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abortion I do not mean to offend anyone.

That said, lets begin offending!

Seriously, I recognize that people have legitimate feelings and beliefs on this subject. I can sympathize. I can even say (easy coming from my perch as post-menopausal of course), that I might personally agree with those who say that it is taking a life. For me it might have been had I decided to do such a thing at the time that I was capable of conceiving. It never happened so I can’t say.

All that being said, let’s look at some points of contention:

(1) when does life begin? The simple answer to the simple-minded is “at conception. When egg meets sperm, cell division begins. But pregnancy does not, and some 50-80 percent of all fertilized eggs don’t implant successfully, and this can take six to twelve days to happen. Where you draw the line raises a host of really ugly problems that are legal in nature, and that is why when life begins is a subject medical and legal experts would rather avoid.

(2) Is personhood different from life? Surely most of us would say yes. When in the growth of the foetus does it become a person? Most would argue when it has viability outside the womb. Other’s of course want to return to that moment of conception. Again, medical experts will differ and the legal implications are huge.

(3) can you rationally be for some types of abortion and not others? Can you justify logically abortion to save the life of the mother? Are you not tampering with God’s province then? Can you make exceptions for rape and incest and if so why? Morally aren’t you compelled as Steve King is to ban them all? (men find these issues so darned easy don’t they?)

(4) what are the common lies told about abortions: (a) it causes  breast cancer (b) it causes infertility (c) most women regret them later (d) forcing women to watch ultrasounds will change their minds (e) abortions psychologically damage women (f) imposing severe regulations on abortion clinics makes abortions safer (g) abortions threaten women’s lives and health. None of these claims are remotely true.

(5) Fetuses suffer pain at abortion. This is not true either. Most medical experts based on a myriad of studies don’t believe a fetus is capable of pain prior to the cortex being wired in at 24 weeks. The vast majority of abortions are done before this period.

(6) the US in the guise of the right to anti-abortionists is well-known for its save the fetus at all costs” but then ignore the infant, child, youngster afterward. The same people who are in the forefront of pushing these anti-abortion bills through the House of Representatives, are the same folks who vote against food stamps, contraceptive care for women, medical care for children, and a host of other social programs that ensure that youngsters born in this country will be raised under healthy conditions. The argument is clear, you aren’t pro-life if your ONLY concern is bringing forth a birth, a birth you then abandon.

As you can see, the issue is a complicated one and there are no easy answers. While it is easy to take a flat stand as many Republican men do (not having to contend with pregnancy has it’s benefits), when you get in the weeds the going gets pretty darn hard. Not that most of the far right has any problem with being disingenuous or illogical.

On the anniversary of Roe v Wade, the GOP House thought to take advantage of the situation and pro-offer a bill that would make their base happy, and accomplish nothing since it could not pass the Senate, nor be signed by the President. It was a win-win for them. •

Until even some of their Republican ladies even thought that the bill went too far, encompassed too much, and was just full of some of those unintended consequences mentioned in (1) and (2). Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN) and all around stupid person, charged with marshalling the bill through the House, retreated in the face of  growing distrust in their own caucus. The provision that proved deadly was the requirement that rape victims would be denied an exception to the general ban unless they had reported the rape to police.

The extremists on the right are predictably displeased and threatening to pressure those wavering Republican women. I’m sure it’s the traditional, if you want to keep your job, you better!

With all this at hand, just how comfortable are you with telling another woman what is best for her? I know I’m not. And I will support her right to decide these very complicated matters herself and with the people she chooses to ask advice of. As they say, if men could have babies, this would never be an issue.

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