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Abortion Defies an Extremist Solution

Brett Davis

Posted on May 21, 2019 04:05

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The issue shouldn’t be decided by hardliners on either side.

Alabama’s new strictest-in-the-nation abortion law has reignited the debate over one of America’s most contentious issues. Ostensibly designed to go to the Supreme Court and challenge Roe v. Wade, the law would ban almost all abortions in the state, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and would mean prison time for doctors who perform an abortion for any other reason.

Even some pro-life folks think Alabama’s new law goes too far. In a tweet, President Trump said he is “strongly Pro-Life,” but added he does favor allowing women to get abortions in terms of rape, incest or the health of the mother. Televangelist Pat Robertson – Pat Robertson! – called the new law “extreme,” and predicted it would be struck down should the case make its way before the Supreme Court.

This possible overreach and the attendant negative PR is not exclusive to the pro-life movement. The pro-choice movement has gone too far, and been criticized for demanding unrestricted and publicly funded abortions up to the point of birth – and beyond. Recall Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam seeming to endorse infanticide earlier this year in commenting on a bill (since tabled) lifting all state restrictions on abortion. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation legalizing abortion in New York state for basically any reason up to birth.

Abortion, by nature, does not easily lend itself to any sort of legislative compromise. The pro-life side takes the general view that human life begins at conception; before conception there is no life, after conception, there is. Therefore abortion is murder. The pro-choice side thinks it’s an issue of women’s sexual autonomy and is repulsed by the notion of the state telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body – that is, essentially granting rights to a potential person over the rights of an actual person.

Both sides, naturally, believe they occupy the moral high ground on this issue, meaning any middle ground is precious real estate.

It’s this binary thinking, either legalization or outlawing of all abortion, that is the problem. If we look at abortion on a continuum – before conception, moment of conception, multicellular blastocyst, embryo, fetus, newborn infant – we can see there might be room for a compromise both sides could accept. Think state laws that adhere to something like a timeline based on fetal viability in which abortions are allowed in the early part of pregnancy, while late-term abortions – problematic for obvious reasons – are banned, except to save the life of the mother.

Ironically, this flare up of the abortion debate takes place at a time when abortion rates are in a steady decline. Likewise, birthrates in America are no longer enough to replace the current population.

The public deserves better than abortion criminalized at all stages and no restrictions whatsoever on abortion. After all, do we really want extremists on either side proposing and passing more questionable abortion laws?

Brett Davis

Posted on May 21, 2019 04:05

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Source: FOX News
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Alabama's new abortion law and other states' pending measures are examples of "emboldened" Republican-majority legislatures...

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