This is not another piece on the arguments around abortion. It is a critique that both sides are seeking a legislative and legal solution, and that should make everyone unhappy. The perfect compromise.
For the record, I am an ardent and active pro-lifer. I pray once a month at an abortion mill with a small group that offers free counseling and referrals, among other activities. Abortion is wrong, always, period.
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The new Texas law on abortion was inevitable and to some seems unnecessarily provocative and stupid. Yes and no.
Nationally, the blue team consistently and predictably claims a constitutional right, so the red team has no where to go except the polar opposite. Count the votes. If the blue team requires the extreme left vote, the red team must accede to the extreme right. Neither side has an incentive to compromise.
Abortion is a moral issue that cannot possibly be codified into laws that can be enforced or respected with human satisfaction.
The stupid part of the Texas law is that a third party, not the mother or the abortionist, can receive compensation for ratting out the procedure. The mother is free from legal sanctions. But the rest of the law is practical in that it sees a right to protect the unborn when a heartbeat is detected. This legislative posture was inevitable from the pro-life team.
The only possible solution in a secular society is one where both sides are legally unsatisfied and miserable.
Abortion is a moral issue. You either believe in the life from the start or you don’t.
Here’s our common and contradictory ground:
- No one can force a woman to remain pregnant, no more than anyone can force a woman to get pregnant.
- No one can force a doctor or PA or nurse or anyone pro-life to perform or aid in an abortion.
- The mother has a moral decision to make and it is her burden physically and emotionally.
- The father should be held accountable, equally. If a man is not on common ground with a woman then he should not be fornicating, and drunk mindless hook-ups are included.
- The baby is a unique individual from conception, with a heartbeat at six weeks, and yes, horribly and clearly feels the pain of all abortion methods.
- Parents should be directly involved in the decision-making process of their minor children.
- Every effort to protect innocent human life should be made.
- Every effort to support a woman in crisis should be made. (Note that caprice is not defensible).
- You can make a law outlawing abortion, but it cannot be enforced. There will always be someone willing to perform the procedure. If safety of the mother is truly a concern, the job should be done by a doctor with admitting privileges at a local hospital.
The standard moral “exceptions” muddy the idea, but not the emotions. A generation ago the pro-life crowd used the “exceptions for rape and incest” line as a way to seem reasonable, at the same time pro-aborts (Remember Bill Clinton?) were touting “safe, legal, and rare.”
The blue team no longer sees a need to recognize a moral quandary. The red team now grows some stones and says, “You get nothing.”
And to the emotions, I am generally against the death penalty, for a host of reasons, but I do believe that rape should be a capital crime. Respect for persons of both genders should be part of Civics 101 taught from the youngest age, not just revisionist history or pseudo-climate perfidy.
The notion that women are suddenly feeble and need more than a few minutes to discern that they are victims of the violent crime of rape treats women, as, well, weak minded and irrational and that is wrong. Women can handle terrible events and should be expected to report criminality.
Abortion is a moral issue. The decision is crushingly difficult for a mother who has no love or support or capacity to share the miracle of birth, of life. Men should act like men; again, part of Civics 101.
The ability to obtain the procedure should not be easy or convenient. Opportunities for pre- and post-counselling should be expanded and part of any legislation.
Tax money should never be used to support an industry that promulgates killing the innocent as a production job. Earlier this year President Biden said that he’d repeal the Hyde Amendment, essentially shutting the last decent door of accommodating pro-lifers. Texas pro-lifers saw the breach of honor and threw the gauntlet.
If the blue team had compromised on any of these elements, the red team would not have taken the extreme position of rewards for a third party who reports an abortion after a heartbeat is detected. I support the Texas bill and its intent, but I think its practical enforcement is in doubt.
The abortion lobby, the blue team, and a soft media will dig in and threaten court action. Pro-lifers will pass laws that will be even more difficult to enforce. Sadly, the Texas law may give wind to the sails of the blue team just when this administration was on the rocks.
And still no one speaks to the moral issue of abortion, the great issue of our time. Abortion by definition is an existential issue. It is genocide of the poor, a practice supported by the elites who count votes, first. Women vote. Babies do not.
A true legislative solution is no solution at all and should leave both camps dissatisfied. That is the nature of compromise, legally, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Being pro-life is being pro-woman. It is about respect for humanity.
Abortion is a moral issue. We should teach that to children, too.
By Kevin Horgan
Kevin Horgan is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative. He is an author, retired attorney, and Marine. His work can be found on his blog Our Culture Inchoate, and his books, including his most recent novel A Face on the Flag, are available at Amazon.