Abortion: Blown Out Of Proportion

The recent death of Dr. George Tiller has sparked local citizens to action. Unfortunately, rather than taking a stand against the utter hypocrisy of those in the “pro-life” movement who use violence and intimidation to get their points across, a group of anti-abortion terrorists stood outside the Women’s Medical Center in Cranston earlier in the week carrying signs that actually named the doctor doing procedures there — perhaps hoping the next lunatic will set his crosshairs on a “baby killer” a little closer to home.

Always a hot button topic, abortion has practically taken on a life of its own. One can only imagine how many single-issue voters have been born as a result of the epic battles of the religious right versus the feminist left. And to think: all this fuss over something relatively meaningless in world politics. War, poverty, disease, environmental degradation… just name a crisis and there’s a good chance it’s more important than whether a pregnant woman should decide to keep her unborn child.

So why is there so much emphasis placed on a non-issue? Well, for starters, the two-party system has little to gain and much to lose if it resolves a wildly controversial if not globally relevant topic. Hey, they may look and sound like dummies most of the time, but our politicians know that if a real effort is made to quell the  problems surrounding abortion then they may lose all the single-issue voters they (haven’t) worked so hard to get. I mean, you can’t expect politicians to actually attract and retain voters based solely on merit, can you? No way. It’s much easier for them to placate the single-minded constituents by simply pretending to get something done on a particular matter, but I digress (more on the “interest of conflict” in a future post).

The big reason why the abortion debate is so prevalent is that the combatants, in unrighteous pursuits of righteousness, have over-inflated the significance of their causes. In other words, abortion is blown out of proportion. Neither side is completely wrong, but neither one wants to listen to the other because they’re both too blind to see that they’re anything but completely right!

I just don’t get how some people can claim to believe in the sanctity of life but also be in favor of the death penalty or cutting social programs designed to help millions of living, breathing Americans. Um, so I guess all life is important unless and until you’re born poor? And, on the other hand, although it’s important to protect the rights of all citizens, please excuse me if I don’t wax poetic about the right to be irresponsible. Because, after all, a large number of abortions are just that: irresponsible acts to remedy earlier irresponsible acts. Not exactly the best mantra.

Of course, as an American, I understand the importance of a country’s laws transcending things like gender and religion. This self-evident truth informs me of the proper place of abortion in our society, even if, as a true pro-lifer, I personally disagree with the act. Nevertheless, I still question what impact legislated irresponsibility has on us, especially if we don’t address the factors that cause people to behave irresponsibly in the first place. Both sides in this debate have to come together to help reduce the number of abortions (and deaths) by empowering people, allowing them to take ownership of their lives and become more responsible citizens.

Speaking of responsible citizenry, the Women’s Medical Center is looking for volunteers to escort people to and from the clinic on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 7-10 AM. Lately there’s been few to no escorts, but it is clear that they are necessary again. There is a security guard present. The clinic is located at 1725 Broad St. Cranston–about 2 blocks north of the Walgreen. Robin Dionne is the President of the 2to1 Coalition for Choice and coordinates escorts. Her email is robinpie@gmail.com, if you have any questions. Please pass this word along to anyone you know who might be willing to help. Thanks!

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