A Discourse on Abortion

I was recently engaged in an email discourse with woman on abortion. Her initial, unedited email is as follows:

I read your state party platform section on health and health care. How will you comply with the 100% patient control you espouse in your platform by putting limits on women’s rights during pregnancy? We need an answer to this hypocritical discrepancy. If I can be trusted to legally kill an intruder into my home, make hospice and end of life decisions as someone’s legal representative, or make DNR decisions for myself, how do reconcile? I, too believe that an embryo is human life, a life that was part of my body during pre-viable pregnancy. i was responsible for it, as your platform states. Do you know my religion? Which religion are you promoting with your legalization of ending women’s full and equal civil rights? Forbidding medications and procedures when not licensed to practice medicine sounds illegal to me. When pharmacists and doctors leave the profession or the state, how do you plan to ensure adequate health care that is 100% controlled by us, the citizens? When did an embryo attain more rights than I possess? You owe us answers to these questions. The lawsuits and injunctions are already starting, so prepare for courtroom chaos. Hope that you are not sued for the death of a women who is exercising the rights and beliefs in your own platform. Those of us who are Independents, of religions different from yours, or agnostic require and deserve your justification and reasons before removing our fullest equality

My unedited response:

I commend you for writing, though we will probably never agree, at least you took the time to say something. Further, you did not use pejoratives or hateful speech. Therefore, you have already raised the level of discourse above what is typical in America today. Thank you.

As you know, abortion kills a child in utero. That child is temporarily within the mother, but the child is not part of the mother’s body. Separated by the placenta, which is itself part of the child’s body, the child has a unique genetic code, blood supply, and set of organs. Regardless of one’s religion, these biological facts are non-negotiable. Nonetheless, historically Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism have all discouraged or even rejected abortion. These biological facts are simply true, regardless of what you or I think about it.

The issue, then, is how to balance the rights of two separate persons. Does any person have the right to kill another? If so, when? Self-defense? Serious crimes? The convenience of another? In abortion, the unborn child is being attacked, it is not the attacker. The preborn child has committed no crime, although the one who impregnated the woman may have committed one. In most every circumstance, women choose to engage in the activities that cause pregnancy. People have been murdered for the convenience of others for millennia, but is that how we wish to order our society?  

I assume you know that the Dobb’s decision did not outlaw abortion nationwide, but rather sent the authority to decide back to the states.

The argument that abortion is a “sacred” right of women, as Nancy Pelosi put it, does not grow stronger with volume, or even with lawsuits. Only by denying the personhood of the preborn, and therefore denying his or her rights, or by believing that a woman’s rights take precedent over her child’s rights, can abortion be justified.

Abortion has long term effects. People argue about medical effects, and a fair amount of ink has been spilled to falsely reassure women that having an abortion will have no impact on their future health. The greatest long term effect, however, is the absence of the aborted person from the family, the workforce, the economy, the nation (potentially including the armed forces), and the human race. Neither of us can fully predict the end of this matter.

As for caring for pregnant women, young mothers, and their children, conservatives have been working hard for decades and are stepping up their efforts even now. I welcome you to join our efforts to assist women and children in their lives rather than ending the children’s lives.

Thank you again for the opportunity to discourse.

The woman’s unedited reply is below:

I was addressing the discord that we voters see in your published state party platform about health care autonomy, and your actions.  I see nothing in your response that defends  or explains your platform or the party’s political behavior where it claims to safeguard health care decisions with one hand and remove them with the other. I neither requested scientific information nor your oversimplifications on the full range of the world’s religions. Did you really believe I needed religious instructions? It is unamerican to incorporate religion as law, is it not? I wrote as an Independent voting citizen, equal to you.  In terms of my healthcare decisions, you do not count at all. Your nonresponse about GOP plans for health care impacts how I and other Independents vote, and many of us have watched your behaviors and words for years. Balancing the rights of two separate persons?  The Constitution, the law and evolving case law already address those persons.  Political actions chosen by the GOP remove civil rights and rights of privacy from voting citizens who are recognized as such by the law. Balancing the rights of two separate persons? I think you need to do a review of every one of the several oaths of ethics and responsibility you have taken to earn your long list of titles. They are all irrelevant to the millions of us who yet remain equal to you in every way under the law. Politicians cannot balance the rights of anyone; elected or appointed, they have not been given such rights. I don’t have to be a judge or lawyer to know.

It is possible that the aggressive harassment and scam that surfaced immediately after sending my observation about your platform originated with your party. It is similar in nature to the harassment that is currently in the national news, originating with members of your party. The harassment involved me, at my home, and even a member of my immediate family in another city. This has all been reported to the sheriff but we are unable to trace the phone involved. My purpose was to instruct you about your own platform. It is in your best interests to find people seeking instruction in GOP beliefs as an outlet for your teaching and religious preaching, and to not contact me again, lest suspicion fall on you personally. 

As is evident in her final reply, communication is now over. Please pray, harder than ever, for our country, and our world.  

Author: MD Harris Institute

MD, MPH, MBA, MDiv, PhD, ThM, DECBA Colonel, US Army (ret)

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