Abortion could be topic one in 2012

Abortion, which generates marches every year but has not been a real campaign issue in ages, could very well find itself toward the top of the issues list in the 2012 election.

A couple of weeks ago a reader here sent me a link to this column in Salon, in which Sady Doyle is particularly critical of one element in a U.S. House Republican bill, H.R. 3, more commonly referred to as the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.”

That element was one that would essentially redefine rape. Instead of exemptions from the law provided for those who are raped, they would have to be victims of “an act of forcible rape.”

That, according to Doyle, meant those who were drugged or unconscious, coerced, statutorily raped or an adult incest survivor would not get federal funding to get an abortion. She said about 70 percent of those raped wouldn’t qualify.

That particular element was pulled from the bill, so I mistakenly thought the abortion issue was kind of likely to drop into the background again. I was wrong. For one thing, the overall bill is still an issue.

Then there are the states.

In Texas the state Senate approved a bill that would require women to have a sonogram and hear the baby’s heartbeat before having an abortion.

Indiana is mulling new restrictions.

In South Dakota legislators set aside a bill that proponents said was designed to protect people who kill in defense of an unborn child, because opponents said it could put abortion providers at risk. Proponents said the bill had more to do with “self-defense,” as in if someone was attacking a pregnant woman.

Even Justin Bieber is getting in trouble for his answer to a question about abortion.

More likely to have an impact to us locally, since I don’t think the Washington Legislature is likely to jump into the issue anytime soon, is what impact what has already happened will have in 2012.

In Slate, David Weigel writes:

Abortion rights activists, whose relevance had been waning during elections fought over the war in Iraq and the Great Recession, have found a toehold in politics again. The strategy has three parts.

1) Wait for the pro-life movement, now at an apex of political power, to do something stupid.

2) Pounce on the stupid thing that it just did.

3) Repeat.

I believe, in fact, that the “1,2,3” strategy is a pretty easy method to follow. If your party or faction is in the minority, just wait for your opponent to do something stupid, because it is an inevitable truth that it will happen.

The energy spawned by the Tea Party was fervent during the last two years, but over the long term I have seen little that generates more emotional reaction than abortion. On both sides of the issue the passion is intense. Should this issue continue to have legs, and if you read the Slate piece it looks like Democrats hope it will, you could be getting your first glimpse of what you will talking most about next year.

59 thoughts on “Abortion could be topic one in 2012

  1. As part of the swing against abortion, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have been a strong, clear and consistent voice for the Sanctity of Life. Here is Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching

    Fact sheet by the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (No. 2271).

    In response to those who say this teaching has changed or is of recent origin, here are the facts:

    * From earliest times, Christians sharply distinguished themselves from surrounding pagan cultures by rejecting abortion and infanticide. The earliest widely used documents of Christian teaching and practice after the New Testament in the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) and Letter of Barnabas, condemned both practices, as did early regional and particular Church councils.

    * To be sure, knowledge of human embryology was very limited until recent times. Many Christian thinkers accepted the biological theories of their time, based on the writings of Aristotle (4th century BC) and other philosophers. Aristotle assumed a process was needed over time to turn the matter from a woman’s womb into a being that could receive a specifically human form or soul. The active formative power for this process was thought to come entirely from the man – the existence of the human ovum (egg), like so much of basic biology, was unknown.”


  2. Keith,

    Jimmy Carter stated he actually started WIC because of his pro life views. the democrats have done and past many policies I believe have supported life .

    Actually Keith science has brought the abortion issue more to the forefront , not less. Recent article in the Times showed a baby pre born at 21 weeks , the babies tiny hands showing . The article was about our amazing medical ability to operate on babies before they are born . Actually amazing that a baby can be operated on before its birth and rid its life of birth defects like Spina Bifida. Also at one time abortion say in the Middle East was considered immoral after the time of the awakening . This was the time the the Mother actually felt the life by the baby kicks. Out of sight out of mind basically . Science has allowed us to see the shape and the actual Fact that it is a new life . I have often wondered why the pro abortion advocacy of the far left prevents the education of the actual life inside of the Mother being given to the Mother . Why are not pictures shown , we show pictures of a bone break to patient , why do we not show the picture of the life , fetus , baby ? I would think if you were truly pro choice , this would be a no problem compromise ? There have been many people who have had abortions and then blame their lack of knowledge for it later . Why not share that information of what is happening to that fetus at 5 weeks , the size of pen head , developing a heart already ?

    Measure brain activity and such is now possible because of science of a pre born baby . .
    Some of the best pro life oratories I have ever heard come from atheists. We value life in this country , and that’s a good thing . Its why when we have a large earthquake we have injuries and monetary lost . But our buildings are so well constructed that lost of life is minimal compared to say when there is an Eart Quake in India or another country . We use our pro life values and put them in our laws and regulations in building codes.

    Thousands die in earthquakes when they don’t build them correctly . When they build buildings little concern is for the possible lives lost when something goes wrong .
    After five weeks of conception the baby’s heart is being formed .
    All your saying is you value that life less then I do . OK ,. You can live with that , I can live with that .
    The life sometimes does not .

  3. Good points Mick.

    But. If. A girl is raped and impregnated yet this society forces her to carry the rapist fetus to term – that makes her, any woman, nothing more than an incubator without choice what happens to her own body. A woman, a second class citizen. Again.

    Something is not right with such a program.

    If women cannot be in control of their own body, is society willing to take responsibility for such births and raise the unwanted fetuses?

    I don’t know the answers… just asking…
    Sharon O’Hara

  4. Which is the best question and I believe an over used aspect of the debate . Over used because it is such a small aspect of the debate and used instead of the real issue of the vast majority of abortions which are for social or economic reasons . But yes an important aspect of the debate . Because it shows after all we are not God , we do not have all the answers, we can only use our own conscience . Why I say over used is because according to Medical Journals, Government Statistics and surveys the number of abortions for incest or rape is .09 percent . But yes when you are talking about lives and this issue , its also an issue people like myself have a hard time with also . Why because we all come from somewhat of the same culture . Our values are intertwined , how we look at things . Perhaps we are experiencing a bigger divide in our world views , but there is still some commonality to our way of looking at things . And yes I do have a hard time dealing with the unfairness to the child , Mother or Father in many of the alternatives of being pro life or pro choice . For not just rape , but say a birth defect where the child perhaps because of drug addiction will never have a life out of physical and emotional pain . What makes me God or the state to say you have to be born . But that is my point also , and perhaps it shows my hypocrisy on the issue also . Either way we are letting someone play God if we allow a medical procedure to end a life ? But I can understand that view Please don’t take my view as someone who thinks they are better then one who disagrees . Never so . my approach is support the things that promote life before and after birth . In many cases pro choice choice advocates do much for the quality of life . I also believe Sharon abortion has not cut down the cases of unwanted babies in this world . Don’t we have a throw away society . A person wants a baby , they have it , find out its hard work and wishes they did not . I believe our present culture has more kids in it then ever before with single parent families or step parents then ever before . in the day and age of abortion on demand and birth control logically you could say it would be different . But it is not , it’s the opposite . We are a culture that is not willing to take responsibility for our actions . Abortion does not take us off the hook , it just puts the hook somewhere else.

  5. I keep things simple. I have no answers.
    I do not want woman to become helpless again and becoming nothing more than incubators without any say in what happens to their body. It isn’t right.

    A woman’s seed cannot produce a fetus without the male’s little swimmers fertilizing the egg, thus producing a fetus. Here is where we part company probably. The male goes home without responsibility.

    The pregnant female is told she cannot decide whether to keep the fetus to full term – no matter the reason, Mick.

    My stand as a woman, pre Wade v Roe is that each individual woman should have the right to decide what happens to her own body. Simple and straightforward.

    Otherwise, she is a second hand citizen without rights and used only as an incubator.

    The male, without whom the fetus wouldn’t exist, doesn’t seem to enter the question – he seems without involvement.

    Yes, there are many other issues one can look at, debate, yell, scream over.

    One avenue society could take is to give the girl/woman the option of having the fetus taken out of the womb and incubated elsewhere for someone else to raise.

    Another avenue is that girls/woman learn to be pro-self preservation and do whatever she must to not allow the opportunity to get pregnant. That’s my personal favorite solution to include male responsibility and consequences.

    Anther is to sterilize or castrate active males who have sex without desire for a child from the union and cut the tubes of fertile woman who have sex for the same reason.

    There are options to solutions without the mass senseless hysteria or depriving a woman of what should be the right to decide what she does with her own body.
    Sharon O’Hara

  6. What about the right of the baby? Does he or she get a vote or choice to live or die?

    It is about the right of the baby-not the right of the woman!

  7. What is your plan Judi?
    Other than yell about ‘rights’ – how do you plan to solve the dilemma?
    How many fetuses can you incubate and foster?
    Who are you to determine what another woman does with her body – especially if she gives you the fetus?
    You decide.

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