I've been writing as I wrestle with my thoughts on abortion and politics. It's been (of course) brought up again because I'm a former Obama voter coming in to another election, challenged by other Christians about how a believer can vote for a pro-choice candidate. I wrote about about my evolving views here, and I wrote another about the history of abortion and law in the US here.
Do we really understand each other?
Do you, my pro-choice friends, understand that if we believe actual life begins early on in the womb, this truly becomes an a question of life or death, and so we have a moral and spiritual imperative to care and fight for life? The rights of women and privacy are very important to me, but I can't go to those secondary questions until the question of whether or not we are taking life is solved. Go there with me, and if we solve it then I am right with you in your fight for women to choose.
Do you, my pro-life friends, understand that if someone believes that life begins sometime after conception, then truly this can become a question of privacy and the right of women in their understanding? Have you really analyzed this perspective? Do you realize that in your passionate advocate for the unborn, you have been cruel to other lives?
Do we all understand just how varied opinion is on this in all areas, religion, science, medical, ethically? If there is such variance, do we really want this ruled on at a national level in any direction? I sure don't want the government deciding when life begins.
Where does this leave me?
Technically I fall into the pro-life camp.
When I hear the politicians talk, though, I find myself skeptical. Most say they value life, and so they wish to ban abortion. But, they say, they are reasonable and so they support exceptions in the case of (insert most given reasons).
I don’t understand this. See, if this is really about a concern for the continued existence of a live person, then we don’t make exceptions. It makes me doubt that their philosophy is actually consistent rather than just a conservative political platform.
I see the evangelical church join in abortion protest and yet, you know most of our young women are also going on hormonal birth control, which by the "beginning of life" definition of most evangelicals can cause abortion? Why do we care so passionately about the actions of people on the other side, but we turn a blind eye to what amounts to the same moral dilemma that is rife in our own camp. It sure makes it feel as if this issue is being used more to demonize the other side in political and social discussions and then conveniently forget about it when it might affect our own lives.
I don’t know if I really believe we actually care.
And so - I have a hard time considering myself in the pro-life bandwagon, because the bandwagon doesn't make much sense based on the philosophy they're supposedly based on.
Here is here I am left.
I believe Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision. If a fetus is alive, the legal argument the court based their ruling on about the right to privacy is a moot point, and I believe this needs to be addressed. I would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
However, does President have the power to overturn this ruling? Not directly. This ruling came from the Supreme Court, and so the people with the power in this question are the Supreme Court justices. The President does appoint them, but unlike lawmakers, you don't simply appoint judges with certain viewpoints and see those viewpoints come out in rulings. Their rulings come from philosophical interpretations of the constitution and law, not their personal opinions on right or wrong.
I am ambivalent. I don’t know that my vote for the President has much power all to influence this particular situation, but perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps a President who appoints potentially conservative justices really could sway a court to rule on underlying presuppositions based on when life begins and circumvent the privacy question. Thoughts on this, dear readers?
Ideally, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, I would not, however, place some other law in the books on the national level. If I and my own corner of America and the Church are unable to come to agreement on where life begins and what abortion is, I don’t think it should be legislated for all.
I do believe, passionately, in the power of creating a cultural value of life, and pregnancy, and care for children. We are in a tough spot in terms of advocating for legal change, but we in all corners of this country and the political spectrum can sit down and fight for a decrease in people who feel the need to seek out abortions at all. We can teach our kids to be mature, to fight the nonchalant attitude of our culture towards sex. We can instill around us the value of giving life, even when at times we sacrifice comfort. And we as a church already are joining the church throughout history in opening our arms to adopt, so that there’s always a place for any child whose parents can’t care for them. Celebrate pregnancy. Provide support services.
What do you all think, and how does it affect your vote?