Sunday, August 24, 2008

Framing the Question

I’m not sure why I’m doing this; maybe I just want to focus the topic in my mind after all the years of processing the various arguments. Anyway, off with the lid and out with the worms.

First, a definition from Merriam-Webster.

Abortion - the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as a: spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation — compare miscarriage b: induced expulsion of a human fetus c: expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy — compare contagious abortion.

The choices (as described by me): the medical procedure for a human abortion should be:

a) illegal under any and all circumstances.

b) available to medical professionals as a last resort under extreme circumstances.

c) available at the discretion of medical professionals and the patient, but only when direct medical benefit is demonstrable.

d) subject to no more legal restrictions than any other elective medical procedure.

Personally, I regard abortion as a repugnant procedure and believe every effort should be made to prevent the occurrence of the conditions that lead to it being considered. But I can imagine circumstances where it could be deemed necessary, and I don't like to impose rigid restrictions on doctor/patient decisions, so I tend toward choice c because I think it's flexible enough to handle most conditions. I can imagine many people thinking it's too flexible and could be fudged, but that's true of any law that isn't completely draconian.

In the end, of course, the law is as it is, and the Supreme Court isn't likely to completely overturn it's precedent, so this is strictly an attempt to coalesce a personal opinion by tossing something out there and seeing what comes flying back. But in my mind that's part of what blogging is about.

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