There isn’t an issue more divisive than abortion. Either you want to defend the liberty of the unborn or you want to to defend the liberty of women. Unfortunately, it seems like you can’t defend both. In a nation that defines itself by offering liberty to all it’s citizens (current administration aside), a legal stance that deprives one of the two groups of liberty is institutionalizing the removal of liberty from one of those parties. Which is to say, no matter which side “wins”. liberty loses. When liberty loses, America loses. None of us is on board with America losing, so we pick a side and call it the “right” one and once we’re all on-board peace is restored. That isn’t ever going to work for everyone.
Most politicians firmly pick a side to energize that segment of voters and secure a ‘base’ for election and re-election. This is usually (90%) the rationale of the politician. Their first concern is election. If they’re not in public office they can’t do what they perceive as ‘good’ for their constituents. If they have to espouse issues they haven’t thought through or don’t care about or otherwise compromise their integrity to get elected, then they will. Otherwise they’ll have done no ‘good’. So they take waffling stances and the problem remains forever. Not good, not good. So I will go ahead and take a firm stance since I have given it quite a bit of thought and I don’t approve of the lawyerspeak question dodging of politicians. Although I will say upfront that I have some bias considering I am in fact male. My body doesn’t have to deal with the consequences one way or the other.
Let’s break it down rationally, shall we? Abortion is the removal of an unwanted pregnancy by a doctor. This is often described as “unnatural”. Well, you’re not wrong (sort of). Anything humans do is considered ‘artificial’. We do these new things not found regularly in nature through merit of reason and intelligence not found in the rest of the animal kingdom. Before the technology to perform abortions with minimal risk to the woman came about, abortion was much rarer and much, much more dangerous. But in a way, as humans are a product of nature, literally everything we do and discover is in fact “natural”. No matter what planet you’re on or evolutionary path is taken to reach intelligence, light still moves the same speed. Which is to say that the universe operates on it’s own principles and we’re the natural result of infinite tiny events all interacting with each other based on an underlying mechanism that define the mechanisms of our universe. Artificial, is therefore natural. But that doesn’t give us an ‘answer’. How then, as a society, should we treat the (un)natural act of abortion?
We’re at odds about abortion for a slew of reasons. Most common in the US is religion in the defense of the child and feminism in defense of the women (vast generalization there’s countless reasons). In many faiths, the spirit of the child is born at conception and removal is murder. However many, many women don’t follow faith and don’t want faith intertwined with our government. In America, we are free to pursue faith (or not). If your faith doesn’t want you to get an abortion, don’t get one. It’s fairly simple. But what about the rest?
To be frank, it’s really not the government’s problem, and you shouldn’t make it one. The government recognizes any person born in the US to be a citizen. At that point all it’s laws apply. You don’t want *any* government EVER being in the position of defining when a person is a person. First, second, twenty-third trimester, whatever, you don’t want the government in the position of defining the cut-off for human rights. Because you don’t want human rights in any way, shape, or form defined by a legislature that changes every four years. You never know when they’ll make it harder to be legally human. Slippery slope, perhaps, but one we can avoid. So let’s avoid it. What is provided by the government? What is provided in the laws that pre-date abortion? Citizen at birth. What constitutes birth? Separation from the mother. Let’s go ahead and buff the legal definition of “birth” to be ‘post-separation viable‘. This is something that we can and should go ahead and legislate. It is something both sides can agree on as the new bedrock for abortion laws, as opposed to just ‘citizen at birth‘. In 1000 years, as technology improves, ending pregnancies the day after conception could instead lead to un(natural) gestation pods for the unwanted fetus allowing it a full life. Then we’ll have saved all the babies! (Hooray) This seems like a fairly safe definition (from abuse by the government) that increases protections to the unborn as time and technology go on. Now with this new rule in place, if you want more partially formed babies to reach adulthood you can study medical research instead of burning down clinics. Seems like a much more productive outlet to me, anyway.
Now, if you’re a religious person this might be a wholly unacceptable stance for me to be taking. Sorry, but it’s impossible to please everyone and here’s where it gets tricky to explain. So let’s go through the rationale: The government isn’t a religious institution and you’re trying to put your religious rules into law. This conflicts with the Constitution and the separation of church and state. We don’t tolerate Sharia law superseding our national laws, so what gives Christianity the right? If you want to lock down abortion in your religious community with strongly worded condemnations (no force), that’s allowed in America. Freedom of speech and religion. If you want to lock down everyone else with laws defended by law enforcement? Yeah, that’s less freedom for everyone you’re forcing your values on. America is a land of freedoms, remember? You can stand outside clinics and explain how would-be aborters are committing infanticide. Freedom of speech. You can’t go at them with pitchforks when they walk past. That’s assault. You also can’t go at them with legislative pitchforks. That’s tyranny; And unconstitutional. I get that you want to defend the kid. That’s great, you’re a good person. Thing is, it’s not your kid. It’s not your body. You have zero right to do that. Similarly, the government has zero right to do that. Given the choice between legal and illegal, the government should ALWAYS err on the side of legal. Everything that is illegal is a restriction of a freedom. In America we voluntarily surrender the freedom to murder others so that the would-be murdered are guaranteed the freedom to keep living. This more or less is (theoretically) the rationale that in some way, shape, or form extends out to all laws. America defines our society by what we are free to do and not free to do without repercussion. The law lays out what isn’t allowed, and law enforcement is simply the punitive repercussion for breaking those rules. If we want different rules, or improved rules, we elect officials to champion those positions. This is more or less what has gotten us to this crossroad, because those politicians keep trying to get re-elected. We should probably have publicly funded elections to stop the empty promises exchanged for donations. (Crazy, I know)
But here’s my twist: Why are we having this discussion AT ALL? I’m serious. Why are we fighting about whether or not to allow abortion? Why not prevent the issue altogether? Why not have a rule that men need to get one of those reversible vasectomies until they’re trying to procreate? Seriously. It’s a simple, (relatively) painless & risk-free, and results in almost ZERO abortions nationwide. Why are we dumping the abortion problem entirely on women? That’s sexist. It takes two, after all. We should make it like this:
Men that turn 18 are optionally encouraged to get a reversible vasectomy. Obviously, the government isn’t going to make you do anything. But the government can levee a hefty fine for any unwanted pregnancies that occur after you chose not to get the procedure. You want your female partner to engage in a technically elective procedure because you don’t want to deal with the natural consequence of intercourse, even though it is much harder on the mental health of the woman (regardless of faith). With Medicare-For-All you even want the taxpayers (everyone) to pay for it!! “But it increases the chance of prostate cancer!” Yeaaahh, but all birth control for women increases their chances of cervical cancer and breast cancer. Doesn’t really seem fair to women, does it? Sexist, even? So let’s legally define the limit for abortion as “post-separation viable” which protects the unborn more than the current laws. Then y’all can get to researching ways to keep them alive earlier. More medical research is always better! But let’s reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancy by making men do their part too: make it so unplanned pregnancies that end in abortions are paid for by the men who chose not to get a vasectomy or otherwise practice safe sex. (obviously failed vasectomies are excepted) So, men: freeze sperm in case your doctor messes up the hack job; But again, women face the same troubles with fertility risks, so man up. (puns intended)