“Our respect, in society, for the “Rule of Law” is what gives the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights true validation and power”
The abortion issue is the favorite subject of almost no American politician. The argument is endless because in a country where many very different people, of varied belief systems live together, the differences between them and the various interpretation of principle becomes the root of continual disagreement and turmoil, both public and private.
I believe that the American people are greater than our differences however serious, or great in the realm of politics, spirituality, or social injustice.
No subject highlights this gulf separating many of us from each other greater than the issue of abortion.
The left and right extremes from both political spectrums have convinced much of America that each is right and there is no opinion, other than their own, that is valid or worthy of consideration. Even common sense does not prevail.
One extreme side of the spectrum believes an abortion is an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, including up to eight months and even up to delivery. The idea of this happening has even caused legislation to be proposed to prevent “Late Term Abortion”, commonly referred to as “Partial Birth Abortion”. This extreme group believes so strongly in a woman’s “right” to choose that it should apply right up to the moment prior to the baby having the ability to exit the womb, or otherwise survive independently. (Ironically, this group opposes the death penalty, by and large, in society).
The other extreme side of the spectrum believes that all life, even unborn, is sacred and even trying to prevent a pregnancy from occurring is tantamount to murder. (Ironically this group strongly supports the death penalty in society, by and large).
In all probability, most Americans really, fully do not buy into either of these extreme belief systems and, for the most part, find both extremes indefensible even when discussed in their respective venues. These Americans, which I refer to as “most” Americans, are rarely heard over the clamor of the two extreme groups.
In the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973 the United States Supreme court ruled that abortion was a woman’s constitutional right and therefore protected in America.
The right to an abortion became the “Law of the Land” in the United States of America. Not all laws in a civilized country are popular to most, or welcomed by large segments of the population, so that is not the point I will be making or the issue I am discussing. Please do not make this the issue, but please read on.
Those who believe in practicing abortion defend the ruling as a civil and human rights issue. Those who oppose the practice of abortion also consider it a human rights issue, the unborn child’s (Fetus). They also argue, it is not legal for anyone in America to decide to discard, through legal surgery, any unwanted appendage without medical necessity; so why a fetus (baby). None of us in America has a real “right” to choose. They also point to the fact that the word “choose” has the connotation to “choose not to do something as well, therefore all informational avenues to assist in the “choosing” should be available in society
The practice defined as “abortion”, as covered in the Supreme Court ruling, has expanded itself to include a practice of greater controversial impact which allows pregnancy to continue, nine months in some cases, and then terminating the life as it exits the womb (Partial Birth Abortion). The very idea of which, to most people in the world, seems unthinkable. Maybe even to most people who supported Roe vs. Wade in 1973 because, “partial birth abortion” did not exist then and many, in all probability, may have been opposed to it even then. It evolved as the expansion of the abortion industry in America evolved. CDC figures I read reported in 2006 says about 88% of all abortions take place in the first Trimester of pregnancy. Since the Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973, over sixty million abortions have occurred in America. Partial Birth Abortion represents less than 1% of all abortions performed in America. That being the case, it seems that common sense would dictate that it is actually a separate issue altogether. Common sense rarely prevails these days.
Abortion is legal. Our Supreme Court has ruled it constitutionally protected. It is The Law of the Land.
In any civilized society, where Rule of Law is respected, citizens agree to disagree in accordance with the law of the land as defined by an appointed supreme advocate (The U.S. Supreme Court). The acceptance of Rule of Law , by all of us in America, has been a shining example of what a civilization can accomplish even though great parts of it’s population in civil society disagree on a litany of issues that effect their daily lives, beliefs and day to day existence as a people and as a nation.
Our respect, in society, for “Rule of Law”, is what gives the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights true validation and power.
Why do some women get abortions? I mean other than the reasons most often propounded, i.e., rape, incest, and endangering the physical life of the mother. (The three reasons which, statistically, actually very rarely are ever declared).
In the real world, most abortions happen for very real reasons, i.e., low income, lack of pre-natal, post-natal and ongoing healthcare, poverty, ignorance, fear, illiteracy, absent social services and child care, social stigma, no family structure, or support base, and family pressures. For many people, whether they are old, poor, mighty, lowly, or rich, the world can be a scary and lonely place. I believe we have no right to stand in judgment at any level. Sometimes choosing can be a matter of life, or death in a society which frowns on the poor and expects from them, that which they cannot give. I do not like to propagate my own feeling that, in many cases, society victimizes the poor, but actually it does. For many groups in society today, the cries of victimization ring hollow, but not in this case I feel.
Whatever the reasons for having an abortion, it is my personal opinion that, in all probability, most women who have had, or will have, abortions would have, or will have considered carefully whether or not to follow through with terminating their pregnancy had they had, or will have in the future, more access, information, assistance, social understanding and support regarding the welfare of the baby being born.
In essence, family planning should address the entire spectrum of social, civil, medical, and other services and assistance available to any woman who may be pregnant in America. Society must express value in the mother’s future and well being as well as her child’s. Women considering having an abortion are worthy of societies efforts to assist them in the critical decision to abort or not to abort. Although legal and acceptable in society, I think most people, liberal and conservative alike would consider fewer abortions a good thing. Who would say “The more abortions the better”? Nobody I think. (well maybe those in the abortion industry).
Is the unborn fetus (baby) a potential citizen? Yes. Is the baby (fetus) a potential taxpayer? Yes. Should the woman carrying the potential citizen be afforded every opportunity to make an educated and rational decision regarding whether to terminate or not? Should society at large, through our private foundations and government assistance agencies, in an effort to preserve a population base which will ensure viable support and continuation of our tax and consumer base, encourage the increase of the American birth rate into the future? I think so. That can only happen if society places value on the potential of the woman carrying the baby (fetus) as well as the potential in the fetus (baby) and its future. To a great extent, society today does not extend its hand, its hope or its resources to the unborn baby (fetus), or to the woman carrying the baby (fetus).
Of the two social and political extremes, previously mentioned, only one formally emphasizes a real interest in preserving unborn life, for life’s sake, stating that, “all life is sacred”. Incredibly, it is the same group, or political persuasion (Republican-Conservative), who resist all social efforts to embrace, support, integrate or secure the civil and social circumstances which could afford the potential citizen (the baby fetus) the ability to reach his/her fullest potential as a productive and contributing human being (citizen).
Personally, I sometimes feel conservatives are excluding poor people when stating their opposition to abortion. Extreme Conservatives, in their own actions to prevent poverty and health care programs are actually encouraging the poor to have abortions.
Consequently, the conservative political movements in America, often represented by/as the Republican Party, through their policies and practice, as conducted in the social and political realm, contribute to and are therefore as culpable as any other segment of society for the high numbers of abortions today in America. Sometimes, in America today, women sincerely believe they have no real choice.
We often refer to abortion rights as “a woman’s right to choose”. That is actually a misnomer. Most of the time, the woman feels she may have no choice at all. She may perceive society has left her no choice.
Throughout America everyday women, from all walks of life, will have their own pregnancy terminated. Some of those women will be practicing Christians and women of other faiths who fundamentally do not believe that abortion is a good or moral choice to make. Many strongly feeling that they had no choice but to terminate their pregnancy.
The reality and pressure of society, many times, leaves them with what they believe is no choice. Not all women fall into this circumstance but, the point is, the decision to terminate a pregnancy probably is rarely painless or simple as many may believe. I am sure many conservative women have terminated their pregnancy with great pain and anguish as with many liberal thinking women who felt no other choice as well. Desperation has no political, religious or social allies.
Today, abortion is a fact of life, well integrated into our society and social norms in America. It has been historically accepted and free of stigma, in society at large.
Family, personal, religious and political effects are another thing altogether.
I feel, given the appropriate, meaningful alternatives, a great number of abortions taking place today for lack of real social alternatives, would be reduced. Yes, I do acknowledge that there are those who will have abortions as a means of birth control. I am not actually addressing them in this article. I am addressing the reduction of abortion numbers, not the elimination of abortion. In any case, the person who seeks an abortion without wanting to know the alternatives available through social programs is not normally wanting to have that knowledge and would have the abortion regardless, which is her right.
Indeed we live in a complicated world today. The extreme part of the conservative movement rejects abortion on moral and religious grounds while accepting and even promoting the death penalty in society on the very same grounds. They declare their belief that all life, even unborn, is sacred and must be preserved at all cost, yet have, with great energy, defended the death penalty throughout American Society.
They reject the notion of expanded social programs for the poor, which will almost certainly cause a greater number of abortions in that group of the population, but willingly and eagerly promote the funding of larger prisons and expanding the practice of “humane” executions for prisoners throughout America.
The extreme part of the liberal movement, on the other hand, promotes the curtailment of personal liberties and rights in the name of “equality”. They have almost succeeded in ushering a political correctness regime in society which would make it illegal to even offend another person, or part of society. The right would actually be the offended party’s because he/she would have the “right” to NOT be offended.
In a “free” society, there are just some things which cannot be restricted. There are some elements of the liberal movement which are not content that one might simply agree to disagree with them. Disagreement then makes any opposing element subject to labels like fascist or phobic.
In many cases it would seem the extreme liberal movement, (not the Progressive community generally), when talking about equality, seem to actually mean “their” equality as opposed to the equality of any other segment of society. Standing in judgment from their extreme liberal ivory towers, on anyone who says they do not support abortion, they proclaim them as fascist woman haters who seek to subjugate women into second class status. From their perspective, any person who simply acknowledges the right for a woman to choose, but states a personal view opposing abortion, is really a secret fascist woman hater. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fortunately most of America finally started catching on to that tactic. Consequently the political correctness movement has lost some of its steam, but remains alive and well. And that’s okay in America. It is their right.
The point I have been making is that within the realms of the two political extremes influencing the American political landscape, common sense often cannot prevail, or even be heard.
The Democratic leadership in America represents that common sense so greatly needed in America today. Contrary to “conservative” talking points, the Democratic wave of new leaders seeking office, and already in the U.S. Congress, are pragmatic and realistic thinkers who are bound by no group’s extreme agenda for America. A new Democratic President will work with the U.S. Congress and State Governors on development and structure of governments’ role in serving the American public.
A new Democratic President, having been elected in 2008 will lead the way in the promotion and structure of social assistance and health care systems which will be readily available to support, educate and provide the types of important services to American citizens which are compatible and supportive with an America where its citizens have security, peace of mind and a real opportunity to focus on the productive, creative, dynamic and industrious pursuits which will keep America strong, healthy and competitive in the world, and free.
The Republican party, the conservative movement, liberals and most plain people believe that although abortion is indeed a woman’s right, less women deciding to have abortions throughout America would represent progress in America.
It is my hope that, some day, the abortion issue in America will not be a “them” and “us” issue. While the right and left politicos are pushing and pulling thousands of people, mostly poor, are anguishing over decisions that they should not suffer to make. Abortion shouldn’t be a Christian, or not issue. It is not a liberal or conservative issue. At the end of the day, for the people experiencing this procedure, and for those who struggle to simply understand it, it is a very human experience. The Progressive Democrats in office and being elected to office seek to mitigate the issue through the substantive work and programs that will provide real hope for the poor and others in society who may discern the need to decide this issue for themselves. Life can really slam people sometimes and the Progressive Democrats recognize that.
Republican politics of fear and mayhem have prevented the U.S. and State governments from implementing programs which could have provided “real choice” to many women who felt the necessity to have abortions where, from their perspective, there was no choice. With a Democratic President, a woman will have the right and real chance “to choose”. I believe that in many cases, where the circumstances have improved for the poor, or desperate in America, many of those choices will be to forgo abortion in favor of life.
Let’s give America a real choice for its future. Let us have the courage and audacity, in the face of the major and extreme political movements in America today, and vote Democrats into Congress and into the White House. We have the right to choose that.
In 1776 We The People choose to be an independent nation, wherein the rights of the “individual” were cherished and preserved above the rights of the government. In doing so, preserving the “liberty of the free individual” became preeminent. The freedom to choose is in our nature as Americans.
I love my country. I love it's people.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marshall is a retired US Marine Vietnam veteran who became an aviation management/logistics consultant in 1992.
He worked in the Kuwait recovery of 1992-93 and was the senior aviation logistics manager for Kaman Aerospace in their Egypt US Government Aviation assistance programs from 1998 through 2002.
Marshall arrived in Iraq in 2003 where he was the Coalition Provincial Authority Airport Director for Basrah International Airport,
He was later VP for Aviation development in Iraq with an International commercial company.
Marshall received a Diplomatic appointment by the Department of State (DoS) and was assigned as a US Advisor for logistics to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.
He later joined the DoS Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) where he served on staff of the National Coordination Team (NCT) in the Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. (Logistics, City planning, Governance Capacity Building, Government Liaison).
Marshall is currently serving as the Sr. Analyst for a Defense contractor.
Marshall, 54, and his wife Becky (Formerly Becky Ortiz), a 3rd grade teacher, have been married for 37 years and have four children, Paul, Veronica, William and Benjamin, and eleven grandchildren.
Two of their sons, William and Benjamin, have served in Iraq in the US Army. William was wounded in action on July 2nd 2006.
Marshall and Becky reside in Jacksonville North Carolina.
Marshall Adame is a 2008 candidate for the North Carolina 3rd US Congressional District seat and is a strong supporter of John Edwards for President of The United States in 2008.