Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Why we are still legislating abortion in SD"

Voices Carry blog

Representative Steve Hickey's report from the Statehouse in Pierre describes the current legislation, which passed the House and is now with the Senate. It requires actual physician input, medical information and a waiting period before an abortion can be performed.

It came out in the hearings that it is harder to get a vasectomy than an abortion under current law.

What closes the argument for me is this: those of us who oppose abortion assert, "This is wrong because it is destroying a human life;" those who defend abortion won't engage that point, as though it is not relevant.

Instead, they throw up a cloud of issues - women's autonomy, medical professionalism, privacy, sexual liberation, theocracy, choice, convenience - and if those don't seem to sway us they throw f-bombs and other garbage (I've been on the tag end of such).

Their array of issues is not a string of points supporting a coherent argument; they are a cloud of misdirection and disengagement from the central question of whether or not abortion takes a viable human life.

And that reality tells me that they are wrong.


caheidelberger said...

I disagree. First, it is not harder to get a vasectomy than it is to get an abortion in South Dakota, not in terms of doctor availability and, most saliently, not in terms of the regulations imposed by the state on each procedure (are there any state regulations on vasectomies?).

Second, I'll take those first three issues you mention and contend they are not a cloud of misdirection. WOmen's autonomy, medical professionalism, and privacy all fit together in a coherent argument about why an abortion should be viewed as a medical procedure to be discussed by a woman and her doctor, without government interference. The fetus is a living thing, but it is a thing which makes a unique demand on the woman during pregnancy. If she chooses not to take on that burden, the state cannot foce her to surrender her autonomy and submit her body to the service of another being. Decisions about what happen in a woman's uterus are private, not public. And if a woman is seeking medical advice, she deserves to get it from a medical doctor of her choosing, not be coerced into counseling against her choice by non-medical staff who are not bound by the Hippocratic oath, a state medical license, or the requirements of HIPAA and other privacy regulations.

I shall continue to endeavor to make these arguments without dropping f-bombs. I will confess my weakness and acknowledge that our Legislature, with its contradictions and patriarchy, tries my patience.

[word verification: *triers*]

Anonymous said...

yoU can'T expecT sOMeoNe wHo doeSn'T TrusT CHRIST_JESUS tO belieVe iN the SanctitY oF LiFe.

TLF+ said...

Anonymous - I don't agree. The apostle Paul saw many non-believers as moral people with lives more noble than inconsistent believers (Romans 2). I think that caheidelberger was responsive to my post, and answered with humility and restraint even in stark disagreement.

Cory - this is hard work, isn't it? I've tried to compose responses but end up rambling all over many of the same old same old arguments of which we are all tired. So I am going to wait and maybe post another piece.

Actually, it might be worthwhile sometime for us to isolate various aspects of the disagreement and post side-by-side perspectives or something.

Of course we might have to laugh at ourselves. You point out the male-dominated legislature driving the issue; I would point out that nine old men decided Roe v. Wade; and we would be two guys continuing to opine.

caheidelberger said...

I was hoping there was some code in those capital letters. I'll simply say to anon that my wife trusts me with my daughter. That's good enough for me.

Tim, cook me good enchiladas, and I'm a whole different polemicist. :-) I look forward to your continued discussion of this issue, if for no other reason that your word will continually remind me that I cannot demonize people of good conscience and intent who disagree with me.

TLF+ said...

Cory, I need constant reminding of that same reality. I'm afraid these days are so polarized that the temptation to demonize is stalking us all.

May have to offer peace enchiladas again when the lake thaws!