States Abortion Debate - We Have The Right To Hope


The U. S. supreme court decision to over turn Roe v. Wade brings into serious question the status of abortion rights in the States.  While many point to the undoubted tragic consequence to follow I am hopeful that the individual States can find a just path forward for us all. 

Please forgive me for offering my view, but a man might read this too. 

From a personal standpoint, from what I have witnessed, I consider myself now pro -life. But based on the fact that having an abortion is a decision that I will never face,  I believe it is a women's choice to make and support intiatives that provide that choice.  Again, if up to me if allowed, it would be conditional, but again it's not up to me. So I believe we should defer to women in society to determine if there are to be any conditions.

If you believe I am vacillating on this issue, I accept that. Some of our tougher moral dilemmas evolve over time. Early in life, I thought abortion was just another form of birth control and that the pro-life crowd were nuts.

In speaking with a number of pro-life people  I believe I understand and appreciate their viewpoint.  What I can't understand is their need to make their choice the only one available.  Especially one so personal.   

Many pro-lifers identify themselves as Conservatives, politically so I do find it interesting the inconsistency of their position.  Conservatives are always preaching about the intrusive hand of government and how personal freedoms need to be protected.  Seems religion's influence trumps political ideology for some. Right wingers have a dim view on vaccine mandates, but are just fine with the government making decisions about a woman's body underscores their hypocrisy on the issue.   

The fiscal vs social conservative dichotomy splits the right, but many opportunistic conservative politicians have easily ignored their own beliefs and go along with the pro -lifers if it will get them elected. In fact, since the pro-life position is an absolute, it creates unity among their ranks and makes them a powerful political force. 

Polls show the majority of people are pro choice, but if you start asking what that means you get many choices.  Yes it’s centred around a woman’s right to choose - but based on the diverse views I have come across, pro choice means many things to many people. Time limits, extreme circumstances or no conditions at all are some of the choices. It is why I believe abortion rights have not been put into law - it’s a messy discussion and I am not sure there is any consensus currently, among the pro choice crowd. 

Despite what people who practice identity politics would have you believe, even women don’t agree on abortion riights. Many see it as a moral issue and they have no trouble voting to take their fellow women’s right to choose away.   

So yes, while it may have been nice to just leave well enough alone on the issue. I am hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court decision will get us to a better place. Bringing the issue back into public debate, will generate discussion and better legislation going forward.  Even Canada may finally legislate the right - but I am skeptical. The governing Liberals like to use the issue to divide Conservatives and our current PM seems rather immune to moral persuasion.  It would also open debate on an issue that our government would rather see play out to the south. 

I am aware that one real step back, for two hopeful steps forward in the future, provides little solace for women in the U.S. right now. But access was limited before this decision, particularly for the marginalized. With the pro choice movement more motivated than ever - further progress can be made. 

I will take my wife’s advice now and sit the issue out.  I am confident that the upcoming debate among American women will settle the issue for good for most and will be just for many more as well.        

By Gregory Cawsey 

Audio podcast version available TO HEAR.