on abortion (generally)


Published in the Fargo Forum (Jan 29th 2021)

American abortion politics is big on symbolism, even outright virtue signaling. Both sides are guilty of this.  Hopefully, a day will come when a American president can help move the country beyond the destructive pro-life versus pro-choice narrative.

 

American abortion politics is big on symbolism, even outright virtue signaling. Both sides are guilty of this.

 

Yet, when it comes to actually preventing abortion or giving women a choice, the narrative offers little substantive value.

This is because the symbolic language used of being pro-life and being pro-choice tends to ignore two large, uncomfortable elephants: poverty and prejudice.
 
A good example of the income-based elephant is who has access to health care, especially family planning services.

 

Birth control will lead to fewer unplanned pregnancies. This means fewer abortions, and respect for personal rights.

 

Yet, significant economic barriers still exist to accessing safe and effective birth control.

 

If pro-life and pro-choice people came together, the government would feel the pressure to make family planning services accessible to all, irrespective of income.

 

A good example of the prejudice elephant is the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community.

 

Prejudice can lead women to abort based on the child's race, disability, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

 

Prejudice can also be directed at same-sex couples and their children.

 

Combating this form of prejudice through Civil Rights legislation should be a priority for people who claim to value human life and personal freedom.

 

After all, not all pregnant women or unborn children are white, upper-middle class, able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexuals.

 

We need an abortion politics that brings people together to combat economic disparities and prejudice.