So social conservatives (closet liberals who want the government to control one aspect of your lives instead of another) have been really hyping the latest Gallup poll. I mean did you know that people who identify themselves as
“pro-choice” are down to the all time low of a mere 41%! 41%! Only 41% of the nation wants to keep abortion legal…oh wait, if you actually read the whole thing (reading is something that is not big with liberals and social conservatives) then you’d see it’s not that simple.
Actually only 20% of the country wants to completely ban it from the country. 25% want it legal under any condition (and 25% I think is more than 20%)…and 52% want it legal under some circumstances. (As always there is a portion of the country, 3%, that has no opinion on anything…I love this 3-5% that goes through life without any opinions on anything). Now obviously some of those 52% would only make it legal under the rape/incest clause that everyone always puts into every abortion law and some would probably be willing to allow any level of abortion so long as not a single tax payer dollar is paid for it.
But since this is such an overrated issue in America, one that seems to drive idiots on both sides to exclude a million vastly more importantly issues to the point that they will vote only on this issue that most of the American public will vote on even thought it never will have a single effect on their life. Does that mean I don’t have an opinion on abortion, no as a New Ager and Conservative, I do, and they’re the same opinion: I’m for it.
I can see the look on your face right now…how does being a conservative mean you’re for the legal right of abortion. I’m going to leave you with that confusion for just a moment while I go through the spiritual side first, as this is slightly more important.
I start with the spiritual side because abortion is tied up a lot in what it is to be human, and whether or not it’s wrong to kill something that is or is not yet human. I recently saw a book that preposterously tried to use Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy to argue against abortion. While there were numerous errors, the crux of the argument was that because a fetus has a full genetic code of a human being, it’s human, and therefore abortion is murder.—the book made no further argument to prove that a fetus is human. A scraping of skin cells, a vial of blood, and a corpse also have a full genetic code, so if you do anything to these apparently, by what I can only assume was supposed to be an educated argument against abortion, you’re also committing murder.
I bring this up only to show what the central problem in this argument is: What is human life? And when you have the answer to that question, you have the answer to the “question of when does life begin?”
Now an intelligent person realizes that a human is more than just an animal with a certain genetic code, no, what makes humans humans and not just mere animals is our souls. When the soul is present in the body of a homo sapien you have a human being, when it leaves you have a corpse…before the soul takes up residence, you have something that could become human, but is still lacking the single most important quality of human existence.
Okay, so if it’s the presence of the soul, when does the soul take residence? Well if you read the Bible it seems to associate the soul with breath, so that might suggest the soul takes up residence only upon birth…but we’re not really going to deal with Judeo-Christian beliefs, we’re New Agers, we try for more.
Now in most studies of life-after-death and reincarnation, which I think it’s safe to say, the idea that there is more than a single body surrounding your body but several “etheric” shells that are each shed through the process of death (see the Tibetan Book of the Dead for a more complete discussion) but conversely these bodies take time to form. And from what little science can glean from life-after-death and reincarnation studies (see Life After Death by Chopra and Evidence of the Afterlife by Long) and tradition (see God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita by Yogananda) the soul is not directly tied to the body until well into the third trimester, sometimes not taking full residence up until birth itself. (This does however vary). However, as any New Ager is likely to believe evidence from respected mediums, it appears that the souls attached to fetuses that may be aborted know what they’re getting into and bear no ill will if the fetus is aborted (see Talking to Heaven by Van Praagh).
Thus the best way to describe the soul’s relationship to the body before birth is at best a lease with an option to buy, with a not so hidden clause in the lease where the owner may terminate the lease and the house if they so choose. So in this respect it is not murder and certainly in favor of abortion.
The second spiritual reason deals with the mother. Karmically, the soul of the mother who is considering an abortion has at some point before her own birth chosen to face a situation where this choice will be required to make this choice. She may be in need of learning to put others before herself and thus keeping the child would be the best choice spiritually…or she may have come off of lives of servitude and self-denial and thus must learn that her needs, wants, and dreams are important too and should not be shoved aside, in which case having the abortion might be the best thing for her soul. I am not enlightened enough to know who is in which situation and feel that legislating what is a powerful karmic choice (that is not murder, as I have shown) is arrogance of the rankest sort. Will everyone make the right choice that is best for their soul? No. But that is the point of life making good choices and seeing the fruit of those choices so that we may repeat them, and making bad choices and learning from our mistakes. To use law to subvert free will and spiritual growth is a perversion of what government is supposed to do.
Finally I am for abortion because I hate some of the alternatives. And I’m going to be a little callous here. The point of life is either to grow as a person or in some cases to not grow so much ourselves, but to be a teacher for those around us. I tend to think that many children who are born with severe mental problems are in this latter category. They come to teach those around them compassion. But there are also those I think that trap themselves in a lemon of a brain as punishment for some karmic reason—think about it, being a fully functional soul, capable of reaching enlightenment, trapped in a brain and body that doesn’t function, doesn’t respond, and won’t allow you to express yourself and learn…that’s about as close to the definition of hell as I can think of…and I will never condemn a human soul to that if I have any say about it. Now I understand why people of faiths other than mine might look at my personal desire to abort a child with a severe mental handicap as cruel, and I can see their point of view, but please have the courtesy to see mine.
Okay all that said, my wacky New Age beliefs are certainly not going to convince any conservative with more main line religious views. And they certainly won’t do anything to convince psycho’s like Rick Santorum, who even in his “I’m dropping out of the race” speech felt the need to point out that his views on abortion were the all important part of his campaign (and you wonder why you didn’t get anywhere don’t you Ricky?):
“We did focus a lot on the families and dignity of moral life that is America. I know Joe Klein will be upset about this, but one of my favorite articles was one that he wrote, where his headline was ‘Rick Santorum’s inconvenient truths.’We talked about things that maybe we should talk about more but they get shoved say aside in the public discourse. We carried around our copy of the Constitution.”
Well aside from the fact that Rick Santorum’s copy of the Constitution is different than anyone else’s and looks like slightly more Draconian than Leviticus, we as conservatives do like the Constitution, and we like economic facts (unlike liberal economics fantasies). And those beliefs very clearly dictate a support for the basic rights to an abortion.
Well let’s first deal with the Constitution. What I or anyone else does with thier doctor is private as we are the ones paying them for a service. I am engaged in commerce. And every conservative holds that the federal government has no right to legislate on commerce that doesn’t cross state lines. We believe that all of the government’s current invasions into intrastate commerce are inherently unconstitutional…so why is this act of commerce different than others? It isn’t. Any conservative who is arguing for a Constitutional Amendment giving the federal government the power to legislate intrastate commerce is arguing for opening a Pandora’s Box that we will never be able to close. Remember, we’re conservatives– we want the government out of the economy, not to give them a Constitutional back door into it.
You want to deal with abortion at a state level, fine. But first stop arguing for an expansion of federal powers like you’re a filthy liberal.
Then comes the economic facts.
Fact 1: Making things illegal has never stopped the market; it only creates a black market.
What does this mean? Well, aside from the extreme image of back alleys and clothes hangers (I think overdoses on birth control are more likely…not to mention that the upper middle class and rich can always get a D&C at their OBGYN, just as they did before Roe) it means you’ll still have abortions being performed by doctors. Now I don’t think that, like with most black markets, you’ll see an increase in demand, but you will see an increase in supply. Doctors who don’t do abortions now because they can always refer a patient to someone else will take a stand and start doing them so I doubt you’ll see any major decrease in numbers in abortions from accidental pregnancies (I’ll get to why I make this distinction in a minute)
Fact 2: Black Markets can’t be regulated and are open to more corruption.
Which do you think stops more abortions a 48 hour waiting period or making it a blackmarket under absolutely no regulation? Having to see a sonogram of the fetus or going to a doctor’s office in the dead of night for a procedure that is done as quickly as is humanly possible? Banning late-term abortions or making the whole thing a thriving underground industry?
An intelligent person knows that regulation is a greater killer of any industry as most people are willing to jump through preposterous legal hoops before they consider illegal means. And I think most people are open to sane requirements like having to view a sonogram or having a waiting period or banning late-term abortions…whereas underground markets are a free for all.
Or how about banning gender selective abortions?…which apparently are going on in this country. Now while I’m sure we can all agree that anyone who would abort a fetus because it was the wrong gender is too sick to be allowed to have a child of either gender, I’ll simply settle for making it illegal to even ask for one…maybe with heavy jail time involved.
But if you just outlaw abortion en masse, you won’t have any of those controls.
Fact 3: Enforcement costs on black markets are insane.
As we saw with Prohibition and with the war on drugs, enforcing rules against a black market are prohibitively expensive. Prohibitively expensive. Not to mention making it a federal law requires federal enforcement…like we need another government agency getting involved with our medical choices. Then you have the costs of prosecution, which I promise you will have a remarkably low conviction rate, and probably the cost of suing states which rightly believe this is a state’s rights issue and legalize it. (Yes that would be the one benefit to outlawing abortion at a federal level, liberals would finally believe in state’s rights and the limits of federal power.)
Fact 4: A good portion of abortions now are caused by subsidies.
And the final fact that most conservatives miss. Right now an unhealthy portion of abortions (especially late-term abortions) are because there are extra welfare benefits to being pregnant…get more money for a few months, abort the fetus (on the taxpayer dime), and keep the money without the hassle of a kid. We subsidize abortion.
Now the majority of abortions are women for whom their pregnancy is an unplanned accident, they have an abortion, and probably are more careful in the future and never have another abortion. Bully for them. Unfortunately about 20% of women who have abortions are having 3+ in a life time I don’t have the figures on this group, but I’ll lay even money that Uncle Sam is picking up most of the tab for that 20%. Why? Because there is no cost for this idiotic kind of behavior. Because Uncle Sam subsidizes it. And as any economic conservative knows when you subsidize a behavior you get more of it.
So what should we do? Well, eliminate all taxpayer money going to abortions. (And if I had my druthers I would also ban any welfare support on a second unplanned pregnancy. The first time was a mistake and I’m willing to be generous…the second time it’s stupidity on the part of the mother.) This would dry up the well very quickly for those who are abusing the system.
So any conservative should know that making abortion illegal would only expand federal power and do nothing to stop abortions. Come on guys, we’re supposed to be the rational party.
And thankfully, Mitt Romney has said he’s getting rid of all federal money for Planned Parenthood. If liberals are unhappy about this, they can donate their own money to Planned Parenthood…after all liberals say they’re not being taxed as much as they should be, so I’m sure they’ll be willing to put up their money to support an organization they find to be a worthy cause if the government won’t take their money for them.
Of course how do you get the more moderate liberals to support such a ban…you offer a blanket federal protection of a woman’s right to an abortion in the first two trimesters, probably in the form of a Constitutional Amendment, but with the provision that no tax payer money ever go to it. Which I think brings us back to the implications of the poll that started this whole thing.