The abortion debate hits the public-at-large coming from many angles, such as: 1) the majority of hard-core woman’s rights supporters have what they call “equality” in mind; 2) libertarians have their own personal rights in mind (not wanting government to tell them how they should act); 2) the far left generally has many specific reasons for supporting abortion, but mostly it seems their position comes from an overall desire to simply buck anything that looks conservative.
There are abortion rights supporters who do include rhetoric in their bylines that admit their concern for the unborn, but most of them stay away from this (secondary) concern because it leads to the needed concept of weighing percentages of worthiness; whose rights –whose worthiness-- outweighs the other: the mother, or the child’s. If such a debate happens, the “fetus” then becomes a child, and a soon-to-be mother’s rights are threatened. That’s a direction of thought the Left does not want to go.
Agnosticism is not a well defined, all wrapped up group. It includes those who lean towards atheism, but aren’t sure; those who lean towards a faith based belief, but aren’t sure; and there are those of us who believe in the likelihood of God, but have ambiguous concerns over the probability of Divine intervention in the natural world and its laws of physics (this is where I fit in), such as Benjamin Franklin.
This subject often comes with great fervor on both sides and it is frequently difficult to discuss intellectually with opposing opinions. Generally, the rhetoric is suffocated on the Right with emotion supported by biblical principles, and venomously loaded with hate on the Left by the insistence of a distorted view of individual rights conspicuously absent the rights of the child. Although I greatly appreciate finding someone who can calmly discuss this issue (usually someone from group 2 above) I actually prefer to discuss it with one of passion; all too often I tire of discussing this issue with most who can discuss this issue with a lackadaisical attitude- I too believe it to be of great importance.
I believe as our Founders did, that all rights are natural to the individual, bequeathed upon us –individually—by Nature and Nature’s God, and that they are inalienable- meaning a delegated right is not a relinquished right. I believe all other exercises of minor liberties must be an extension of those rights, such as those of government via our Constitution (in context with the 9th and 10th Amendments). I also believe the exercise of natural rights comes with (natural) baggage, i.e. the marriage of responsibility and accountability.
I firmly believe we as a people must look to human life as sacred – a gift: Since I am a constitutionalist, I believe in natural equality among all people; this means no one can choose to take another life (equal value). I believe all human life, however raggedy it may likely be, has the natural right to meet the world on their special terms. It is not my place to decide whether or not another’s life is (or will be) adequate to deserve its first breath of air or to experience the sensation of touch.
Life comes to us in all kinds of conditions. Our bodies differ in infinite ways, and our minds disseminate sensory input in a multitude of degrees and variations. I’ve heard ignorant, cold blooded extremists suggest those with mental and/or physical defects should be aborted. But I’ve seen lives –families-- enriched by the arrival of children with sever maladies. No one – not even an expectant mother – has the right to deny any human being the chance at experiencing life, no matter their perceived condition. I’ve seen severely retarded children bring a real appreciation for life to the people around them; most of us, when extra-responsibility is thrust our way, will find the inner-strength – even crave it.
There is no way to describe and justify abortion to a seven year old enquiring mind, and we’ve learned (by example) our respect and appreciation for life by that time. I was so, so lucky to have one good quality year in a loving, stable home when I was five and six years old. The years before that time were horribly abusive, and the years after were also abusive and filled with turmoil. But that short time in my young life is what allowed me the ability to eventually pull myself together as a young adult.
If you have more questions Sheila, please feel free to ring.
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