My understanding of the abortion issue after the hate and contempt each side shows the other is removed, is that it boils down to whether or not the fetus is a person. I have no answer for this, but feel we can find a better alternative to satisfy both the pro-life and pro-choice camps.

I think (except in extreme and individual cases) both sides of this debate agree that killing people is wrong. If it were determinable that a fetus is not a person, kill all you want, we’ll make more. If a fetus is a person, then killing it is most certainly wrong. It is undeterminable as to whether or not personhood can be bestowed upon fetuses, as the question of when life begins will undoubtedly remain a topic of religious belief for eternity. We should at least try to avoid killing people, so we should try to avoid killing fetuses just in case they are people.

As current methods for abortions are designed, it is unavoidable to kill the fetus. Why must we do that? Why not try to extract the fetus from the mother alive, and try to care for it medically. If it survives it could be put up for adoption. Chances are that until such a time as medical technology has advanced far enough the fetus will not survive. But it will die; it will not be killed. This also enables women to choose whether or not to go through a pregnancy and gives them domain over their bodies.

There have to be better alternatives out there.

I fucking hate when people try to negate this position by saying that the two are mutually exclusive. Pro-choice should mean pro-choice not some absolute moral position. There is a huge difference between your opinion and what law should dictate.

I guess this is comparable with the pro-life folks who heartily endorse capital punishment or welfare reform for that matter...

I think there is a general tendency for people who don't want to deal with other opinions to call them vague when they allow for complexity. It's silly for anyone to assume that I'm going to try to make my opinion expansive enough to make someone like dman happy when easy controversy is all they're after.

There is a reason that my "stance" on abortion is purposely vague. I don't have any right to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do about something that will never biologically happen to me. I will fight to the death for the right of total idiots to express themselves however they choose. Why is this so hard to understand for the conservatives? Is it some moral superiority inherent to colonial theism or just mental density?

I don't favor making abortion illegal for practical reasons only. Abortion is a Pandora's box which was opened decades ago, as medical science finally caught up to man's medical ambitions. It's there, everyone knows about it, and if any country on the planet changed from making it legal to illegal, every woman who wanted one badly enough would simply travel somewhere else, or else find a way for it to be performed illegally. The American Prohibition of the 1920s demonstrated that fact of human nature admirably.

So by the strict definition of the word, I am pro-choice. But I still despise abortion because it is almost always carried out as a way of avoiding the consequences of one's mistakes. Like cosmetic surgery, abortion can be used for the benefit of the individual, but it is overwhelmingly used as a convenience.

I recently saw a stack of business cards at a Planned Parenthood facility informing anyone who read one that the morning-after pill was available there. The top of the card displayed a sampling of hypothetical quotes: "I was drunk." "I didn't think it would go that far." But none of them said "I was raped" or "my baby will suffer" or anything similar. This morning-after pill, a small miracle of artificial hormones, was being advertised not as the simplest way to perform a medically-necessary procedure, but as an emergency solution to the dramatic consequences of a young woman's lack of foresight.

If a woman wants to avoid having a baby, there are a plethora of options available today that fall short of abortion. Get on the daily birth control pill. Carry a couple condoms with you whenever you go out to a party. Have a vasectomy if you're feeling permanent about it. Practice common sense to avoid rape, like traveling in groups at night and not getting recklessly drunk. Heck, revirginization is even a fashionable option these days. And if pregnancy does occur, there's any number of couples today who would love to assist you through the pregnancy and adopt the child after birth. In many cases they'll even pay the expenses.

Now, will this always work? Of course not. I know a young woman who was date raped as a teenager, became pregnant, and made the choice to marry the child's father and carry the baby to term rather than take the easy way out which everyone, including her parents, was encouraging. She went through the social stigma of her fellow high school students talking about her behind her back, as well as the emotional and financial stress of a premature birth. The result was a terrible, but thankfully short, marriage and a daughter who was and is the light of the mother's life. In fact, the mother never would have had the strength to endure the next several years of her life if her daughter hadn't been there, needing her and loving her.

My point is that, except for the extremely rare cases when abortion is medically necessary, there's really no reason to terminate a pregnancy except to save oneself the trouble of carrying it out. If a woman or couple has an unwanted pregnancy, it's not the end of the world; if one is unable to take on the responsibility of raising a child, then adoption agencies and private adoptions are abundant. Yes, there will be some social stigma and the obvious physical inconveniences. But there are unexpected benefits as well, if one is only willing to confront them.

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