Abortion and the 2012 elections

Just when you thought the 2012 election cycle would be all about economic and domestic policies, the third rail of social politics — abortion — rears its head.

The latest chapter in our nation’s struggles over what to do about the topic unfolds out of Texas. The Lone Star State’s General Assembly has approved separate bills in both the House and Senate forcing women seeking abortions to also get a sonogram 24 hours prior to the procedure.

 Women’s-rights groups howled. Democratic lawmakers in the Texas Legislature cried foul.

But what were the complaints? Republicans pushing the bill said it only seems fair and right to ask a woman who was about to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life to a) think about it an extra day; and b) to at least understand that the fetus she was about to abort was in fact a living entity with a heartbeat. Is that so wrong?

Opponents didn’t challenge those fundamental questions. Instead, they chose to trot out traditional lofty statements such as “the reproductive rights of women will be set back generations” and “this interferes with the doctor-patient relationship,” yadda yadda yadda.

"It is not the jelly on the belly that most of you think. This is government intrusion at its best," said Texas state Rep. Carol Alvarado during a debate on the House floor last week. That’s correct, this procedure would involve an ultrasound scan in the woman’s uterus. No question, that is invasive. But isn’t, too, an abortion? Isn’t that invasive?

If abortions should in fact be “legal yet rare” in this country, then doesn’t everyone contemplating such a move owe it to herself and the unborn to at least THINK about it first?

That’s what bothers me most about the pro-abortion movement, especially as these arguments evolve through the decades. At first, it was “life of the mother.” Then it was “health,” which opened to mental health, and that was loosely translated to mean, “Well, if she’s going to be depressed by the thought of having a kid, then let’s go ahead and offer abortions there, too.”

I’m sorry, this is a difficult decision. And I think women (and the fathers of these children) to not have to avoid the very real thoughts and anguish that go into the action of terminating a heartbeat shouldn't be allowed to proceed with an abortion. Unfortunately in life, one must pay a high price to learn a valuable lesson. And the price of abortion should come with such a lesson.

Since when do we in this country owe it to any citizen — man or woman — that they don’t have to think about the consequences of their actions? After all, isn’t that all the Texas bill is asking — that potential mothers and fathers consider what the outcomes of their decisions may be?

If abortion is to return to the stage of national politics on this particular question, then let it be so. For such is a debate that perhaps we should have, and on many levels. Whether in how we spend taxpayer dollars, ration healthcare or fund priorities, we as a society cannot continue to believe that the decisions each of us makes have no bearing, impact or weight on who we are as human beings. To protect life is to be human.


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