The political "debate" is really a bunch of moralistic posturing. As much as the so-called "pro-life" camp tries to deny it, the crux of the conflict is not about abortion itself, but about governmental control of women's bodies.
A governmental ban on abortion means that the government is deciding what happens inside of a woman's body.
It means the woman has no say.
And it means a lot of scary implications.
Birth control could end up being banned as a consequence, since some people seem to think that "life begins at conception" which would make even the birth control pill illegal. Some people, especially a certain patriarchal legacy from the Roman Empire, seem to think every sperm is sacred, which would make even condoms illegal.
But it goes beyond that. Doctors have determined that drinking during pregnancy can have detrimental affects on the fetus. So do we start arresting pregnant women when they have a drink?
What about smoking? Can a woman who miscarries after smoking a cigarette be jailed for manslaughter?
What is to be considered an unnecessary, even reckless, risk? Riding a bicycle, where you could fall and suffer miscarriage?
What if the woman just has "unhealthy" eating habits? Toss her into prison?
Does the government then establish breeding colonies where women's behavior and diet are strictly controlled, safely protected from the temptations and dangers of the outside world by razor wire and armed guards?
And what if the government decides that certain genetic lines are undesirable -- to many health risks, perhaps, or maybe just "the wrong kind of person"? It has happened before, even in our own country, and not all that long ago. If the government decides on what can happen in a woman's body, and controls the woman's body by force of law, then the government has the power and right to force abortions and sterilizations as well. Is that what we want? A kind of fascist breeding program?
It may sound silly or outrageous to you, but these are real implications of giving government control of the womb, the result of simply making abortion illegal.
Why do abortions happen? Because pregnancy entails real physical risk, real livelihood risk, real social risk, which makes an unwanted, unexpected or dangerous pregnancy a very real problem to the woman. How do we reduce the number of abortions to near zero? There are so many ways that have proven track records, but what doesn't work is government occupation of every fertile woman's body.
If you are really pro-life, then you will see through the false morality of righteous posing that defines the "pro-life" movement, and you will see the falsity of the claim that the pro-choice majority wants to abort babies just for kicks or to pursue some dark satanic agenda.
If you are really pro-life, then you would support:
- Easy availability of birth control
- Emergency contraception (which is not the abortion pill, by the way, which is another thing altogether)
- Real fact-based sex education for all children who are fertile
- The end of abstinence-only education, which is just wishful thinking (or do you really think that kids pumped full of raging adolescent hormones would not even notice their sex organs if adults did not tell them about it?)
- Stronger laws protecting women from date rape, marital rape and general violence against women
- Elimination of all laws that make rape the only felony where the victim's own testimony is not enough to convict the perpetrator (and here I'm speaking to you "tough on crime" folks)
- A cultural change to put responsibility for a woman's pregnancy on the man as well (because she sure didn't impregnate herself, did she?)
- Free sterilization for women who opt for it (for whatever reason)
- Free pre-natal healthcare for women who cannot afford to have a baby
- Free post-natal healthcare for children and women who cannot afford it
- Affordable healthcare for all
- Elimination of all pre-natal coverage exemptions that insurance companies are getting away with right now
- And many many other policies that empower women to more effectively control their own destinies, rather than empower the government to seize women's bodies.