(To anyone that has had an abortion, please know that nothing in this section is meant to offend, and I fully understand my place as a man that will never find myself in the midst of such a difficult decision. I would recommend skipping it entirely, but if you don’t, understand that I do not put myself in the position of judging you. This topic has been grossly oversimplified, and my opinion holds that it is due a much deeper conversation than “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” I only seek to shed light on the many questions we have failed to ask and answer)
For many reasons, abortion might be the most consistently influencing topic in modern politics. It has helped win and lose elections, all the way up to President. George W. Bush “won” the 2000 election for two reasons. 1) He was going to flip the Supreme Court to get Roe v. Wade overturned, and 2) there’s really no polite way to put this…Al Gore is just so boring. Lockbox. Also Ralph Nader.
George the Younger won that election on the shoulders of the Christian Right, who voted in droves because they believed (myself included) that this was finally the chance to get it done, and because it might be the final chance to get it done. We were all duped, and that duping became a catalyst for my political transition.
I abhor abortion. Oddly, though, and you might have a hard time believing this, but so do many Democrats. I know, I’ve talked to them. See, you probably thought Democrats like abortion because they mostly identify as pro-choice. They just haven’t been asked the right question yet. No one likes abortion. Pro-choice women don’t go home and watch the video of their abortion. It’s why Rush Republicans have spent the last decade trying to coin the term “pro-abortion” to take the place of pro-choice. They don’t want the debate to be an issue of whether men get to decide what a woman does with her body; they want it to be about liberals clapping gleefully as another child dies.
Change the picture in your head. Imagine a Republican that honestly and genuinely cries at the news of an abortion, and without judgment of the woman, says a prayer for the child’s soul. Not for the cameras or some self-righteous ploy, but from genuine sadness. They don’t go and hold up signs at abortion clinics, but they would like to see the practice made illegal.
Now imagine a Democrat that honestly and genuinely cries at the news of an abortion, and without judgment of the woman, says a prayer for the child’s soul. While they appreciate the woman’s freedom to make her own decision, they want to make birth control more accessible everywhere so that there are far fewer abortions.
What this led to was the revelation that both Democrats and Republicans would like to combat abortion, but have taken vastly different approaches. The loudest one is obviously an outright ban. The reason it’s so loud is because it’s so simple, black-and-white. Where it becomes more complex is where you see Democrats combating abortion. Sex education has proven to make teenagers more responsible about sex, and new research says it actually leads them to wait several years longer before their first sexual encounter. Birth control has the production levels to be highly available in any community, and Democrats constantly push for more access in poverty-stricken areas. The reason is obvious; end the cycle of teenage pregnancy and poverty. Republicans say they should just be abstinent. Democrats understand the reality that we can’t all lock up our kids until they hit their 20’s, and since we can’t, they’re going to have sex.
I consider myself pro-life, but in the pro-choice mold, only because the terminology has been tainted. If you ask me to choose, one side or the other, I will not. I will instead ask why you insist that there are only two sides.