Remember that time you had an intelligent, thoughtful conversation about abortion with someone who held a different opinion? Neither do I. That’s a problem.
When the Texas Legislature was fighting to pass new restrictions on abortion rights in the 2013 session, I wrote a series of pieces trying to explore the roots of the issue and describing a potential resolution. The results are below.
“A growing respect for life and expanding rights for women have fed the intensity of passions over reproductive rights. The two vital interests in conflict in the abortion debate are each more cherished by the culture than they have perhaps ever been. Something’s gotta give.”
“From the precious possibilities of the sperm and egg to the visceral reality of a crying infant, at what point do the rights of that potential life outweigh the rights of a father or mother to control over their bodies? Science can tell us, based on the current state of our medical technology, the point at which a fetus is probably capable of survival outside the womb, but is that the same as person-hood?”
“Government must act immediately to see that every discharge is conducted in a sincere effort to allow living sperm to pursue the possibility of birth. Anyone destroying these precious lives or encouraging others to do so should be brought to justice.”
Disciplining Texas women is tough, thankless work. How can Legislators be confident they are doing it right? Rick Perry summed it up nicely in a recent speech, “The louder they scream, the more we know we are getting something done.”
“Life is cheap in Texas, yet the state remains a passionate bulwark of the “pro-life” movement. This apparent contradiction goes a long way toward revealing the values that matter most in pro-life politics.”
“In 1971 the Southern Baptist Convention endorsed abortion rights for women in a remarkably bold statement for the time. The Baptists responded to Roe v Wade in 1974 by re-affirming their previous statement in favor of abortion rights. So, what changed?”
“If the public were given a chance to consider practical approaches that respect the competing interests at stake it might be possible to build a consensus that would force an end to the hollow grandstanding that has defined the abortion debate for decades.”
“I had no interest in abortion rights until the matter invaded my own living room. Even then, what we experienced is relatively trivial. The misery endured by so many others who struggle under the worst of conditions to secure their right to control their own bodies is an unnecessary travesty.”