Abortion: Leaving the Extremes

One person’s very powerful, personal story in the Toronto Star to walk a middle-way and leave the extremes of left and right behind her.


The issue of abortion is so polarizing I, like so many others, do not want to touch it (and yet here I am rushing in where Angels fear to tread).

On the Pro-choice/Anti-life side of things you have the argument that as long as the fetus is inside a woman’s body it is her choice to decide its/his/her fate.

On the Pro-life/Anti-choice side of things you have the argument that the fetus is a human life, that ending a life is killing. That killing a defenseless life is murder. That murder is wrong.

The problem (among many) is the inability to satisfactorily answer the question – when does life begin followed by the equally important question is one life more valuable than another and what are the criteria to measure?

When does life begin – at conception? At emergence from the womb? At some nebulous place in the middle?

What are the criteria to determine if something is a life or not?

Even then the argument is made that one still needs to determine if it is life such as that which a lump of moss has or sentient, feeling life, such as that which a human being has.

Arguments are made back and forth and hate is spewed by all sides. If life begins at conception then ending it is murder by any definition we have. If life begins outside of the womb than an abortion is simply a medical procedure to remove something not unlike a tumor.

What about children of incest and rape? What about pregnancies that could end the life of the mother and/or baby? What if the child has a disability?

There is no clean answer.

How can one be anti-abortion and pro-choice on the logic that we should not legislate morality when virtually all of our legislation is based on morality?

How can we blame people for calling abortion genocide when they believe life begins at conception and therefore regular, state-approved murder is occurring daily?

How can we blame people for calling abortion a woman’s right when they believe that the woman’s right over her own body is paramount to the rights of what may or may not be alive?

So many questions?

To get all Star Trek I would ask – “Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one or do the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many?

I have no answers…I have my own beliefs and the inner turmoil over how to force women to abide by them versus the agony of feeling complicit in murder by not acting at all.

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