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Subject:  Re: Poll: When should abortion be legal/banned Date:  7/10/2013  1:55 PM
Author:  ModernViking Number:  1888239 of 2016234

This poll is better than most, though it could have done without the subjective flourishes. A proper examination of this poll should consider the following:

"No abortions, life begins at conception" is impossible for any thinking person to select. There are a lot of reasons to not like abortions, but "life begins at conception" is not one of them. Including this as the only reason to favor "No abortions, ever" does a disservice to hardcore antiabortionists who are, as often as not, driven by motives that have nothing at all to do with the health of the child.

"No restrictions, a woman's body is her choice" - this is of course the correct answer, notwithstanding the sanctimonious nod to women's rights. Exactly why will become clear through a discussion of the remaining items.

"No abortions after viability outside the womb." - Truthfully, I want to agree with this. But who defines viable? Does a child diagnosed in-utero with cyclopia count as viable? Antiabortion radicals don't want to recognize any exceptions to this and will reflexively invoke Gosnell as the Patron Saint of Late Term Abortions. Gosnell doesn't deserve the credit. And the doctors and mothers who find themselves forced to consider the possibility don't deserve the comparison.

"No abortions after the first heart beat" - that option is nice and clear so I have no comments there other than it is a mistaken attempt to equate "life" with observations of a particular physical process as deep in the brainstem (and therefore maximally separated from what we know as "consciousness") as a beating heart. If one personally imagines the heartbeat as being the spark of life, no one's going to stop them, and I suspect that the lack of scientific validity for their feelings is going to make a lot of difference.

"No abortions after 20 weeks" - again, an option that is unambiguous - good - though it reflects another arbitrary definition of "life" with no scientific basis for why abortions before 20 weeks are better than those after. See "bleeding heart radical antiabortionist 'feelings'" above.

This issue should be very simple for small-government conservatives to process. This is not a decision for big-government regulators to control. Abortion is a private matter between a woman, her doctor, and her partner (in that order). Note the lack of "government" in there. The infrastructure for that transaction to occur is already in place and (at least it was) properly regulated to ensure the public he