Getting past the extreme rhetoric to create realistic solutions…contrary to popular belief, Republicans and Democrats are not far apart on the issue of abortion. We have a common goal: to decrease the number.
The Extremes on Each Side: Neither is Right
The far-left wants practically no restrictions. The far-right wants an all out ban with prison time. Obviously neither of these options are in the best interest of women or the unborn. If we could come together to create sensible reforms that favor both life and choice, we could finally see reductions in abortions and allow this divisive topic to keep from having the kind of political hot-button power it has had at the expense of so many other “life” issues. We can protect both women’s choice and the life of the unborn with compromise.
The impression is often given that Democrats, or “Pro-choicers,” are supporters of killing babies. This idea is ludicrous and unfounded in facts. We cannot, of course, speak for every single Democrat, just as no Republican can speak for every conservative. But no leader of the party, nor the Democratic party platform, has the goal of killing babies! And there are many Republicans more towards the middle who understand the necessity for not having a ban on abortion due to rape, incest or in cases where the health of the mother is in question.
So, in order to make any progress on this controversial issue, we must focus on our true mutual goal – to reduce the number of abortions as much as possible. Both sides have their own take on how this can be done, but what makes the most sense is to cooperate on legislation that meets in the middle of the extreme on both sides of the “life” and “choice” debate.
Many on the far-right have been attempting to, or have, pushed through legislation that effectively cuts most abortion and/or family planning clinics in their states. This type of radical legislation will only have the effect of increasing unwanted pregnancies for lack of family-planning health services, and is not a positive move for abortion reduction goals. However, we do agree there should be a ban on late-term abortions. We are for a 12-week limitation, with exceptions for the viability of the fetus and life of the mother. The lack of inclusion of this exception is what has made most GOP and Tea-Party-led abortion reform proposals impossible to pass and too radical.
On a spiritual note, our Christian response to women who have had or are considering abortion should be one cloaked in love and mercy. Hatred, angry attitudes, yelling at women, threats of violence….this is never Christ-like and never should be regarded as such. Offering a helping hand, assistance, listening with compassion and forgiveness and yes, offering an alternative in love…this is how you will see real Christians behaving.
Some historical facts to consider…
As a group who shares this goal of abortion reduction, and as Christians, our job is to look at the facts to reach a decision on what party will give us the most reduction. Look at the facts to judge for yourself who can best reduce the amount of abortions in this country:
1. The #1 reason women have abortions are economic in nature. Three out of four women cite economic reasons. Worldwide the #1 real explanation given is socioeconomic factors. Of course, the availability of contraception and abstinence programs have proven crucial also.
2. Under Republican majority, abortions have not decreased, but numbers have stagnated or risen.
3. During the Clinton and other Democratic administrations, abortions reduced in number by at least 30%
4. If the real goal is to lessen the amount of abortions, Democrats have real plans to make this happen: availability of low cost or free birth control, economic assistance for girls facing a single-parent situation, etc. With economic reason being the most cited reason, we should be supporting policies and legislation and politicians that will help our economy.
5. Banning all abortions, as most Conservatives believe is the best way of tackling the issue, will not stop them – in fact, with economic issues persisting, they will probably increase. Black-market abortions will be ugly, with many women dying and abortions happening regularly in the 3rd trimester.…right now, approximately 90% of all abortions occur in the first 12 weeks.
6. A quote from a bipartisan statistics group says: “Abortion has existed in almost every society in all of recorded history and was legal under roman law…when america was founded, abortion was legal. Laws prohibiting abortion were introduced in the mid-1800s, and, by 1900, most had been outlawed. Outlawing abortion did
nothing to prevent pregnancy, and some estimates put the number of annual illegal abortions from 200,000 to 1.2 million in the 50s and 60s.” This would happen again, as is proven in history with any prohibition.
The Facts: Click here for a great fact-sheet on how to help reduce abortions in America.