Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rethinking the debate on Abortion: What if life begins at fertilization?

Keywords or Terms: Anti-Abortion; Pro-Abortion; Embryo; Sperm; Ovum; Zygote; Fetus; Beginning of life; Women's Health; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Emotions, Religious Preferences; Violence; Compromise; Sacrilegious; The Unending Debate

Pro-abortion and Anti-abortion groups need to be careful in their definition of when life begins. The pro-abortion groups have taken the position that a zygote can not be a child, but a one-cell fusion of a sperm and ovum; while the anti-abortion groups feel so contrary. To the anti-abortion group, life begins at the union of male and female gametes. The pro-abortion group appears to be saying a zygote can hardly vote, inherit a bequest from a will or sit in a womb and be considered a person in a higher occupancy vehicle; therefore, there is hardly any news that the first stage of the development of an embryo is legally denied equality to a human being. The courts have been plain and direct in their definition of life; however, the anti-abortion groups are still seeking better clarification for there to be peace between themselves and the pro-abortion groups. The new resurgence of what constitute a human being as against when life begins came out of the long summer debates over reforming America’s health care in 2009 and 2010; and the conscious effort by Republicans to undermine the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by going after Planned Parenthood Organization as a surrogate.

A common roadblock to the definition of the beginning of life between the two opposing groups encompasses the perception of each group regarding public policy and the direction which some past provisions of public health law has taken. Why is there a federal law that prevents public fund for abortion, when the state of pregnancy can put a woman’s health in jeopardy? Why can a teenager walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic and be afforded abortion counseling and adoption options? In the first question, the debate has been laid to rest based on probably pluralistic agreement that taxpayers may not be asked to underwrite personal preferences that may not sit well with all tax payers. Further, the first question attempts to put the women, who may be seeking abortion out of concerns for their health on the defensive, because it rekindles the emotion in both opposing group: anti-abortion groups want the right of the unborn baby to be respected, even at the likelihood of the abridged life of a pregnant female or, at the expense of the life of a pregnant woman. The second question is about the context of demand for abortion: pregnant females, teenager or otherwise, must not be accommodated by a non-governmental body who may have the chance of having a federal fund sipping into the area of counseling female for abortion.

To the pro-abortion group, when a female gets pregnant she must effectively consider herself as ready to bear a child. This argument is structured in a linear sense: a pregnant female must have no alternative but give birth. Now, the question: what if the life of the mother is in jeopardy due to the pregnancy or, if the zygote ends up in the fallopian tube or elsewhere in the female body and not in the uterus? The argument against abortion move from fiction to reality, when the zygote settles in other areas of the body of a female, except the uterus. Obstetricians offer a thoughtful experience when they say a zygote cannot develop into a full blown baby, if it fails to receive the nourishment and embodiments of a womb. Thus, a zygote in any other part of a female body but a uterus will constitute a health hazard. Even, if a zygote is attached to the uterus, there is no guarantee that it will result in a full blown fetus, because there could still be a lot of extraneous events that could lead to the abortion of the fetus; one not necessarily from human-induced abortion operation.

The debate moves into the arena of the anti-abortion group. Why must the rights of a fetus, which by their definition, is real life or a human, be abridged through human-induced abortion or counseling to facilitate the possibility of an abortion? The anti-abortion group approaches the debate partly on ideological ground and sometimes, on a religious ground. Both approaches are emotional and hardly difficult to comprehend by the pro-abortion group, who for all intense and purpose, would rather not want anyone to define a zygote or a fetus as a baby, until it is delivered by the pregnant female. Emotions and objectiveness can hardly be grouped together, that is why the debate between the pro-abortion and the anti-abortion groups will persist until kingdom come.

The irony of the resurgence of the new fight over abortion is that, although both opposing groups would want the public to default on their side, the debates have always carried too much acrimony and sometimes violence, by one side of the debaters, to advance their cause. Such violence has called to question the use of violence to achieve an objective that is considered violent by the anti-abortion group: abortion of a fetus. It is hard to remove from the anti-abortion groups a commitment to non-violence to achieve their aim, though they would always deny this. The pro-abortion groups seem to continue to advance their position through controlled behavior, going to courts, holding symposium on the rights of women to abortion and providing counseling or funds to organizations supporting pregnant females and those who are choosing to have reproductive choices and advice.

For years, the debate over a woman’s right to abortion against the need to protect innocent fetus from violence had gone on; sometimes silently, occasionally heated. The issue of unfairness and ineffectual advice from reproductive advising non-profit organizations like the Planned Parenthood had been trumpeted by the anti-abortion groups. The pro-abortion groups have constructed their message in support of a woman’s right to choice, based on the notion of women’s civil rights and the need to support helpless females who have found themselves at the receiving end of the aggressive male testosterone. The assumptions of the opposing groups are often: if we are right, the opposing group must be wrong. The difficulty with this assumption though, comes out of frustration with the opposing group: why don’t they see the issue our own way! The problem once again to many of us who are indifferent to the issue: people will do what they have to do to get over a tight and difficult circumstance. The challenge is not taking sides with a particular group, the problem is that both opposing groups are probably using crouches to advance their respective position; and when things like this happen, it is more complicated to choose sides.

The position we support can no longer survive when advanced before either opposing parties. Pro-abortion groups need to be more circumspect just as the anti-abortion groups need to be accommodating. The bad news is that, neither of the two groups is ready to listen to a truce. Each of the groups are not content with the argument of the opposing party and are willing to expend resources to their full extent to advance their cause. If the argument is made that either opposing groups may have to divorce their pre-conceived notion of what the other group is all about, we may be able to conceive and maintain some peace over this very difficult and challenging issue. However, no one is fooling himself or herself that the anti-abortion groups are going to condescend, neither are the pro-abortion groups.

The reemergence of the debate over abortion came at the hill of the possibility of federal funds going into abortion in the newly passed health care reform law. The principle of reconciliation of differences in perception of what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act said is far remote for both groups. While the pro-abortion groups maintain that the Orin Hatch Act has been preserved in the health care reform law when passed in 2010, the anti-abortion groups maintain that grants going to Planned Parenthood Organization can still trickle down to performing abortion; and that, they cannot stand. Reconciliation of differences in perception to help us move forward on what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act actually stipulates, is proving very difficult daily, as the debates between both groups on the question of abortion funding, continue to create a wider rift between the group and probably the nation. Accommodation and Reconciliation is becoming infeasible for either parties; and, we are left with the difficulty of brokering a lull for now.

For those Americans who subscribe to social activism on the question of abortion, it is possible to create a sort of energy behind either group for and against abortion alternatives. With a wink or a smile, it may be possible to help either group solidify their position. We all grow up in homes that encourage us to understand that people may not always see issues our own way, or so I hope. In that context, it is possible to honor the position of your opponents without being disrespectful or violent. Many of us on the side line are appropriately concerned with the level of violence surrounding the debate over abortion and would rather want each of the opposing group to turn the rhetoric down for a while. To those remarkable people, who continue to work for peace around the country and across the globe, it is important to appreciate the difficulty of reaching a compromise for these long enemies, if you allow me. It is time that the peace lovers bring their experience to resolving this age-old problem of settling amicable the definition of when life really begins.

Please don’t send me any hate mail. Direct all your emails on this blog to I will attempt to address your concerns over this essay as best as I can, but don’t expect my replies to satisfy your inquisitiveness; and, or preferences.

Post a Comment