Common Ground on the Abortion Issue
Is there some common ground which both the pro-choice proponents and the pro-life proponents would find palatable? Presently, the situation in the United States, nearly three decades after abortion became legal throughout the nation, seems to be at an impasse. Canada, presented with abortion (now on demand) throughout that nation four years earlier, has a similar situation. It is obvious that the issue of abortion will not just evaporate or go away. So where can both sides find a common ground for overcoming this seeming impasse?
The obvious fact is that the two sides remain completely polarized. There seems to be no middle ground, no chance for compromise. When one strips the issue to its bare bones, the reason for the lack of middle ground is only too obvious. This either is or is not a living human from conception. This living human either continues to live or is killed. It is obvious that this being can't be just a little human, or perhaps not human at one point and then human at another. He or she either is or is not. Just as simply there is either life or death. There is no middle ground.
Pro-abortion advocates, who call themselves pro-choice, are unwilling to concede any ground at all. Would they allow passage of laws in either nation forbidding abortion in the third trimester for sex selection, to pick an extreme position? No! they have fought any such attempt.
Would true blue pro-lifers, if they had their choice, allow abortion for pregnancy resultant from assault rape and incest, or for pregnancies when the developing baby is severely handicapped? No, they might be forced into this as a political compromise, and as a temporary measure. But ethically speaking, no real pro-lifer would consent to this. It would seem then that the chance for compromise simply does not exist. On the other hand, it is obvious that people of goodwill must continue to try for a solution.
Many of the ultimate goals of those who favor abortion already exist. Abortion is legal in both of our nations until birth for social and economic reasons. Many areas use tax money to pay for elective abortions. What pro-abortion forces have not achieved has been to mainstream this procedure into the day to day practice of medicine. They also have not achieved a status of respectability, as the word "abortionist" still is one of low esteem, or even condemnation. Also, abortion is still strongly condemned by substantial segments of the cultures of both U.S. and Canada.
The ultimate pro-life goal is quite direct and very simple. Pro-lifers want an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and to the Canadian Charter of Rights, that will give equal protection under the law, to all living humans from the time their biologic life begins at conception until natural death. Understanding that such a goal remains yet in the future, pro-life people have an intermediate goal. It is a Constitutional...