To oversimplify the issue:
* On one side are supporters that prioritize the mother’s rights. They are described as “pro-choice”* or in favor of abortion rights.
* On the other side are supporters that seek to uphold the rights of the unborn child. They are described as “pro-life” or anti-abortion. It should be noted that some (many? most?) who hold this second position still prioritize the life of the mother over the child should it ever be put in jeopardy.
Around the world, the public perception and legal precedents varies. Canada, for example, permits abortion-on-demand, meaning at her request and without legal restriction. On the other end of the spectrum is a country like Chile which bans abortion, even without consideration for the life of the mother. Between these two extremes would be a country like Ireland, where it is illegal except when the mother’s life is in danger.
In the U.S., since the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, abortion is legal. More recent legal debate has brought restrictions on late-term and partial-birth abortions and the requirements for parental notification for minors and disclosure of health risks prior to an abortion.
This public debate has recently reached a fevered pitch due to the Kermit Gosnell case. In it, he was convicted on three murder charges and accepted a life sentence without possibility of parole. This case has produced dramatic responses. Some of which further decry abortion because of Gosnell’s malpractice while others distinguish his criminal behavior from legalized abortion methods. This is NOT a post or discussion about Gosnell.
Where are you at in your understanding and beliefs about abortion? Please read below to see the content for discussion.
Let me frame the discussion.
1. Please avoid inflammatory comments that begin with the phrase, “How could any Christian believe…?” and then state the opinion in opposition to yours. This doesn’t foster conversation.
2. People may understand your position and still disagree with you.
3. Learn from one another. This is intended to be a place where you can ask your own questions. It’s also intended to be a place where you can share your perspective as well.
Here’s what I am interested in seeing discussed:
In my reading there seems to be two slider scales (Are you familiar with what these are? The slider can be moved from one end to the other or somewhere in between.).
* One of the scales has the rights of the mother ranging from absolute right to abort on one end (e.g. Canada) to no rights to abort on the other (Chile). The slider could be moved within these extremes as well.
* The other scale looks at the “viability,” or likelihood of survival outside of the uterus, of the embryo/fetus/unborn child. This ranges from conception on one end to a delivered baby on the other end. Examples of viability where the slider could be adjusted within these two extremes have been trimester deviations (1st, 2nd, 3rd) or quickening (moment when mother feels first fetal movements).
On these two scales, where would you currently place your sliders and why? Additionally, if you are a person whose sliders have moved dramatically concerning this issue, would you be willing to share how this happened?
(Some readers have been having a harder time posting their comments. If this happens to you, please email me at email@example.com. Thanks for your patience. Also, if you know web hosting and understands why this is happening, please contact me!)
* Readers should note that most terms listed within this article have some level of opposition due to historical or political connotations (i.e. baggage!). Despite this, I use them to facilitate conversation trying to use common language of the topic.