Points of View
It is nearly impossible anymore to find someone who doesn't have an opinion
about abortion, and probably a strong opinion at that. Yet the endless debates on the topic
usually go nowhere, leaving the opponents even more committed to their positions and
the open-minded observers confused. Both sides make a good case. An unwanted child is
a pitiful thing, and the attendant social problems (single motherhood, financial
destitution, child neglect, and urban overcrowding, to name just a few) do not have easy
solutions. On the other hand, the thought of terminating something that, if left to run its
natural course, would ultimately result in the birth of a human being gives all but the
most hard-hearted among us cause for serious introspection.
One reason the debate goes nowhere is that each side focuses on a different topic.
We make no progress because we are not talking about the same thing.
pro-abortionist prefers to discuss choice, and to dwell on all of the social problems
inherent in an unwanted child. The anti-abortionist is interested primarily in protecting
the life of the fetus. In simple terms, the pro-abortionist focuses on a woman's rights and
the anti-abortionist focuses on a fetus' rights. Though interrelated, these are basically
Though neither side realizes it, there is actually much more agreement than
disagreement between the opposing views. The majority on both sides would agree that
social problems like child neglect and urban overcrowding are serious issues. Most
would also agree that the life of a child is a precious thing that deserves the full
protection of the law. There would even be nearly universal agreement that it is a
woman's exclusive right to make decisions concerning her body. So where's the
disagreement? The entire complex...