As a liberal, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I support a woman's right to chose. I reject the argument that life begins at conception. I believe that life begins at birth. Bill Clinton expressed it as clearly as anyone. Abortion should be Safe, Rare, and Legal.
This one one of the few positions that I hold where I am an absolutist. The decision to carry the child to term or have an abortion is the mother's and hers alone.
I understand and respect the Alan Keyes of the world who have an equally uncompromising position on the other side. If, as many believe, life begins at conception, the abortion is the deliberate taking of a human life. That is the definition of murder. Alan Keyes was clear and unequivocal on this in his 2000 quest for the Republican Presidential nomination.
I have no respect for those who try to finesse this issue. This occurs more in Republican ranks than in Democratic ranks, but both sides are trying to keep their head down on this.
The current debate about Partial Birth abortion is an example of the insanity of this debate. Abortion opponents want to ban a specific procedure without regard to any concept of medical necessity, without regard for any threat to the life of the mother and without any regard for any threat to the health of the mother. All of this over a procedure that is used in less than .2% of abortions (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3500603.pdf) and is usually performed on a non-viable fetus. The majority of states already ban abortions after presumed viability (usually defined as 24 weeks) in most cases, the use of the Partial Birth Abortion procedure is already prohibited in cases where the fetus might be viable.
I am not going to argue whether or not women chose to have abortions for capricious reasons or for intensely difficult reasons. That isn't the point. We as a society don't get to tell a woman that her reasons are good enough or they are not. That's above our pay grade.
I don't see enough people trying to get Abortion opponents to explain how they can believe that life begins at conception, and not believe that the mother who solicits for the murder of her unborn child is not as guilty as the doctor. Even more so. But they don't want to be seen as extremists. So they take a position that is logically indefensible and pretend it makes sense.
I also find it fascinating the the same people who find abortion to be abhorrent are also opposed to many of the ways that might make unplanned pregnancies less common and reduce any perceived need for abortion.
Though there are few absolutists on this issue, I have no respect for any position in the middle ground.
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