Monday, June 27, 2011

Revisiting a Tough One

In what sounds like a preemptive grab at some kind of divine endorsement for president, Michelle Bachmann, while announcing her candidacy in good ole' Waterloo, Iowa, took the time to speak about her own religious beliefs. She wasn't so bold as to say that God is a straight ticket GOP guy, but I suppose that in some ways he qualifies: He's old, He's (at least in most paintings) white, and He has no need of health care benefits from the government. He's rich, too.

Now, at the risk of getting too grim, I'm going to revisit a subject that I have not written about for several years - abortion. Nobody's really asking, but my personal views would, I think, guarantee rejection from both major opinion camps. If asked to counsel a woman on the subject, I would be on the side of trying to encourage a live birth, perhaps adoption by a third party, and some sort of reimbursement of medical expenses and (perhaps) work time lost to the birth mother. At the same time, I would dread the involvement of state or federal police power in the cause of preventing abortions or punishing those involved in them. I oppose amending the Constitution on this issue, which surely would put us over the line of "establishing religion". I may be the sole advocate of "Pro choose life", a position with no lobbyists, religious backing or secularist support. That's OK, since minority opinions in this country are free and usually legal.
With all that in mind, I point to two trends my GOP friends seem compelled to follow, and where I can't go. In South Dakota, the state stretches to do all in its power to prevent abortions by establishing "centers" which offer help, but will never mention the word "abortion". I'm a little fuzzy as to who pays for this, but believe it should not be the state trying to prevent what is, after all, a legal procedure. The screen this system's advocates hide behind is "education", claiming to aid the woman's decision by "educating" the would-be criminal, I mean, mother. The trouble is, all other kinds of education which might have made this last decision unnecessary, are staunchly opposed, especially in public schools. Nope, it's "abstinance only", a strategy which works poorly in the states where it has been tried.
The other trend is a kind of naked use of legislative and executive power to trump judicial power. In Kansas, someone discovered that the legislature had both the votes and a governor eager to help make abortion legal, but unavailable. A law was pushed through the legislature requiring added restrooms and more recovery space in the state's three abortion-performing facilities. The three will be inspected at the end of the month, and if they fail the new requirements, they will all be closed. In this case, the hiding screen is "health", as in "These poor women cannot be made to suffer without these extra requirements." To me, it sounds much more like "Honey, you're going to have to go out of state to get what you want. Our side had the votes, and the governor, and we shut all those places down because we could. 'Bye now". I can imagine the Kansans celebrating their success now, congratulating one another on the success of 'small government". Meanwhile, ther's someone off in a corner making sure things stay the way they are by drafting legislation that would require solid gold doors on any future abortion clinics.


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