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Subject:  Re: Poll: When should abortion be legal/banned Date:  7/10/2013  6:21 PM
Author:  ModernViking Number:  1888275 of 2207712

MV, have you ever really spoken to people with a firm belief against abortion IRL?

Plenty. I get the impression that the primary opposition to abortion is that it's abused for the sake of convenience to facilitiate irresponsible sexual behavior. They would argue, in terms not dissimilar from this, that "if you're going to play, you have to pay." Their opposition is manifest in an expressed desire to punish people (mothers in particular) for reckless sexual behavior. Whether or not that is how they really feel, that's how it comes across.

Almost every one I've ever spoken to equates abortion with infanticide. For them, even formulating abortion as a decision between a woman, her doctor, and her partner is missing the most critical person of all - the baby. Small-government conservatives would never consider infanticide to be a private decision outside the regulation of government, and those who are against abortion share in that decision.

So it's not really that hard to understand. They think that abortion kills a human baby. You (and I) might disagree with their starting point, but once you recognize where they're coming from, their policy positions aren't that tough to figure out.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. It is my personal gut feeling that abortion is a termination of life, or at least termination of the potential for life in a very probabilistic, or "meta" sense. What is the price for a life not allowed to happen? The implications are overwhelming to consider. I have a visceral reaction to the idea of abortion in general. If I visualize an alternate reality where my wife and I decided to abort rather than bring three beautiful children into the world, the thought makes me want to vomit, cry, and punch holes in the walls all at the same time - and then go hug my kids. I don't feel much differently about other people having abortions; elective ones, at least, where they might be denying this snuffing out the potential for another beautiful little person as a matter of convenience (the thought "what if that child is the next Hitler?" is a counterpoint, but I digress). I say this just to make it absolutely crystal clear that I'm not, in any sense, "pro abortion."

Having said that, the "saves the babies" blanket opposition to abortion is an emotional, uninformed, and selfish one. Selfish because it relies on personal belief (i.e. "life begins at conception") above an understanding of the situations actual women/doctors might be faced with in deciding an abortion is necessary. Regardless of what the opponents may "feel", there are situations under which any reasonable person would concede that abortion is the appropriate, even necessary, solution - as bad as that sucks. But at the core of it it's really none of their business.

Then when you consider the broader adverse effects of "anti-abortion" laws on undermining access to primary health care for millions of American women who will suffer (healthwise, financially, or both) without access to these services, it's no longer an abortion issue. Conservative Republicans have followed some weird moral hubris right over the edge on this one.
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