TheAffinity of Abortion to Political Concern
TheAffinity of Abortion to Political Concern
Manydebates surround the issue of abortion. The issue of abortion is soimperative today that it shapes political debates as far as thepresidential level. The prominence of abortion has transcended othernational issues to become complex and a debate across all states. Infact, abortion has become a political issue because politics is theonly vehicle to the achievement of the desired objectives for theopposing groups and it is a vehicle for legal changes. In thisregards, the analysis assesses the prominence of abortion as apolitical issue and an aspect for social change.
Abortionhas been a part of the social and moral discussions for a long time.Many moral and political debates about the presence of abortion comefrom the very definitions of the family (Ramsey, 2013). Social evilssuch as prostitution, incest, rapes and adultery have been a part ofthe human society for a long time. Pregnancies from the illicitunions are not encouraged because they have a negative effect on boththe father and the mother (Ramsey, 2013). Therefore, where a womanconceives as part of the illicit relationships, there is a strongdesire to abort the child and avoid the trauma that would be anassociation with the birth.
Recently,other issues have emerged as a function of the changes in thesociety. For example, after the 1950’s, sex before marriage, calledfornication and frowned upon by the society, became a norm (Ramsey,2013). Therefore, there were increased cases of teenage pregnancies(Rose, 2011). When a teenager becomes pregnant, there is the risk ofruining an entire life, hence the application of abortion to avertany potential issues.
Theempowerment of women and the integration of women in the professionalenvironment mean that the women are focused on their careers asopposed to traditional homemaking in the traditional families(Ramsey, 2013). Therefore, while abortion was strictly associatedwith illicit conceptions in the traditional societies, the issue isnow a common theme even among married women who conceive‘accidentally,` even if the husband is the father (Ramsey, 2013).In the field of medicine, doctors recommend abortion where thepregnancy endangers the life of the mother.
Plannedparenting has also emerged as a major theme in abortion (Ramsey,2013). Parents plan for their children, and they know exactly howmany children they want and when they are going to have them. Whilefamily planning is used to prevent abortions, sometimes the familyplanning fails, hence the decisions to abort children for financialreasons or convenience by the would-be parents (Rose, 2011).
Theissue causes huge rifts in the society because of the moral andethical debates. Religion specifically forbids abortion. Theteachings maintain that the union between man and women should be ina specific context. In addition, in the legal fields, life is said tobegin at conception as opposed to after birth. Therefore, abortion isthe equivalent of murder because it denies the child the right tolive. In ethics, there are questions about ending life when the childwas innocent of any act of conception. Is it fair that they losetheir lives for an act they played no part in? On the other hand, ifa woman is raped and conceives is it fair that she carries apregnancy that is a constant reminder of the trauma she endured? Inthe case of a young woman who conceives before she has completed hereducation, is it fair to her that her entire life would be ruined bya simple night of pleasure? The discussions are what make the issueso compelling and captivating to the public.
Politicsthrives on rifts. In all political discussions, there are opposingsides that each seeks to undermine the position of the other side andwin the approval of the public. In this way, creating a siegementality in the public by appealing to the ‘us-vs.-them.`Mentality is a powerful tool for politicians, especially where thetopic is important to the society (Frances, 2015). For example, thereis a rift between the values of religion and secular governance.Therefore, the rifts are expressed in the field of politics becauseexpressions help the proponents or opponents to generate publicopinions (Jelen, 2015). Therefore, in the debates, the desiredobjectives of the politicians are self-serving because they rotatearound garnering support.
Currently,there is an intense debate between Planned Parenthood groups andnon-profit organizations. The debate pits the ‘progressive’values of the planned parenting group and the conservative values ofthe opposing group (Frances, 2015). In the debate, the issue ofunethical practices in the current society such as the transfer offetus from one mother to the other, shape public opinion and turn thepublic, especially the conservative groups, against the values ofplanned parenting (Jelen, 2015). The intensity of the debate is aboutto generate public opinions and direct the attitudes of the public.The prominent nature of the politicians and their work implies thatpolitics is an ideal vehicle for airing the suggestions andinfluencing the public.
Thepolarized opinions on abortion are a major determinant of thepolitical arena for the debate. There are no middle grounds inreligion. A person is either for abortion or against it. At the sametime, in the secular debates, the predominant suggestion is thatabortion should be a manner of choice and that in the feministmovement, the women should be allowed to have control over theirbodies (Jelen, 2015). Therefore, the ethics of care are pittedagainst the utilitarian ethics that seek to serve the benefits of thesociety regardless of the interests of the individual. Thepolarization is an important feature of understanding why abortion isa political issue because it answers the question of why peoplecannot simply be allowed to make up their minds.
Politicsis a vehicle for the legal legislation on the issue. Legalrecognition is an important part of the debate. Traditionally, themoral values of the society are derived from religion and theinternational declaration of human rights (Frances, 2015). However,the differences in belief mean that the religious reasons are not ascompelling as they once were. Therefore, the proponents are of theopinion that the political support of the leaders will help reducethe incidence of criminal proceedings against people who performabortions. At the same time, the issue of politics shapes publicopinions (Jelen, 2015). Therefore, the proponents of abortion usepolitics to lobby support for the self-determinist principles whilethe opposing group quotes the right to live in their opposition.Where the society changes values, the changes are likely to berepresented in the law, hence the relevance of politics in thedebates.
Politicsis not the only vehicle for discussing the issue (Curry, 2008).Abortion is a moral and legal issue (Curry, 2008). Therefore, itshould be discussed in the legal circles because it has a directeffect on the interpretation of the right to life and the definitionof when life starts. In addition, the propositions of politicians arenot always for the principles of self-gain. Therefore, abortion is apolitical issue because people are not sure what they want.
Isreligion the source of all moral values? Are there universal valuesin the society? What happens when one group wins the debate andapplies radical interpretations of the law? For example, the aspectof the life to live is very important in the debate because it shapesthe ethical implications of abortion and the acceptable parameters ofinducing abortions for women. The aspect of political debates isflawed because it creates the impression that specific values shouldbe applied to all people. For example, the propositions of religionagainst using condoms, (the Catholic Church) and the unchangingstance cannot be applied to members of the society who do not believein the issue. For this reason, abortion should not be a matter ofpublic opinion or legal guidelines. Rather, it should be the productof individual decisions and desires. The true self-deterministimplies that a person is in control of all their actions, regardlessof the social and political norms of the society.
Inthe oppositions for abortion, the women who abort are labeled‘murders’. However, the label, in Christianity, is equivalent topassing judgment on others. The Bible specifically directs Christiansto keep away from judging others. Therefore, there are no grounds fordebating the issue. For this reason, that abortion is a politicalissue is a function of polarization in the society. The polarityshould not be present where the society facilitates individualdecision-making.
Ispolitics the only vehicle to the achievement of the desiredobjectives? In the current society, the legal implications ofabortion imply that politics is necessary for the debate because ofthe relevance of legal compliance and the effects of the law indirecting the actions of all people. The law is an important part ofany society because it defines the limits of individual liberties andfacilitates the existence of functional societies. At the same time,it is important to note that the issue of abortion is not harmful tothe society. In fact, the only instance where it is harmful is wherethe woman is forced to abort, or where the woman loses her life inthe process. Can a person be allowed to commit suicide? They are notharming anyone by ending their lives, and they have the right toforfeit the right to live the same way a person can forfeit the rightto vote at will. The complexity of the question implies that theanswers to abortion are not as easy as self-determinism suggests. Theright approach has to be accepted by the entire society and themetrics of application determined by the law.
Abortionis a divisive topic. Consider all the lives on the planet. The peopleare alive because the mothers chose not to abort them. In thecontemporary times, there are measures that allow mothers to giveaway their children to other willing parties and thus forfeit theburden associated with motherhood. Therefore, for the greater good ofthe society, nine months of pregnancy are a small price to pay.Therefore, abortion should continue to be a political debate to raiseawareness in the society to facilitate the development of acceptablesolutions to all members of the society. The debate is unclear andneeds further deliberation for the best solution. Abortions are notan individual decision, as they affect the entire society.
Self-determinismshould be the riding policy in the society. All individuals should beable to determine their paths. In addition, the self-deterministshould only be applied where there are no conflicts between theindividual values and the values of the society. For example, themother and the father should make the decision. An acceptableexception should only be in the event of a medical need.
Furtherdeliberation: the issue is still unclear in the society becausedifferent situations call for different considerations. For example,the involvement of both parents is not applicable in the case ofrape. In addition, pregnancy hurts the women more than the men, andaccepting abortion has the potential to empower women even after theymake misstates. Therefore, though the intermediary policies shouldreduce the presence of abortion, the issue needs further deliberationto find acceptable solutions for all.
Reductionof the political aspect of the debate: abortions are personaldecisions and are subject to different ethical and moralconsiderations. The political debates create the impression that theabortions should have universal stances. Therefore, politics needs tobe reduced in the debates to allow for the existence of differentcultural values in the society. The reduced political aspect does notmean reduced debates. Debates are important because they uncoverimportant considerations on both sides and help to shape a functionalsociety where all people can follow what they believe.
Curry,T. (2008, October 12). McCain,Obama in sharp contrast on abortion.Retrieved December 5, 2015, fromhttp://www.nbcnews.com/id/27035396/ns/politics- briefing_book_issues_08/t/mccain-obama-sharp-contrast-abortion/#.VmM8uHYrLIU
Frances,A. (2015, November 29). TheHarmful Hypocrisy of the `Right to Life` Movement. Retrieved December 5, 2015, fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/the- harmful-hypocrisy-of-_b_8676666.html
Jelen,T. (2015). Abortionpolitics in the United States and Canada: Studies in public opinion. Westport, Conn. Praeger.
Ramsey,R. (2013, July 13). ThePolicy and the Politics of the Abortion Debate.Retrieved December 5, 2015, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/the-policy-and-the- politics-of-the-abortion-debate.html?_r=0
Rose,M. (2011). Safe,legal, and unavailable?: Abortion politics in the United States. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.