Many Americans are single-issue voters. The single issue for so many is … abortion. Therefore, it is pertinent for me to discuss this topic if we are to improve our democracy.
As a whole, I do not align myself with either major American political party on this issue. I believe that neither seems inclined to take the issue seriously.
The Republican Party has a political stake in this issue and its candidates know that if they merely mention that they are pro-life, a plethora of votes will come their way. I fear that some politicians know that they need only mention their de jure (by law) stance against abortion without a comprehensive plan to actually stop abortions. To do the latter would require comprehensive deliberation across society – something that is not proposed by Republican Party leadership. In other words, it is an inclination of politicians in this Party to use a simple pro-life agenda as a mere means to empower another agenda they may have.
Abortion is a complicated issue that involves the constitutional rights of both the mother and child. I am greatly disappointed that the Democratic Party platform focuses exclusively on the constitutional rights of the mother without taking a moral stance on behalf of the child. I am extremely bothered by the reports of a high abortion rate in correlation with an early diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The authors of opinion pieces I have read about this topic usually state something to the effect that while they chose to keep their child with Down Syndrome, it is horrid to forbid a parent from having a choice in this matter. For an example of this line of thinking, see HERE.
I do not think that respect for the life of a person with Down Syndrome should be relegated to moral relativism (i.e., it depends upon the views of the decision maker). My youngest child has Down Syndrome and she is just as important as I am. This is not the case because I think so – this is the case in the entire moral universe!
The prevailing views of these parties do not necessarily reflect the entire thinking of our citizenry but is often what we hear from talking heads on the radio or politicized television news. For instance, an organization entitled Democrats for Life of America shatters conventional partisan thinking on abortion and what it means to be pro-life in general. For more about this organization click HERE.
Also, contrary to the fear mongering rhetoric you might hear from your acquaintances on this topic – abortion is actually on the decline in recent years. For more about this truth, click HERE. It would behoove us to explore the root of this good news.
What would happen if Americans, collectively as Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, resolved to take a bold stance in support of human life – from conception to natural death? I think much more would be accomplished if we did this – but it would take much greater effort than what we are currently willing to give. To create a culture of life means that we should be pro-life in all aspects, not just when an expecting mother visits an abortion clinic. Yes, the life of the unborn should remain at the center of a pro-life movement but with an intense concern for their well-being once they are born.
There are several key questions that a true pro-life stance asks: Will there be excellent mental, emotional, physical, and social support for the child? Is there support and respect for the mother as she chooses to give birth? What concerted efforts are we making to curtail damages we humans are making on the environment once the child is born?
I seldom hear any self-professed “pro-life” political candidate take any of these broader “pro-life” questions seriously.
I urge you to do the following: rather than take the broad road and chastise someone for being “pro-choice”, why not take the more meaningful and pragmatic road and ask the following question of yourself: “How can I be more pro-life?” It is a question I am asking myself a lot lately.