Abortion is definitely a touchy subject, and thus I hesitate to bring it up. But what I observed during Justice for All’s visit to our campus last week compels me to make a few comments.
Religious and moral beliefs are often the major factor in deciding one’s stance on abortion. And that’s the thing about abortion: It’s a moral issue, not a political one.
I don’t know what the deal with America is lately, but the government has been taking more and more stances on religious issues such as abortion, gay marriage, drug use and stem cell research. Now maybe I missed something, but I’m pretty sure we still believe in the separation of church and state. Somewhere along the line, people, especially those from the conservative right, forgot this simple fact. They have been pushing their moral and religious agenda on the people of the United States, but they fail to recognize that everyone doesn’t have the same beliefs they do.
I don’t see how anyone, especially in America, can say that he or she should have his or her morals or beliefs forced upon others. If you’re against abortion, great, but other people may not believe the same way you do.
Personally, I think abortion is wrong. If I were a woman and got pregnant, I would not have an abortion. However, I recognize that other people do not share my values, and I fully respect their choice to do something that goes against my views.
Last week I observed several debates/arguments/hissy-fits occurring between students and the people from Justice for All, and they never got anywhere. The Justice for All people would cite some science-based information “proving” that a fetus is a human and thus should be endowed with human rights. A student would then make a very legitimate counter-point that conclusively confirms the fact that a fetus is not a human. Ultimately the discussion would deteriorate until each person was shouting, “You’re wrong!” followed by, “No, you’re wrong!” to which the response was, “That’s what your mom said!”
The point is neither side could sway the other side because their arguments are ultimately not based on science, statistics or any other facts, but instead on each person’s own moral values.
When President Bush nominated two new justices to the Supreme Court, the only issue anyone talked about was the nominees’ stance on abortion. I never once heard anyone mention real political issues, like eminent domain or states’ rights. That’s why I’m so sick of abortion being a political topic – it distracts from more important things that the government should actually be focused on.
If you feel that abortion is seriously wrong, feel free to go out there and try to convince people of your position (as was the goal of Justice for All). And I wish you lots of luck – you’re going to need it. If you come across someone who is as strongly against your opinion as you are for it, there is no amount of logic, facts or rationality that will convince him or her otherwise, because, as I said before, it’s a moral issue, and morals are close to impossible to change.
But if/when you fail, don’t go crying to the government to impose your values on others. This is America, and our freedom of choice should never be infringed upon.
Andy Nicewicz is a senior political science major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.