Abortion in America

Itís all in how you frame the questionÖ

Written by JB Williams

©2006-01-22

 

Abortion might be the single most divisive issue in America today judging by the recent Alito confirmation hearings, second only to the war effort in Iraq. Thatís because both are the political campaign tools of choice for a beleaguered secular socialist Democratic Party currently struggling to regain any form of political power by any special interest opportunities available.

 

The so-called pro-choice crowd has their polling data which of course suggests that most Americans support the notion of private choice on the matter. But the pro-life crowd has their set of polling results too, which of course indicate just the opposite. These polls are often taken of the same nationwide respondents. But like the issue of Iraq, the devil is in the details, specifically, how the questions are framed for the discussion.

 

Pro-choice vs. Pro-abortion

 

Many Americans are proud to pronounce their pro-choice position, almost as if they make no mental connection that pro-choice equals pro-death of an innocent child. They are not nearly as eager to accept the title of pro-abortion however, usually taking offense to any such suggestion. Thatís because while accurate, the term pro-abortion puts too fine a point on the matter.

 

If asked if they support the killing of 1.31 million innocent unborn children per year in America, even the most devoted pro-choice advocate will reject that notion on the grounds that it is an unfair question concerning an unborn fetus. Only when the question is framed as a womanís rights issue, or a matter of personal liberty and privacy, will they rise to support the policy, again, as though they lack the mental capacity to make the undeniable connection between a womanís choice and the death of an innocent child.

 

Abortions Thin (legal) Ice

 

Congress (the legislative branch of government) has made no law making abortion a legal practice in America. Congress is obligated to the will of the people they represent. If those people truly support the practice of Abortion as an after-the-act form of birth control, congress is obligated to take up such a matter in the peopleís legislative body. They have not done so for two very important reasons.

 

First, because the people would not stand for it and every politician hoping to keep his/her seat in Washington knows it. Campaigning for abortion is no easy task. Lobbying for privacy rights, now thatís easy. Second, because the need to do so has been successfully averted by way of judicial fiat, Roe vs. Wade.

 

However, Roe vs. Wade was not a case directly about abortion rights, but rather the right of legal autonomy of one woman (Roe), against the wishes of her husband, (Wade). Even Roe seeks to reverse that decision today, because of how it has been wrongly used to legalize and legitimize unrestricted abortion since. †††

 

Privacy Rights

 

Few rights are dearer to the average American than their right to privacy and personal liberty. Thatís why the issue of abortion has been framed as an issue of privacy, rather than as an issue of life or death of another innocent human being. Do you believe that our very real right of personal privacy includes the right to take the innocent life of another? Probably notÖ

 

But you probably do believe that this right to personal privacy includes the right to self-determination; at least as it relates to the choices that only affect your personal lives, economics aside obviously. You also probably believe that the federal government has no right to meddle in such personal private affairs. As a result, this is how the subject of abortion is framedÖ

 

Even those who despise the practice of abortion, support the idea of privacy and a limited reach of the federal government. So this is the context in which the discussion is carefully crafted by abortion advocates.

 

Current (net) Polling Data

 

In a January CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, 53% of respondents identified themselves as pro-choice versus 42% as pro-life. But is this the entire picture?

 

In poll after poll after poll, when broken down in an honest effort to accurately define the true sentiments of the American people on the topic, the outcome changes dramatically once we get to the details. Collectively, the net result of all available current polls reveals that approximately 40% out of the 53% that consider themselves pro-choice actually support abortion only in the cases of rape, incest or life threatening situations. Combined, thatís less than 10% of all abortionsÖ

 

Some 65% of pro-choice people believe that restrictions on abortion should be more stringent, versus 27% who believe in abortion-on-demand, regardless of reason.

 

Pew Research Group finds that 66% of respondents believe abortion should either be limited to cases of rape, incest, threat to life or illegal all together, while only 30% believe that abortion should be unrestricted.

 

69% of respondents believe that women under 18 years of age should be legally required to have parental consent before being allowed an abortion. 64% believe that the law should require a married woman to notify her husband before having an abortion.

 

Yet when asked if the Roe vs. Wade decision was good or bad for America, 60% say it was a good thing. When asked if Roe vs. Wade should be overturned by the court, between 60 - 65% say no. Why? Itís all in how the question is framedÖ

 

The Truth About Abortion

 

Though the case for abortion is always argued on behalf of rape or incest victims, or the endangered life of the mother, the fact is, combined these cases represent less than 10% of all abortions in America today, according to the women having abortions.

 

According to a 2004 AGI study on abortion statistics, 67% chose abortion simply because they did not want the inconvenience of a child, another 8% because they liked their sexual partner well enough to sleep with them, but not well enough to have a child with them. 7% because they were still children themselves and just too young to be a parent, 7% due to stated (whether real or imaginary) health concerns, either of the mother or the fetus and 4% because it would interfere with their career path. Only .5% were due to rape or incest, .5% to conceal an otherwise secret relationship and 5% for reasons unstated. In other words, more than 90% of all abortions are the direct result of nothing more than careless behavior and could easily be avoided.

 

Another interesting statistic is the fact that 53.6% of those who had an abortion, claim that they were using some form of contraceptive at the time they became pregnant. Since these contraceptives are clearly no guarantee against unwanted pregnancy, one must wonder why we pass out contraceptives like candy in our public schools today, versus teaching our children the consequences of their actions and telling them the truth about contraceptives.

 

The other 46.4% obviously made no conscious effort at all to avoid unwanted pregnancy. They acted completely irresponsibly and an innocent child will pay the consequences with its life.

 

A Right to Choose

 

I believe in a womanís right to choose. I believe in her right to say no. I believe in her right to choose who she will or wonít sleep with. I believe in her right to use any precautionary measures legally available to avoid unwanted pregnancy. I even believe in her right to stone her sexual attacker to death in the town square.

 

But when a woman fails to make any of these choices intelligently, I do not believe in her right to take the innocent life of another as a remedy and clearly, most Americans agree.

 

Itís a Life

 

Many have found a means to justify their desires by debating when life begins. For me it is a simple debate. If left alone to its natural end, almost every pregnancy will result in the birth of a healthy child. To actively terminate that process once begun is to exterminate that life, plain and simple.

 

Iím not interested in the mind numbing hair-splitting of when life begins. The only purpose of such a discussion is to justify that which is otherwise, clearly unjust.

 

Itís the Womanís Body

 

No it isnítÖ Itís the childís body that is being exterminated. The womanís body is left intact, fully functioning and ready to do business again. The life being terminated is not that of the person making the decision. It is the life of a defenseless child, dependent upon its mother for its right to live. If the mother wonít protect that child during the first nine months, nobody else can. Only once delivered, can we step in and take the child, protecting it from a mother who wishes it harm.

 

Overturning Roe vs. Wade

 

Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. Not for the purpose of making abortion illegal, but rather as a means of righting the improper interpretation of Constitutional rights as they are written. No such right exists, the right to take the innocent life of another. In fact, a fundamental right to life is what our Constitution is all about.

 

Should Abortion be Illegal?

 

First, the taking of innocent life has never been legal in this country. Terminating the innocent life of another is not protected by any right to privacy. If you think it is, try killing your neighbor. But making abortion illegal is not likely to stop abortions from happening, now that society at large has become accustomed to killing 1.31 million per year, at will and without remorse.

 

Most Americans simply turn and look the other way. They sense that something is wrong. But rather than confront that wrong in an effort to make it right, like their politicians, they leave the matter at the doorstep of the courts, claiming ignorance and a lack of power over the issue. Our silence is our consentÖ

 

The only thing that will stop or even reduce abortions in America is a genuine reverence and respect for human life, combined with a renewed sense of personal responsibility for the consequences of ones own actions.

 

Whether abortion is legal or not, until people begin to place the right to life above the right to a career, or a big screen TV, or a bigger house or a second SUV, or personal convenience by any definition, until they begin to think about their limited options before they create the problem, abortion will continue.

 

As long as abortion continues, children will continue to doubt the value of their own lives and America will continue to slide ever farther into an immoral abyss, respecting nothing and no one, unable to respect even themselves.

 

As important, America was founded upon a simple basic belief in certain inalienable rights, first among them a right to life. Our Constitution was not written to protect the right of a mother to extinguish her young, but rather to respect and protect every human life as precious. Our most fundamental American right died with the Roe vs. Wade decision and thatís why it must one day be overturned.

 

Oddly, both pro-choice and pro-life groups are responsible for the status quo on abortion. Pro-choice advocates because they place a womanís right to correct her error above the basic right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of every child; Pro-life advocates because they refuse to separate cases of rape or incest from cases of after-the-act birth control or even capital punishment issues.

 

Yet according to all polling data, this nation supports restricting abortion to cases of rape, incest or a legitimate threat to life. That alone would eliminate 90%, more than 1.2 million senseless abortions per year in this country. But because we canít agree on the remaining 10%, all of these abortions will continue.

 

Many Americans support abortion and donít even know it, every time they cast a vote for a pro-choice candidate. Too many Americans have lost their capacity to care, their ability to make the simple connections that would save innocent lives.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Unless your life represents an inconvenience to your motherÖ.



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