Pro-choice and pro-life? On abortion, Americans say ‘it’s complicated.’

Brendan Hoffman A pro-life activist stands in front of pro-choice activists with the National Organization For Women at a Jan. … Continued

Brendan Hoffman

A pro-life activist stands in front of pro-choice activists with the National Organization For Women at a Jan. vigil outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.

Last week, Gallup released new data that, at first glance, appeared to show a significant change in Americans’ perspectives on abortion. The number of Americans who identify as “pro-choice” has dropped six points since last July, from 47 percent to 41 percent, while half (50 percent) of Americans identify as “pro-life.” Given the charged election year atmosphere, it is not surprising that some have leapt to the conclusion that this shift represents a dramatic sea change in support for the legality of abortion.

But such interpretations raise the question of whether these binary, politicized labels accurately capture Americans’ nuanced views on abortion. Last summer, a major national survey by Public Religion Research Institute uncovered a surprising but critical feature of the abortion debate: 7-in-10 Americans reported that the term “pro-choice” described them somewhat well (32 percent) or very well (38 percent), and nearly two-thirds simultaneously said that the term “pro-life” described them somewhat well (31 percent) or very well (35 percent). In other words: when they were not forced to choose between one label and the other, over 4-in-10 (43 percent) Americans said that they were both “pro-choice” and “pro-life.”

These overlapping identities are present in virtually every demographic group. For example, it is true of Democrats (56 percent “pro-life”; 81 percent “pro-choice”), Independents (66 percent “pro-life”; 73 percent “pro-choice”), and Republicans (79 percent “pro-life”; 52 percent “pro-choice”). Among religious groups, with the exception of white evangelical Protestants, solid majorities of every major religious group say both terms describe them at least somewhat well. And even in the case of white evangelical Protestants, although two-thirds (67 percent) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases and 8-in-10 (80 percent) say that the term “pro-life” describes them at least somewhat well, nearly half (48 percent) nonetheless identify as “pro-choice.”

View Photo Gallery: The Catholic Church in particular is credited with organizing and driving the anti-abortion movement for decades, but religious arguments shape the pro-choice side, too.

These seemingly contradictory findings make more sense when respondents are asked about the circumstances under which they believe that abortion should be legal. Strong majorities of Americans say that abortion should be legal if the pregnant woman’s physical (86 percent) or mental (74 percent) health is seriously endangered by the pregnancy, if the woman became pregnant as a result of rape (79 percent), or if there is a serious chance of defect in the baby (66 percent). But fewer than 4-in-10 (39 percent) agree that a pregnant woman should be able to obtain a legal abortion if the principal reason for her choice is that she is not married and does not want to marry the man.

This complexity is borne out in Gallup’s findings. Support for legal abortion has remained steady even as Americans’ identification with the politicized “pro-choice” or “pro-life” labels has fluctuated. Using binary labels to gauge public opinion on an issue as nuanced and complicated as abortion will be futile unless it is accompanied by questions that delve into Americans’ intricate – and sometimes contradictory – perspectives on abortion. The lesson here is this: on the issue of abortion, where attitudes about legality have been remarkably steady for decades, forced choice questions about political labels may tell us something about the current direction of the shifting rhetorical winds, but these results shouldn’t be mistaken to be the map of the legal landscape itself.

Robert P. Jones
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    ANS: Inalienable Rights are those self-evident rights both physical and spiritual that are spoken for in the Declaration and written in the Bill of Rights that are necessary for man to achieve his purpose in life in the world of which he exists.

    They are the self-evident rights ordered by human nature inscribed in all men given by God to man and therefore they are inviolable. They are incontestable and incontrovertibly manifested by reason. Any obstacle to their exercise is a contradiction of reason. They are not given by man but recognized by man as does the Bill of Rights and the purpose and duty of the State is to protect these rights not obscure, emasculate or eliminate them.. Thus, when these rights are denied, society ends in disorder because the refusal of these rights is to contradiction of human nature and human reason…

    They include rights to life against murder, Justice that guarantees these rights; they include freedom of religion and press, rights to own property, and a right to worship, and a right to privacy. In general they are acts of reason; they are the prerogative God not man. They can only be legitimately taken when the individual abuses them. Hence, Murder, Thievery, and abuse of the Truth are abuses of these rights, and Civil Law can legitimately take them away in the Death Penalty, or limit them by imprisonment.

    The well-known truth admitted by all men of good sense and loudly proclaimed by the history of all peoples; namely, that religion, and religion only, can create the social bond; that it alone maintains the peace of a nation on a solid foundation.

    When different families, without giving up the rights and duties of domestic society, unite under the inspiration of nature, in order to constitute themselves members of another larger family circle called civil society, their object is not only to find therein the means of providing for their material welfare, but, above all, to draw the

  • JustAthoughtt

    Thank you, and this was very well written

  • JustAthoughtt

    There is a Female who just can’t get enough “ice-cream”. She loves it but she knows that there are possible consequences to her actions. She however is willing to take that risk. She does however take curtain safety precautions, like exercising regularly and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Then one morning she wakes up and steps on the scale and realizes that she has gained 15 pounds. She knows that it was her actions that cause this but she is still upset about it. She then goes to the doctor and says that she should not be forced to carry around all of this extra weight. She explains to him that it is burdensome and she feels like she is enslaved to it. She asks the doctor to remove it for her which he does. She then goes on “living” exactly like she did before. She knows that she can always go back to the doctor to take away the extra burden that attaches itself to her. She may not be able to ever get rid of the scars that the procedure leaves, but at least she has her freedom.


    What if the doctor murdered her and relieved all her problems for the pesent and the future. If this is an analogy of an abordtion. Taking off 15lb.of weight is not the same as taking a life of a human person because it makes the life makes one unconfortable..

  • persiflage

    As much as the religious right and their default political party would like to return to the good old days of yore, when all-male generated laws assured complete control over a woman’s reproductive processes (as recently as 40 years ago), we are not about to turn the clock back. And sad to say, there are most certainly women in that same crowd that view a return to a more repressive era as ‘political progress’.

    It’s unfortunate that at least some female members of a republican dominated house of representatives are even going along with the GOP sponsored attempts to re-write and ‘tone down’ the Violence Against Women Act.

    Democracy is never a done deal. and women know this better than most.


    5/31/2012 8:42 PM EDT
    [Are you willing to have your defenseless innocent child murdered?]

    IRT: No. On the other hand, fetuses aren’t defenseless children. They’re potential humans.

    ANS: To be potentially human presupposes the conceived is not human. Therefore either something makes it human or it causes its own humanity. To cause its own humanity it would have to posses human and give it to itself, which is ridiculous. Hence to become human something must cause it to be human and the cause must possess humanity to give humanity, since no one can give what it does not have.

    So what gives the fetus humanity? Is it Time, development, food, or growth? These things have no humanity because they exist in other living things that are not human.

    Nor does the mother give the conceived humanity since the mother would have to have an extra soul, and two intellects and two free wills the fundamental principles that define a human person. Unfortunately, a human being has only one intellect. No, the Mother is independent from her conception; she only nourishes and houses the child until it can exist on its own outside the womb. Therefore the Mother or Father do not create intellects or free wills God does that. They only create the conditions for God to infuse a soul into the mother’s and father’s creation. Hence, the conceived is a triage that includes the mother, father, and God. It is an everyday miracle taking place many times by God’s intercession.

    However, the conceived is a human person and Science proves so.

    Dr. Jerome Lejeune, known as “The Father of Modern Genetics,” also testified that human life begins at conception before the Louisiana Legislature’s House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice on June 7, 1990.

    Dr. Lejeune explained that within three to seven days after fertilization we can determine if the new human being is a boy or a girl. “At no time,” Dr. Lejeune said, “is the human being a blob of protoplasm. As far a

  • JustAthoughtt

    Its not a perfect analogy, but I think it gets the point across… And It doesn’t do justice to the killing of defenseless humans! I agree!

  • JustAthoughtt

    Its hard to take you seriously when you can’t even intelligently defend your own views…

    You have spewed your warped ideology all over this page, yet you do not have a rebuttal for anything. Instead you throw accusations and make false assumptions…

    A woman carrying a child is not the same as slavery, a parent raising a child is not the same as slavery, you are more of a parasite living off of others than any child in the womb, human life begins at conception, sex is a choice and children are the result of that choice, people should be responsible for their actions, the supreme court is made up of people, and has made many mistakes, the law is also made by people, and it has made mistakes. If abortion isn’t the killing of a living human in its first stages of life (like science says it is), then what is it? You talk how everyone who disagrees with you is wrong… yet have you ever considered the fact that you could be wrong?

  • persiflage

    Basically my views are in concurrence with every female poster that has voiced an opinion on the abortion issue – your position as a male is the one that can’t be defended.

    We that have a different point of view all have ‘warped ideologies’ according to your disagreeable yourself. You’ve been rebutted countless times, but just never noticed.

    A woman’s decision to have an abortion doesn’t cause me any stress whatsoever in the legal sense. And that’s the way it should continue to be – end of story. There’s nothing more to defend.

  • JustAthoughtt

    Lol, you assume way to much… I need you to stick with the facts.

    I have not said that I am male or female, so how can you assume my sex? Just like you assumed my religion… I guess also know my race, height, weight, education… lol

    Also, I don’t need to be male or female to understand that killing a human is wrong. I also don’t have to be a Jew to realize that death camps are wrong, I don’t have to be black to realize that slavery is wrong, and I don’t have to be a parent to realize that child abuse is wrong…

    You make statements that have not merit… is that your rebuttal… I ASSUME you are a male, so what you say doesn’t count…

    “You’ve been rebutted countless times, but just never noticed.”

    Show me 2 instances where you have given me a rebuttal… You have made comments, but you have not taken what I said and then given a intelligent response to how I am incorrect…

  • persiflage

    I was personally involved in an abortion procedure many years ago – I paid for it and was there in the Planned Parenthood lobby during the entire process. I didn’t consider it murder then, and neither did the lady in question. Obviously I feel the same way today.

    Statistics and medical facts and figures don’t change a thing – controlling the reproductive process is the propriatary right of any woman, and her choice to make.

    Of course all the shrill ‘murder’ propaganda from the religious right would anyone a headache – I may have to seek psychiatric help myself after leaving this website today.

  • persiflage

    You’re a sanctimonious white male – no doubt about it. I’ve known alot of them and they all sound the same.

    Every female poster has rebutted you far better than I ever could – asked and answered.

  • persiflage

    Women own their fetuses – according to the current law of the land.

    Ownership rights are greatly diminished after the 3rd trimester unless the life of the mother if threatened – at which time a medical decision to abort can be made.

    What’s to discuss??

  • JustAthoughtt

    Without going into the specifics, I am not a White male…
    The relevance has yet to be explained and probably never will be…

    Moving on…
    “Every female poster has rebutted you far better than I ever could – asked and answered.”

    Actually, no one has rebottled me…
    (Just copy and paste so I can read what your talking about.. maybe I missed it…)

    And what would it matter what others have said… I am talking to you? Can you defend my critiques of your statements and can you discuss how mine are incorrect??

  • persiflage

    I’m wondering why you continue to sound like a person with severe short term memory loss. You’ve made yourself perfectly clear. Your interest is in criminalizing abortion. There is absolutely nothing to argue about or defend beyond that. I couldn’t disagree more.

    My position is that women have that right – both morally as a biological default position, and under the law. The fetus is a woman’s personal property, as much as that idea may bother you.

    If you’re not a white male, I can’t imagine what you are. You’re certainly not a woman. Several other posters here that defend a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy are obviously women and have a feminine screen name – and are familiar posters over many months and sometimes years… are you and your familiar positions.

    The fact is, neither one of us has changed our position on this particular topic one iota over a long period of time. Let’s not act like this is our first dance on the reproductive rights issue.

  • persiflage

    If it’s any consolation, there does seem to be one other poster besides yourself on this particular thread that advocates for criminalizing abortion – although they refuse to say so outright.

    At this rate, I don’t see the law changing in your favor any time soon. But that’s just a thought.

  • persiflage

    ‘Without going into the specifics, I am not a White male… ‘

    Yes, besides that cryptic capital W, I now seem to recall that you provided some demography on a post way back when …. my apologies for the stereotyping.

    ‘The relevance has yet to be explained and probably never will be…’

    Women don’t advocate for criminalizing abortion, at least that I’ve seen on this website……….even if they disagree with it.


    It’s not complicated folks, tax payer funded abortions for teens on demand is supporting/promoting a moral character flaw as is voting to try to normalize gay marriage! We don’t hate you for seeking an abortion or seeking a gay marriage, we just don’t want a small minority dictating to the majority we have to re-define marriage or fund indecent behavior! Thanks, the majority!

  • edbyronadams

    The biggest problem with abortion is Roe. It aborted a political process that would have resolved the issue long since in the state legislatures. Instead of the people and their representatives deciding the crucial moral issue of at what stage of development a fertilized egg becomes a person, judges decided that they should make that crucial judgement without the consent of the hoi polloi.

    It is a complicated issue and the people should have been allowed to wrestle with it until they reached a consensus. With fifty experiments, some wisdom would have emerged.

  • persiflage

    Like other very big issues, this one was too important to leave to state legislatures threatened by political corruption and continually afflicted by partisan politics. And in fact, the law was hammered out federally on the basis of voluntary abortion being a right to privacy issue – which it is.

    It’s very clear that were this left up to state legislatures, abortion rights would be dead and gone in any number of red states with chronic republican-dominated governments informed by a large coterie of evangelical/fundamenalist voters. The entire Deep South including Texas and Oklahoma come to mind as a partial list.

    Were it left up to states, men would still be controlling a woman’s reproductive processes in large portions of the USA. Women would be forced to cross one or more state borders to exercise their reprodcutive rights……as they currently do in Mississippi.

    The fact that it’s complicated means it’s more fair and just when left up to individuals to decide, rather than state governments – which tend to politicize each and every piece of legislation that comes up for a vote. ……… much like the federal congress is currently guilty of.

    Roe v Wade saved the day for countless women, and not a men.

  • persiflage

    and not a few men……………..

  • persiflage

    Did you take a head count??

  • JustAthoughtt

    Thank you for finally responding to something I wrote… I wasn’t sure if I would ever get a response from you…

    However, even with your responses you still continue to make assumptions based on nothing more than your own biases…

    You- “my views are in concurrence with every female poster…your position as a male is the one that can’t be defended.”
    -So here you ASSUME I’m a male and as such my opinion doesn’t count… Bc in your mind only a woman can decide if it is wrong to kill the unborn human life that lives inside her. Just like only a black person can have a say on if slavery is wrong…

    You- “You’re a sanctimonious white male – no doubt about it.”
    -Again, more false ASSUMPTIONS… this makes you seem both raciest and sexiest…

    You- “If you’re not a white male, I can’t imagine what you are. You’re certainly not a woman”
    -Her you go again…

    You- “my apologies for the stereotyping.”
    -Finally… you admit that you were wrong and show that you have been biased, close-minded, and stereotyping…

    Moving forward, I hope that you can continue to be honest, try and limit the natural biases that you have, and engage in an intellectual conversation about the issue… even if we simply agree to disagree.

  • JustAthoughtt

    Ok, so I have gone back through the post and listed your stances on this issue… I will directly rebut your statements in hopes for a reply to the issue at hand…

    -My position is that women have that right (abortion)- both morally as a biological default position and under the law…

    -The law is the only thing that matters…

    -The fetus is a woman’s personal property…

    -Embryos are wholly dependent on a woman’s will…

    -An embryo is not human yet, but has the possibility of becoming human…

    -Forcing women to bear children they don’t want under pain of legal retribution is most certainly slavery in the first degree…

    -You’re a white male and it’s none of your business what women do with their reproductive capacities…

  • JustAthoughtt

    Ok, here we go

    -“The law is the only thing that matters…”

    The law is not absolute and it cannot be used to justify the validity of an act. The law is made by man and it is and has been WRONG. A great example is SLAVER, this very wrong act was allowed under the law, and Blacks were not viewed as ‘Real People’. Next

    -“The fetus is a woman’s personal property…”

    While the fetus is indeed part of the woman it is also a completely unique and separate human life. You say it is “your property” I think a better phrase would be “your responsibility”. This unborn human life has value, is human, deserves the right to live and is also the responsibility of its father… It is not only your child… Next

  • JustAthoughtt

    -“Embryos are wholly dependent on a woman’s will…”

    This statement is wrong in a couple of ways, first a woman’s will has very little (if anything) to do with the development of an embryo. A person’s will is the same as their desires or wishes. So if a woman ‘wills’ not to get pregnant… that doesn’t affect if she becomes pregnant. Likewise the life of an embryo is not affected by a woman’s will. However, a woman’s (or man’s) ACTIONS, can affect that human life and even kill it. Next

    -“An embryo is not human yet, but has the possibility of becoming human…”

    Science has shown us that a new human life starts at conception. So an embryo is a human life in its first stages of development. Just like a teenager is a human that is between 13-19 years old. This word just describes the phase that a human life is in. Next

  • JustAthoughtt

    -“Forcing women to bear children they don’t want under pain of legal retribution is most certainly slavery in the first degree…”

    This statement is wrong on so many levels… Slaver is when you are forced to do something completely outside of your will. It is something that you did not CHOOSE but that was forced upon you.
    When you CHOOSE to engage in sex and a child is conceived from that decision, the correct word for this would be accepting “RESPONCIBILITY” for ones actions, not forced slavery apart from ones actions…

    Your statement is similar to someone saying: I choose to eat junk food everyday and now I am forced to be fat… While in reality your being fat is the direct result of your own decisions… And now it is your responsibility to live with this extra weight and the consequences that come with it.

    The exception to this would be if a woman was raped and became pregnant and did not want to go through with the pregnancy. This circumstance is indeed very tragic and this woman could say that she was forced into this. Luckily, this makes up less than 1% of all abortions… But rape is completely unacceptable and it is a very tragic and life changing event.

    That being said, rape does not change the value of a human’s life, not the person who was raped and not the person conceived by the rape.

  • JustAthoughtt

    -“ You’re a white male and it’s none of your business what women do with their reproductive capacities…”

    As stated earlier… I am not a ‘white male’, but sex and race has nothing to do with the topic at hand. It takes both a male and female to create a human life, and their race or ethnicity is irrelevant…
    Would you also say that I have to be black to be able to say if slavery is wrong, or I would have to be Jewish to say that death camps are wrong… Obviously not… I can be a woman or a man and have a valid and legitimate part of this discussion.

    Side note:

    Since you believe that a child’s life is completely dependent upon a woman and that men should have no say in the matter… Do you also believe that a woman should raise a child by herself with no help whatsoever from the father?

  • persiflage

    You’ve merely re-stated your beliefs, values and opinions all over agains, and mis-stated some of mine. There is absolutely nothing you can say that would justify criminalizing abortion – the medical definition of fetal viability as currently applied to the biological development of the fetus is considered the legal threshold where abortion is no longer permitted under the law.

    Even then, an abortion can be legally justified at any point in order to save the life of the mother – although the Catholic Church for some insane reason doesn’t agree with this either.

    Gender and other population demographics thoroughly permeate and strongly influence every social issue – otherwise, why would statisticians make such a big deal out of statistics?

    You hope to transcend the relative subjectivity of your position by declaring some kind of absolute, completely objective truth regarding the human fetus – which is what religionists do on an ongoing basis. They persist in the midst of their folly.

    ‘Do you also believe that a woman should raise a child by herself with no help whatsoever from the father?’

    I don’t believe it and neither do child protection workers and the probate courts – who are constantly pursuing child support scofflaws……who also happen to be men almost 100% of the time.

  • JustAthoughtt

    Everything on there is a direct quote from you… What exactly did I miss quote?

    I never said I make all the laws… I merely rebutted your statement that the law is all that really matters. That is not all that matters, read what I said again, and respond to what I said.

    We never discussed the issue of abortion when the mother’s life is a risk, so how you fit that in to your response… who knows.

    You say that gender and race influence social issues, which is true… what does that have to do with the fact that you believe that only women’s views matter with this topic… Since you like to constantly refer to the authority of the law… Is that in the law?

    Then you go on to talk about statistics… but when someone else gave you statistics you said: “Statistics and medical facts and figures don’t change a thing” Hypocrite?

  • JustAthoughtt

    Then you clamed religion is bad and uses moral absolutes which are also bad (that itself is an absolute statement…) Continuing, I have not once used religion in any of my post… yet you have mentioned it several times… Why is that?

    Instead I have rebutted your statement that an embryo is not a human, but may one day become a human. Those were your words, if you misspoke that’s fine. Just clarify what you meant to say… Science shows that human life begins at conception, that is science not religion…

    Now you’re using statistics again (Hypocrite?) even if they are imaginary… saying that you think men should be responsible for children who are born, and that courts are pursuing me for child support “almost 100%” of the time… Where did you read that one?

    If a man has absolutely no say in whether or not his child is born… Then why should he be responsible for it after it is born? Seems a bit hypocritical.

    What if the Man never wanted to have a child… to force him to take care of this child against his will would be the same as slavery no? This line of reasoning follows YOUR logic…

  • persiflage

    Until you manage to change the law, everything you say is moot.
    There really is no point to the discussion other than your fixation of ‘engaging the enemy’.

    The logic of the law is what you’re disputing……and so far, you’re on the losing side.

  • JustAthoughtt

    “Until you manage to change the law, everything you say is moot.”

    Actually, people’s voices coming together on an issue is usually how change comes about. And something doesn’t have to be a law to hold merit… Which I’s sure you already know…

    “There really is no point to the discussion other than your fixation of ‘engaging the enemy’.”

    Maybe for you… But for me it is much more than that. I like to try and understand where a person is coming from and how they came to those beliefs (which is what I have been trying to do with you). I like to really engage the issue and have deep intellectual conversations (not the simple, Im right bc I say so…).

    “The logic of the law is what you’re disputing……and so far, you’re on the losing side.”

    This is irrelevant to the issue at hand. laws are changed and laws are not absolute. We know this from history and the debate has never been on if this is law or not, but if abortion is ok or not… and why…

  • persiflage

    I was probably pre–disposed to my views on this topic at an early age. Personal, unencumbered freedom is very high on my list of values and always has been. We really must be free to determine our own fate, for better of worse. This is a primary founding principle of our nation. And of course, I am not the least bit persuaded by religious arguments – being a confirmed secularist.

    A woman’s right to control her own reproductive destiny perfectly dovetails with this fundamental way of approaching the world in the most organic way possible.

    Although a woman’s views on childbearing will be influenced by many factors, she is the one that must give tacit consent to bear the child – and for many women, this question is never even raised because having a child is the goal.

    Even so, nature often does not cooperate and mis-carriages occur. In such cases, a minor tragedy takes place because a woman’s desire to bear a child is thwarted. She can always try again – or investigate other options. She can exercise her right to pursue this goal via every legal means possible.

  • TonyDiaz999

    No surprise.

    One can be pro-life but against the intrusive means to take choice away.

    The means to effect absolutely pro-life objectives is anti-freedom and anti-privacy at the same time. If taking seriously and fervently, such means is tyranny.

    Such is the crux.

  • Sairis

    I think you miss the positions… you cannot be pro-life but against the intrusive means to take choice away, you CAN be pro-choice but against the choice of abortion.

  • Sairis

    while I don’t agree with everything you say, The public should not be forced to pay for this. Personally I feel we should all be obligated to pay for our own care. I should not be burdened with your irresponsibility nor should you be burdened by mine. Anything else would be promoting irresponsibility and abetting the development of grown children who cannot understand or conceive the concept of personal responsibility.

  • TonyDiaz999

    So you are against abortion.

    What are you going to do while you do not want any intrusion?

  • Sairis

    define in your own words what a human is?

    Genetics does not make us human, genetics determines that we are homo sapiens sapiens a of the Homo genus which is of the same tribe as the Pan genus which contains chimps. This does not make chimps our equals. What makes a human special?

    This cannot be defined by a specific point.

    What can be defined by a specific point is when an embryo is capable of surviving without the host parent. Until this point, it cannot be called murder in good conscience. Until this point if an embryo is lost or removed it is simply an extraction of tissue that has very little difference from a tumor in that it is developing human tissue that feeds off of the nutrients provided by the hosts body. Even beyond the point that life is sustainable by child consciousness in the womb is not proven. We can prove reactionary reflexes, but conscious reaction is not possible to be proven.

  • Sairis

    I wonder how many women will still get the continuous abortions if it was performed in the same manner as a C-section, leaving permanent scars…

  • Sairis

    thats a bit of an assumption, I simply stated that you cannot be pro-life (claiming that no one should legally be allowed to abort a fetus) while being against the intrusive means to take it away; this is a paradoxical position and therefore not possible. As opposed to being pro-choice but against abortion as a personal choice (basically, I should have the right to choose what happens in and to my body even if I choose not to exercise it).

    not once in there did I state my own opinion.

  • OneForAllTX

    The answer in a country where everyone is supposed to have equal rights is simple: If you don’t believe in abortion (gay marraige, drinking alcohol, etc…), don’t do it. You shouldn’t have the right to force your beliefs on me just as I shouldn’t have the right to force my beliefs on you. You probably wouldn’t like it if someone tried.

    We don’t burn people at the stake anymore…. but people forcing their beliefs (religious or otherwise) on others, continues to be the reason that some people are forced to live with less rights than others. It’s the most un-American thing a person or group of people can do.

  • persiflage

    Sairis – I’m wondering if you understand the implications of your comment? You seem to be saying that women should be scarred for life as a just punishment for seeking an abortion.

    Something on the order of a Scarlet Letter as a permanent reminder of her abominable act. I hope this was not your intention – because it would indicate the mindset of a sadist.

    Meaning no disrespect, but English is perhaps not your first language – is that correct?

  • edbyronadams

    The issue may not have even become so polarized if it had been allowed to proceed down normal legislative channels. The first liberalization law passed in my state was signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan and efforts at a further liberalization were underway when Roe gave the process an abortion.

    What would have happened in other states is mere speculation, especially since the resultant polarization changed everything. Defining life and when it begins is too important a matter to be delegated to the judiciary.

    BTW, I don’t even find too much fault with the reasoning about the beginnings of human life found in Roe. It just wasn’t the courts job to make the decision.

  • PhillyJimi

    At it’s core, this whole abortion issue is silly. Natural abortions have occurred as long as people have been around. It isn’t like anyone feels the mother has committed an act of murder by the mother’s for rejecting the unborn. Then there are the fertilized eggs that never attach to the womb, are we to assume this is also an act of murder? So if a woman chooses to do the same thing as what happens in nature (should I dare say god’s will) every day why should she be denied from having the choice to do so?

    It reminds me of prostitution. It is okay to give it away for free but as soon as someone chooses to charge for it then it is wrong.

  • persiflage

    Sairis, here is your actual stated opinion, in the event you have forgotten what you said:

    ‘What can be defined by a specific point is when an embryo is capable of surviving without the host parent. Until this point, it cannot be called murder in good conscience. Until this point if an embryo is lost or removed it is simply an extraction of tissue that has very little difference from a tumor in that it is developing human tissue…………’

    This of course is the tacit position of the Supreme Court per their reading of Roe v Wade. Nothing is said about ‘when life begins’.

    So which is it – pro-choice or pro-murder?

  • persiflage

    BTW, fetal viability was mentioned several times in my own comments.

  • Sairis

    Persiflage – as you can see from parroting my statements, I have not expressed an opinion. Of course you would have to read the entire statement to receive the entire context of what I was saying, as opposed to cherry picking what looks like an opinion out of the entire statement.

    What you just quoted is not an opinion, it is a fact.

  • Sairis

    no actually English is my primary language. Whether I am a sadist or not would have no effect on the question that I asked.

    I simply was led to a scenario that led me to question if a woman would be more likely or less likely to go through the process of an abortion that was not medically necessary to save her life if it would result in a permanent physical scar that is externally visible rather than a potentially permanent emotional scar that is only internally visible.

    since we are making assumptions and jumping to the worst possible conclusions. Is the reason you are so aggressive and female chauvinistic towards anyone who is against you that might possibly be a male be because you are or were an abuse victim?

  • persiflage

    Sairis – pretty absolutist, wouldn’t you say?

  • persiflage

    Sairis, I’m a white male that has never been abused by either gender. I do find myself in disagreement with plenty of males of every race and ethinic persuasion here in the Deep South, when it comes to the issue of women’s reproductive rights.

    Your posts seem to lead nowhere. So let me ask you straight out –
    do you have an opinion about the abortion issue, one way or another? That should be simple enough…………

  • persiflage

    Disregard…….you stated your essentially pro-choice position down below.

  • jericho

    The problem with the abortion debate is this article right here. This issue has no right to be in the “On Faith” section. That would be like reporting an election or a murder in the faith section. It allows for the assumption that everyone who is pro-life is religous and everyone who is pro-choice is not. Your article points out that both groups are represented on both sides so why is this artcle still here?

    This is why this issue will never be handled properly by our political system because everyone considers it a religous debate when really it is a moral debate just like every civil rights movement before it.

    People who affiliate with a religous group are not the only ones who define life at concenption. Most professionals in the scientific community also define life at conception. The argument is not longer “when does life begin?” It is “can we allow selective killing of a minority group?”

    It is a disgrace to all people who stand for life, but are not religous that this article is in this section.

  • jericho

    I’m sorry, but I think this is a bit naïve. For those “pro-lifers” they believe that abortion is murder so your argument does not work. That would be like saying “don’t believe in murder, don’t kill your neighbor, but it is ok for me” or “don’t believe in human rights, don’t commit genocide, but its ok for them.” The point is not of personal choice it is of a fundamental moral belief that you are taking a life, which is not permissible. P.s. not trying to be disrespectful, but your argument just does not make sense.

  • Sairis

    no idea what you are talking about with that one

  • Fer Nan Do

    If a pregnant woman is murdered, why does the murderer get charged with 2 counts of murder?
    Was it 2 people that were killed? The law says Yes, 2 people were killed.
    If so, why isn’t abortion called what it is… Killing or Death.
    Seems like it depends on if a child is wanted or unwanted is what determines what we call it. We are screwed up.
    Call it exaclty what it is.
    Pro Life vs Pro Death, No sugar coating. =I

  • persiflage

    ‘……. everyone considers it a religous debate when really it is a moral debate just like every civil rights movement before it.’

    What are you saying? Pregnant women don’t have civil rights?
    Forcing women to bear children is a violation of the most fundamental right of individual freedom and amounts to legally sanctioned slavery.

    Embryos do not have civil rights until the point of biological viability is reached, according to the law. The law is always based on moral and hopefully secular agruments.

  • persiflage

    ‘If you don’t believe in abortion (gay marraige, drinking alcohol, etc…), don’t do it.’

    Exactly right – individual freedom is what this nation is all about.
    Forcing women to bear unwanted children is legally sanctioned slavery – pure and simple.

    And yet, the convoluted thinking of the so-called pro-lifers would criminalize abortions and set the human rights clock back 50 years – in a heartbeat.

    As far as the law and the issue of viability goes, it’s not a matter of when life begins, it’s a matter of when life (respiration and metabolic processes) becomes potentially self-sustaining outside the mother’s body.

  • tony55398

    There is no doubt in my mind that abortion is an evil, however has the war on drugs solved the drug problem or did outlawing liquor solve anything, did it make us a better society? Doesn’t it make criminals out of people who have a addiction. Will sending young mothers or teenagers to prison help? Don’t we have to find the root causes and destroy that which causes women to decide to have what seems an answer to a problem that has no other solution, at least to them? I have what today is a larger family, yet we used to get stares and statements to the effect, such as,. “Don’t you know what causes your problem? As if it was a problem. I say those who critisize large families are part of the problem, or critisize those on welfare, or for any other reason they may have become pregnent, often making money the real reason for their snide comments.

  • jericho

    Obviously I am not arguing based on the definitions of civil rights written in the law, murder is not a civil right. Really no child can care for themselves until they are about 12, so what really is “biologic viability”? Personally I believe it is just semantics to justify dehumanizing a minority group (the unborn).