Women & unborn kids victimized as Dems and Reps weaponize abortion
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of 'Midnight in the American Empire,' How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge
Rekindled interest in abortion legislation is a clear reminder that the 2020 presidential elections are bearing down on the United States like a veritable tornado, with all of the expected fallout and damage.
On one side of the ramparts we have liberals, fervent believers in the idea that nobody – least of all members of the hirsute patriarchal tribe – should have the right to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. That argument is defensible, but only up to a point.
After all, a defenseless baby in the mother’s womb is also, arguably, blessed with certain unalienable rights. But who will speak for it? The fact that it is unable to vote in elections and recite the constitution are poor excuses for denying the fetus representation, not to mention life. In other words, a legal line must be drawn between the rights of the woman and the rights of the unborn human being she is carrying.
It should come as no surprise that many liberals passionately disagree with that argument. That much was made obvious by pro-abortion legislation recently passed by the state of New York that allows abortions within 24 weeks from the start of pregnancy, or at any time when it is deemed necessary to protect the expectant mother’s life or health.
At this point, it would be idle not to ask whether these women took advantage of the many inexpensive contraceptives now readily available over the counter, and why they decided to wait until the third trimester of their pregnancy to terminate the life inside of them. But I digress.
Today New York State Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act which redefines person as“a human being who has been born and is alive” and which permits abortion in some cases to birth!This was their reaction after passing the bill#WickednessInHighPlacespic.twitter.com/OKYW4kspG6— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) January 22, 2019
For many US conservatives, the idea of administering abortions in the third trimester would be tantamount to committing first-degree premeditated murder. That’s because the heartbeat of the fetus becomes audible around the sixth week of pregnancy, a time when not only conservatives but doctors say that life has truly begun.
“A heartbeat is a universal, scientific, non-controversial sign of life,” noted Susan Michelle-Hanson, a pro-life activist and journalist.
All things considered, it seems like an inopportune time for Democrats to be agitating Republicans, who are in a strong political position to roll back the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which granted women the right to abortions in the first place. Now, the sleeping giant of conservative America is wide awake, the Republican backlash against abortions has all the ability to do untold harm to many women – and in much the same way that the Democrats’ initiatives can harm the unborn.
Last week, for example, the state of Alabama passed the most shockingly stringent pro-life laws of the last 40 years. Incredibly, the law denies most abortions without exception – even for pregnancies that were conceived as a result of rape and incest.
Much like the Democrats on the other side of the trenches, the Republicans risk triggering a backlash with the imposition of abortion restrictions so dreadfully draconian they sound like they were crafted in the European Dark Ages. In fact, denying an abortion to a woman who has undergone the unspoken mental and physical ordeal of rape or incest could result in unintended consequences, like many conservatives abandoning the Republican Party out of sheer disgust, for example.Also on rt.com Alabama governor signs draconian abortion ban punishing doctors with up to 99 years in prison
Furthermore, as history has taught us on numerous occasions, slapping a ban on something rarely eliminates the problem. In fact, it usually has exactly the opposite effect. As was the case with the illegal production and sale of alcohol during the early Prohibition years, the banned product or service just moves underground to the black market, beyond the prying eyes of the authorities and regulators. Meanwhile, bootleggers got rich, while many consumers of the ‘moonshine’ died.
Abortions have a similarly tragic history. In the not-so-distant past, hundreds of women were victims each year in the US from unsafe abortions, many of which were self-induced with the use of crude instruments or toxic chemicals. In fact, unsafe abortions became such a rampant problem that many hospitals had a special ‘septic abortion ward’ that was used for dealing with the consequences of an incomplete abortion.
Perhaps one way of putting the brakes on abortions would be for the US to create a nationwide system of government-run orphanages where women can take their unwanted children to be cared for. In 1994, Senator Newt Gingrich floated that very idea in his so-called ‘Contract with America’ plan. But the money to fund the program came from a regrettable source: Gingrich wanted to disqualify all unwed women under the age of 18 from receiving welfare payments for life if they gave birth, which would probably increase abortions in this particular demographic. The savings from that and other initiatives would be used to fund the orphanages and greatly reduce the need for abortions. But the idea never caught on. It seemed the US government was more content to hand out monthly welfare checks to mothers, many of whom were wholly unqualified to raise their children, than to pay the exorbitant price of caring for all those needy kids. After all, there were expensive wars to fight in foreign lands.
The bottom line is that the Democrats and Republicans are giving undue attention to their narrow political agendas at great risk to unborn babies and expectant mothers. Thus, the Democrats are being branded as cold-blooded ‘baby killers’ while the conservatives are stereotyped as unresponsive to the plight of pregnant women – even those who have endured the gravest violations.
In other words, the debate over abortion in the US has become a slippery political football in a muddy zero-sum game. The Democrats and Republicans, only concerned about scoring a quick political goal, continue to scream past each other as the rule book becomes increasingly detached from reality, and unborn babies and pregnant women are turned into gambling chips.
It is trying times like these when cool heads must prevail in order to stake out the reasonable middle ground where the protection of women and unborn babies is the top priority, a goal that everyone can cheer for. After all, nobody deserves to be sacrificed for cheap political gamesmanship, even in a mean-spirited presidential election season.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.