Decision 2016: Adding Abortion to the Heap

userpic=bushbabyAs I’m home sick today, I’d like to share some election related thoughts over lunch. In particular, I’d like to share some thoughts as to why Donald Trump’s stated position on abortion, as expressed during the final debate, should be yet another factor that causes you to vote against him and to vote for Secretary Clinton.

Going in, let’s have some stipulations:

Hillary Clinton is not “Pro-Abortion” — that is, she does not support the notion of removing a healthy, viable infant from their healthy, viable mother through anything other than the normal birth process or caesarean section in lieu thereof.

Hillary Clinton does not want you to compromise how you apply your religious beliefs to your body. In other words, if you do not believe in abortions, no one is going to make you have one.

In those stipulations above, however, are the reasons why you should support Clinton in this area and not Trump. In fact, they are the primary reasons why you should join what is called the “Pro-Choice” camp. Let me go over them, perhap in reverse order.

  • I can completely understand if your religion tells you that abortion is wrong, and that you shouldn’t do it. How you practice your religion is up to you completely. Where the difficulty comes is when one religion attempts to use Federal law to force its religious values on others. I’m Jewish. There are groups in Judaism that insist on keeping Kosher. Would it be right for that group to insist that everyone in the country keep Kosher? No. In the same way, it is wrong to say that just because your religion thinks abortion is wrong, it needs to be prohibited at the Federal level.
  • Further, a central teaching of Judaism and Christianity is that one commandment is not greater than another. It is equally wrong to eat bacon, mix linen and wool, or commit murder. Similarly, in Christianity. So unless you are going to impose complete religious law everywhere (and of course you see the problem with that), there is no point in banning abortion. Understanding this make clear what the real abortion fight is about: those in power (typically men) wanting control over women by dictating what they can do with their bodies. That’s appropriate for a farmer in a stable dealing with a pregnant cow that they own, not a man to a woman.
  • There is the belief that if abortion is legal, everyone will be having one. That’s completely wrong. Legal does not mean “everyone do it”. It is legal to own guns, but everyone doesn’t own guns. For some, it is against their beliefs. Similarly, with abortion, people will follow their beliefs, and if their religion or other beliefs dictate to not have abortions, they won’t.
  • Just as with guns, the issue is not banning them, but putting in reasonable restrictions. In this situation, there are primarily four, emboded in “healthy, viable infant” and “healthy, viable mother”. First and foremost, the courts have ruled that abortions, in general, can’t happen after a certain point — basically, when the fetus could live on its own outside the womb, independent of its mother. That’s the distinction between fetus and infant/baby, and why abortion is not killing babies. The second distinction is healthy. If giving birth to the child would endanger the life of the mother, abortion is generally permitted. Similarly, if the fetus is not healthy (i.e., exhibits significant abnormality or genetic deformity), abortion is permitted.
  • Note that it is the “health” issue that is the “slippery slope”. Where does mental health come into play — a fetus that is the result of a violent rape can have significant mental health problems for the mother. Where does degree of disability of the fetus come into play — is it right to abort a fetus that clearly will have a mental or physical deformity that is not life threatening. The answer here is that it should not be the government’s place to decide this. This is a hard decision, and should be made with in consultation between the mother, her family, clergy (as appropriate), and medical professionals.
  • But what, some say, about abortions of convenience. We all know those happen as well. But even in such cases, it is the mother’s decision to make, not the government’s. Such abortions will happen whether they are legal or not — changing the law will not change that. So is it better that they happen with medical supervision in a health-care environment so that both mother and child are not lost.
  • Nothing related to permitting abortion makes adoption less emphasized; adoption should always be encouraged as an option if the mother is willing. Similarly, increase availability of birth control can reduce the need for abortions.

During the most recent debate, Donald Trump indicated he wanted the Federal government to not have abortion as a right by overturning Roe v. Wade. This would put the decision back in the hands of the states, and it would be equally wrong for states to impose a religion-based law. It must be legal at the Federal level (which is Hillary Clinton’s position), and left to the individual mother to decide. If you are religiously opposed to abortion, look at how Hillary’s running mate, Tim Kaine, is addressing the issue:

Kaine, a Roman Catholic who worked as a missionary in Honduras reiterated his personal opposition to abortion, but maintained the practice should not be outlawed.

When asked if he’d like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe the Governor answered, “I don’t think the Supreme Court should.” He continued, “Roe vs. Wade is ultimately about saying that there is a realm of personal liberty for people to make this decision.”


4 Replies to “Decision 2016: Adding Abortion to the Heap”

  1. On your argument about not imposing religious law, we have laws against murder. There is a Jewish prohibition against murder. Why are secular laws against murder not imposing religious law?

    1. That there is overlap between any one religion’s prohibitions and social agreement on ethical laws does not mean that secular laws are imposing religious law. You are confusing correlation with causation.

  2. I’m actually pro-abortion. I think abortion is a tool that we need; we’ve used it throughout history. It’s so valuable that people have risked horrible punishments, legal and social and the risk of death from poor methods, in order to use it.

    But I support even more every person’s right to choose about their own body.

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