Friday, November 26, 2004

Full Disclosure on abortion:

After my last blog entry it is probably fair to offer up full disclosure on abortion and politics. I am convinced without a shadow of a doubt that murdering is wrong. Murder is usually defined as taking the life of an innocent. I run into trouble about abortion because I’m not sure exactly when life begins. I’ve had several very intelligent, well-educated people argue with me on when exactly life beings and I usually come out on the losing end. I do know that the fertilized egg starts to grow once it is implanted and I believe that growth should not be impeded. However, I am still swayed by the “when is a human not alive” argument (when it has no heartbeat and no brain waves), therefore a fetus without those is not alive…

As for politics, I certainly like Bill Clinton’s message that abortions should be safe, legal and rare. While I wish that woman would not terminate pregnancies and men wouldn’t sleep with women without being fully committed to the possible outcomes, I realize that they do happen and therefore it is better that a doctor perform them then the woman themselves. It is around the “legal” part of Clinton’s message that I think some progress can be made to roll the back the occurrences. Yet, I know there are lots of grey areas, especially around the woman’s health, rape, incest, correct medical procedures, etc that make this issue a very tricky one to legislate and enforce.

If the reduction in the number of abortions is the goal, laws may not be the best deterrent. Research shows that improving woman’s health care, access to contraceptives and improving economics reduces abortions more than laws. According to this study, more abortions are committed in countries where they are illegal than where they are legal. The Netherlands, with very liberal laws, has the lowest abortion rate in the world, while many Central and South American countries have high numbers of abortions even though it is illegal.

Although on a whole, I line up with the Republican position on abortion rather than the Democratic one. Abortion with strict limits (i.e. parental notification, not after viability, required counseling) seems to be a better approach for a society than a more open one that doesn’t demand personal responsibility of its citizens. It seems that sex is very analogous to drinking. Drinking can be a fun way to enjoy an evening, but if in that evening one kills or hurts someone, maybe even unintentionally, that person should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Likewise, sex, also a fun way to enjoy an evening, but in the process (or say 6-8 weeks later) kills or hurts someone; they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. With all the adult novelty devices on the market, those pursuing the physical satisfaction of sex can achieve that without the possibility of creating a new life. If people are pursuing sex to feel love, isn’t that an age-old dilemma and how much more does the Good News of Jesus need to be preached?