Abortion is one of the few subjects where I kind of don’t know for sure where I stand. I was raised in a very conservative home that viewed abortion as an evil thing because it killed an innocent life (I hadn’t realized the irony of holding that view but also supporting the death penalty and a military empire that results in innocent deaths all the time), I even gave a passionate speech during youth group about how abortion is wrong even in the case where the mother is in danger because it is up to God to decide who lives and dies.
Well, as I saw more of the world and encountered more people I have come to realize it is much more complicated than that. I am going to start reading more on the subject, my thoughts at this point are basically from conversations and my own internal dialogue. I’ll be starting with “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights” by Katha Pollitt and am open to reading suggestions from all sides of the issue.
Here are some of my initial thoughts on the subject:
Even if you begin with premise that life begins at fertilization and life is to be protected at all costs I don’t think abortion should be illegal. Pushing something into the black market makes it more dangerous and expensive, particularly to minorities and low-income families. The wealthy will always have access to safe abortions, even though it may cost more.
Abortion (at least early in the pregnancy) doesn’t seem to violate the Harm Principle. The fetus feels no pain and is not aware that anything is happening to it. Even if you believe there is a spirit to harm the fetus either went to heaven or God is a huge douchebag who punishes the innocent and because of that is not worthy to be praised or supported by any good person. Outlawing (using force against someone) also seems to go against Christ’s teachings in John 8:7, and maybe Matthew 7:3 and Romans 12:19.
My biggest problem with anti-abortion advocates are the ones who say abortion should be illegal even in the case when the mother’s life is in danger. We all seem to recognize the right to self-defense and that seems to apply in this case as well. The core of the debate seems to be (and I may be wrong) about stopping or punishing sex. Pregnancy is a potential natural response to sex, but it is not the only reason people have sex. In fact, most sex isn’t for reproduction, it is for pleasure and bonding. Many conservatives seem to hate that.
Well, I will dive into the book now. It is only about 250 pages so I may be writing a summary and any thoughts I have at some point soon.