On January 22, 1973, during the problematic President Richard Nixon Administration, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. The decision, which basically asserted that women could receive an abortion in the earliest trimester without intervention of the law and in later months of the pregnancy with certain restrictions, was a seemingly legal end to the debate, or so they might have thought. The fact remains, though, that the issue of abortion continues to remain a hot topic both politically and socially, with camps well entrenched on the pro-life and pro-choice side and most Americans floating somewhere in the middle.
There are several reasons why the issue of abortion remains a hot topic in politics. First and foremost is the salacious nature in which the debate is framed. Political pundits and stiff-minded party officials have closed off the debate in many ways. Pro-life Republicans and Presidents, for example, have said their peace and remain consistently concrete in their positions, with pro-choice liberals just as hardened on the other side. What this does, in its essence, is stop the discussion before it begins. There is nothing wrong with holding a position, not at all, and I respect those who have strong and established beliefs, especially on an issue of such importance as abortion. But, when there is a lack of a respect or at least open-to-hearing (not to changing), there is no room to discuss and, therefore, no resolution or real progress.
Further, in a world where definitive are wanted, the medical community has not yet fully provided an answer to a question: when does life begin? It would be somewhat relieving to many to say at X amount of weeks, a fetus is a life and before that, it is not. Now, for those with a position that is not open to changing, this fact would not matter. But, the truth is that the majority of Americans are pro-choice but with many limitation. They are right of center on the issue but they are not fully as entrenched as pro-lifers who believe in all circumstances that an abortion should not be legal.
Finally, the issue of abortion has been made into a debate about abortion clinics, confusing and conflating the issue with figures rather than the core of the issue. I believe that individuals like Kermit Gosnell (doctor title revoked due to his immense lack of respect for humanity and apparent refusal to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath) and the devious and disgusting nature of Planned Parenthood have muddied the issue. Most will agree (and rightfully so!) that what these institutions have done to women throughout the country is both degrading and disgusting. The preventive care that Planned Parenthood has provided to many women is coupled with an inherent racism, socioeconomic bias, and overall disregard for women when it comes to the availability of abortions and the inhumane treatment of babies that prevents the reality of the bad to be hidden by any perceived good.
I have a strong position on abortion, as many do. I am unwilling to compromise but I am open minded in hearing another view. Without my view being challenged, I will never know what I stand for or who I stand behind. When it comes to abortion, there NEEDS to be a discussion, however. Both sides of the issue have emotional and real world realities behind their positions. We need to have a discussion with clarity and openness if there will ever be peace provided to this issue… my hope and my want is that we finally do. This is an issue about governmental control, small and innocent lives, and morality as a whole. Not about hyperbolic figures and political banter for electoral gains.
Do you think there will ever be a conclusive answer to abortion? Will there be a happy medium in policy or will there continue to remain this debate? Does the debate on abortion deserve to be front and center at all or at any time in American politics?