Alabama’s abortion law addresses an urgent human rights issue (opinion)
A more useful analogy (though imperfect) to illustrate the distinction in the abortion debate would juxtapose it against an end-of-life conversation for a vulnerable, elderly parent who is on life support. An elderly, sick parent with very limited chance of viability, (as well as death penalty cases) are far removed from cases of a healthy preborn infant with her or his whole life ahead, and yet end-of-life decisions for elderly parents are generally made with great care and deliberation. And death-penalty cases take years to litigate.
But we generally don’t see similar caution in the widespread normalization of abortion. The problem with leaders like Bill Clinton and others operating under the mantra of “safe, legal and rare” is that abortion has become anything but rare in America. Yes, conservatives can and should do more to support women’s and men’s access to birth control for prevention of unwanted pregnancies, but the left must also do more to avoid termination.
If we believe human life is infinitely valuable, then how a pregnancy begins, even through rape or incest, is irrelevant. A preborn human life is at stake. In the gray areas where a mother’s life is truly at risk, then — as the Alabama law allows — heart-rending choices can be made. What Alabama does not allow are abortions motivated by inconvenience, sexual carelessness, financial calculations or worse.
Some men will argue that their opinion on abortion doesn’t matter, but this is disingenuous, especially since many men abandon women they have impregnated and others sometimes coerce women toward abortion, making them feel like they have no other option. Pro-abortion policies give men a blank pass from responsibility for their actions. This is disempowering to women and the opposite of feminist.
It’s also anti-feminist to lead women to believe that abortion is their only or best choice if they’re unable to raise a child: groups like Avail NYC envelop women facing a pregnancy crisis with love and let them know they have other options, including adoption.
Countless couples are waiting to adopt. In 2017, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, nearly 60,000 children were adopted.
That abortion is a commonplace option in our country speaks volumes about the values of our society: erring on the side of death rather than the side of life.