The abortion debate

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

The announcement of the death of another young woman in California from the abortion drug RU-486 will likely further inflame the already red-hot debate about abortion in this country. It seems a vocal minority wants to make abortion illegal and erode the rights of millions of women and their ability to control their reproductive destinies. But then, why should I be surprised when I see the foundation of our government, the Constitution, being undermined in many other ways?

This bid to undercut Arlen Specter’s rise to the helm of the Senate Judiciary Committee appears to be an executive branch bid to decide the course of the legislative branch as it prepares for a likely decision on the makeup of the Supreme Court. Doesn’t destabilize the Constitution’s seperation of powers?

I’ve always understood the anti-reproductive choice argument. I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school. We saw all the pamphlets with the pictures of aborted fetuses, we heard the rhetoric that life begins at conception, we debated abortion on a fairly sophisticated level. What we didn’t talk about in my Catholic school was contraception. We didn’t talk about the social ramifications of unwanted children. And guess what? We didn’t use contraception, or we didn’t use it correctly. I don’t believe we had any to-term pregnancies in the class of 1980, although we were having various levels of sex. We were the lucky ones.

Last week, some friends and I picked back up the question of abortion. When does the fetus become a human being? Is it at the moment of conception? Is it at the moment doctors say it is healthy and carrying it to term won’t harm the mother? Is it at the moment of birth?

One thing is for certain, my friend said, nobody is pro-abortion, but nobody has the right to choose for others whether they should have a child. But, then, what if you truly believe that human life begins at conception; what would you do to prevent the murder of children?