One thing I try to do is read posts occasionally from a few intelligent conservative voices. I think everyone needs to keep an open mind, and this helps. For me, one of those voices is former George W. Bush Special Assistant David Frum, and he penned some of the wisest words I’ve ever read in his CNN post, “Let’s Get Real About Abortion.” I would encourage you to study this and pass along to family and friends.
I have always felt that 80% of Americans were about in the same place on this issue; namely, that high abortion rates are bad, but that outlawing all abortions no matter what is not the answer. I don’t question the sincerity of those who believe life begins at conception; if that’s truly your belief, it’s obvious you will be passionate on the subject.
However, there is a difference between respecting someone’s religious beliefs and allowing those beliefs to dominate the conversation for the rest of us. I’ve always felt if the middle 80% got together, we could agree upon a common-sense approach to minimize the number of abortions performed, while not imposing an undue burden on those rare situations where the vast majority of Americans believe the mother, her family and her clergy should decide. One rule we must abide by: a society must not criminalize something unless there is virtual consensus among all members of society that the activity is criminal. The few who believe all abortion should be criminalized, regardless of circumstances, need to remember that fact.
Another thing we must recognize: prevention of unwanted pregnancies is the most effective way to protect unborn life. Given this fact, Planned Parenthood is the most pro-life organization in America. I don’t agree with all their policies, but there is no question they prevent more unwanted pregnancies than any other organization. It is folly of the worst order when some Republican politicians talk of ending Planned Parenthood to score political points. Such an act, if successful, would result in a huge increase in the number of abortions.
Hopefully, there will be more voices of moderation and reason on the abortion issue like David Frum, so Americans can put this divisive issue behind us and really work together to make Jimmy Carter’s dream come true: “Every baby conceived deserves to be a wanted child”.