I didn’t pay much attention to the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion. I skimmed the headlines, noted that pro-abortion activists were “outraged” while anti-abortion activists were celebrating, and went on to the next page. (In case you’re fuzzy on the details, the Supreme Court upheld a ban on partial birth abortions.) But this past week, I noticed that another web site had reprinted Tim’s post, “The Altar of the Gun.” The blogger said he didn’t agree with Tim’s post but wanted to provide another perspective on idolatry. At one point in the article, he inserted this: “No mention whatsoever from this crowd [that would be YAR] that this Democratic congress supports the murder of five million people per year with abortion…”
Abortion is an incredibly complex topic; it’s never as simple as either side wants it to be. Even the words we use, how we chose to define ourselves, matters: pro-choice? Pro-life? Both phrases sort of rankle me. But I really want to know: how do we here at YAR feel about abortion? Since I’m asking you all to perhaps make yourself vulnerable, it’s only polite of me to go first.
I’m a big propnent of the consistent life ethic. War, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, poverty, and racism are all troubling, and all something which threaten life and that which is life-giving. But I count myself as neither pro-life or pro-choice. Abortion is, for me–to borrow from Feminists for Life–a sign that we’ve failed women. Simply legislating it won’t change much, because wealthy women will be able to travel elsewhere to get abortions and less wealthy women will revert to poorly trained doctors on the street or worse. If we really want to stop abortion, then we have to figure out what causes women to get abortions and why, and from that perspective, affordable housing, universal healthcare and childcare support all matter. We have to care about the child both before and after its birth.
I think we begin by holding each life dear every time, but I’m cautious, too, because life is a lot more ambiguous than a lot of us would like to make it. That said, I’m genuinely interested in what you all think–and I won’t think less of you if you chose to thoughtfully disagree with me.