Political Issues: Abortion
Should abortion be a political issue?
If Republicans are to win close elections they need the support of conservative and moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We can assume that liberal Democrats and Independents will generally refuse to vote for Republicans.
Practical Politics: To attract moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents, who oppose anti-abortion legislation and who therefore are Pro-Choice, Republican political candidates must recognize the Democrats’ and Independents’ opposition to anti-abortion viewpoints and work to abolish anti-abortion planks in the party's platform.
There is no virtue in losing elections.
There is no virtue in losing elections because of the championing of principles which have been heard and decided against by the electorate.
The electorate has heard and is therefore aware of the pro-choice vs. anti-abortion rhetoric; this rhetoric is not unheard or novel.
The electorate has had time to make a decision between the pro-choice/reproductive rights principle and the pro-life/anti-abortion principle.
The electorate clearly holds a pro-abortion/pro-choice principle.
Thus, practical politics says abortion should not be a political issue for Republicans.
When does life begin?
Human life began a long time ago.
We are the offspring of an unbroken sequence of ancestors leading back to the first life forms—the first combinations of atoms and molecules which differentiated from nonlife forms.
Human life is renewed in every generation at conception.
The human egg and the human sperm are each potentially one-half of a full human life, each therefore potentially a full person.
If “Sanctity of life!!!” is to be given full implementation, then it must
mean “If it’s human and alive it must be kept alive!!!” and that meaning requires
providing sanctity to human eggs and sperm as well as to a fertilized egg,
If anti-abortionists choose to protect fertilized eggs, why would they not choose to protect unfertilized eggs?
The human egg and sperm are the only human cells which, except for cloning, can continue life into another generation. Therefore, under the “Sanctity of life!!!” mantra human eggs and sperm should be given protection from death and therefore should be harvested and stored until they can be combined into a complete human life/person.
Would this be practical? Would this make sense? Should we create the Egg Police and the Sperm Police to make sure that no eggs/sperm perish without serious attempts to save them and permit them a chance for life/living?
Most normal people would say No.
If we would be willing to terminate human eggs/sperm by the word “No” as in refusing procreational sex and thereby denying creating the possibility for human eggs and sperm to combine and create a new individual human life and thus continue human life then we should be willing to recognize that we have made a conscious and willful decision concerning the termination of known human life forms [eggs and sperm] and that, therefore, to avoid being hypocritical, we should be willing to recognize that we can and ought to make conscious and willful decisions concerning the termination of unwanted fertilized eggs/fetuses. To rephrase, the word “No” is a contraceptive, and, in extreme, produces the same effect as an elective abortion, e.g., the termination of an individual human life and therefore human life.
Many of the American electorate are religious, and among the religious the majority would be Jews and Christians.
What does the Judeo-Christian Bible say concerning abortion?
Is it possible that the gods do not value an unborn fetus, or a newborn baby?
Leviticus 27:6 And if it be a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be of three shekels of silver.
Numbers 3:15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families; every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.
These passages show that in early Jewish law a newborn baby has no value/estimation until the age of one month. This value/estimation of a newborn baby is not a matter of dispute, for the words written were quotes from the Jewish God as spoken to Moses, the Jewish law-giver. Therefore, the Jewish God does not value/estimate the newborn until they are one month old.
Is it therefore possible that the gods do not value an unborn fetus?
Exodus 21:22-25 And if men struggle and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. [Another quote from the Judeo-Christian God and therefore not disputable.]
[KJV] And if men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he surely shall be punished, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. and if any mischief follow, then shalt thou give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
And, like the other passages just quoted, this passage is beyond dispute, for it is claimed to have been uttered by the Jewish God and is therefore Jewish law.
Words have meanings. The actual Hebrew words describing a ‘miscarriage’ or ‘her fruit depart from her’ mean ‘that a woman should lose her offspring.’ Moreover, the Hebrew words do not tell us if or not a departed fruit survives. In the days in which the Hebrew words were written miscarriages must have had a low survival rate, because in contemporary times, despite modern medicine the survival rate of miscarriages is only 60% with the reciprocal death rate being 40%. It is clear from these two versions of Exodus 21:22-25 that the fetus of an injured woman has no value and is not to be included in deliberations of the punishment of the individual(s) who injured the woman. If the baby is lost, there is to be no punishments for those who injured the woman; but if the woman should be injured, then there is to be punishments for those who injured her.
What is the possibility that in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible an unborn baby is not a ‘person’ until it breathes?
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Notice the sequence: 1. God forms a man -> 2. God breathes the breath of life into the man’s nostrils -> 3. The man becomes a ‘living soul' -- a person.
The following is another Biblical passage in which flesh is not alive and therefore a person until it breathes.
Ezekiel 37:1-10 [KJV] The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and lo, they were very dry. And he said, Son of man, can these bones bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. And he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God into these bones,: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that i am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. The he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. And so I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came unto them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Words have meanings. The meanings of these words clearly indicate that a person is not a person until he has breath, until he breathes. Since a fetus cannot and therefore does not have breath until birth, then a fetus is not a person until birth.
If a fetus cannot have breath until after birth and is therefore not a person until after it breathes, then is abortion the murder of a person? Arguably, it is not. Murder means the willful termination of an innocent person; thus, if a fetus is not a person because it is not breathing, then the willful termination of a fetus is not the willful termination of an innocent person and abortion as the willful termination of a fetus is not murder. Thus, the sixth Commandment [Exodus 20:13], Thou shalt not kill [murder], does not apply to the willful termination of a fetus in an elective abortion.
The US Constitution, Amendment 14 says thus:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Notice that an individual cannot be a citizen unless he is born [or naturalized, but we are herein focusing upon the requirement for birth].
Notice that the first sentence effectively is a thesis statement in which a ‘person’ is defined and therefore required to be a born individual. This thesis statement, the definition of a 'person' to be a born individual, serves as the definition of 'person' for the balance of the 14th Amendment. To rephrase, an unborn is not legally a person, is not a legal person, and, therefore, according to the 14th Amendment, is not entitled to US due process and equal protection of life, limb or property.
Thus, within the US Constitution, abortion is legal/abortion is not illegal.
Further, under the legal concept of similarly situated, children are differentiated from adults [children are not allowed to vote, enter into legally binding contracts, drive cars, drink alcoholic beverages, etc.], and the unborn are differentiated from the born.
This distinction is legally necessary, for when a woman is pregnant essentially two lives are living inside the same body and one of them must be given priority or legal decisions cannot be made.
The US Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade is said to have defined a legal person to be a born individual and not an unborn individual. Thus, the distinction between a nonlegal and a legal person is birth; the born is a legal person and the unborn is not a legal person.
The World Health Organization has stated that 670,000 women per year, which is 1800 women per day, die from pregnancy and childbirth not including complications from elective abortions.
This statistic proves that pregnancy/childbirth is a threat to the health and life of the pregnant woman, and that pregnancy/childbirth is not a mere inconvenience as some conservatives claim.
The pregnant woman therefore has a moral obligation to herself to protect her health and her life if she decides that the pregnancy is unwanted and thereby decides to terminate that unwanted pregnancy.
And a pregnant woman who decides to terminate an unwanted pregnancy should not be required by law to declare her reasons for terminating the pregnancy. Such is private information and should not be required to be public information.
Any anti-abortion legislation effectively enslaves a woman suffering from an unwanted pregnancy.
When an individual’s choice is taken away, his/her freedom/liberty is taken away, therefore he/she becomes a slave.
When a woman’s reproductive rights are denied/taken away by legislation, or any other means, then her choice is taken away, and her freedom/liberty is taken away, and, therefore, she becomes a slave to the state or whoever/whatever is denying her choice/freedom/liberty.
There is no argument about this fact. It is a fact beyond dispute.
Thomas Jefferson has said thus: The essence of all law is that no man should injure another; all the rest is commentary.
When ‘injury’ is defined as including but not limited to a loss of life, limb, liberty, or property, and when ‘another’ is defined as an innocent person who is defined to be innocent when he does not intend to injure another innocent person who does not intend to injure him or any other innocent person, then Jefferson’s quote can be rephrased thus:
The essence of all law is that no man should [be allowed to] injure another [innocent man]; all the rest [of the law] is commentary.
We see, therefore, that the concept of an injury enables us to determine the priorities concerning abortion, that the pregnant woman who is denied her reproductive rights, the right/freedom/liberty to choose an elective abortion, is thus injured.
All laws must be evaluated by the following two standards:
1. The law/policy must benefit the people.
2. The law/policy must not injure an innocent person.
By standard #2, an anti-abortion law/policy would clearly injure an innocent person—the pregnant woman, who should be given priority over the life of the unborn fetus, and, under current US law/policy, is in fact given priority over the unborn fetus.
Sex ought to be for one if not both of two reasons:
(A) For recreation and the promotion of intimacy among individuals;
(B) For procreation/reproduction.
If a woman should engage in recreational sex with no intention of becoming pregnant then she should not have to suffer negative legal and physical/medical and emotional consequences and injury should she become pregnant, and, therefore, she should have the right to terminate the unintentional and unwanted pregnancy.
If a woman should engage in procreational/reproductive sex with the intention of becoming pregnant and should change her mind by deciding that she does not want the pregnancy, then she should not have to suffer negative legal and physical/medical and emotional consequences and injury resulting from the pregnancy, and, therefore, she should have the right to terminate the unwanted pregnancy.
Thus, a woman should have the right to choose and therefore reproductive rights, or else she would be enslaved by any individuals and legislation/policies which deny her right to choose and therefore deny her her reproductive rights.
Thus, abortion, being a divisive issue, should not be a political issue for Republicans.