There is often a disconnect between the real and the ideal. The best laid plans of the Left or the Right are often met with unintended consequences and hardships along the way. That, however, should not prevent us from fighting the good fight. Often that “good fight” translates into an over-arching theory of morality and personal responsibility. But we know that not everyone has good morals or if they do, other things may intervene that make them stray into what we perceive to be immoral acts. And we also know that it is much easier to blame than to take personal responsibility for one’s actions.
Let me first take up the issue of abortion. Try as we might, we will not overturn Roe vs. Wade. Supreme Courts of various ideological stripes have failed to do so and future Courts will refuse also. This does not mean that pro-life conservatives should throw in the towel and simply accept abortion on demand. But it does direct the battle by using the tools given us by the courts and by the words of the pro-choice movement. Their main argument is that if Roe were overturned, then it would return America to the days of back-alley abortions where only the rich could afford an abortion.
If that is their true belief, then they should not oppose efforts to ensure that abortions are performed under the safest and most sanitary conditions. They should be advocating for states to regulate abortion clinics. The fact they don’t- indeed, the fact they fight these attempts- indicates their hypocrisy and exposes their agenda which really does not care about the abortion patient. The patient (women) are but mere pawns in their argument by cloaking the discussion in terms of “reproductive rights.” Thus, state-level requirements and regulations regarding abortion clinics are a valid means to address this issue.
The government, in a broad sense, should not be an actor in these decisions. In the Obamacare debate, the Right argued that the government was inserting itself in the patient-doctor relationship. But with abortion, isn’t that also being done the Left counters? There is a huge difference, however, that they fail to recognize- the fact that another human life is involved in that decision. To the Left, it is not really a “life” but a collection of cells equivalent to a tumor when science is increasingly proving that mindset to be false. Using even under their “best case” scenario, the jury is still out. That in and of itself is justification for the government- which has a duty to protect human life- to deny funding for abortion at the very least until such time a firm definition of “human life” is determined. Considering the fact this has vexed the best minds since antiquity, it is an open-ended ban on funding.
Where state governments can make a stand is with fetal pain-capable legislation which restricts abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. When people hear “20 weeks,” many think that is a short period of time and that the state is out to abolish abortion altogether. Yet, 20 weeks is five months which is more than enough time for any woman to make a decision as to terminate their pregnancy or not (the maternal life exception should still be an option). Furthermore, five months puts us in the latter part of the second trimester where the state’s role in protecting the life of the baby takes on greater importance even under the parameters set forth in Roe. Again, the pro-choice movement’s opposition to this illustrates that they do not even want to play within the rules set forth in Roe v. Wade, let alone any subsequent court ruling.
Even though this may decrease the number of abortions performed every year, there will still be abortions. News flash: abortions were performed before Roe. Because there will be and even though I am decidedly pro-life, I am also realistic in this area. Also, the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester and by leaving this basically alone while the Left insists on later term abortions exposes their true agenda- a disregard for fetal human life.
Some may view this as a capitulation to their side on a compromised basis. It isn’t! We should continue the fight to convince the would-be abortion patient of the risks involved (and they are very real) and of the options like adoption. This is one area that somewhat troubles me. Some elements on the Right are opposed to contraception itself (not its funding or accessibility, but by extension also those). Personally, I would prefer a potential human life prevented rather than discarded at a medical waste facility. That does not mean that schools should be distributing condoms, IUDs, or birth control pills or that the government should mandate contraception in health insurance coverage. If the decision to have a child is really a personal one as the Supreme Court has decided and as the Left agrees, then contraception should remain a personal choice and the PERSON should bear the responsibility. We will hear the sad stories of the “poor” being unable to afford it, yet these same “poor” people are usually walking around with cell phones in hand. And it would be a better use of money by groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL to step in and fill that financial void (if it exists) and provide the contraception rather than using that money to advance a pro-death agenda through the legislative process and a misleading public relations campaign. And as for those options like adoption, do any pro-choice (death) groups actively participate in adoption services?
Finally in this area, there is a tangential area of concern- stem cell research. Even under the best of conditions for the pro-life side, there will still be abortions. Outright opposition to stem cell research makes no sense to me. Wouldn’t it make greater sense to use that fetal tissue to potentially save or change the life of someone rather than discarding it at a medical waste facility? Yes- it sounds ghoulish, but is it any more ghoulish than taking one’s heart, lungs, or eyes because they mark “organ donor” on their driver’s license?
Let me turn to gay marriage. We are told that it is an inevitability by the LGBT community. OK- fine; maybe it is. But, how do we know unless we allow the voters to actually vote on the issue? Gallup polls and the like are fine, but they are just polls where people can say anything.
Even if they fail to make their case one year, nothing stops them from trying to make their case the next year…or the year after that. Maine is a perfect example. They rejected gay marriage one year only to accept it three very short years later. Having the backing of the people either through popular referendum or the legislative process certainly makes the victory sweeter than if they achieve their goals through the courts. That is, only if their original argument is correct- that people are accepting of gay marriage.
There are, of course, the alleged legal issues involved. Their argument is that gay couples are being denied their constitutional and legal rights. However, as I have tried to illustrate in the past, most of the legal arguments- being denied hospital visits, benefits, etc.- can be addressed through means other than a state issuing a marriage license. Because, at the end of the day, this is nothing but a licensing issue and it is a license that states, not the federal government, issues.
To tell the truth, if given the chance, I do not know how I would vote if given the opportunity regarding gay marriage on a statewide referendum (and most states allow referendums). My head tells me it would not be the great apocalypse many predict and that it would not be a huge financial fiasco. But my heart asks me whether we cannot just leave well enough alone? Can’t there be one area of traditional values left alone where some special interest group doesn’t make a claim? Regardless, many states HAVE spoken on this issue only to have it ignored by the courts. Not every voter in such cases is a bigoted, anti-gay person. My guess is that the Left truly fears putting their beliefs to the test through the political process.