Abortion, Choice or Right to Life: An Issue of “Focus.”
1. Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy, other than by natural causes
2. Pro – choice (Democrat) or Pro-Abortion (Republican) are each evocative characterizations, designed to, unfairly I think, obscure the issue. The word “choice” as currently used by Republicans implies encouragement to abort, as opposed to encouragement to have the individual make an informed and independent choice (Democrat or Libertarian,) which must be juxtaposed against having a government make a moral choice, for its citizens, as a reflection of the then existing majority’s expressed will (Populist.)
3. Killing: terminating a human life 4. Murder: unlike homicide, any form of an unlawful termination of human life 5. Life: a. biologically – reproducing, ingesting, excreting organisms b. religio-spiritually – the divine spark present at inception c. legally – somehow related to viability (problematic with test tube babies and advances in medicine now and in the future)
Beliefs and Viewpoints:
1. All abortions are, if you accept “but for” reasoning, a Killing, but all Killings are not Murder for example killing in self defense, or defense of another, Murder is only what a particular society’s laws define as an unlawful killing etc.
2. The question itself is often determined by the observer’s focus.
a. If you focus on the mother, then until the fetus is “born” it is part of the mother’s body, and I believe she, and every other person, should have the absolute right to govern and choose their course of care, (and no, this does not mean that I accept that pregnancy is a disease to be treated.) Health, or lack thereof, so long as the individual bears the entire effects of their own choices, other than the moral consequences inherent in a society that acquiesces to any act of one of its members, is and should be an exclusively personal matter where the individual acts according to his or her own moral tenants and bears the consequences of their own actions or failures to act.
Thus, choice, which should, I believe, be informed, in this as in all decisions, here because of the moral consequences inherent to an acquiescing society, focuses ONLY on the mother. Society should, I believe, have the right to require that choice made be in an informed and timely manner. Say within the first trimester, and only by minimally competent persons under the law (as currently defined for criminal purposes – the ability to know the difference between right and wrong, not to say or characterize this as even remotely a criminal act.)
b. If you focus on the fetus, our society has irrefutably granted certain rights at birth. Although these rights, until very recently, did not vest in the child until a latter date i.e. majority, baptism, confirmation, bar mitzvah, etc. As to the question, why should the date be moved to an earlier time, and if so to what age, what logic can there be, in view of modern medicine, to draw any line other than inception, once and if you agree to any earlier time. Since the fetus will not be capable of communicating cognizance of its death, if this occurs before birth, what are the consequences to society of its death, other than the moral issue? And if it is solely the moral issue then do we really want any government making moral decisions by the majority expression of will? I do not!
3. Does this mean that the poor and/or ignorant are more likely to abort than the financially secure and educated – yes. But then the poor and/or ignorant are also more likely to be pregnant with an unwanted child and less likely to bear the consequences of their action and require that society bear the consequences of their individual choices, welfare etc. Is this characterizable as racial or class centric, possibly but anything can be characterized by “look-back” causality, the question is repeatability and whether the intent was somehow racial of class centric or whether there are concurring unrelated common causes of both effects or even if one is merely an unintended consequence of the other.
Proposals, what may be elected, and who makes the election:
1. If a single (unmarried) woman over the age of 18 is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with no requirement of counseling).
2. If a married woman is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with no requirement of counseling), and either the written consent of her husband or a written acknowledgement that he has been notified.
3. If a single (unmarried) woman over the age of 14 but not yet 18 is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with a requirement of counseling) and either written consent of her custodial parent or a written acknowledgement that he or she has been notified.
4. If a single (unmarried) woman under the age of 14 is pregnant; then the mother makes the decision, in writing, after a minimum 48 hour (cooling off period), post notification of right to counseling (with no requirement of counseling) and either written consent of her custodial parent or a written acknowledgement that the custodial parent shall as of the birth adopt the child and assume responsibility for same.
5. In the event that the election is made to terminate the pregnancy in any of the above circumstances, or in the case of incest, rape, or the health of the mother is endangered; the pregnancy may be terminated, at government expense at an approved facility.