2.17.2005

The Middle Ground of Politics: Pro-life/Pro-choice

New Donkey reacts to some commentary from Noam Scheiber and Kevin Drum pointing out a NY Times story addressing the National Right to Life Foundation's reaction to Senator Clinton's so called "middle ground" speech on abortion.

The New Donkey is trying to analyse the center of politics of abortion. He concludes that in the center, like the right and the left, there is real desire to decrease the number of abortions. He points to the opinions of the National Right to Life Foundation in regards to contraception options.

The short short version of the "decreasing abortion rate" debate is that the best way to decrease the number of abortions is to decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies. Comprehensive sex education, condoms, birth control and the "morning after pill" are the most commonly cited methods of decreasing the number of unwanted pregnancies.

This isn't really disputable. The facts are clear on these items. They, like many objects, have a rate of failure, so they are not perfect.

The fundamental issue for Pro-Lifers - like me - is that we want to decrease the number of abortions. However, the differences between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice are biological and ethical. Pro-Life advocates seek to identify when life begins. In biology, this question is already answered. Life begins at conception. Ethically is where the divide begins.

Pro-Lifers are trying to seek protections for the unborn. They want to end the "property" status of the baby that makes up the standing for "privacy". We witness the animosity for any laws that grant legal standing for a fetus in the Congress. "Lacey and Connor's Law" was opposed by the the Pro-Choice organizations. Any citation in the law that makes it a crime to harm a fetus creates the grounds for the people to petition their government for redress of grievances.

The other aspect to this debate is the commercial interests. Abortion is an industry. Inaccurately categoerized as "Healthcare", Abortion has become a major fundraising issue for Progressives. That money comes from people genuinely interested in maintaining the property status of a fetus. But we cannot ignore the commercial interests that need abortion. If the fetus were treated under the law as a person then the sociological results of permiscous sex with multiple partners could accurately be addressed by the people.

The Adult Erotic Entertainment industry is a major contributor to Pro-Choice organizations. Their profits are linked to the law. If abortion is outlawed then their balance sheet will feel the effects. People will have to consider their options more carefully. Spontaneous sexual encounters would carry a much higher risk.

Even Senator Clinton recognized that Pro-Life supporters that want to end abortion derive their ethics from religion. She understands that decreasing the number of abortions isn't the only motivation of Pro-Life supporters. They also are concerned about the cultural norms that have shifted radically over the last 30 years.

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