Saturday, November 5, 2011

Abortion - The Ineffective Pro-Choice Arguments

The abortion wars continue.  A recent article in the respected New England Journal of Medicine addresses the issue of "The Supply Side Economics of Abortion."  It points out that attempts to limit pregnancy terminations are now being accomplished by making it more difficult for such facilities to set up shop (the supply side.)  Up to now, difficulties in obtaining abortions were effected primarily on the "demand side," - waiting periods, parental consent, counseling, etc.  Regulations, citing safety issues, are now mandating space requirements for abortion clinics that make it far more expensive to construct them.  Additionally, a number of states (Missouri, Virginia, Arizona) are requiring facilities performing abortions to update to "hospital status," or that the carrying out of abortions be restricted to physicians only.  (In many facilities they are performed by fully qualified nurse practitioners or physician-assistants.)  These are the "supply side" issues discussed.

Yes, attempts to restrict or eliminate abortion continue - and always will.  Yes abortion has always been with us, and will most likely continue to be with us in the future.  But be sure to understand the motivation of "pro-lifers."  Realize that no argument exists that will budge them from their point of view - their belief in what constitutes a human life.  Arguments - that abortion, legal or not, will always be part of our civilization, or that an increase in "back room" abortions will result in an increase in significant morbidity and mortality, or that giving birth to "unwanted" children will only result in a greater number of ill-cared for and abandoned children - are destined to fall on deaf ears.  Justifying the procedure as being a woman's prerogative will not work.  As a nine-month old fetus is hardly considered merely a part of the mother's body, so, too, the newly created product of conception.

The conviction that the preservation of innocent life is a moral imperative will eternally close the mind of the believer to such arguments.  No true believer will ever consent to the "murder" of a human being in order to accomplish, or in order to prevent, any foreseeable incident.  One does not "kill" a human being that was created as a result of rape or incest. One does not "kill" a human being because it may be economically advantageous, etc.  It is important to always remember that to a "pro-lifer" a product of conception exists as a human being (has the same DNA) from the moment of fertilization to birth, infancy and beyond.  This moral imperative is permanently moored in the "pro-lifer."

Those of us who are pro-choice must invariably stay aware of the powerlessness of our arguments.

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