As a Democrat, My Views on Abortion

Yesterday evening a woman told me she just couldn’t understand why Democrats believed in abortion. She thought it was just, “wrong.” It was late and I was too tired to think about it but today is a new day and my brain is rested. So, here’s what I think.

First of all, I’m a Democrat and I basically do not believe abortion is a good thing. To some degree or another, I’ve been bothered by anyone being sexually irresponsible and then using abortion as a means of birth control. After all, forms of condoms and birth control have existed since Roman times and earlier. That said, I don’t think it is my place to tell a woman what is correct for them.

In modern America a variety of contraceptive methods are available but should something go wrong and pregnancy ensues, I agree with Roe v. Wade, it is a private matter better left to the woman involved.

Next, I believe that the potential for life begins at conception but not actual human life itself. That comes later and requires the embryo to exist on its own outside the womb. The advent of modern medicine has made this issue more problematic, however.

Finally, while I respect the rights of religions to have their own views, I do not believe those views should be forced on others by means of law. Our First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion and government should play no part in defining what is religiously mandated. That is a private matter, as was decided in Roe v. Wade.

Prior to writing this, I read an article about a Missouri woman who was both a Democrat and a member of that state’s legislature. She worked to have the Democratic Party remain neutral on abortion and was at first, successful. Quickly, however, she learned that a vocal element of Democrats opposed her efforts. So, I don’t know what percentage of Democrats agree with her or my views but I know the majority agree with Roe v. Wade. Matter of fact, the majority of all Americans agree with Roe v. Wade. A 2018 poll of voting Americans found that 71% support Roe.

I have no idea how I stand with others on the morality of abortion. But I am confident my support of the Right to Choose puts me with the majority of Americans. The problems are, the anti-abortion side is so much more zealous and driven by right-wing religious ideology. Since at least 1980 American politics have been mostly conservative politics and the anti-abortion zealots have found conservative politicians to be willing supporters of their efforts.

While Roe still survives it is under heavy attack and is severely weakened. With the recent successes of right-wing conservatives to get a conservative majority on the Supreme Court and the lower courts, we could easily see the end of Roe.

I don’t know if this informs the lady first mentioned but it’s the best I can do. I’ll do nothing to deny her the right to not have an abortion and I expect the reverse out of her. I believe in individual rights in every way practical. Not because I’m a Democrat, but because I simply believe in individual freedoms and equal protection under the law. It’s a human position, not a political one.

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