Beginning of life, like end-of-life decisions are intensely personal and private matters. More people being involved makes painful choices even worse.
These issues best illustrate the maxim that government which governs best is the one which governs least. Check out this from the Wall Street Journal:
"Seven in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should stand, according to new data from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, as the landmark Supreme Court abortion-rights ruling turns 40 on Tuesday.
"That is the highest level of support for the decision, which established a woman's right to an abortion, since polls began tracking it in 1989. The shift is mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision—particularly Hispanics and African-Americans—and a slight uptick in support from Republicans.
"But the poll showed a consistent tension in Americans' attitudes toward the decision. Almost seven in 10 respondents say there are at least some circumstances in which they don't support abortion."
I don't look for this matter to be resolved any time soon, but my guess is that if it ever gets to the federal level there will be no legal restrictions during what is commonly called the First Trimester, but the Roe language used the word "viability" as the legal threshold after which the state has an interest in protecting the interests of a potential future citizen/voter/taxpayer.
My own position is that I find abortion morally reprehensible but I remain pro-choice. My reason is based on my conviction that behavior which is mandated, either by law, threats of reprisal, blackmail or any other external force may be unavoidable, but it does not qualify as "moral" unless the decision is made freely and responsibly.
And no, I am not convinced that "life begins at conception." If that be true, then all forms of contraception are abortifacients.
Background on the Anti-Choice Position
A recent article by Baptist pastor John Piper... We Know They Are Killing Children ... advances the anti-choice position as well as any. It is a perfect illustration of how science, medicine, morality and legality get tangled into a big unmanageable mess. It is the mission of the law to do as Solomon said, literally in this case, cut the baby in half. The issue is as old as the Hippocratic oath and remains unresolved.
Here's a post I wrote a few years ago, Abortion Cases - Roe vs. Wade - Opinion by Burger. Dig through it at your leisure. I did a lot of homework at that time. My conclusions are not arrived at arbitrarily. That's why I arrived at the same threshold the Supreme Court did at the time of the Roe decision--viability. Much has changed since then in the court systems, but none of the changes has resulted in returning the issue to a medical problem (not a legal problem) which was what prompted the original court challenge to the Texas statute.
Check out these other compelling links on abortion and the anti-choice position:
- The Health Care Blog - The Other Scarlet Letter
- C-Span Video - Book Discussion on Sex. Mom, and God
- NPR - Pro-Life , And In Favor Of Keeping Abortion Legal
- Patheos.com - How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement