The inevitability became reality Monday. There was little doubt Republicans would be able to ram through the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before the election. And once again, it brought a subject to the forefront that has been on the front line of politics for years.
It reminded me of a day several months ago on the golf course. My playing partner was a conservative who was not a fan of the man who spends part of his time in the White House. I was reminded of an argument that too often becomes one-sided. He explained that he wanted the courts packed with conservative judges because he was anti-choice (those folks call themselves pro-life).
Normally, I avoid discussing politics or emotional issues with those that disagree with me. However, he was fairly easy-going and wanted to talk so I made an exception. This is something those that feel as I do, an estimated two-thirds of the country, (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/poll-majority-adults-don-t-support-overturning-roe-v-wade-n1241269) probably could practice as well. No, we are not likely to change minds. And yet, it is an issue steeped in choice which is not ours to make for others.
Let’s start with one basic statement – NOBODY I know is pro-abortion. We are pro-choice. That doesn’t mean that we believe abortion is an option to use as birth control. However, the loud-mouths including that part-time resident of the White House use choice as a wedge issue to further divide this country. It will only get more contentious with yet another far right judge appointed to the Supreme Court.
Remember: “The baby is born; the mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. And then the doctor and mother determine whether they will execute the baby.” No need to identify who said something so ludicrous. Just another divide-and-conquer ploy and an issue to try and drive a wedge through our country.
So, let me repeat: Neither I nor those I know are pro-abortion. We are pro-choice. There is a HUGE difference. That means we don’t feel it is our place to make decisions for women. It always amazes me that men can be so opinionated about something they cannot even experience. But that is beside the point. Liberals have allowed conservatives to control the narrative because they don’t speak up. It is not enough for us to say we support a woman’s right to choose. We need to note that we agree that abortion should only be used in extreme cases. Let the other side argue what constitutes “extreme.” And let those directly affected by the emotional issue choose what is best.
There are those that treat abortion as a black-and-white issue. The majority of the country knows better which was the original premise behind Roe v. Wade. There are instances – incest, rape of young girls and definitive knowledge that a fetus won’t survive – where it is in the best interest of those affected to make the difficult choices without outside voices trying to explain what they think is right or wrong. Anyone who preaches to someone in those or other extraordinary circumstances is simply incapable of looking at an emotional issue from both sides.
Additionally, they are incapable of putting themselves in the place of those confronted with such a decision. I have asked several, what if your 11-year-old daughter was raped and impregnated by an HIV-infected man? Some reluctantly agree that there are exceptions. Others (those on the far right) simply ignore the question or invoke religion. Several of those same like-minded folks told me they agree with the death penalty. Hmm!
My mother, who was conservative by nature, was pro-choice. Her answer to one who was anti-choice was to say, “If those folks who are so strong in their beliefs will promise to take care of unwanted babies then I will gladly join them in being pro-choice.” She knew better. As long as it didn’t affect them and those that they cared about, the anti-choice crowd didn’t want anything to do with unwanted babies.
As those that are open-minded about a number of topics, it behooves us to convince others that just because far-right politicians and zealots who claim to be religious treat choice as a wedge issue, it is anything but one. There are exceptions that should apply to any number of issues in life.
We cannot allow an issue like abortion to define who we are as some extremists want. Put the hard questions to them and demand answers. If they don’t offer a reply, then categorizing them as hypocrites certainly seems sensible.
We have important issues facing this country now in the midst of a pandemic that need to be addressed in the present. Let’s focus on them. At the same time, when the time is right let’s share our beliefs with those in the middle who likely have the presence of mind not to use their opinions as a bludgeon.
This is just another battle we will win this year because we are the (silent) majority. We will keep our focus on the big picture, which is bringing this country back to the United States rather than being the Divided States it has been and being a world leader as we were prior to November 2016.
October 27, 2020