Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Roe v. Wade Musings

I have to admit that I'm troubled by any legal maneuvering which allows abortion to be legal through the third trimester. The science hasn't changed much from the science available in 1973. Bob Woodward wrote an interesting article in 1989 concerning the papers of deceased Justice William Douglas and the concepts "quickening"(16-18 weeks) and viability (24-28 weeks) and the need to "draw a line". The right to the procedure had to be weighed against the life that is developing in the womb. Clinton's term "ensoulment" (or viability) was the rationale for continuing the status quo. The Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion rights for women and the decision is in the news since Alito's nomination and Roberts confirmation process.

Perhaps the folks who want a right to the procedure should hope that Alito turns back the clock. My reasoning is that there will be no hiding behind the Justices robes by those who talk the talk of illegalizing abortion-on-demand, but send their girlfriends to the abortion clinics in their home states to prevent a political mess an illegitimate child of an affair could cause(one recent case comes to mind in Georgia). Many folks in Congress actually do have convictions about the evils of abortion, but not all who espouse an end to the right to an abortion. I believe it would be a wonderful occasion for those who write and pass our laws to be on record under different circumstances. Much has changed in the 32 years of the decision's impact on America.

I believe there must be a line drawn, but many of the folks who use the issue to promote GOP 'virtues' in other blogs I frequent are disingenuous at best. On one hand, they advocate cutting the poor and working poor's needs out of the budget of the U>S or their home state to save money for defense contractors to raid the Treasury with the help of GOP pals(not that all "defense-friendly" Congressman are GOP---plenty of Dems are supplied campaign donations). Children's programs are anathema to many conservative voters with whom I am familiar. They want to "save the children" by outlawing abortions at ANY stage of development, yet don't want to spend the money to make a productive life possible for some of these children.

The attitude that seems to be growing in Arkansas blogs and among folks I know personally is to end all subsidies for children and poor Americans. I agree that folks on welfare who can work, shouldn't be entitled to a lifelong handout from the government. But, the Draconian crap I hear and read each day is shameful for the richest country on earth. Then to hear the despicable ideology of Bill Bennett exposed really shows me the truth of what I've heard growing up among a Southern Baptist community of believers. Most of the Christians I've known from my hometown are truly bigoted folks. Not that most would like to relive the "good old days" of murder and intimidation (some I knew actually participated in racial violence in their younger days or had relatives involved and bragged about their roles in some of the most horrendous acts of violence against blacks after the First World War), but many like to flash a wink to such thinking without an overt approval. The Christ can't be happy about such views.

I have no fear about the restriction of abortion because I'll never have children, but those who believe in the right should welcome this issue centerstage for Congress to act(the right wing are bound to demand a Congressional ban on abortion rights on a national level). There won't be any hiding; a Congressman's view and vote will mean everything. Will those who talk about illegalizing abortion blink? I suspect a number of "reliable" votes against abortion will reconsider the impact of their actions. Then, the American people can have their "knockdown, dragout" debate across the nation and fracture this nation worse than those alive today could ever conceive. I don't want the crazies to start taking the debate to the streets with their cynical violent notions(almost exclusively the purview of the right wing concerning the issue). However, the Court won't be a hindrance to their ideas of abolition and allowing New York to provide legal abortions while Texas outlaws it won't be acceptable to the right wing. A full-fledged fracas might be just what the nation needs at this point of our history. Politics are increasingly retreating to the days of American politics when horrible, unsubstantiated ad hominems were hurled with the desired results.

I don't have a crystal ball to divine the future of our nation, but from the climate of today, this issue is the last thing we need to further our division. A pragmatic approach would be to "draw the line" once and for all (at least until science proves the evil of abortion at all stages of pregnancy) and allow legality up to that line. Pragmatism is increasingly dying among the American electorate, so I have no faith that the issue will be resolved without rancor. The Civil War and the issues at stake are still alive and well among Southern voters 140 years later. The abortion rights issue will be equally as powerful I suspect. The debate about abortion seems to be potentially as violent as the debate about the legality of slavery and I don't want to see such parallels arise. We must promote pragmatic views and action or we'll see serious levels of bloodshed I fear.


Blogger Ak Alaska House Cleaning said...

Excellent blog.  I go though the web in search of
blogs like this one. Its so good, that I plan on
returning to its site!
Search for my va virginia house cleaning blog, please!

3:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home