©Neville Goedhals 2007. Visit my site at: www.NevilleGoedhals.com

Whether tis better to Roe or Wade

By Neville Goedhals

Yes, it is that time of the political calendar again. A time for the country to be divided, for politicians to cast dubious aspersions on their opponents, and for the important issues of the day to be flaunted before the voting public. As usual, a topic that is raised with the inevitability of the sun rising is … Abortion.

Indeed, I speak of none other than the United States Supreme Court landmark decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade, where it was decided that any law prohibiting abortion violated a constitutional right to privacy. The issue is tailor-made for politicians.

Democrats term their side of the fence pro-choice; after all, America is all about rights and freedoms … isn’t it? How could anyone vote away their right to choose? The public will immediately see their enlightened point of view and flock to the blue banner.

Naturally the Republicans are right in there with their politically sensitive phrase, pro-life. It is a given that nobody can vote against life, especially the life of a sweet unborn infant child. Imagine voting for abortion and earning the sobriquet of anti-life. Voters will throng to the red flag in their millions.

I have some major doubts about all of this. For starters, here I sit worrying about a declining economy, in a home I am trying to sell during the worst housing crunch in fifty years, while the worst credit freeze in decades reduces potential buyers, during a ridiculously expensive war and restoration effort in both Afghanistan and Iraq, while terrorists, illegal aliens and drug smugglers stroll across the border … Why is Roe vs. Wade even coming up as a debatable issue?

Now don’t get me wrong: I was adopted at the tender age of two weeks, and had the most wonderful parents in the world. If my biological mother had decided to have an abortion I would not be putting pen to paper. So, is abortion an important issue? Of course. Is this my major criteria in deciding who will head our country? No, let’s get the big impending issues settled first.

Of course the politicians will not let the issue die. Perhaps they lack answers to the real issues of the day. And, as happens every presidential election, the candidates shake the abortion issue like a pit-bull worrying at a rag doll until the party lines are divided between Christian vs. Anti-Christ baby-killers, or to phrase it from another angle, Free Americans vs. Religious zealots.

Now you understand why abortion is the perfect political controversy and rears its ugly head over and over again. Both sides are right! Nobody wants to kill unborn children, and everybody wants freedom of choice. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

For the real problem surrounding abortion, here is a refresher course (Birds & Bees 101):

John gets friendly with Jane over a couple of drinks (real friendly). They wend their way back to his pad where he puts on some Barry White music (Rap just doesn’t work) and opens a bottle of wine. In next to no time they are engaged in coitus (Yeah, I know, I left out some of the interesting bits). As luck would have it, the moon is in the wrong phase and John’s little soldiers mount a concerted attack. The default option comes into play, and Jane is pregnant.

It is all about mother nature. Jack is attracted to Jane by a number of subtle clues and impulses including pheromones, hormones and Jane’s moans. Jane has the same problem: Jack has broad shoulders, would make an excellent hunter, opened the car door for her and doesn’t spit. Nature wants us to reproduce as much as possible, because saber-tooth tigers are likely to kill some of Jane’s babies, not to mention those that will be gored by woolly-mammoths or succumb to wound infection or …

Wait, this is the 21st Century; we don’t have the same problems our distant ancestors had. Problem is, our bodies are still in cave mode. We need to change the default option from falling pregnant to not falling pregnant. Accidents will happen, hormones will win out over common sense, women will be raped (a sick state of affairs) and some will have adverse reaction to the pill. When this happens, the pro-life crowd says that the woman must carry the child to term, period. It could be called Statutory Pregnancy.

But is abortion any better? Is it not better to hand the child over for adoption (as in my case), or smile and change your short to mid-life goals and become a mother (possibly without a father)?

When I ask pro-lifers about abortion most say that it is contrary to their Christian upbringing. This smacks of religion in politics. Having a law that favors a religious belief goes directly against what the founding fathers intended (at least my limited knowledge tells me this). Any such law should be based on generally accepted morals, not Christian, Hinduism, Islamic, Sikhism or Your-religion-here morals.

 There, I have given you common ground to stand on - generally accepted morals. But can anyone truly set aside their religious beliefs and view this issue without influence? I have my doubts.

Not to fear; to me the answer is simple. Teach your children your religion and set of moral values. If you do the job right, they will make you proud in whatever difficult choice they may make. You have the freedom to teach them now, and one day they will have the freedom to make the right choice.

To the Democrats: Do not try to push pro-choice in schools. Let parents raise and instruct their children in their religion and values; let the schools teach reading, writing and mathematics.

To the Republicans: Do not attempt to regulate moral values (it never works – look at prohibition). Use the time to teach your children about your faith, beliefs and morals.

There! Now that is solved can we please hear how the presidential candidates are going to improve the economy, fix our borders, lower taxes …