Abortion

04 Oct 2007 02:09 pm
Posted by: Donna

Specifically, how to address it when it comes up in conversation about politics, particularly when it’s one of those single issue voters.  I admit to being just dumbfounded by people who will pull the R lever over and over, despite the GOP having done nothing legislatively significant on that issue for decades.   I’ve tried all the suggested rebuttals:  It’s a private matter between a woman and her doctor.   Promote comprehensive sex ed and diligent use of contraception.   Thousands of women suffering horrific infections and even dying from self-induced back alley procedures. 

It’s useless.  I can practically hear the crickets chirping.  Plus, the compulsory pregnancy brigade has done an excellent job of propagandizing.  And not just about abortion.  None of the major anti-abortion groups supports contraception.  Not one.  Furthermore, these groups have skillfully used misinformation about common types of birth control and emergency contraception to convince their target audience that they also destroy “human life”.

The Republican Party needs it as a wedge issue.  Putting aside the probability of massive numbers of women resorting to illegal means or travelling out of the country, let’s assume that all unwanted pregnancies were carried to term if abortion became completely illegal in the U.S.:   Some of those ‘value voters’ would defect to our side, to ensure that the resulting children were fed and clothed and had healthcare.   My experience is that a lot people who oppose abortion are truly good-hearted, albeit misguided, souls.*  The Right knows this.  They know that there are millions of people who would have no reason whatsoever to vote for them again should this one thing (banning abortion) come to pass. 

I don’t necessarily agree with those who say that they’ll never really do it for that reason.  There are too many True Believers among their leaders, particularly at the local level (just look at our Lege) and I’m guessing they outnumber the ones who use abortion as a cynical vote sop at this point.  So I’m taking those leaders at their word when they say they want to ban abortion.    

And this is what I’m going to say to those voters:  “You know, if the Republicans really want to stop abortion, then why aren’t they introducing a bill to ban it in Congress every single day?  Why aren’t your Republican state Reps and Senators making this their number one Legislative priority at all times?   Where’s that Constitutional Amendment they’ve been talking about for 30 years?  If they really wanted to stop what they believe to be mass murder, then nothing should ever take precedence over it, dontcha think?  The hell with Roe v. Wade!  The hell with states rights!  The hell with their namby-pamby whining about courts overturning their laws!   To hell with their blubbering about how they tried it once and it failed!  I’m talkin’ no tax cuts.  No wars.  No pork for their districts.  No legislation of ANY KIND should even be discussed, much less given priority over abortion if these politicians are as pro-life as they claim to be, right?  So why do you suppose they aren’t doing it?” 

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m eager to on the next anti-abortion voter I encounter.   How do you all handle the subject?

Donna

 * To be sure, there are all too many who clearly view pregnancy as God’s punishment upon recalcitrant harlots and would just as soon see the infant drowned upon exiting the womb as give it or it’s mother any assistance.  It’s easy to tell you’re dealing with one of these because it takes approximately a nanosecond for their rhetoric to devolve into ugly misogyny.  My advice is don’t even bother with these creeps. 

3 Comments

  1. Comment by Kareb on October 15, 2007 6:57 pm

    I am old enough to remember women obtaining back street abortions. So I remember clearly living thru the Roe vs Wade opinion. I do believe that if the Republicans truly wanted this outlawed, they have had ample opportunity. They had the White House, the Senate, the House and the Supreme Court. It is a wedge issue, they need it, just as much as gay marriage. It brings out the one issue voters.
    My approach to Pro-life defenders is to ask: “Dont you believe in the 14th Amendment?”
    Usually they dont even know what that amendment is. So I explain that the determining factor in Roe v wade was indeed the 14th amendment, the constitutional right to privacy and due process under this amendment. Also at the time of this landmark case Doe vs Bolton was a companion case which addressed the limits to abortion. Stating that it was legal until the “viability” of the fetus, its ability to live outside the mother.
    After I go thru all of that with out much argument, they go the “moral” route. Then I say: You must be really disappointed in your religion of choice for not clearly stating the moral path its members must take. It is not the governments fault that people choose abortion, look to your own moral compass, your church, your own ability to educate children. I ask them if it angers them that the church would use the government to do what they (the church) are unable to do. Keep a moral lid on their own congregations. So I suggest they keep this in perspective. Dont chip away at the 14th amendment. Usually they just give up if you turn it into a political conversation, based on their voting choices. They dont see it as political, they see it as moral. We are all legally protected from anyone telling us what is “moral” Over my many years I have had friends who have had abortions, it has always been a gut wrenching decision even in cases of rape. Unfortunately even with great education, some women and girls will still be assaulted and others are not ready to mother a child. I’ve had two planned children, trust me, I would do it again in a heartbeat, but its a lot of work. I never had to consider abortion, but I will fight for the right to make that choice.
    “Stay out of my uterus”

  2. Comment by Donna on October 17, 2007 9:21 pm

    Kareb, you have completely rocked my world with that comment. Specifically, where you speak of the FAILURE of religious institutions to influence people sufficiently, such that they need to resort to using the government as the instrument to carry out their views. I’d honestly never thought of it that way. Yet another reason to support a strong separation of church and state.

    Allowing religious institutions to leverage the government makes them soft and lazy. Kinda contridicts the conservative dictum of self-reliance and boot straps doesn’t it? Thanks for that insight.

  3. Comment by Donna on October 17, 2007 9:29 pm

    That also leads me to think about how the insistence that the 10 Commandments should be posted on government spaces and that there should be prayer in schools is yet another admission that the major religious institutions in this country have failed to impart their messages effectively.

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