.

The topic of viability later came into focus. If a fetus could be delivered and live outside the womb with proper medical care, should abortion still be an option? Pro-life groups began to work on establishing a point in a pregnancy when it was too late to terminate it. Since this was a medical issue, various states have worked to establish a point of viability that should be set for their state. Once established, some states would not allow an abortion after that point. The common point of viability was initially deemed to be the third trimester, or about 26 weeks into the pregnancy.

Medical science has made significant strides in preserving the life of a baby who may be delivered prematurely. Doctors are even able to do surgery on a fetus, still in the womb, to save his/her life. It has been determined that a fetus feels pain at around 15 weeks. Recent studies suggest a fetus may even be able to taste things in the womb. These medical advances caused states to revisit the point of viability argument. Several states began to move their point of viability to an earlier stage, and even to establish points prior to viability as the time after which an abortion would be illegal in that state.

The most recent Supreme Court case that overturned Roe vs. Wade was called Dobbs vs. Jackson. The state of Mississippi established 15 weeks as the point at which abortions would be illegal in that state. As everyone who is paying attention to the news will know, the Supreme Court not only held that Mississippi could establish whatever limit it wished but it also determined that the Federal Government has no Constitutional authority to mandate that states allow or disallow abortions. With that decision the question of whether abortion would be legal or not would fall to each state. As a result, abortion remains legal in the United States, however not in every state.

 

Is the solution to this challenging situation to hate and trash one another?

 

A big reason that this question of the legality of abortion is so divisive is that many who oppose abortion do so on the basis of their sincere Judeo/Christian belief regarding what God says about un-born life in the Holy Scriptures. Scripture says that God knows us before we are born. We have a status before God “from the time my mother conceived me.” It also states that someone who killed a pregnant woman would be guilty of the murder of two, not just one. So, those who hold firmly to these teachings believe that every time a pregnancy is terminated, the life of an individual, loved by God, is snuffed out. These people must, in good conscience, strive to use every legal means to reduce abortions. To save lives.

Those on the other side of the issue are more focused on the woman’s rights. They believe that a woman should not be required to have a baby if she does not want one, for any reason at all. They point to many considerations that they believe justify terminating a pregnancy. They say that some mothers are not capable or cannot afford to raise a(nother) child. They might suggest that the child will be handicapped, physically or mentally, and therefore the child and parents should be spared a difficult life. Some pro-choice advocates believe that the child has no standing until it is born and the parents determine it should live. While this is an extreme position, most who take a pro-choice stance believe that this is a decision that is only up to the mother and her doctor, right up until the child is born.

With there being such a chasm between views on both sides of the issue, what is one to do? We live in a Constitutional Republic that states these types of decisions should be made by representatives of the people, not presidents, judges or Supreme Court Justices. We are blessed to have a government that protects our right to protest, write letters to our Congressmen and Congresswomen and Senators. Organizations can lobby for change. Our Constitution states that such serious decisions must be made by the people, through their representatives.

 

Hate for one another will only serve to crumble our Republic from the inside. How, then can this great divide be bridged?

 

Those on either side of the issue can lobby the US Congress to vote for a nation-wide law concerning abortion. Granted, it doesn’t appear that change at this level is likely because at least 60 Senators would have to agree to take up the issue and vote on it to establish a law. They can also spread out to all 50 states and work to achieve their goal one state at a time. With such a challenging issue, either approach will take years and may never be accomplished in a way that suits them.

Is the solution to this challenging situation to hate and trash one another? Should those who are pro-choice be screaming at their opposition and accusing them of wanting to control all women. We hear many suggesting that all who are pro-life are misogynists (haters of women) and also racists and homophobes. Likewise, should those who are pro-life be calling the opposition evil, and murderers? We hear many pro-life people shouting accusations as if they, themselves, have no sin. It does not benefit our nation on this difficult issue to hate one another.

Hate for one another will only serve to crumble our Republic from the inside. How, then can this great divide be bridged?

I suggest to you that it cannot. Positions that are value based and so diametrically opposed to each other can’t be negotiated and resolved through compromise. One or both sides of the divide will always feel moved to fight for their deep held beliefs.

My view is that the debate can only be managed through the laws of our republic. Elected representatives must make a decision. Once made, people will continue to protest to promote their position. Positions could change in both directions over time. But can we do it without hating one another?

Personally, my Christian values lead me to a pro-life position. Others have the opposite view. Where do you stand? Can you take a stand without extreme and hateful rhetoric? When voting, will a candidate’s view on abortion be the only thing you will consider? What other issues will you consider in your decision about who to vote for?

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Unknown member
Oct 11, 2022

I agree that a woman should have control over her own body.


But here is the problem...


That baby, it isn't the mother’s body. It is the baby’s body. Yes, it is a body that is CONNECTED to the mother’s body and in the mother’s body….but it is NOT the mother’s body.

That baby is a distinctly different and unique human being, with a distinctly different DNA and set of fingerprints, it is NOT the mother’s body.

That human being in the womb deserves life and actually should be protected by the “Equal Protection Clause” of the 14th Amendment of our Constitution.

According to our Constitution every “person” has the God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…

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Douse the Hateful Rhetoric

Redirecting the Circular Firing Squad

Jack Meyer is also a fiction writer.  Check out his suspense thriller, Wayward Patriot to be released soon.

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