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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

One Tall Voice: Anti abortion, pro personal responsibility

Published: February 13, 2009
Section: Opinions

Perhaps no issue in our modern society invokes more passion and vigor than abortion. This topic is extremely divisive, as many members of our nation have differing views and opinions on the subject. What is extremely fascinating is how convoluted the rhetoric surrounding this debate has become. The labels “pro-life” and “pro-choice” do not even come close to defining the stances of everyone who are for and against abortion, and other ambiguous phrases predominate the debate. Furthermore, the way that this issue has been handled by our government is appalling, as activist judges have taken the topic away from the democratic means of our republican system. In addition, I am in fact against abortion. I would like to explain why, and perhaps untangle some of the mess that surrounds this most controversial of topics.

I don’t really understand the terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” As far as I am concerned they are just labels created by supporters or opponents of abortion to give their causes either religious righteousness or an appeal to the extension of liberties. If I had to pick one of these terms to describe my position on abortion, I would chose “pro-choice.” I, In fact, support a woman’s right to choose, as their decision whether or not to have sex should never be abridged.

I also detest describing myself as “pro-life.” My position does not stem from the belief that fetuses are living humans (though, on certain days, I do think this is true and tend sometimes to side against abortion for this reason). Rather, I am against abortion due to another rationale which shall be discussed later. I won’t even begin to rail against the term “reproductive rights,” but to say that this is one of the most ambiguous phrase I ever heard. The right to reproduce is not in question, whether or not abortions should be allowed is the issue under contention. Please don’t ever use the terms “pro-life” or “pro-choice” when debating abortion. It is just a thinly-veiled attempt to bolster your rhetoric and the phrases “for-abortion” and “anti-abortion” work just fine.

One of the reasons that I am against abortion is due to the illegal way that it has been decided by our federal government. I have already devoted at least two articles toward describing why judicial activism has taken away the rights of our democratically-elected leaders to decide issues that are so dear to the American public. I will not be redundant here, and would therefore like to say that you can be against the way something is passed, and still be a proponent of the initiative in question. You can, for instance, support the fact that people are voting on an issue and still dislike their decision. For example, I have known some people who favored Californians voting on Proposition 8 even though they are for gay marriage, because this process was democratic, rather than judicially tyrannical. People could also be against the Supreme Court creating certain rights out of thin air and oppose the decisions of that body even though these rulings support their ideological positions. Rational people can see that in our modern society, people ought to vote on issues that are important to us rather than trust the decisions of crusty old popes that are not held responsible to the people. I think you can definitely divorce being opposed to the process by which a policy is initiated even though the eventual decision supports your own beliefs.

And now to the meat and potatoes of why I am against abortion. I feel that our society should be built around a system where people are responsible individuals who should be held accountable to their actions. If only individuals were responsible enough to save for their retirement, maybe we would not have to rely on the inefficient system known as Social Security. If people were only more sensible, individuals would not involve themselves in risky activity and then, perhaps, we would not have to spend as much money on draining programs like Medicaid, disability, and others. In my view, outlawing abortion is just one step in creating a society where people are more sensible and take responsibility for their actions. Individuals having sex know that there are dire consequences to their activity and should take the necessary precautions to ensure that they remain safe. Seriously, how can someone screw up something as serious as safe sex, and with the necessary counter-measures, the chances of pregnancy is extremely low. If negative consequences are realized, they should be accepted, as a known possible result of sexual activity. That being said, I think that anyone who is not held accountable for their actions by our society should be allowed to have abortions. This group includes people under the age of 18, individuals with mental incapacities and certain other people. Also, rape victims should also be allowed to have abortions, as they did not agree to sexual activity.

I am aware that abortion is an extremely touchy topic in our modern society, and I know that I may receive some negative reactions to this article. But I just want to unravel some of the misconceptions surrounding the topic. I hate the terms that have been applied to supporters and opponents of abortion, as they do not fully describe their positions. In addition, I want people to know that they can be against judicial tyranny and for abortion. Furthermore, personal responsibility should predominate our society and outlawing abortion is one step toward establishing this framework. I know some will say I am a man and this inhibits my ability to chime in on the topic. Some may call me coarse, saying that I am unwilling to give second chances. Still, these are my opinions and I am happy to add my goods to the marketplace of ideas. For many, however, this product may be sour grapes indeed.