I continue to grapple with the most emotional issue of our — or probably any — time.
The issue is abortion. I happen to favor giving a woman the right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to full term. I also believe there should be some restrictions on that decision. I oppose late-term abortions. I detest the idea of “gender-selection” abortion.
My pro-choice views on this subject have exposed me to those who contend that I “support abortion,” that I “favor abortion.”
I do not support abortion. The basis for that declaration is a simple one: I cannot possibly ever counsel a woman to abort a pregnancy. That decision is not mine to make. It is hers. It also belongs to the father of that baby. It lies also with her spiritual adviser. It rests ultimately with God, or whatever deity she worships.
To that end, such a decision shouldn’t rest with politicians, many of whom have never been pregnant or faced this kind of gut-wrenching decision on their own.
Does my support of pro-choice politicians define me as one who “supports” abortion? No. It doesn’t, for reasons I have tried to explain with this brief blog post.
Why am I writing about this? Because it has troubled me for decades about how this particular issue brings out the demagogues. It fills normally sensible individuals with blind rage.
So I’m getting a couple of matters off my chest … once again.
I have written about this before.
Pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion
I just have this need to clear the air, not that it will satisfy those who stand foursquare on the other side of the great divide separating those who believe women have the right to make decisions regarding their bodies and those who want to make those decisions for them.
Let’s be crystal clear about something few of us want to discuss.
If the U.S. judicial system decides to overturn a ruling that legalized abortion, does anyone really believe that abortion will come to an end? Will women across the country decide to give birth even though they have been raped by an attacker, or impregnated in an incestuous relationship?
Abortion is about to return front and center to the public debate stage as the U.S. Senate ponders the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1973 the high court ruled in the epic Roe v. Wade decision that abortion can be done legally throughout the United States. It declared that the Constitution guaranteed a woman’s right to choose to end a pregnancy.
The discussion today centers on whether the court would reverse that decision if it receives a case involving abortion.
I want to be clear. Abortion won’t end if the court hands the issue back to the states. Many states are likely to make abortion illegal. I live in one of those states: Texas. Legislators here already have enacted anti-choice legislation and Gov. Greg Abbott has signed it into law. They have decided to make obtaining an abortion quite difficult.
Does it end abortion? Not in the least. Women will continue to seek them — for whatever reason they believe compels to do so.
I get the argument from those who are fervently anti-choice. They are sincere in their belief about when life begins. Their argument, though, won’t ever stop women from making profoundly difficult choices that only they can make.
Of all the commentary being tossed around in the aftermath of Donald J. Trump’s absurd assertion that women should be “punished” for obtaining an illegal abortion, the most interesting came from a Republican strategist who doubles as a commentator for CNN.
Anna Navarro said this morning that Trump managed to do the “impossible,” which she said was that he managed to anger both the pro-choice and pro-life sides of the abortion divide at the same instant.
Trump told MSNBC interviewer Chris Matthews at a televised town hall meeting in Green Bay, Wis., that women “probably” should face some punishment if they got an illegal abortion. Matthews questioned Trump on how the government could make abortion actually “illegal,” to which Trump didn’t have an answer.
The Republican primary campaign presidential frontrunner quickly backed off that statement, declaring that the doctor should be the one facing punishment, not the woman — who he described as a “victim” of the illegal act.
That didn’t go over well at all with the pro-choice crowd.
The pro-life crowd, meanwhile, was still steaming over the notion that a woman could be punished for obtaining an abortion.
And so the drama continues.
The fun factor of this campaign just keeps getting stronger.
Donald Trump’s true identity might be a little harder to determine than we thought.
“Meet the Press” today took note of some important changes in Trump’s political evolution.
* He used to be “pro-choice” on abortion. He said in 1999 that he detested abortion, but insisted that obtaining one should be the woman’s prerogative. Today? “I’m pro-life,” he says.
* Trump once said that he admires and likes Hillary Rodham Clinton; he also expressed affection for her husband, former President Bill Clinton. He now calls her the “worst secretary of state in the nation’s history.” He probably speaks differently of the former president as well.
* The Donald once said that Barack Obama was a man of considerable accomplishment. These days he says the president is feckless and has been a disaster.
Those are just three examples.
The Republican Party presidential candidate needs to explain himself. Trust me on this: His Republican opponents are going to be ready to pounce. If hell freezes over and he gets the GOP nomination next summer, well, just wait until the Democrats get him in their sights.