Letter to the editor: Abortion remains an extremely divisive issue in the US

Ralph Ragsdale

Abortion is an extremely divisive issue in the U.S., with strongly held views unlikely to be changed by debate. More than a tax-and-spend issue, abortion is a subject that causes more than a little consternation when discussed. To the central issues, one end of the spectrum of beliefs provides for abortion on demand and paid for through collected taxes. The complete opposite view is that only a supreme being can end a human life. Therefore, abortion must be made illegal. Various situational degrees reside between these extremes, such as the age of the fetus or conditions of the sex act.

My logic begins with the assertion that the non-use of abortion by an expectant mother is often a religious issue. If the fetus bearer believes that life begins at conception and only the almighty can choose to take a life, then the issue is settled for that expectant mother. There is no reason for debate.

Now, for the case where the expectant mother’s religion does not control: It appears that the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution simply reminds us that our laws must not automatically align with any particular religion or group of religions like Christianity. Period. That would then mean that the state does not own the body of the mother-to-be. She alone can agree to any mutilation of her body. You may be aghast at the notion of equating abortion with such things as feet binding, lip rings, tattoos, piercing and circumcision. But therein lies the logic of the issue, in my view.

Of course, not everyone accepts the current situation. An upset neighbor is free to proselytize and to demonstrate at the abortion clinic as reactions to the pregnant woman’s decision. But the neighbor alone cannot change the law as it exists.


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