Monday, March 2, 2009

Brief Thoughts on Abortion

The problem is with the extremists on both sides of this issue. This is a case of competing rights. Both the fetus and the mom have rights. For the first couple of months after conception the fetus has a very limited humanity. It has not yet become an independently thinking sentient being. In the last couple of months prior to birth it is clearly more of a baby than random cluster of cells. It is thinking, feeling, learning, laughing and crying.

We have all seen plenty of activists who equate fertilized embryos awaiting implantation with an adult person. I recently had a fascinating conversation with a "pro-choice" zealot who asserted that as long as the baby was attached to the umbilical cord, even after birth, it was nothing more than a part of the mom's body to do with what she willed. Including bashing its head in with a rock.

The American people are generally in the middle. Abortion is a bad thing. It's not that big of a deal in the first tri-mester. Third tri-mester abortions are wrong. But only the people for whom this is "their" issue are driving the debate.

We would all be a lot better off if we could get the debate focused on the circumstances under which second tri-mester abortions should be considered. Where is the point where the fetus becomes a thinking being whose rights begin to seriously compete with the mother's?

My personal preference would be to only allow 2nd tri-mester terminations if the life (not just the psychological comfort) of the mom were in direct jeopardy with a hard diagnosis of a limited number of conditions. But anything that stops partial birth horrors would be more than welcome.


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