Now that we Democrats have a toe-hold in political Washington, and with a likely re-visit to Roe v Wade, I’ve some fresh thoughts, at least for me.
While i’m philosophically anti-abortion, I’m realistically pro-choice. Have been for a generation.
Let me start by saying: the abortion question is the tail of the dog.
In some order, a wholesome pro-life stance should now include:
- opposing capital punishment
- supporting gun legislation
- guarantee of health care
- natal care for mother and child
I’m proud to live in a state which has recently abolished the death penalty.
Our daughter worked for the abolishment movement. As a temp hospitality worker, she was coincidentally in the kitchen at Drumthwacket and congratulated the governor as he walked thru on his way out.
Recent shootings, in particular the killings in a Pittsburgh synagogue raise the possibility of a death penalty. “If ever there were a case for the death penalty, surely this is it”. I’m always challenged by this suggestion. One thing we learned in our repeal effort here is a good portion of the victim’s families don’t press for the death penalty. “We don’t need to relive the pain — through endless appeals”. I’ll offer a suggestion: the reason there is any popular support for a death penalty is sub-conscious collective guilt for not having prevented the mass-killing.
Which brings us to support sensible gun legislation. I happen to think “sensible” is redundant here, but we allow it to appease those who don’t share the broad view. I’ve recently posted ideas, Time Draws Nigh on what I think is required, and needn’t repeat them here.
In discussing pro-life positions with my wife, she reminded me “what about care for the elderly”. To which I generalize: guaranteed health care for all. It needn’t be “single payer”, but what it shouldn’t be is “guaranteed health insurance”. That puts the shoe on the wrong foot. I was going to sneak it by you this way, “put the foe on the wrong shoot”, as a metaphor for how mixed-up the discussion is. But, as you can see, I thought better of that phrase. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who really needs insurance rather than accessible healthcare. Health insurance has been a limited solution. My wife and I have enjoyed the benefits of Medicare for most of a decade, and can’t see why everyone should not have similar benefits. Notice, its MediCARE and MedicAID.
I give great credit to a bureaucrat somewhere who cleverly kept insurance out of the labels. This might sound like I’m advocating “single payer”. I’m not. Let me chasten those who could only beat drums and offer nothing more than anecdotes about “Obamacare” being a failure. The reason we didn’t have a vote on a single-payer system is that Obama recognized the political and economic difficulty of moving to a single-payer system. The question of “how do we move from a huge insurance bureaucracy without dislocating tens, hundreds of thousands of workers?” has yet to be answered.
Now, to the beginning of life question. I was instructed this morning by a note from the successful campaign of Rob Sand for IA auditor, that there are three biblical references to life’s beginning at birth rather than conception. Let’s avoid the tussle over biblical references. Here’s been my parable for these past few decades on where the solution to the “abortion problem” will be found.
There’s a company picnic in a park with a stream running through it. Everyone is having a great time. People are playing games, eating, drinking, some simply stretched out, relaxing by the stream. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a baby comes floating by. One of those there jumps in and grabs the child. “It’s alive”, she shouts with glee, and hands the baby up to a friend on the bank. Before she can climb out, her friend notices another baby in the stream and jumps in to help. With all this activity, others notice whats happening. And soon, a regular flow of infants is coming down the stream. Fortunately, there are enough people jumping in with enough people on the bank to receive the struggling children being handed out. But the system is getting tested. It’s really burdened and in danger of overwhelming the rescuers. Just about everyone is participating, except a few people. One of the rescuers offers, “Come on over, we need your help. We’re swamped.” One of those standing by replies, “We’re watching the onslaught, and don’t think we can add much here. We’ve decided to go upstream and see where the babies are coming from.”
I now believe the solution to the “abortion problem” won’t be simple. There will be many reasons why too many babies are in the stream. But not until we’re all engaged, which means we’ll have to listen to the few people who went upstream, and act on what they find, will we be ready to address the “abortion problem”.